High Gas Prices Mean Running On Empty - NBC 7 San Diego

High Gas Prices Mean Running On Empty

More drivers run out of gas



    Higher gas prices are not only changing how we drive, but also how often we fill our tanks. As NBC 7’s Consumer Bob, the Auto Club of Southern California has seen a spike in calls from people who’ve run out of gas. (Published Monday, April 28, 2014)

    Brittney Hunter admits she is driving more these days with her gas tank on empty. 

    "I try to push the limits as much as I can," said the college freshman.

    She is not alone.  According to the Auto Club of Southern California, fuel related calls were up 15 percent in March as gas prices start to rise. 

    They don't have the figures for April yet, but prices in San Diego are up nearly 25 cents and that could mean even more people running on empty.

    "I think the fuel prices are causing members to be a little bit more hesitant in actually going out and spending the money," said Michael Hoshaw with the Auto Club.

    Eric Lawler said he goes to the gas station just as much but he doesn't spend as much money.

    "I tend not to go with a full tank, just three quarters," said Lawler.

    Lori Hupp operates the Bonita Point 76 station and said it's hard for her customers to keep up with rising prices.

    "I mean it costs $100 or more for some cars," said Hupp, "and people just have that."

    The Auto Club warns drivers that trying to save money by not filling their tank could end up costing them even more.  A low gas tank can lead to damage to the fuel pump, and running out of gas can send sediment from the bottom of the tank into the car's engine.