There's good news about gas prices

March 13, 2015 08:50 AM

Anyone who is concerned about keeping money in their wallets and reducing fuel-related expenses will enjoy the most recent developments. Although AAA had predicted that gas prices would continue to rise throughout the month of March, the costs are now declining. 

A reversal of trends
The latest report from AAA found that gas prices stopped increasing. According to the data, the national average for a gallon of gas declined March 8, which was the first time in 40 consecutive days that the price did not go up. While that was the longest streak since 2011, the average cost now sits at about $2.45 per gallon. That is 28 cents more than one month ago but still considerably less than this time last year. 

People in California face the highest prices. The statewide average is $3.43 per gallon, according to the AAA report, which is 30 cents higher than second-place Hawaii. Alaska, Oregon, Washington and Nevada also have relatively expensive fuel costs, cementing the entire western region as the worst for budget-conscious drivers.

However, there are some states where drivers are enjoying cheap fuel. AAA found that South Carolina and Wyoming were tied for the lowest average at $2.16 per gallon. Montana wasn't far behind, with the price hovering around $2.20. 

Fuel efficiency remains important
Because trends are so difficult to accurately predict, drivers must do their best to ensure their vehicle maintenance is up to snuff. It all starts under the hood. When all aspects of an engine are running smoothly, the entire system is more efficient, which means it uses less fuel to operate. Motorists should make sure they are investing in fuel injection cleaning to remove any blockages that are interfering with the systems. 

Additionally, focusing on tire care may be a helpful step. When tires are underinflated - a status that becomes common as the seasons change - the vehicle must compensate with more fuel. Refer to the owner's manual to determine what the optimum inflation level is and monitor tires to see if they need more or less air. It may also be a good idea to splurge for a tire rotation or alignment. This ensures that driving performance is top-notch and an efficient engine isn't being wasted. 

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