Factors lead to higher gas prices

July 25th, 2011 by Staff

www.gainesvilletimes.com – Local drivers are taking notice of escalating gas prices and many aren’t sure of what they can do to ease the strain.

According to AAA, the price of gas in Georgia is up 9 cents from last week. On Sunday, a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline cost $3.73, which is 4 cents more than the national average.

The cost of oil, political events in the Middle East, refining and distribution costs, and the limited supply of a product in high demand all amount to a costly experience at the pump.

Robert Thompson, of Lula, works as an independent contractor. His livelihood depends on his ability to travel.

“I hate it. It costs way too much to drive everywhere. I can hardly get to work,” Thompson said.

Cindy Paden, of Lula, said she drives to Buford almost every day. She said she feels frustrated by the fluctuations in gas prices every time she drives up to the pump. She said it costs her $80 to fill her tank.

“They keep going up and down; one week it’s 20 cents cheaper and the next week it’s up again,” Paden said.

Gas prices aren’t expected to drop anytime soon, so it’s up to consumers to find ways to use less.
Fred Adams, manager of tire sales at Firestone, said people walk into his store every day asking for ways to save money.

“One of the biggest things is to check your air in your tires. Keeping proper pressure is so important,” Adams said.
“Some of the less obvious things are keeping less stuff in your trunk. It’s just more weight and that means more gas.”

The summer months are particularly difficult on a vehicle. Gasoline evaporates more quickly in the warmer months and high temperatures are known to bring on engine problems.

Using the air conditioning reduces fuel economy significantly. But if sitting in a hot car all summer long isn’t exactly worth the savings, most air conditioners have a “maximum” or “recirculation” setting that will help keep the chilled air inside and reduce the amount of gas your car uses.

Maintaining your vehicle with regular oil changes and a tune-up are critical for improving your mileage.

Unnecessary idling and excessive starting and braking waste gas. Driving over 60 mph decreases gas mileage dramatically.

According to fueleconomy.gov, every 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying 24 cents more per gallon.

In addition to proper maintenance, consumers may need to start shopping around. There are several applications people can download to their phones that let drivers know where to find the cheapest gas in their town and several websites offer the same service.

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