2007 AAA Gas Watcher's Guide Available

Gas Prices, Automotive

Contains Tips for Conserving Fuel and Saving Money

(LOS ANGELES, April 18, 2007) — With the cost of a gallon of gasoline averaging more than $3.20 in most parts of Southern California, the Automobile Club of Southern California is offering an updated edition of its Gas Watcher's Guide, to help motorists cope with the rising cost of driving. The brochure is available at no charge at the 75 local Auto Club offices.

The guide offers substantial information about how motorists can save gasoline and money by following 45 tips covering driving style, car maintenance, commuting and saving fuel while on vacation.

The U.S. Dept. of Transportation calculates that personal gasoline consumption breaks down in the following ways: family/personal business 45%; social and recreational 27% and work and commute-related consumption at 17%.

Southern California gas prices have been among the highest in the nation because of stricter air quality regulations that require cleaner "summer blend" fuel, a limited number of refineries that supply the region and high demand, according to the Auto Club's Automotive Research Center.

"Auto manufacturers have made significant advances toward improving the energy efficiency of most passenger vehicles," said Steve Mazor, manager of the Auto Club's Automotive Research Center. "At the same time, fuel economy hasn't improved tremendously recently due to the mix of larger vehicle models, increased driving speeds and traffic congestion."

Reminder tips for getting the most out of every gallon of gasoline include:

  • Drive the most fuel efficient vehicle you own.
  • Minimize the need to brake by anticipating traffic conditions. Be alert for slowdowns and red lights ahead of you and decelerate by coasting whenever possible.
  • Make sure the gas cap is the right one for your car. A poorly-fitted gas cap causes engine problems, increases emissions, cuts fuel economy and causes the check engine light to come on in new vehicles.

The AAA has published public-service guides on fuel economy and safety for decades. In 1943, AAA published its first fuel guide to assist with gasoline rationing required by World War II, according to Mazor.