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Gas Pump Prices Pushing Cheaper, Again

On the week, the majority of states saw gas prices decrease minimally – by one to two cents or saw no change at the pump. Though low, the volatility was enough to drive the national average down a penny from last Monday to $2.17. Today’s average is two cents less than last month and 49 cents cheaper than a year ago.

“As we move into the second week of the August, it is pricing out to be the second cheapest start to the month in more than a decade,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Gas prices have high potential to push cheaper, especially with many school districts planning for virtual learning. This could drive demand down in the weeks ahead as school starts at-home.”

In the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) weekly report, gas demand fell from 8.8 million b/d to 8.6 million b/d while stocks held steady at 247 million bbl.

AAA Forecasts Americans will take 700 Million Trips this Summer

Trends show travelers are eager, but anxious to explore, booking last-minute trips; INRIX provides travelers with insight on summer traffic

ORLANDO, Fla. (June 25, 2020) – This summer, AAA forecasts Americans will take 700 million trips based on economic indicators and state re-openings. That number is down nearly 15% compared to last July through September and is the first decline in summer travel since 2009. AAA booking trends show Americans are making travel plans, though cautiously and more spur of the moment.

“Americans will get out and explore this summer though they’re taking a ‘wait and see approach’ when it comes to booking and are likely to book more long weekend getaways than extended vacations,” said Paula Twidale, AAA’s senior vice president of Travel. “When they do venture out, travelers will take to the road with 683 million car trips to satisfy their wanderlust.”

Car trips reign supreme accounting for 97% of the favored mode of transportation. Car trips will also see the smallest decrease in travel volume of just 3% year-over-year. Air travel will be off by about 74%, while rail, cruise ship and bus travel will slide by 86%. Were it not for the pandemic, AAA would be projecting 857 million trips during the third quarter, a 3.6% increase over last year. By this analysis, the pandemic wiped out nearly 150 million person-trips this summer.

AAA travel experts have begun to see positive trends in travel, noting that hotel and rental car bookings have been gradually increasing since April. Air travel has been slower to rebound. The share of travelers making plans 48 hours to 7 days before departure – a sign that people are arranging last-minute trips – is significantly higher than normal.

Why Is My Car Overheating & How Do I Fix It? | Good Works Auto Repair

Worrying about how to beat the heat in sunny Arizona should be your only concern this summer, not if your engine will overheat as well! When something goes wrong in your vehicle’s cooling system, all components of the engine are running at too high of a temperature. If this happens, parts of the engine can warp or melt, which could potentially result in costly repairs or a new engine all together.

Here is what is happening in your engine’s cooling system: the heat from your engine is absorbed by coolant, which the engine’s water pump pushes to the radiator. Here it is cooled and recirculated back into your vehicle’s engine. A little preventative maintenance can help ensure that the cooling system is working properly.

What to do if your car overheats

Self-Driving Cars that Recognize Free Space Can Better Detect Objects

It's important that self-driving cars quickly detect other cars or pedestrians sharing the road. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have shown that they can significantly improve detection accuracy by helping the vehicle also recognize what it doesn't see.

Empty space, that is.

The very fact that objects in your sight may obscure your view of things that lie further ahead is blindingly obvious to people. But Peiyun Hu, a Ph.D. student in CMU's Robotics Institute, said that's not how self-driving cars typically reason about objects around them.

Keeping Your Car Clean Protects Vehicle Investment

Keeping your vehicle clean inside and out can pay big dividends when it comes to maintaining its long-term value. The non-profit Car Care Council suggests some simple steps to keep your vehicle clean and protect it from the elements so it retains its resale and trade-in value.

Declutter – Start the cleaning process by removing excess clutter from inside the car as it can be distracting and hazardous, especially when debris finds its way near the gas and brake pedals. Don’t forget to clear out items that have accumulated in the trunk as they can add extra weight and reduce fuel efficiency.

Clean the Interior – The next step is to thoroughly clean the interior, wash the windows, and clean and install floor mats. Be sure to vacuum on a regular basis. A clean and orderly interior allows you to spot issues in the cabin so you can get them repaired before they get worse.

Wash the Exterior – Give the car a good wash from top to bottom using products specifically made for automobiles (not dish detergent). Always clean the tires and wheels before washing the body, and don’t use the same washing mitt or cloth for both.

New Vehicle Sales Expected to Drop in June, Closing a Second Down Quarter in 2020

Analysts forecast a healthier-than-expected SAAR of 12.8 million in June as the country expands reopening and more consumers resume car purchases, but warn that new market factors could create trouble ahead

SANTA MONICA, Calif., June 25, 2020 -- The car shopping experts at Edmunds say that June will be another down month for auto sales as the industry continues to combat market challenges posed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, forecasting that 1,080,656 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. in June for an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 12.8 million. This reflects a 28.7% decrease in sales from June 2019 and a 3.6% decrease from May 2020.

Edmunds experts note that sales are also down for the second quarter in a row this year, forecasting sales of 2,914,860 new cars and trucks in the second quarter, which reflects a 34.3% decrease from the second quarter of 2019.

"It comes as no surprise that the second quarter was a disappointing one for the automotive industry, but the good news is that auto sales didn't come to a complete standstill either," said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds' executive director of insights. "The fact that retail sales — not fleet — are what kept the market propped up speaks volumes to the resilience of the American consumer. And the way that dealers were quick to pivot to online sales also underscores the incredibly responsive and resourceful nature of the industry in the face of adversity."

AAA Forecasts Americans will take 700 Million Trips this Summer

Trends show travelers are eager, but anxious to explore, booking last-minute trips; INRIX provides travelers with insight on summer traffic

ORLANDO, Fla. (June 25, 2020) – This summer, AAA forecasts Americans will take 700 million trips based on economic indicators and state re-openings. That number is down nearly 15% compared to last July through September and is the first decline in summer travel since 2009. AAA booking trends show Americans are making travel plans, though cautiously and more spur of the moment.

“Americans will get out and explore this summer though they’re taking a ‘wait and see approach’ when it comes to booking and are likely to book more long weekend getaways than extended vacations,” said Paula Twidale, AAA’s senior vice president of Travel. “When they do venture out, travelers will take to the road with 683 million car trips to satisfy their wanderlust.”

Price Increases Slow Alongside Dip in Gas Demand

The rate at which gas prices are increasing across the country is slowing. Thirty states only saw an increase of a penny or two, causing the national average to push more expensive by three cents to $2.13 since last Monday.

The slower rate can be tied to demand. Measuring at 7.87 million b/d, gasoline demand saw a small week-over-week decline and continues to be significantly lower (21%) compared to this week last year.

“Demand levels are likely to ebb and flow in the coming weeks as people continue to be cautious about travel,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. As a result, pump prices will likely continue to increase, but at a slower rate through the end of the month.

Today’s national average is 19 cents more expensive than a month ago, but remains significantly cheaper – 53 cents – than a year ago.

Quick Stats

The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases: Delaware (+10 cents), West Virginia (+9 cents), North Dakota (+9 cents), Montana (+8 cents), Washington, D.C. (+6 cents), Virginia (+6 cents), Colorado (+6 cents), Ohio (+6 cents), Maryland (+5 cents) and Wisconsin (+5 cents).

The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets: Mississippi ($1.76), Louisiana ($1.79), Alabama ($1.83), Arkansas ($1.83), Texas ($1.83), Oklahoma ($1.84), Missouri ($1.85), South Carolina ($1.86), Tennessee ($1.89) and Kansas ($1.92).

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region mostly increased last week, and prices likely are poised for more increases this week. Nevada (+5 cents) saw largest increase in the region, while Hawaii (-2 cents) saw the only decline. Hawaii ($3.16) and California ($3.04) remain the most expensive markets in the country. Washington ($2.68), Nevada ($2.58), Oregon ($2.57), Alaska ($2.43) and Arizona ($2.29) follow.

According to EIA’s latest weekly report, total gas stocks in the region increased slightly from 30.1 million bbl to 30.2 million bbl last week. Increasing stocks, alongside increasing demand, may help to slow pump price increases this week in the region.

2020 AAA Car Guide Gives Extra Credit for Vehicle Safety Systems

Volvo Sedan earns top spot among 50 vehicles reviewed

ORLANDO, Fla. (June 18, 2020) – AAA announced a 2020 Volvo luxury sedan has earned the top score in its first edition of the newly released AAA Car Guide, a consumer resource on the latest and greatest in vehicle technology. The guide provides consumers with reviews based in part on how many advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are included in the vehicle as well as a number of other criteria. The majority of the category winners for 2020 are either electric, plug-in electric hybrids or hybrids, signaling that eco-friendly vehicles tend to offer the most cutting-edge vehicle technology.

The 175-page guide includes comprehensive, easy-to-read reviews of each vehicle which are based on 13 criteria, including braking, fuel economy, emissions, handling, ride comfort, acceleration and the number of ADAS safety features. These vehicles are tested, scored and placed in one of five vehicle categories by the Automotive Research Center (ARC) of the Automobile Club of Southern California, a member of the AAA federation of motor clubs.

“With an increasing number of vehicles equipped with advanced safety features, we thought consumers would benefit from an in-depth review of how they stack up with other driving criteria,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations. “Previous AAA studies have shown that many drivers don’t understand some of the features in their new vehicles and believe they can do more than is technically possible.”

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