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Cheap gas finder on your cell

You know the situation: You’re on a road trip, out in the middle of nowhere, when you notice you need to get gas. In the past, you (all right, I) would have just chosen a gas station at random and hoped it wasn’t the most expensive one within a 15-mile radius.

This scenario, which I’ve replayed countless times while driving up and down the West Coast and across the country, is the reason I was intrigued by the description of Free Mobile Fuel Finder, a free service that uses your cell phone to give you information about the cheapest gas wherever you are. You don’t need the Internet on your phone (which is good, since I don’t have it because the price is too big and the screen is too small), just the ability to send and receive text messages.

I signed up this morning, both to test the registration process and because I’m going on a road trip next month (a perfect time to try it out). Basically, you sign up with your cell phone number and then you program the toll-free number into your phone so that you can call it from the road.

The only flaw I can see so far is that you have to know the zip code you’re in to access the information. So I guess that means that I’ll either have to look up zip codes along my route before I go or ask people on the street if they know the local zip code each time I need gas. It would be great if the Fuel Finder service could look up the information based on city name or county (information you can get from freeway signs), or, if you have one of those in-car GPS navigation systems, by latitude and longitude.

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