Tuesday, October 04, 2005

MPG and How Save Gas for Future Generations

Well, all Americans can see the price of gasoline is going up. My area of the country the price is approaching $3 a gallon. So I started driving the subcompact car about every day to work. It is a pretty nice ride, just have to watch out for semi-trucks and large SUVs that can blot out the sun when I get too close to them.

After reading a Wall Street Journal article about the economics of whether to switch to a hybrid or not. The author mentioned this site: http://www.fueleconomy.gov where you can find all kinds of useful information about cars and conserving our favorite natural resource (well, behind water & air). I logged in and started tracking my vehicle. Right now I am averaging 36 mpg which is the car's highway rating. I think I can reach 40 mpg if I drive the speed limit and avoid rapid accelerations.

Another change I might make is switching to synthetic oil. The cars are getting older and you do not have to change the oil but every 10,000 miles. Right now I put a Dupont engine cleaner in the car to help clean out the 12 year old engine. I will probably use regular 5W-30 for the next several changes. What prompted my interest in synthetics those was this article in Consumer reports about some cars that have problems with oil sludge: http://www.consumerreports.org/main/content/display_report.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=665845&bmUID=1128480142263
Since my wife drives a car that has this problem, I switched her oil over to Mobil One synthetic on the next change. This oil change brought up another point can I mix old synthetic oil with conventional oil in the recycle container? After going to the Mobil One site, I found that you can. Here is there site with the benefits of using synthetic:

It is amazing what air resistance does to gas mileage. This site shows how an engineer modified his VW Beetle to get better gas mileage with aerodynamic wing. Check it out at: http://www.max-mpg.com

Closing Thoughts: I read or hear people saying there should be a boycott of gas stations on some particular day to show them not to raise prices. I think that is not really proving anything, you still need the gas. Instead people should drive the speed limit, not try to rocket accelerate when the light turns green, and maintain proper tire air pressure. This behavior if performed in mass will create less demand for fuel, that will LOWER THE PRICE OF GAS. After driving every day, this is a pipe dream. I see illogical driving every time I go out: people accelerating toward red lights just to have to hard brake when they get their, during morning rush hour, vehicles barreling 10-20 mph over the speed limit into an area mile or so ahead where traffic is moving 10-20 mph so they have to come to a stop minutes later, cars following too close to the one in front of them so they are hitting their brakes every 30 seconds or so, etc. As the price of gas rises, I think this type of stuff will become less and less because there will be less and less cars.

1 comment:

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