That weekend trip to the coast or to Bakersfield to shop is going to cost you a bit more.
If you haven't had to buy gas this week you may not have noticed that prices at local pumps jumped 30 cents a gallon.
It came in the form of three 10-cent a gallon hikes – all in the same week.
The last time gas prices surged it came in increments of five-cent jumps and leveled off at $3.99 a gallon at local outlets such as Fastrip, Seven-11 and Outpost.
Majors, of course, are higher. On Thursday the price of a gallon of regular gas at Chevron was $4.45, Shell at $4.39 and Texaco at $4.36.
Refinery problems and a pipeline closure are getting the blame this time.
At least that's what the San Francisco Chronicle is saying.
Denton Cinquegrana, senior editor of Oil Price Information Service, said the surge threatens the state average record of $4.61 per gallon set four years ago.
The average in San Francisco was $4.33 on Wednesday with San Jose at $4.28.
The price spike began on Monday, the Chronicle reports, after two unrelated events at refineries.
A power outage at the Exxon Mobil refinery in Torrance Monday morning was followed by the shut down of a Chevron pipeline in Richmond when elevated levels of chloride were detected.
That is all on the heels of the Aug. 6 fire that damaged the Richmond refinery and reduced capacity.
Power has been restored to the Torrance refinery, and production is returning to normal, the paper said.
Cynthia Harris of AAA said the price surge is a temporary trend, but she could not predict when costs would go down.