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Gasoline Pricing Facts for Consumers





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While an individual may not be able to influence the price of gasoline at the pump, there are things you can do to reduce your gasoline consumption and costs.

  • Improve your vehicle's gas mileage.
  • Keep the tires properly inflated. Under-inflated tires force the engine to work harder.
  • Follow the speed limit. The faster you drive, the poorer your gas mileage.
  • Keep your car tuned up. Even a bad spark plug can greatly reduce mileage.
  • Keep the windows closed and use the air conditioner at highway speed to reduce drag. In stop-and-go city traffic, shut off the air conditioner and open the windows.
  • Drive at a smooth speed. Avoid sudden, fast acceleration.

Choose renewable fuel blends when available.

  • Nearly all gasoline in Minnesota contains 10% ethanol, reducing our reliance on foreign petroleum.
  • Check to see if you have a "flexible fuel" vehicle, which allows you to use less expensive E-85 fuel (85% ethanol). Many people with flexible fuel vehicles do not know they have one! Look under the fuel door lid for the word "E-85."
  • Look for biodiesel fuel for diesel vehicles. Biodiesel blends, containing up to 20% biodiesel, are becoming more available as the market for them increases. Contact the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association for a current list of stations offering biodiesel.www.mnsoybean.org
  • All #2 diesel fuel sold in Minnesota is required to contain 5% biodiesel year-round. All #1 diesel fuel sold in Minnesota is required to contain 5% biodiesel during the months of April - September. Some gas stations sell blends up to 20% biodiesel.

Choose a fuel-efficient vehicle

  • Compare the fuel economy of different vehicles before making a purchase.
  • Consider hybrid or flexible fuel vehicles which are less expensive to operate.
  • If you have two cars, use the more efficient one for short trips and city driving.

Consider alternative transportation

  • Carpool or take the bus to work.
  • Ride your bicycle to work one day a week.

For more information, visit the following web sites:

U.S. Department of Energy: for U.S. gasoline prices and fuel efficiency information on specific vehicles.

April 2011