Monday, May 9, 2011

Running on (Nearly) Empty

gas priceGood song title for Jackson Browne (Running on Empty) but not a good thing for cars. When it seems that prices are rising every few days, most folks are trying to squeeze every possible mile out of a tankful of gas.

A recent AAA (Automobile Association of America) email warned about the dangers of  running near empty – to  people AND their vehicles. While some (or none) of these could happen, it seemed timely information worth sharing:

  • Being stranded if a possibility if you run out of gas with no filling station around. Worse yet, your car could stall  in the middle of a busy roadway.
  • Safety might be an issue since functions like power steering and brakes could fail if the engine stops.
  • Running a car low on fuel can cause sediment in the bottom of the tank to clog the fuel pump pickup, fuel filter or even the fuel injectors.
  • Keeping the motor running while filling up could also stir up sediment and sludge.
  • Failing to keep a minimum fuel level could cause the electric fuel pump in the tank to overheat. Replacement costs might top $500 for parts and labor.

This past weekend, newscasters have predicted a possible drop in gas prices over the next few weeks. In our area, the prices shown above have held steady at 3 stations for the past few days, including the weekend. We’re taking a road trip to NC next week and will be posting as we go and will be sure to note gas prices on the way, then fill up anyway.

What’s going on in your part of the world – have prices been holding steady or skyrocketing?


Naturedigital said...

It is worse here Beatrice.

Out on the prairie said...

I drive 15 miles to get it cheaper.It is like drinking fine wines, I still like to drive all over, maybe even more with high prices.$3.86 my last fill at $65.

L. D. Burgus said...

Yes, and they said on the news that we all are using less of it because of the price, so why is it not dropping faster.

Anvilcloud said...

Gas costs what it does whether we run our tanks down or not. I don't think prices are set to drop significantly by waiting another day or two. Yes, they might abate a bit over time but not by mega amounts, I think.

Looking at Prairie's comment, I don't think people realize how little they save by driving around for slightly cheaper gas. I once blasted myself because prices were 4 cents cheaper per litre in the city than they were in my town where I had filled up. I did some quick math and realized that I would have only saved about $1.50 on a tank. A buck-fifty on $40 - $50 is not worth getting all exercised about. And that's on litres of which are about 4 to the gallon. So what does saving a few cents on a gallon get you? Not much. By all means get the cheaper gas if two stations are side by side, but don't drive all over in an effort to save. It ain't worth it.

Sandra said...

good tips for us, our gas is at 3.91 and climbing.

Anonymous said...

Still Your petrol prices are so low! Not even half what we pay.

But prices have been steady and they say that the price will go down some.

Have a great day now!

Montanagirl said...

We had 3.659 for awhile, then it went to 3.699. Don't know what it is in the last few days.

Daisy said...

It's been up over $4.00 here for a while now. My husband got an app on his phone that tells him where the least expensive gas is in our area, but when you need gas to get to work, there's not much you can do but buy it.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Hello Everyone and thanks for all the feedback and comments.

Costas & Christer, you both seem to have the highes costs in Greece and Sweden and yes while our prices in the U.S. are high we are still fortunate they are not as high as elsewhere in the world.

Steve, I would not drive as many miles to save a little. I tend to agree with AC's comment that there just isn;'t enough savings in the trip. Of course, if you were already heading in that direction then I could see getting gas as well. The stations within a 2-3 mile radius of our home are only a few cents difference at times.

Larry, good point but even if we use less the prices still climb.

AC. you and I are in agreement on not wanting to travel great distance to save a few cents. Time is also worth something.

Ouch Sandra & Daisy. And I do know about those apps for phones and PCs too, but then since we're retired, we don't need them cause unless we're on a road trip, we're fairly close to home.

Hey Mona, maybe we should drive to Montana and fill up - your prices are much lower there.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Beatrice,

This is good post which is very useful for all of us.

You have touched upon a burning subject which is foremost in the minds of everyone all over the world.

The sky rocketing prices of fuel not only has an impact on the amount of money that we spend directly on gas but also on the prices of various other commodities that we consume be it vegetables,meat,cement,steel etc. which has to be transported over long distances. As a result we have less and less money to spend on essential things. We can cut down our expenses to some extent but there are things which we cannot do away with.

Whenever the gas price is increased the public bus unions,auto rickshaw unions and the taxi owners associations go on strike demanding increase in fares. Here in Kochi these fares are controlled by the government. Since it takes some days for the government to negotiate the fares with the unions people using the public transport system are put to great difficulties.In the meanwhile the prices of all essential commodities goes up and housewives go mad because they can't balance their household budget.

Frequent increase in gas prices also erodes the value of money. The value of money goes down and down. I really don't know how this problem can be solved unless we find alternate cheap sources of fuel for running our car, buses,trains,planes and so on.

Have a nice day Beatrice,

Anonymous said...

Our gas prices are holding steady at $3.95. Paying the price is a little easier now that we can ride the motorcycle.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Welcome Joseph and many thanks for your very interesting comment, which sadly is so true. As fuel prices increase so do other costs. I have notices supermarket prices are going higher because the cost to deliver items is higher now.

Linda, I read your post about the Mother's Day ride on motorcycles. Nice to have a less costly means of travel, especially now.

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