Expert shares simple ways to save as gas prices rise for fifth straight week

American Automobile Association (AAA) officials say the high prices are unlikely to go down soon. But why?
Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 4:01 PM MST|Updated: Feb. 1, 2023 at 5:55 PM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- You may have noticed your dollar isn’t going as far at the pump lately. Gas prices have been increasing nationwide for the last five weeks, and experts expect the trend to continue.

It depends on where you fuel up, but most people in the Valley are paying between $3.80 to $4.20 per gallon. Though this is nowhere near the prices we were paying last summer, the cost of gas has been steadily increasing since the beginning of the year.

American Automobile Association (AAA) officials say the high prices are unlikely to go down soon. But why? “Most of the country got a big break from those major winter storms that happened recently and that caused prices to drop, that’s pushing up demand nationwide. And at the same time, global oil prices rose because there’s less of a fear of a global recession happening. That’s adding even more pressure to the market,” said Julian Paredes, AAA Spokesperson.

This, along with the war in Ukraine, could worsen things. “In the short term, there’s a new embargo on Russian oil that will actually go into effect next week, so that will definitely have an impact on the market,” said Paredes.

Those at the pump today are not too happy about the recent spike. “My wife drives a BMW, and we went to LA to visit our son, and we paid eight dollars a gallon. I just don’t like it. I’m frugal, I’m retired. So, I don’t like spending that much,” one driver said.

While prices are high, local mechanic Glen Hayward has ways to save by making small changes to your car. “The easiest thing you can do is watch the way you drive,” Hayward said. “You see a lot of people take off from the stop lights and stop signs and they go like a bat out of you know where, and they are using an extremely excessive amount of gas.”

Hayward says punching the gas can cut fuel efficiency in half. The next easiest thing you can do? Change your air filters regularly. “A dirty air filter can rob your car as much as two to five miles per gallon. This one is brand new, and this is a used one that we pulled out and replaced in another vehicle, as you can see, all of the little filtration areas here are filled with debris,” he explained.

Another way to save? Get your car tuned up. Old spark plugs and tires can also decrease fuel efficiency.