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Gas prices increase: California tops list of most expensive prices

According to AAA, California's $4.44 price at the pump is one of the top 10 most expensive nation-wide.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Due to increase demand and oil prices, prices at the pump are going up according to AAA.

“The recent rising temperatures led to rising pump prices,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson, in a press release. “And with the cost of oil hitting $80 a barrel, there is a lot of upward pressure on gas prices at the moment.”

AAA says California is in the top 10 when it comes to "most expensive markets" sitting at $4.44.

A GasBuddy chart lists the following cities with the highest average price at the pump:

  • San Francisco: $4.54
  • Ventura: $4.51
  • San Diego: $4.51
  • Los Angeles: $4.50
  • Orange County: $4.47

Sacramento had an average price of $4.31.

According to AAA, "total domestic gasoline stocks increased by 3.5 million bbl to 230.3 million bbl." 

This means, according to AAA, that if demand stays high at the current rate drivers will likely see pump prices rise through the week.

 Save Money on Gas:  Use our interactive map to find the lowest price near you.

There are steps you can take to make an old car, truck or SUV perform better, go farther and perhaps save some money on fuel: 

Make sure there’s enough air in the tires

Underinflated tires create more rolling resistance with the pavement, thereby reducing gas mileage. Inflate your tires to the pressure recommended on the inside of your driver’s side door. Check them periodically with a tire pressure gauge.

“Typically, your gas mileage is going to be impacted by about 5% to 10% if you don’t have proper inflation,” said David Bennett, manager of repair systems for AAA. But don’t over-inflate. Doing so could cause tires to wear out more quickly.

Properly maintain your vehicle

Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for oil and other fluid changes and for replacing air and other filters. Replacing spark plugs at the proper intervals can help, too. 

“The vehicle is going to operate at its peak efficiency” with good maintenance, Bennett said. It will cost between $235 and $289 for new spark plugs on, say, a 10-year-old Ford F-150 pickup with a 4.6-liter V8, according to Repairpal.com. 

Watch your speed

AAA says fuel economy peaks around 50 miles per hour on most vehicles, then drops as speed rises. Reducing highway speeds by 5 mph to 10 mph improves gas mileage by up to 14%. 

Plan your route in advance

Try to minimize backtracking. Do multiple tasks on each trip. Avoid rush hours and other peak travel times. 

Don’t idle too much

An engine burns one-quarter to a half-gallon of gas per hour when idling, but a warm engine needs only around 10 seconds worth of fuel to restart, according to AAA. So when safely possible, shut your engine off if you’ll be stopped for more than a minute. Many new vehicles do this on their own. Bennett says owners shouldn’t disable their new “stop-start” system. 

Coast to stop lights

Time your travel to keep rolling and avoid unnecessary stops. Cars consume a lot of fuel to get moving from a dead stop. 

Fill up with “Top Tier” gasoline

 Oil companies put additives in Top Tier gas that cuts carbon deposits. 

“As you start getting carbon buildup, the vehicle will not be running as efficiently,” said Bennett. Gasoline brands with the additives have stickers on the pumps. They can be found at https://toptiergas.com/licensed-brands/

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