15 Mistakes You Make When Pumping Gasoline

5. You’re Not Using An App

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Mobile apps can point you to the nearest—and/or cheapest—gas prices in the area. Here are some. Gas Buddy is the only free app listed here and relies on users to report gas prices weekly, rewarding one with a $250 gift card. It works only on iOS, and so does Fuel Finder which also relies on users but insists it can help you save over $300 a year on gas. That makes it seem worth the $2.99 with one month free. Smart Fuel uses databases to get you the “most accurate” prices, and Cheap Gas not only gives you gas prices, it also tracks your mileage and vehicle maintenance costs. If you don’t mind driving a little extra to possibly save a little extra money (See #2), an app might be what you need before your next trip to the pump.

6. Not Seizing Good Prices

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More than 75% of people surveyed said they drive by gas stations even if the there is a good advertised price. Many assume that a low price at one station equates to low prices everywhere. This is not necessarily the case. Also, drivers may pass up the opportunity if “getting gas” isn’t on their agenda at that moment or if they’re in the habit of waiting until the gauge reaches a certain line (hopefully not lower than a quarter tank). Further, if you let the gas content get too low, you’ll be forced to shop at the nearest gas station, even if their prices are high. This could be costly for another reason. Waiting for the gas warning light to alert you, or waiting even longer than that, can be harmful to the car’s engine. Any particles that are in the tank can more readily enter the gas line and then the engine when the tank is empty. This can lead to $$$ problems.