With gasoline at $4 a gallon, we had to find out how to minimize the financial sting. Here are sites for finding the cheapest gasoline, getting better mileage out of your old heap, or finding an efficient car.
Dot gov. The Environmental Protection Agency's special page on fuel economy is one place you can go to download the full list of the agency's famous m.p.g. ratings. Oh, by the way, they've changed all the ratings going back to 1985, after deciding those numbers weren't so real-world. Also, fuel-cost estimates are now updated weekly to reflect current gasoline prices. Don't say the government never did anything for you.
Fuel finder. AAA's site. Besides posting daily fuel prices for about 100,000 gas stations, and mapping their locations, the AAA folks have a "fuel cost calculator" to estimate the (high) cost of your next road trip. Depending on your vehicle's make and mileage, you could use the information to decide if it's time to remortgage the house.
The fuel cost calculator is here: www.fuelcostcalculator.com
Gas buddy. Check out the gasoline price "temperature maps" that render the most costly hot spots in red, and cooler regions in a shady green. The U.S. map shows two red regions bracketing a lush green heartland, and about a 50-cent gap between the lowest and highest prices per gallon. Besides helping you find cheaper gasoline, the site offers many tips for saving fuel and money, including the use of credit cards that pay discounts for gasoline.
Tips test. To see if they really work, car site Edmunds.com tested some of the commonly mentioned methods for saving fuel. These helped a lot: Using cruise control, driving the speed limit, not mashing the gas, and keeping the sunroof closed. But these did not help much at all: Checking tire pressure, not using the air conditioner. www.edmunds.com/advice/fueleconomy/articles/106842/article.html
Contact staff writer Reid Kanaley at 215-854-5114 or email@example.com.