Refinery and logistics issues combined to push up Southern California gas prices for the second week in a row in most areas, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.44, which is six cents higher than last week. The average national price is $3.29, which is 13 cents higher than a week ago.
The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $4.53 per gallon, which is seven cents higher than last week, 32 cents lower than last month, and 15 cents lower than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $4.56, which is eight cents higher than last week, 26 cents lower than last month, and seven cents lower than last year.
On the Central Coast, the average price is $4.53, which is three cents higher than last week, 35 cents lower than last month, and nine cents lower than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $4.40, which is nine cents higher than last week, 33 cents lower than last month and 21 cents lower than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $4.52 average price is three cents lower than last week, 63 cents lower than last month, and eight cents lower than a year ago today.
“Planned and unplanned refinery issues as well as a local pipeline issue combined to push local gas prices higher, but this week Los Angeles wholesale prices have backed down as the Kinder Morgan pipeline issue appears to be resolved,” said Auto Club spokesperson Doug Shupe. “Bad weather throughout the U.S. and in California is likely to push down fuel demand. Oil prices have also dropped in response to lower domestic demand and world economic concerns.”
The Auto Club reminds drivers of the following tips to save money on gas:
- If you use premium unleaded fuel, make sure it is required for your vehicle, not just recommended. The Auto Club's Automotive Research Center found that vehicles with recommended premium fuel performed safely with regular unleaded gasoline.
- Make sure your tires are properly maintained and inflated to the correct level.
- Maintain your car according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Regular service will ensure optimum fuel economy.
- Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and hard accelerations. These actions greatly increase fuel consumption.
- Slow down and drive the speed limit. Fuel economy peaks around 50 mph on most cars, then drops off as speed increases. Reducing freeway speeds by 5 to 10 mph can increase fuel economy by as much as 14%.
- Use cruise control on the highway to help maintain a constant speed and save fuel. However, never use cruise control on slippery roads because you could lose control of the vehicle.
- Minimize your use of air conditioning.
- Avoid extended idling to warm up the engine, even in colder temperatures. It’s unnecessary and wastes fuel.
- Remove unnecessary and heavy items from your car.
- Minimize your use of roof racks and remove special carriers when not in use.
- Download the AAA App to find the cheapest gas prices near you.
The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline. As of 9 a.m. on Jan. 5, averages are: