Tuesday, March 12, 2013 | 4:40 p.m.
Trips to the gasoline pump are about to become less painful for motorists in the Las Vegas Valley as prices begin to dip in March after a spike in February.
From Feb. 12 to March 12, gas prices increased by more than 37 cents in the valley to more than $3.81 per gallon, compared with just a 10-cent increase nationwide, the AAA Nevada monthly gas survey released Tuesday indicated.
The spike in pump prices stemmed from a combination of oil refinery maintenance and a switch to a summer blend of gasoline, which requires added chemicals to burn properly in warm weather, AAA Nevada spokesman Matt Skryja said. The adjustments caused a perceived strain in supply, driving the prices upward in Nevada.
Now that the maintenance is complete and the gas-switch has been made, Skryja said gas prices are beginning to slowly trend downward. Currently a gallon of gas costs $3.82 in Las Vegas, $3.81 in North Las Vegas and $3.84 in Henderson.
To get the best gas mileage, AAA urges drivers to perform routine maintenance on their vehicles, make sure fluids are clean and belts and hoses are working properly.