Tips for dealing with rising gas prices

April 25, 2008 9:39:59 AM PDT
Fuel prices have risen again during the last month and continue to remain well over $3 a gallon in Illinois and northern Indiana. AAA Chicago's most recent Fuel Gauge Report estimates that in Illinois, regular unleaded gasoline has increased 19 cents during the past month, forecasting an average cost of $3.45 per gallon for the month of April, which is 52 cents higher per gallon than last year. "Fuel prices continued an upward climb throughout the past month," says Nicole Niemi, AAA Chicago's spokesperson. "Despite the high prices, recent inventory levels indicate demand is starting to increase."
  • In northern Indiana, gas prices average $3.39, which is up 18 cents from March and up 50 cents from April 2007.
  • In Cook County, Ill., self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averages $3.55, which is up 18 cents compared to last month and 50 cents higher than last year's price-per-gallon.
  • In DuPage County, Ill., self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averages $3.46 per gallon, which is a 22-cent increase from March and 51 cents higher than last year.
  • In Kane County, Ill., self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averages $3.46 per gallon, which is 21 cents higher compared to last month and 53 cents higher than April 2007's price.
  • In Lake County, Ill., self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averages $3.42 per gallon, which is 20 cents higher than last month and up by 48 cents compared to this time last year.
  • In McHenry County, Ill., self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averages $3.45 per gallon, which is 21 cents higher than March's average and 49 cents higher than April 2007's price.
  • In Will County, Ill., self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averages $3.45 per gallon, which is 19 cents higher compared to last month and 52 cents higher compared to last year.
Fuel prices are posted on-line at www.fuelgaugereport.com, which updates prices daily for unleaded, diesel and E85 blends of fuel.

AAA Chicago Helps Consumers Fight High Gas Prices with Fuel Saving Tips

With soaring gas prices squeezing many household budgets, AAA is helping consumers with tips on how to save gas.

When fuel prices rise to new record levels, motorists have an understandable interest in finding out why, and need information on what they can do to stay within the family budget, according to AAA.

To help consumers make better decisions regarding their fuel consumption AAA began posting localized, up-to-date fuel information on the Internet in 2000, and now has two Web sites devoted to fuel issues as well as other online tools for consumers.

Perhaps the best known site is AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report (www.aaafuelgaugereport.com). That site - a natural extension of the reports AAA has issued in some form since the 1970s - averages prices paid at 100,000 gas stations across the country and posts national, state and local averages daily for each of the major grades of gasoline.

AAA Fuel Cost Calculator (www.aaafuelcostcalculator.com) helps users understand and budget for the amount of fuel they are likely to use on a long-distance trip. After entering the trip's origin and destination, and the type of vehicle being driven,

The site calculates the miles driven, the amount of fuel that will be used and the cost. It also can tell motorists the difference in fuel costs for various vehicles, helping them to determine which vehicle is most cost effective to drive.

Earlier this year, AAA enhanced its online trip planning tool, TripTik® Travel Planner found at www.AAA.com, with location and fuel pricing information for more than 100,000 U.S. gas stations. Using the planner, travelers can note the locations of convenient fuel stops along their vacation driving route.

AAA provides fuel-saving tips and advice to consumers through many local AAA club Web sites (www.AAA.com)as well as on its AAA Exchange site (http://www.AAA.com/publicaffairs) which includes fuel conservation information in a downloadable brochure titled, "AAA Gas Watcher's Guide."

Some tips from the guide include:

  • Stick to a routine maintenance schedule.
  • Keeping tires inflated, moving components properly lubricated and ignition and emission systems operating properly will help ensure maximum fuel efficiency and extend the life of your vehicle.
  • If you own more than one vehicle, use the more energy-conserving vehicle as often as possible.
  • Consolidate trips and errands to cut down on driving time and miles traveled. When possible, combine them with your daily commute.
  • If you are going somewhere new, get a map first from an online source such as AAA TripTik (www.AAA.com). Getting lost wastes gas as well as time.
  • Comparison shop by phone or online if possible before heading out on the road.
  • Slow down. For most vehicles, fuel economy drops off significantly when traveling more than 60 miles per hour. As a rule of thumb, you can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.20 per gallon for gas.
  • Avoid quick starts and sudden stops. They waste fuel, are harder on vehicle components and increase the odds of a traffic crash.
  • Lighten your vehicle by cleaning out the trunk, cargo areas and passenger compartments. A heavier vehicle uses more fuel.
  • Keep your eyes open for low fuel prices but don't waste gas driving to a distant filling station to save a few cents.

AAA Fuel Gauge Report and AAA Fuel Cost Calculator are based on data from Oil Price Information Service, the nation's most comprehensive source of petroleum pricing information.

AAA Chicago has represented roadway interests for motorists and pedestrians and serves as a leading advocate for various traffic safety and travel-related issues for more than a century.

For more information on any aspect of AAA Chicago's breadth of service including AAA's home, auto and life insurance products; travel-related services, AAA's Show Your Card & Save program; and/or any AAA membership service including emergency roadside assistance, please visit our Web site at www.AAA.com or call us toll-free at 1-866-YOUR-AAA (968-7222).


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