As spring pump prices bounce higher, here’s 10 tips for saving money - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

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As spring pump prices bounce higher, here’s 10 tips for saving money

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Linda Gorman

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Posted: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 2:00 pm

With gas prices continuing their meteoric rise, motorists are likely looking at a long spring of shelling out more at the pump, with little reprieve in sight. To stretch your dollars, be sure to heed the following tips:

Properly inflate tires. Less than one in five cars have all four tires properly inflated, yet the U.S. Department of Energy reports that proper inflation can improve fuel economy by up to 3 percent. Remember to properly check tire pressures once a month, when the tires are cold. Tires should be inflated to pressure levels recommended by the vehicle manufacturer, not the pressure levels stamped on the tire sidewall.

Find the lowest gas prices. Drivers equipped with the AAA TripTik Mobile app, available for iPhone and Android users at, can find the lowest gas prices close to home or on the road from the most comprehensive gas price tool available. In addition, drivers can subscribe to receive weekly text alerts on the lowest priced gas in their area by texting GAS and their five-digit ZIP code to 222411.

Cut back when you can. Leaving your vehicle parked one day a week will reduce gas consumption by as much as 20 percent. Also, when running errands, try combining multiple stops into one trip. Several short trips starting with a cold engine each time can use twice as much gas as a longer multipurpose trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm.

Easy does it. Avoid abrupt starts and stops. Instead, accelerate and brake slowly to help you conserve fuel and stress on your vehicle. Aggressive driving can lower a car’s fuel economy by up to 33 percent.

Follow the speed limit. Driving faster may get you where you want to go in less time, but it also means more trips to the gas pump. Every 5 mph driven over 60 mph is like paying an additional 24 cents per gallon.

Avoid rush hour. Traffic is bad for your car’s mileage. Stagger your work hours, if possible, to avoid.

Travel light. A heavier vehicle uses approximately 1 to 2 percent more fuel. Lighten your vehicle by cleaning out the trunk and cargo areas.

Buy regular. Don’t buy premium grade gasoline if your vehicle doesn’t require it. Based on recent fuel averages, this can help you save as much as 23 cents per gallon.

Stretch your gas money. Members who pay for gasoline with their AAA Member Rewards Visa credit card receive double points on gas purchases. Members can redeem points for cash, travel or gift cards.

Keep up-to-date on vehicle maintenance. Keeping a car running properly helps achieve maximum fuel economy. Be sure to follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule, and do not ignore vehicle warning lights that indicate something is wrong. To help motorists find reliable, high-quality vehicle service, locate a nearby AAA Approved Auto Repair shop by visiting

• Linda Gorman is communications and public affairs director for AAA Arizona. Reach her at (602) 650-2716 or

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