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CARMEL, Ind.– The national average per gallon is $4.98, down slightly but still high compared to just a few months ago. Those high prices at the pump are causing many drivers to wait until the last minute possible to fill up.

AAA is reporting a higher number of calls of drivers running out of gas on the side of the road. But how does that affect your car?

Mechanic and manager at Best One Carmel, Brett Bobrow, says running out of gas could lead to issues with your car!

When you run out of fuel it can be hard on the fuel pump, which could lead to bigger issues down the road.

Bobrow recommends drivers get routine maintenance, like replacing your filter or spark plugs, to keep your car running smoothly and avoid wasting gas.

“You should be checking air pressures once a month and oil changed every 3 to 5,000 miles depending on car manufacturers’ maintenance,” Bobrow said.

“One thing we want to remind people is we recommend not letting your gas tank go below a quarter of a tank,” said Lisa Wall, senior manager at AAA Hoosier Motor Club. “That’s going to put more pressure on your fuel pump and that could lead to more costly repair, so we recommend keeping that, as painful as it may be, above a quarter of a tank if possible”

Here are a few more ways you can make your tank go a little further!

Slow down and drive the speed limit. On the highway, fuel economy drops significantly as speeds increase above 50 mph.

If your car will be stopped for more than 60 seconds, shut off the engine to save fuel.

If you’re driving in town, adjust speed to try and time the traffic lights. This reduces repeated braking and acceleration.

“We’re recommending people go out of there as much as possible when it comes to saving fuel,” Wall said. “Combining those trips, limit time you’re spending on the road, think when you’re on the road. If it’s during those peak times and you’re idling more, you’ll use for fuel. Be thoughtful when you’re going out could save you a little gas and maybe a little money.”

Minimize your air conditioning, plan ahead go accomplish multiple errands in one trip and choose the most efficient route.

Also make sure your tires are properly inflated and you don’t have unnecessary heavy or bulky items in your car that could weigh it down.

“Summer is typically your best time, most efficient. The car warms up faster, gets to operating temp faster and can typically use less fuel,” Bobrow said.