There is one surefire way to avoid paying higher gasoline prices: Don’t fill up.
That’s what some Texans appear to be doing amid the latest run-up at the pump, according to AAA Texas. But they’re paying a different price.
The motor club says roadside service calls for gasoline rose 4.9 percent in the first three months of 2011, compared with the first quarter of 2010. AAA Texas says it is currently delivering gas to about 1,650 stranded members each month.
While the service is free for members, AAA cautions that running on a low tank also could cause sediment to clog the fuel pump pickup and the electrical fuel pump inside the tank to overheat, leading to costly repairs.
“Higher gas prices may be contributing to more people running out of gas because they are trying to stretch each tank further than normal,” said Steve Mazor, manager of the AAA Automotive Research Center. “However, as painful as trips to the gas station may be getting, letting your car regularly run on an almost-empty can cause even more wallet damage with expensive repairs.”
- Not letting your car’s fuel gauge drop below a quarter of a tank,
- Not pumping the gas pedal when trying to start a vehicle that’s run out of fuel
- Adopting a gentler driving style to conserve fuel