Gone are the days when we simply used vehicles for transportation. Yes, that’s still their primary purpose but these days, they’re also mini computers on wheels. From Bluetooth capabilities for connecting smartphones, to computerized systems like Lane Keep Assist and Auto Diagnostics, your vehicle is full of technology. This brings up the question: is your vehicle safe from cybercriminals and hackers?
The simple answer to this questions is yes, hackers can access some of your vehicle’s onboard computers and electronic systems. Is it likely to happen to you? Not so much. There are two main reasons for this:
With gas prices remaining low, motorists should take advantage of their savings and invest it back into their vehicles. By spending a little now to increase fuel efficiency, drivers can multiply fuel savings and save more money at the pump, says the Car Care Council.
With the average cost of a gallon of gas remaining low at $2.166, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the Car Care Council encourages motorists to be car care aware and perform simple steps to improve fuel efficiency and save money.
Engine Performance: Keep your car properly tuned to improve gas mileage by an average of four percent.
Tire Pressure: Keep tires properly inflated and improve gas mileage by up to three percent.
Motor Oil: Improve gas mileage by one to two percent by using the grade of motor oil recommended by the manufacturer.
Air Filters: Replacing clogged air filters on older vehicles can improve fuel economy and will improve performance and acceleration on all vehicles.
Gas Cap: Replacing damaged, loose or missing gas caps will stop gas from vaporizing into the air.
At $2.18, the national gas price average is at the cheapest start to the month of October since 2016. That average is the same as a week ago, four cents cheaper than the start of this past September and nearly 50 cents cheaper than last year. The national average held on the week as demand was mostly stable at 8.5 million b/d despite gasoline stocks increasing by 700,000 bbl.
“Demand is likely to see some declines in the weeks ahead as drivers traditionally take fewer road trips in the fall,” said Jeanette Casselano McGee, AAA spokesperson. “That will mean gas prices are likely to push cheaper throughout the month.”
On the week, 41 state gas price averages fluctuated by no more than two cents. Of those, 38 states only saw a penny increase or decrease. A handful of states saw more substantial gas price increases including Florida (+9 cents), Delaware (+6 cents), New Jersey (+6 cents), Washington, D.C. (+5 cents), West Virginia (+4 cents) and Maryland (+3 cents).
The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes: Florida (+9 cents), Delaware (+6 cents), New Jersey (+6 cents), Washington, D.C. (+5 cents), Michigan (-5 cents), West Virginia (+4 cents), Maryland (+3 cents), Kentucky (-3 cents), Idaho (-3 cents) and Indiana (-3 cents).
The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets: Mississippi ($1.84), Texas ($1.85), Arkansas ($1.87), Oklahoma ($1.87), Missouri ($1.87), Louisiana ($1.88), Alabama ($1.89), South Carolina ($1.91), Tennessee ($1.93) and Kansas ($1.95).
It’s officially fall in Arizona. For those seeking to make the most of autumn, Arizona offers a number of scenic hikes, drives and sites for taking in the beautiful colors of fall foliage.
Enjoy the best of what Arizona has to offer during the fall season by taking a trip to one of these uniquely Arizona locations:
Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park
Located in the Tonto National Forest near the rustic town of Superior, Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park is Arizona’s oldest and largest botanical garden. During the fall season, enjoy live music and cider at the park while admiring the changing colors of its pistachio, hackberry, black walnut and sycamore trees. (INFO)
Cave Creek Canyon
Found on the eastern side of the Chiricahua Mountains, Cave Creek Canyon has earned the nickname, “Yosemite of Arizona.” To catch the canyon’s multitude of maple, sycamore and oak trees in peak fall colors, hike along the easygoing South Fork Trail from late October to early November. (INFO)
Lockett Meadow offers remarkable views of the Inner Basin and the San Francisco Peaks, especially when its aspen trees turn a golden hue. If visiting Lockett Meadow, take the Inner Basin Trail to view an ancient volcanic caldera and be sure to plan a trip before the campground closes in mid-October. (INFO)
The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report measures demand at 8.48 million b/d, which is a slight uptick from the previous week’s 8.39 million b/d. However, the small increase — likely due to holiday road trips — is still 461,000 b/d lower than last year at this time. Low demand, even as total domestic stocks of gasoline declined to 231.5 million bbl, has helped keep pump prices low.
Today’s national gas price average is $2.18, which is one cent less than last week, the same price as a month ago, but 48 cents cheaper than mid-September last year. On the week, all states saw gas prices decrease or remain stable at the pump. The majority of state averages have pushed cheaper by a penny or two since last Monday. With the nation entering the fall driving season, which typically sees fewer road trips, a continued drop in demand will likely lead to pump prices continuing to decrease.
Additionally, the National Hurricane Center is currently tracking Tropical Storm Beta, which is expected to produce severe flooding and heavy rain in coastal Texas and Louisiana later today. The expected damage to infrastructure will likely hinder ongoing recovery efforts in the region due to other recent storms and hurricanes, which have shuttered total U.S. crude refining capacity by 8.7%. The amount of shuttered oil production in the Gulf of Mexico now stands at 179,237 b/d (just under 10% of total offshore output), according to the federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.