The Most Expensive Mistakes You’re Making at the Gas Pump

These gas pump habits may seem harmless, but they're likely costing you money every time you fill up.

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gas station at night
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Not Going to the Cheapest Station

It may be more convenient to go to the gas station that’s just around the block, but that doesn’t mean you’re getting the best deal. There are a wide range of gas price apps and websites to help locate the cheapest gas station near you.

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Filling car with gas
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Topping Off

Topping off your tank when fuelling up might not seem like a big deal, but it’s one of the most common mistakes people make at the gas pump.

Over-fuelling can damage your engine and reduce performance, according to GasBuddy. Plus, most gas station pumps have vapour recovery systems, which absorb any excess gas that is released once the car is filled to protect the car and environment.

Find out how gas pumps “know” when your car is full.

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Expensive mistakes at the gas pump - shocked man
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Filling Up on the Wrong Day

Gas prices fluctuate depending on the day of the week. The beginning of the week typically has cheaper gas prices compared to the weekend. So if you’re starting to get low on gas, don’t wait until Friday or Saturday to fuel back up.

Find out why you should never use your phone when pumping gas.

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Bad Gas Pump Habits - Man Pulling Out Wallet
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Overlooking Loyalty Programs

Major gas chains offer fuel reward programs that can save you money every time you fuel up. If you regularly get your gas at the same station, this might be a good option for you to consider.

While you’re at it, check out the best apps to save money on groceries.

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Bad Gas Pump Habits - Gas Gauge On Empty
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Waiting Too Long to Fuel Up

You should never wait until your gas light comes on to refuel your car. Driving near empty leaves you at risk of being stranded. And running out of gas can damage your vehicle’s fuel pump over time.

Here’s what to do if you accidentally fill your gas tank with diesel.

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Bad Gas Pump Habits - Fuel Grades
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Buying Premium Gasoline

Premium gasoline can cost 30 per cent or more than regular gasoline. That extra cost is often without any added benefit, if the manufacturer recommends regular gasoline. In the U.S. alone, drivers waste more than $2-billion on premium gasoline each year, according to AAA.

Make sure you always do this before pumping gas.

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Bad Gas Pump Habits - Check Tire Pressure
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Not Inflating Tires Properly

Inflating tires at a gas station usually costs money, but it’s still a good idea to check your tires when fuelling up and adding air if needed. Driving with under-inflated tires will greatly depreciate your gas milage.

Check out more tire maintenance tips from the pros.

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Bad Gas Pump Habits - Credit Cards Reward Cards
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Not Using a Rewards Credit Card

Many credit cards allow you to choose perks that work best for you, like cash back incentives at gas stations and grocery stores. Check what yours offer.

Find out 50 ways to save more money this year.

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Paying For Gas With Credit Card
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Not Checking Card Readers

Card readers at gas stations are a common place for thieves to try and steal banking information. “Criminals attach skimmers—illegal card readers that steal your card numbers—to gas pump payment terminals because they are not manned by employees,” according to MoneyTalksNews. Before you pump, run a finger over the card reader to check for any irregularities.

To pay even less at the pumps, use these expert tips on how to improve gas mileage.

The Family Handyman
Originally Published on The Family Handyman

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