Consumer Watch: The squeeze at the pump

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by Andy Treinen

WHAS11.com

Posted on February 21, 2013 at 5:39 PM

(WHAS11) -- If you've filled up your tank lately, you don't need us to tell you that gas prices are back on the rise. Good Morning Kentuckiana’s Andy Treinen has tips for dealing with the latest squeeze at the pump, in today's Consumer Watch.

Winter isn't typically a time when demand rises at the gas pumps, but prices have climbed since late January.

AAA credits a perfect storm of factors that started with Superstorm Sandy, and tightened supply. “We have about a quarter of the nation's refineries going through their annual maintenance right now. And you combine all of that with a lot of refineries doing their switchover to winter to summer blends,” said AAA Spokeswoman Nancy White. Spikes in gas prices usually send consumers looking for alternatives like public transportation or car pools.

But, if less time behind the wheel isn't an option, try some basic gas-saving tips. “Driving smart. Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Make sure you drive the speed limit. Get rid of the junk in the trunk. And avoid those jackrabbit starts and stops,” said White. Also, put your smartphone to work to find the best gas prices. AAA has their own app. Gas buddy is another.

If gas prices follow's last year's pattern we’re soon headed in the right direction. “When you look back at 2012 as we approached April and May the start of spring break driving and summer driving season, prices started to fall,” recalls white.

So, if you look at last year  -- relief could be on the way soon. But, when it comes to gas prices logic and history aren't always the best indicators.

If you have a consumer issue you’d like us to look into send an email to: consumwerwatch@whas11.com

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