AAA Gas Watcher's Guide Now Available

Automotive
(LOS ANGELES, May 5, 2009) – While the cost of gasoline is significantly down from the average of $3.75 a gallon last year in most parts of Southern California, the tough economy has consumers looking everywhere to save money. Eco-friendly gas saving tips can be found in the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Gas Watcher’s Guide. The booklet provides tips to help drivers prolong the life of their vehicles and reduce harmful emissions and save fuel. The brochure is free and available at Auto Club offices.

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

According to the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, Americans drive an average of 29 miles a day and spend more than 55 minutes of every day in their vehicles. The average vehicle is driven about 12,000 miles per year and uses 550 gallons of gasoline per year.

Southern California gas prices are still 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 higher taxes than in many other states, according to the Auto Club’s Automotive Research Center.

“The car or truck you drive, how it’s maintained and how you drive are the most important factors in conserving fuel,” said Steve Mazor, manager of the Auto Club’s Automotive Research Center. “If you own more than one vehicle, use the more energy-efficient vehicle as often as possible,” he added.

Reminder tips for getting the most out of every gallon of gasoline to save money include:
  • Avoid “jack-rabbit” starts and accelerate gently. Accelerating the mass of a car uses more fuel than any other facet of driving, so imagine there is a raw egg between your right foot and the accelerator pedal and you don’t want to break it.
  • 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.