How to Deal with Rising Gas Prices: FTC Consumer Alert

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The Federal Trade Commission has issued a Consumer Alert entitled, “Dubious ‘Gas-Saving’ Gadgets Can Drive You to Distraction,” that informs consumers about both gas-saving devices with questionable benefit and “tried and true steps to deal with rising gas prices.” The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency tested over 100 supposed gas-saving devices, such as mixture ‘enhancers’ and fuel line magnets. The results indicate that very few products provide any benefit and that some can cause engine damage or increased emissions. The alert, available at www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/alerts/gasalrt.htm, points out the following ways to cope with rising gas prices:

  • Consumers should use only the octane level they need. The level specific to your car is indicated in the owner’s manual and all gas pumps are required to have their octane rating posted.
  • Consumers should drive efficiently: stay within posted speed limits; utilize overdrive gears and cruise control for highway driving; avoid quick starts, stops, and unnecessary idling; combine errands; and remove excess weight from the trunk.
  • Consumers should maintain their vehicle. It is important to keep the engine tuned, keep tires properly inflated and aligned, change the oil, and replace the air filters regularly.
  • Consumers should consider choosing a fuel efficient vehicle.

For More Information
For more information about EPA test procedures and test results, visit www.epa.gov/otaq/consumer.htm or write:

Verification and Compliance Division
Office of Transportation and Air Quality
Environmental Protection Agency
2000 Traverwood Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48105

Or call: 734-214-4925

To order copies of this or other FTC Consumer Alerts, visit www.ftc.gov/bcp/online/pubs/bulkordr.htm. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint, or to get free information on consumer issues, visit www.ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure online database available for hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

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