Despite a 30 percent decrease in oil prices in the past week that reversed itself partially today, Southern California gas prices continued rising toward the $6 mark, although much more slowly than in the previous week, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch.
The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $5.79, which 10 cents higher than last week. The average national price is $4.29, which is three cents lower than a week ago as many other areas of the country saw some gas price relief from lower oil prices.
The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $5.89 per gallon, which is 11 cents higher than last week, $1.11 higher than last month, and $1.98 higher than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $5.82, which is 11 cents higher than last week, $1.08 higher than last month, and $1.91 higher than last year.
On the Central Coast, the average price is $5.80, which is 11 cents higher than last week, $1.09 higher than last month and $1.94 higher than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $5.78, which is 12 cents higher than last week, $1.08 higher than last month and $1.93 higher than last year. In Bakersfield, the $5.71 average price is 15 cents more than last Thursday, $1.08 higher than last month and $1.96 higher than a year ago today.
“The Torrance PBF refinery is having issues restarting a key unit that went offline after a March 6 power outage, and that supply issue is continuing to put upward pressure on gas prices locally,” said Auto Club spokesman Doug Shupe. “At the same time, oil prices have rebounded today above $100 per barrel.”
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 March 17, averages are: