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Gas prices on the rise, tips to keep the blows to your wallet above the belt

Gas prices in the Hills continue to climb.
Gas prices in the Hills continue to climb.(Jeffrey Lindblom)
Published: Mar. 4, 2022 at 4:38 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - The war in Ukraine might be thousands of miles away. However, there’s one way it’s directly affecting the Hills.

Gas prices.

As sanctions on Russia are threatened to hit the Russian economy harder, some predict they may topple five-dollars.

“Tire pressure plays a big role in fuel economy. Let’s say,” explains Nathan Anderson, Lead Technician at Advanced Auto Care, “you’re running around half flat, that can drastically affect your fuel mileage.”

Flat tires mean resistance on the road, just how something like a wheelbarrow would, because Anderson says, “it pushes a lot harder with a flat tire. If you have your tires inflated properly, they roll a lot easier.”

Having your tires properly aligned also helps you save at the pump.

Wayne Richards, who’s fueling up in Rapid City, says “ten bucks didn’t even get three gallons.”

Richards attributes that to the war in Ukraine, and what he believes are gas companies reacting far too quickly.

Richards asks, “30 cents in one day?” He doesn’t believe that could be something possible, “so, it seems to me they’re jumping the gun, and they’re just trying to make a profit.”

30 cents to him cuts pretty deep, because he says “that’s an extra three dollars on just 10 gallons.”

With more potential sanctions to come in Russia, those prices are predicted to go up and up. Prices climbing that high is something Joe Burnett, a Rapid City man filling up at a local gas station, is worried about.

“I know people who find this a real burden,” Burnett explains, “and they travel in their work. It’s taking quite a bite out of their salaries. So, I am concerned about it long term.”

Not to worry, there’s more ways to lighten that burden.

Drive smoothly and watch your speed, and maybe consider premium. However, Anderson admits “you have to do a little bit of hand calculation on that, I guess.”

Try to get a regular tune up and make sure everything’s alright, because Anderson says, “like everything else in your car, you want it running to the best of the condition.”

Clean air and fuel filters and new spark plugs, those are things that can help your pocket the pump.

“If you’re running around with a check engine light on too,” Andersons says, “get that checked out. There could be a sensor that’s causing poor mileage.”

Another thing you can do is open up the back of your car and take a quick little looksie around, and get rid of all of the junk in your trunk weighing you down.

“That can hurt your fuel economy too,” Anderson says, “especially on a smaller vehicle.”

This could be just the beginning, and Burnett “do[es] have concern[s] about how high it might go at some point.”

Anderson says it’s a good idea to do what you can to help yourself, because “better fuel mileage means cheaper costs in the long run.”

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