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5 gas-saving tips to improve your car's fuel mileage

Looking to save some money on your next fill-up? These easy tricks and tips can help improve fuel economy and allow you to spend less at the pump.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Colonial Pipeline shutdown is already impacting the Charlotte area, with long lines at gas stations leading to some stores running out of fuel due to panicked buyers. 

Despite the urge to run out and fill up your tank, AAA is asking everyone not to do that. Instead, they're offering some tips on how people can reduce their fuel consumption and stretch every gallon a little farther. 

Don't get paranoid

If you don't really need gas, AAA says now is the time to get clever by planning ahead. For example, get multiple errands done in one trip. This will reduce the amount of fuel you burn while performing essential tasks, like going to the grocery store and paying bills. 

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Fuel-efficient cars FTW

Experts also say if your family has more than one car, make a conscious effort to use the one that's more fuel-efficient. 

RELATED: Why you should care about the Colonial Pipeline ransomware hack

Make your car more svelte

Another simple way to conserve gas is to remove any unnecessary, bulky items, like roof racks or cargo carriers. The heavier your car is, the more energy it uses. 

A/C is a drain

And finally, experts say to limit how much you use the air conditioning. It takes a lot of energy to keep your car cool with the AC compressor. If you don't want to give up the AC, because, let's be honest, it can be hot in the Carolinas, try some smaller changes. 

RELATED: What the Colonial Pipeline shutdown means for gas prices in the Carolinas

Made in the shade

Start by parking in the shade when possible or use a windshield sunscreen. That way, your car doesn't have to work quite as hard and you get to keep your tank full. 

WCNC Charlotte is seeking solutions by finding a resource for residents who don't want to drive all around town, trying to find which stations have gas and which don't. If you absolutely need to get gas, try using this Gas Buddy Tracker to find out where the shortages are. Just search for your zip code and it will list which stations have fuel.

Contact Ben Thompson at bthompson@wcnc.com and follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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