The war in Ukraine combined with continued problems at one of Southern California’s largest refineries created the worst one-week gas price jump ever locally, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. However, there are signs the double-digit daily price increases may be coming to an end.
The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $5.69, which is 12 cents higher than yesterday and 75 cents higher than last week. The average national price is $4.32, which is a new record for the country and 59 cents higher than a week ago.
The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $5.78 per gallon, which is 77 cents higher than last week, $1.03 higher than last month, and $1.94 higher than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $5.71, which is 73 cents higher than last week, $1.01 higher than last month, and $1.89 higher than last year.
On the Central Coast, the average price is $5.69, which is 75 cents higher than last week, $1.02 higher than last month and $1.93 higher than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $5.66, which is 75 cents higher than last week, $1 higher than last month and $1.89 higher than last year. In Bakersfield, the $5.56 average price is 74 cents more than last Thursday, 97 cents higher than last month and $1.89 higher than a year ago today.
“Yesterday, oil prices began dropping after the United Arab Emirates announced it would increase oil production and encourage other OPEC members to do the same,” said Auto Club spokesman Doug Shupe. “However, locally there appears to be an issue with the Torrance PBF refinery after a power outage has caused five days of ‘unplanned flaring’ there, which is a sign of a breakdown that could disrupt gas supply. It remains to be seen whether that will continue to drive pump prices up even if oil prices drop more.”
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 10, averages are: