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Gas prices in Newton higher than average
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Gas costs are expected to decline later this summer, but there are several steps you can take now to save money at the pump. Here are tips from AAA South:


- Drive sensibly. Avoid rapid acceleration and excess speed, don’t ride the brakes and keep your driving smooth and steady and you can improve fuel efficiency up to 33 percent.


- Keep basic maintenance on your vehicle current. Change the oil and oil filter, replace the fuel filter and make sure tires are not under-inflated or overinflated can boost mileage by 10 percent.


- You can keep the air conditioner on. Shutting off the AC and opening the windows will not improve your gas mileage. Opening the windows will increase drag and may actually lower mileage.


- Filling up your car earlier in the morning won’t help boost mileage, either.


- You may want to wait until Friday to fill up, though. If you see in the newspaper that there’s been a change in conditions affecting the oil market for the better early in the week, wait until Friday to fill up and you may see a drop in prices.


- Don’t let your tank drop to near empty before you fill it up. Fill it up when it’s about half-empty. You get a decline in fuel efficiency when the tank is less than half full because the gas is swishing back and forth in the tank, so the vehicle is only getting fuel in spurts.

When you fill up your car in Newton County, you're paying for some of the highest-priced gas in Georgia.
In Newton County and in much of metro Atlanta, gas ranges from $3.87 to $3.98 a gallon. Just down the road, gas is at $3.82 to $3.89 in Madison, according to And across the state, regular-grade gas in Augusta ranges from $3.69 to $3.89 a gallon; from $3.69 to $3.89 a gallon in Macon; from $3.67 to $3.99 in Savannah; from $3.74 to $3.88 in Columbus; and from $3.79 to $3.88 in Valdosta.

Overall, the average price for a gallon of regular gas in Georgia is $3.95, right at the national average of $3.96.

Part of the discrepancy can be attributed to the seasonal change to a cleaner-burning gas for summer in the metro area and across much of north Georgia as required by the federal government to ease ozone pollution in summer, according to Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for

"That costs a bit more to produce, so they pass it on to motorists," he said.

The good news is that fuel prices should begin a slow, steady decline this month, according to DeHaan and Jessica Brady, spokeswoman for AAA South.

Brady said to expect prices to decline to $3.60 to $3.75 per gallon for regular over the summer, subject to changes in a volatile market and any hurricanes impacting rigs and refiners in the Gulf of Mexico.
Prices surged early in the week over apprehension that Mississippi River flooding and events in the Mideast would impact oil, Brady said, but the fears were unfounded. She said to expect significant declines the last of May and early June in what you're paying at the pump.

DeHaan said gas prices should drop in the Atlanta area to $3.50 to $3.85 a gallon over the summer, with a possible uptick again in August and September with hurricane season. A major storm could send prices to near record highs. Late summer prices could reach $3.50 or $4.25, but should not reach an astronomical $5 a gallon, barring a catastrophic event, he said.