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Gas saving tips: 4 hacks to save money on gas

These four simple tips will help you stretch your fuel mileage and save money on your next fill-up.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — If it feels like you're breaking the bank every time you have to fill up your car with gas, you're not imagining it. The price of gas has risen dramatically over the past year. 

According to AAA, the current average price of a gallon of regular in North Carolina is $3.15. In South Carolina, drivers are paying an average of $3.10 a gallon. That's an increase of 86 cents in North Carolina and 92 cents per gallon in South Carolina compared to this same time last year. 

The rising gas prices can get you down but there are ways to stretch your fuel economy and save money on gas. 

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Here are four ways to save money on your fuel costs and get the most out of each tank. 

1. Slow down

Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage up to 30% when driving highway speeds and up to 40% driving in stop-and-go traffic, according to fueleconomy.gov which is the official US government source for fuel economy information.

2. Keep up with maintenance

Regularly servicing your car and tuning up the engine when prompted is key. In fact, according to fueleconomy.gov, fixing a serious maintenance issue like a faulty oxygen sensor can improve fuel mileage by as much as 40%.

WCNC Charlotte is always asking "where's the money?" If you need help, reach out to the Defenders team by emailing money@wcnc.com.

3. Take care of tires

Maintaining proper tire pressure can improve gas mileage up to 3%. Your car's owner's manual should have the manufacturer's recommended tire pressure. 

4. Get rid of junk

Hauling heavy items can hurt fuel economy by adding unnecessary weight to your vehicle. 

According to fueleconomy.gov, hauling roof cargo driving at highway speeds of 65 mph or more can cause up to a 25% reduction in fuel economy.

Contact Carolyn Bruck at cbruck@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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