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As gas prices soar, myths revealed

May 13, 2008 5:11:51 PM PDT
The economy and soaring gas prices will be a major issue in the race for president

Some gas stations in Chicago are now charging $4.25 a gallon for regular.

ABC7 has been looking into a few fuel saving tips and myths that may help ease the pain at the pump. From rolling down the windows instead of turning on the air to turning off your car while waiting to pick someone up, drivers have heard the gas saving suggestions.

ABC7 put some of those suggestions to the test.

Much more than a skyline separates the city from the suburbs. Filling up the tank in the Loop costs more than $4. The same amount of gas is 32 cents a gallon cheaper at a station in Joliet.

The difference translates into a suburban savings of more than $6 a tank for each full fill-up.

"Let's see, the further south, the cheaper it'll get so I guess I should go to Mexico!" said Ray Gersich, a Joliet resident.

Joliet mom Kara Curran has been taking a few savings strategies for a spin. Up until recently she made sure she charged her gas purchases on a credit card that offers rewards such as airline miles. In her case, it's a card that accrues cash for college tuition.

"I have the UPromise card with my credit card, I figured I might as well get something out of high gas prices," said Curran.

Recently, though, Curran noticed her $80 fill-ups were contributing to a credit card bill that wasn't being paid in full each month and therefore actually costing her more thanks to interest. Now she only uses cash and as a result only buys as much as she can afford at that moment.

In Tinley Park, a local bike shop has sold six electric bikes in the last week, and 60 since last June.

Battery, not pedal, power gives an electric Schwinn a top speed of 18 miles per hour and a range of 40 miles. The bicycle, which retails for $1,900, may save drivers money, but it requires a minimal amount of effort to turn the pedals.

"In the city we had a guy buy one and he lived five miles away and was using it to commute to work," said Brian Poncin, "My Bike of Tinley Park" owner.

A few gas myths revealed:

  • Running the air conditioner only reduces your car's fuel efficiency by about one mile per gallon.

  • Turning off your car while idling can save gas: Experts say if you'll be waiting on someone more than 30 seconds killing the engine makes sense.

  • AAA says gas prices do tend to be higher on the weekends.

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