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Fill Up Now - Gas Prices to Spike Today

Problem at an Illinois refinery is expected to impact local costs - just in time for Memorial Day weekend travelers.

If you are headed up north or have other travel plans this weekend, you might want to fill up now. Gas prices are expected to jump today – just in time for the long Memorial Day weekend, traditionally one of the most heavily traveled of the year.

After a brief reprieve of $4-plus prices at the pump, the cost of a gallon of gas is expected to jump back up from the current local average of $3.84 to $3.89-$4.15, according to GasBuddy.com. The reason? A problem at an Illinois refinery.

In the meantime, here are some tips on how to get the most out of a tank of gas, courtesy of GasBuddy.com:

  1. Avoid high speeds: As your speed increases, your aerodynamic drag increases in an exponential fashion. Driving 62 mph vs. 75 mph will reduce fuel consumption by about 15 percent.
  2. Do not accelerate or brake hard: By anticipating the traffic and applying slow steady acceleration and braking, fuel economy may increase by as much as 20 percent.
  3. Keep tires properly inflated: Keep tire air pressure at the level recommended by your vehicle manufacturer. A single tire under inflated by 2 PSI, increases fuel consumption by 1 percent.
  4. Use A/C sparingly: When the air conditioner is on it puts extra load on the engine forcing more fuel to be used (by about 20 percent). The defrost position on most vehicles also uses the air conditioner.
  5. Keep windows closed: Windows open, especially at highway speeds, increase drag and result in decreased fuel economy of up to 10 percent.
  6. Service vehicle regularly: Proper maintenance avoids poor fuel economy related to dirty air filters, old spark plugs or low fluid levels.
  7. Use cruise control: Maintaining a constant speed over long distances often saves gas.
  8. Avoid heavy loads: Remove the sand bags from your trunk in the spring and pack lightly for long trips.
  9. Avoid long idles: If you anticipate being stopped for more than 1 minute, shut off the car. Restarting the car uses less fuel than letting it idle for this time.
  10. Purchase a fuel-efficient vehicle: When buying a new vehicle examine the vehicle's rated fuel efficiency. Usually choosing a small vehicle with a manual transmission will provide you with great fuel economy.

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