CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Sky-high gas prices seem to be hitting everybody at the pump. We’re seeing on average around $3 a gallon for regular unleaded gas in the Coastal Bend right now.
If you think back a year ago at this time, the price was significantly lower at $1.85 a gallon. That makes prices now more than a dollar a gallon more. Supply and demand has driven prices up, especially with many of us working from home and not driving anywhere last year. These days, things have changed and many of us are back out on the open road.
With OPEC continuing to increase oil production supply every month, we could possibly see more fuel coming into the market from across the nation and around the world.
One of the questions facing drivers right now as many are trying to save as much money as possible, is; are we setting our cars up for a rough ride if we use cheaper gas?
We followed Anthony Schamoun of Corpus Christi, who pulls up at the pump and sees the constant change. From $2.79 he says, to more than $3.00.
That price is just for regular unleaded gas; compare that to the price of supreme unleaded now hovering around 60 cents more a gallon.
“The prices were going to go up,” Schamoun says. “I just didn't realize the prices were going to go that much up.”
And with prices like that, it’s not good news for drivers.
When it comes to some automakers, they require owners to pump premium, and that leaves people like Schamoun to shell out the most money.
So Schamoun has to pay up, but do you?
When you're pinching pennies, experts say, make sure you separate fact from fiction.
We asked Joshua Zuber of AAA Texas if there’s any difference between regular unleaded, medium and the supreme gas? Zuber says, “AAA research has found that unless premium fuel is recommended or required by your car’s manufacturer, it proves no added benefit.”
It’s a myth that’s been around for a very long time.
“A lot of people tend to think, 'oh, I'm going to put the better quality gas in my car and it'll run better',” Zuber said. When asked if that’s a misconception, he quickly said, “Absolutely. That is a myth.”
That myth will put a big dent in your wallet.
When you pay $3.10 a gallon for regular unleaded compared to $3.70 a gallon for premium unleaded, that’s a difference, on average, of more than $8 dollars every time you fill up.
“If your vehicle does not require recommend premium fuel, you're not doing yourself really any favors,” Zuber went on to say.
As for Schamoun, he acknowledges he knew what he was getting into when he bought his car.
“It was my choice so I have to pay the price at the pump,” he said. And for some, that price is just too much.
Gasbuddy.com is reporting no end in sight, at least for right now. They expect prices will continue to go up at least through the end of the year and could last into the spring. They say we should see gas prices going up at least another 10 to 20 cents a gallon.
For more information on your vehicle's gas requirements, you can always refer to your owner’s manual.
You can also check out fueleconomy.gov and search for your vehicle and find your information.
The AAA website is also another resource for all your travel needs.