This page is designed to help Illinois residents save money at the gas pump, learn more about fuel efficiency and seek alternatives to driving. From here, you can:
Consumer Tips for Buying Gasoline
The purchase of gasoline has become so commonplace we usually take the accuracy of the pump and the quality of the product for granted. Yet, carelessness or deliberate fraud can occur which may cause inaccuracy or poor quality at the pump. Consumers can protect themselves by taking these simple precautions.
Make sure the numbers add up:
- Compare the price on the pump with the roadside advertisement to ensure they are the same.
- Make sure the pump's dial resets to all zeros before you start to pump gas. If the numbers jump at all, reset the dispenser.
- Check to see that the price per gallon remains the same throughout the pumping process. If the price per gallon changes or the numbers appear to "skip", black out, or advance so rapidly that you can not read them, this could be an indication of fraud.
- When done pumping the gasoline, check the price computation to make sure it is correct. Remember pump prices round up to the nearest whole cent.
Check the gauges on the vehicle and on the pump:
- Check the vehicle gas gauge before and after filling up to ensure the new reading corresponds with the amount of gas purchased. Remember gasoline gauges, gasoline cans and tank sizes vary and the sizes are approximate because they are made to allow for product expansion.
- Make sure the meter stops running when you stop the pump.
- When paying for gas, always go by the price on the pump even if the cashier's record is different.
- Always get a receipt even when paying by cash. The receipt is your proof of purchase should any problems arise after your purchase. Check to be sure you have been charged the correct amount on your receipt.
Shop around for the best quality, price and service:
- Keep track of the miles per gallon and go to the station where the best value is received.
- Do not buy more octane then you need. Check your owner's manual for octane recommendations and purchase the lowest octane gasoline your vehicle uses without your engine pinging or knocking. Once you know your vehicle's octane level, use higher octane only under stressful driving conditions such as pulling heavy trailers or boats. Using too low an octane can cause engine damage. Using too high an octane for the driving conditions of your vehicle will not give you more power or better mileage.
- Find the brand of gasoline that works best for your vehicle. Keep track of your miles per gallon. Although almost all gasoline comes from the same pipelines, the additive packages differ greatly between brands.
- Shop around for the best quality, price and service. You've spent thousands of dollars on your vehicle so it makes sense to frequent a reputable location that provides you with good service.
If you suspect you have received poor quality gasoline or an incorrect measurement or suspect fraud, you can file a complaint or contact the Illinois Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Weights and Measures at 1-800-582-0468.
Public Transit & Alternatives to Driving
There are several appealing alternatives to driving and car ownership, including: public transit, bicycling, and car sharing.
Illinois offers numerous outstanding public transit networks that provide a convenient, affordable alternative to driving.
During the summer months, when gas prices are at their highest, you might also consider biking to your work or travel destination. In Chicago where parking spaces are scarce, consider the I-GO Car Sharing Program as an affordable, convenient and eco-friendly alternative to owning your own car.
Click on the below links for more information about these alternatives.
St. Louis Area
Downstate Urbanized Areas
Rural Illinois Mass Transit District
Other Passenger Rail Service
Bicycling in Illinois
Illinois Green Fleets