Pain at the pump: Ways to save during high gas prices

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Gas prices are on the rise. In fact, prices are up 30 cents from last month. The national average is now $3.69 and in South Carolina, the average is climbing too.

The price at the pump is emptying the pockets of many drivers including David Ervin.

"It's painful when I get my credit card bill at the end of the month," said Ervin, who owns a small business.

Ervin says he is getting a big reality check as gas prices in West Ashley rose 7 cents in two days.

"They're going up too quickly," he said. "Too quickly for the average person."

To cope with the spike in price at the pump, Ervin is making changes.

"I try to plan my day out, try to plan my trips out," Ervin said. "I drive a very small car, an old car, that gets good gas mileage."

Across the street in a Goodyear mechanics garage, store manager Barney Barnum is also feeling the squeeze.

"I've been driving since I was 16," Barnum said. "Every year the closer to summertime you get the higher the gas prices get."

Barnum says he swapped his truck for a motorcycle and is offering up a few tips he has learned over the years.

"One of the things is keeping up with your regular maintenance on your vehicles," he said. "Maintaining the air pressure in the tires, keeping them rotated and balanced on a regular basis so everything is riding smoothly."

Another good tip Barnum recommends is to remove any big items in the car. More weight means more gas. Also, if you have cruise control, use it. And, don't get caught up in the air conditioning myth because it can be a drag on your wallet.

"When you actually turn the air conditioning off and put the windows down you are creating a drag on the car that actually cost you more in gas than it would if you ran the air conditioning," Barnum said. "So, in all honesty, when we have the warmer days you're better off to just run your air conditioning."

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