(Los Angeles, Aug. 18, 2005) — With gasoline prices breaking new record highs every day in Southern California, motorists are seeing their gas bills go higher and higher. But according to the Automobile Club of Southern California, there are very simple steps motorists can take to help cut their gasoline bill down to size.
"Anyone can save on gasoline if they think about their driving and buying habits and make some small changes," said Steve Mazor, principal automotive engineer for the Auto Club.
In the Los Angeles–Long Beach area, gas prices have risen 19 cents in the past month and are 70 cents higher than this time last year.
Mazor recommends the following five steps:
- Shop aggressively for the lowest prices. You can save by paying attention to the prices of stations along your route. But don't go too far out of your way to save a few cents on gasoline, because you'll waste more money than you save. Shopping around encourages retailers to be more competitive.
- Ride Share. You can cut your fuel expenses by up to 50 percent by sharing commuting expenses with one other person.
- Check your tire pressure. Under-inflated tires can cut fuel economy by up to 2 percent per pound of pressure below the recommended level.
- Slow down, accelerate and brake gently and anticipate driving conditions. By going easy on the gas pedal and brake, you can change your ride from a jerky one to a smooth one. That can add up to 15 percent improvement in fuel efficiency.
- Clean the junk out of the trunk. Some people carry hundreds of pounds of unnecessary items in their trunk. The more weight the car carries, the harder the engine has to work and the fewer miles per gallon the car will get.
"Two-car families can save money by using the one vehicle that gets the best fuel efficiency," Mazor added.
Mazor also suggests planning your route before leaving for the day's errands and activities. A planned route helps cut down on miles driven and will help save money on gasoline.
The Automobile Club of Southern California, the largest AAA affiliate, has served members since 1900. Today, Auto Club members benefit by the organization's roadside assistance, financial products, travel agency and trip planning services, highway and transportation safety programs, insurance products and services and automotive pricing, buying and financing programs. Information about these products and services is available at www.aaa.com.