Time to Trade in that SUV?

Gas_prices3_1

The Barista had her sticker shock two weeks ago, when she first encountered $3/gallon gas in California. Didn’t take Baristaville too long to catch up. A reader informs us that gas now costs $3.19 in Watchung Plaza, and others have spotted $3 gas elsewhere. Is this price gouging from Hurricane Katrina (as one reader suggests) or just a taste of things to come? Tell your neighbors where the cheap pumps are. Thanks to Miss Martta, who sent the picture.

UPDATE: Eric B. writes to tell us that the price of gas at Watchung Plaza is now $3.34 — up 15 cents in the last 18 hours.

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48 COMMENTS

  1. We filled up for 2.44 on Monday….
    Maybe more folks will walk to downtown Montclair, versus circling for parking and wasting gallons of gas?

  2. Gas will rise to $4 a gallon with in the next two months. This is not a guess. check out CNN Money/Business and read for yourself. If you are looking for the cheapest gas no matter where you live, go to the following sites. They are updated daily:
    https://www.newjerseygasprices.com/
    https://www.gasbuddy.com/
    On bloomfield ave in Bloomfield, the Mobile Station is at $2.69 and one block up at the Delta is $2.99! This is the first I’ve seen Delta higher than the big companies

  3. Someone sent it to me, efs.
    Ditto for Enrite on Rt. 23 in Cedar Grove. They consistently have some of the lowest gas prices around.

  4. Slightly OT but appropo: Is anyone else old enough to remember Citgo gas stations and how they used to hand out lollipops to kids and dog biscuits to pooches? Boy, have things changed. This was when gas was around 33 cents a gallon. Now we don’t even get our windows squeegied.

  5. “Slightly OT but appropo: Is anyone else old enough to remember Citgo gas stations and how they used to hand out lollipops to kids and dog biscuits to pooches?”
    Totally, they used to do that at the Sunoco in Ramsey, NJ as well. I remember that growing up. My folks tell me they haven’t changed at least, Aaron always asks if you need a paper in the morning or if you need your oil checked.
    Since moving to the Montclair area, that hasn’t happened once. They clearly don’t understand customer service. Most don’t understand English, except “Have a good day Boss!”

  6. I paid $2.72 at the Shell on East (or is it West) Passaic. Twenty bucks didn’t get me much.
    I’m so old I remember the old/even license plate gas rationing system of the ’70s. Sure hope it doesn’t come to that again!!!

  7. Just paid $2.84 for Premium at the Exxon on the corner of Broad and Watchung in Bloomfield. $2.64 for regular. $2.74 for whatever you call the in-between grade.

  8. Wondering if other stations are planning the same thing the Aamoco station in Roseland is doing: He’s shutting down tomorrow because he’s already out of regular gas and running out of the rest.

  9. The orinial heading for these postings was “Time to Trade in that SUV?”
    I’d like to see a serious discussion re: long term solutions to the energy (fuel) crisis –
    with the winter heating season not far away these postings will soon be discussing the high cost of home heating fuel.
    So what’s the answer?
    Fuel effficient cars?
    More funding for public transportation?
    Alternative fuels and solar power?
    Nationalizing the fuel industry?
    Price controls?
    The floor is open for discussion….

  10. The orinial heading for these postings was “Time to Trade in that SUV?”
    I’d like to see a serious discussion re: long term solutions to the energy (fuel) crisis –
    with the winter heating season not far away these postings will soon be discussing the high cost of home heating fuel.
    So what’s the answer?
    Fuel effficient cars?
    More funding for public transportation?
    Alternative fuels and solar power?
    Nationalizing the fuel industry?
    Price controls?
    The floor is open for discussion….

  11. The orinial (sorry my lisp is showing) heading for these postings was “Time to Trade in that SUV?”
    I’d like to see a serious discussion re: long term solutions to the energy (fuel) crisis –
    with the winter heating season not far away these postings will soon be discussing the high cost of home heating fuel(I also have esp).
    So what’s the answer? (watch me try to distract you)
    Fuel effficient cars?
    More funding for public transportation?
    Mandatory carpooling?
    Alternative fuels and solar power?
    Nationalizing the fuel industry?
    Invading Saudi Arabia?
    Price controls?
    The floor is open for discussion….

  12. the following “net abbreviations” LOL, OMG, and WTF were just the giggle I needed
    more laughter, please

  13. There’s mention above of people buying premium and “ultimate” grades of gas above. I have no idea if those folks drive 60’s muscle cars like, say, a 63 Starfire or a 67 GTO which might indeed require something other than regular. (And thus automatically get a pass by my standards because those cars are so damn cool.) But if something else you’re driving, something newer, doesn’t run well on regular, townspeople, perhaps a change of vehicle is in order?
    I would thus appreciate some feedback on why people are buying any gas grade other than vanilla regular 87 octane. Especially since I’ve just plowed through the sales figures for gas by grades.

  14. because thier manuals tell them that they must…you can’t tell my mother in law anything she drives a brand new saab and her manual says so–

  15. Clarice, I’ve been driving a long time, everything in bikes from a BSA Lightning Rocket to a 54 Panhead, in cars from a 64 GTO even to a Ferrari a college friend owned (bought with money his father had willed him) to a Morgan I owned for a while to the most prosaic of Honda Civics, and I have truly never heard that “ping” you’re supposed to hear when your engine isn’t getting high enough octane.
    Which has certainly convinced me never, ever to buy anything other than regular again.

  16. cathar even with the ping -i wouldn’t buy anything but regular-my father worked as a car salesman for years and if he ever found out i put in anything other then regular he woulda screamed at me- so just call me a regular girl.

  17. I agree. Higher octane gas is just a big ruse. My family has known this for years. Never had a ping in any car that I’ve owned and I tend to keep cars for a looonnng time, around 10 years. In an older car, I’d pour in some “tank cleaner” from time to time, but that’s it.

  18. Yesterday at 11am, the Gulf Station on Valley Road in Clifton was $2.89 for middle grade, at 1:30pm it was $3.69, and at 7:30am today it was $3.39. It is still $3.25 for regular b/w yesterday and today. Supposedly, gas stations in Somerset County aren’t getting their shipments and are already out of gas. I topped off my tank today in Bergen County and was told there was no regular and the attendant said that hopefully they will get their supply b/w today and tomorrow…he had no idea b/c it was supposed to come yesterday.

  19. Miss Martta, I never heard them called “goats.” But I hugged it regularly, more often and sincerely than any girlfriend. And I took her to “dinner” at 29.9 a gallon and in return she proved her love for me by shutting down 57 Ford and 54 Chevys up and down Route 17 on Friday nights. I even still miss her spinners.

  20. If you have a high-compression engine, as most V-8’s and some tweaked sixes are, a higher octane gas is specified by the manufacturer. Can you use regular? Sure. Might that cause some problems over the long run. Yup. But if you could afford a vehicle with a high-performance engine, you can splurge for the extra $6 or so and keep it running right. Also, check your owner’s manual because even with a high compression ratio, you can probably use the intermediate grade rather than the 93 Octane super. And best idea of all, don’t drive unless you have to.

  21. But if you have a high-compression engine type of car, Conan, surely driving when one doesn’t have to is much of the point? (And I’m sure we also recall when $6 filled the tank, didn’t just represent the difference in gas grades when filling it.)
    Now that I think of it, the owners’ manual for the Morgan I owned for about 2 years (which was hardly a high-compression engine, more a soughing, oil-needy beast) called for high octane gas. But the once or twice I tried it, I swear, when it idled it seemed as if her hood strap started fraying. Couldn’t have that.

  22. TO: Franklyn
    FROM: Franklin
    Thank you for opening the discussion.
    Why not add the invasion of Iraq and the search for nonexistent weapons of mass distruction to the list?

  23. Haven’t seen a Morgan in years, although I believe they are still being produced. They used to have wooden chassis parts. Not recommended in termite country.
    Anyway, for those of you not familiar with what octane ratings mean, check out https://auto.howstuffworks.com/question90.htm. If your vehicle doesn’t need a higher octane ratio, don’t do it. If it does, you probably shouldn’t skimp.

  24. Conan, Morgans are still made. They even still come with a wooden chassis. There are two dealers in the US, one outlet only for parts. And there’s something like a 4-year waiting list to get one in this country.
    I almost literally stumbled across the East Coast “dealership” one day in a small town in upstate NY. It was a Wednesday afternoon, summer, and it was locked and the grass hadn’t been mowed in weeks around the place. I went back 2 weeks later and the grass had been mowed but the showroom (there were 2 new Morgans and one restored 50’s beauty with active Jersey registration visible) was still closed. Definitely a low-octane kind of dealership. Probably the lowest possible, in fact.

  25. Doees anyone remember the Shell give-a-ways? My boyfriend then, husband now and I always bought Shell because they gave away free steak knives and then free glasses when you filled up. When was the last time any gas station washed your windows? Gas at Costo today was 2.65 and the lines were long!

  26. One question for those gas stations who are raising prices on a daily (or, illegaly, more than once a day) basis:
    “When were your underground tanks last filled and how much did that gas cost you?”
    The Greed Chain goes all the way to the top in this scenario, and no number of trained economists is going to change my mind on this one. The “Awl Bidness” is very well represented at the top of our political chain, too…

  27. The cost of the current tank is irrelevant, because of the fact that it’s always been priced this way – stupidly. If gas was priced today for what they paid for it months ago or whatever when they were filled, we’d all be a bit happier – but that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t ultimately pay for it.

  28. For the stations, it’s probably best that the prices go up around the time of a crisis — people are more likely to understand and accept the increase than months later, when nothing in particular is going on.

  29. “The cost of the current tank is irrelevant, because of the fact that it’s always been priced this way – stupidly.”
    I agree with the last point.
    If gas really needs to cost $4 a gallon because that is the cost to produce it, plus the cost to ship it, plus some profit for the guy who sells it, then so be it. I will pay $4 a gallon.
    But that is not the case. Check oil company profits over the last quarter – somewhere in the 30% neighborhod. Watch the TV clips where the gas station owner flips the prices up 10 cents a gallon while the TV news cameras are rolling – and then flips it up another 10 cents an hour later.
    And finally, when is friggin’ New Jersey going to join the 20th century (a major step forward, I would pose) and let people pump their own gas? Whose pockets are being lined by that dealers’ association?

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