Monday, March 12, 2012
Tips On How To Save Gas
Well, the suits have decided they are going to freak out over oil futures and raise the amount that we pay at the pump by .70 cents in the last 8 weeks. Even though the straight of Hormuz only sees 10% of the world's crude oil being shipped to and fro, and Iran has closed the straight before and it wasn't that big of a deal - the megalomaniacal suits have decided that the extreme possibility of a war with that country is just TOO risky for their blood, so they're gonna pass that risk on to us common folk.
Thanks, guys. Remind me to throw organic, free range eggs at your Mercedes when you drive by. Talk about ouch, people .That one stings.
I'm not going to restate the obvious (such as why don't we invest time, money and energy [aka - make it a priority] to develop alternative powered tractors, cars, trucks and freight so that we don't have to depend on foreign oil. Or point out that oil is finite and will run out in my lifetime. Or make the analogy that our energy policy closely resembles a bunch of people speeding towards a wall at 100 miles an hour in a car and all they can argue about is who gets what seat belt.) NO. I'm going to restrain myself from verbally lashing out at our obtuse and childlike legislators (how's that 8% approval rating treating ya'?) and focus this post on how to SAVE gas.
You know, for the rest of us working class who keep the country actually running with our tax dollars.
I don't like having to conserve gas. I will be the first to admit that I loves me some freedom and I especially love going for long drives in the country - preferably with a killer set list cued up on the Ion's radio and a fresh cup of joe. But, civic duty calls. And since I'm a member of this society, I must respond. Boo.
I own a Saturn Ion. I am not car choosy, so I bought the cheapest, lowest mileage, most dependable car I could find. It is my little tank. I have stuffed an inordinate amount of haphazard junk in this car. This car has a soul, yet no sex, but if pressed I would call her a she. She gets pretty good gas mileage - between 25-32 MPG depending on city or gas driving. Also depending on a lot of other factors.
1) Most gas is expended through vaporizing out of the gas tank. In hot weather, try to park under cover. In cold weather, try to park where the sun won't hit the car all day long - such as under an overhang or in a garage.
2) Fill up your car with gas when it's cold.
3) Fill your car up, then run it down to the dregs. Then fill up. Lather, rinse, repeat. I have heard from the Car Talk Guys that doing this continually turns over the gas in your tank and keeps the gas pure (doesn't allow it to build up shit just sitting there) and therefore burns more efficiently. I am a reformed $20-dollar-a-pop gas getter. It hurts in the beginning but then starts to really make sense. Then check your mileage. (Fill up, start your trip odometer, when empty take the miles and divide that by how many gallons you originally put in.)
4) Try to lump errands together. Say you have to go to the grocery store, then the Target, then the Goodwill, then to Half Price Books - put the destinations that are closest to each other on the list to do that day and make the loop in a series of rights - like a big circle. You will waste less gas than if you have to turn left somewhere. Odd but true.
6) Keep your tires properly inflated and make sure all ancillary junk is out of your car. Weight slows things down. I am notorious for stuffing things (chicken wire, feed, books, old clothes for Goodwill) in the trunk and then forgetting about them.
7) Fill up whenever possible at Costco or another big box store. Same gas as Texaco or Chevron, and much cheaper. Do NOT use Arco gas - mostly because they are a subsidiary of BP and I hate those fuckers, but when it comes down to it, Arco gas IS just really bad for your car. Grocery store gas is like mid range gas, so every once in a while go for it. The guy whose article I linked to below says there is no difference between Arco and Chevron gas but price and additives. He's probably right. I just don't like to give BP any of my money. It's picking the lesser of the evils, I suppose. 29 Tips For Saving Gas.
8) Pay attention to maintenance issues for your car - such as desired gas, what type of oil to use, and air filter change rates. Also generally driving differently will help save gas. A good website for more information on that is HERE.
This is our reality now. We will have $5 gas by the summer. We have to be like the Army and adapt and overcome this issue. We will have alternative cars and transportation when we start asking for it. And since the vast majority of us are dependent in some way on petroleum, this is the dance we must do.