Archive for the ‘Gas Saving Tips’ Category

Fuel Saving Myths

Consumer reports reported the following interesting Fuel myth busters:

Morning fill-ups. A common tip is to buy gasoline in the morning, when the air is cool, rather than in the heat of the day. The theory is that the cooler gasoline will be denser, so you will get more for your money. But the temperature of the gasoline coming out of the fuel nozzle changes very little, if at all, during any 24-hour stretch. Any extra gas you get will be negligible.

Air conditioning vs. opening windows.
Some people advise you not to run the air conditioner because it puts more of a load on the engine, which can decrease fuel economy. But others say that opening the windows at highway speeds can affect gas mileage even more by disrupting the vehicle’s aerodynamics. Our tests show that neither makes enough of a difference to worry about. Using air conditioning while driving at 65 mph reduced the Camry’s gas mileage by about 1 mpg. The effect of opening the windows at 65 mph was not even measurable.

A dirty air filter. Our tests show that driving with a dirty air filter no longer has any impact on fuel economy, as it did with older engines. That’s because modern engines use computers to precisely control the air/fuel ratio, depending on the amount of air coming in through the filter. Reducing airflow causes the engine to automatically reduce the amount of fuel being used. Fuel economy didn’t change, but the Camry accelerated much more slowly with a dirty filter.

Posted: October 27th, 2009
at 6:49pm by Fuel Saver

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Zero Emission Vehicles

Near-Zero Emission Vehicles

Nowadays, in an era in which the cool thing to do is to drive a V8 engine vehicle and go as fast as possible through rush hour traffic, things have started to cool down. People are beginning to realize that driving such a large motor vehicle is taking a huge toll on the family budget. The amount of driving you do is directly proportional to the amount of money that rests in your wallet. That’s why everyone is beginning to take a look at these new near-zero emission vehicles.

These new type of vehicles are cheaper to buy, take less fuel that the cool Mustang and cool new Camaro, and are more reliable in the long run. But the burning question in everyone’s mind is that no one knows what these vehicles actually are!

The good thing is that lately, these kind of vehicles are being advertised just as much as the fast cars, and even more since gas has gone up as much as it has.

Let’s take a look at some of these vehicles:

The Honda Accord EX has emissions so low they can barely be measured. The engine in this vehicle can achieve mile per gallon ratings of 30-35. What’s awesome about this is how they cost nearly 25% less than cars of the same size that achieve mile per gallon numbers of 20-25. You are going nearly one and a half times further than these other cars with each gallon of gas. This Accord, which is made by Honda, gets unbelievable ratings too in the car market. The fact that this car gets amazing gas mileage doesn’t even affect it’s safety ratings or comfort. It has received some of the best comfort reviews and gets great safety ratings. Honda has FILLED this car with numerous air bags to ensure your safety.

Another ultra low emission vehicle that has come up recently is the Toyota Prius. This car gets an ASTOUNDING 50 miles per gallon if you decide to spring for the hybrid model. This car isn’t the cheapest on the market, but if you are driving thirty to forty miles or more to work then this will definitely pay off fast. This car can push nearly sixty miles per gallon if you drive it the right way. But this car isn’t expensive only because of the mileage it achieves… It is very luxurious and can be compared to some of the interiors that are inside of the new Lexus models.

So recently, many car enthusiasts have been selling or storing away their fast and sporty vehicles that get 15 miles per gallon. There has been a very big drop in big engine vehicles that drive on the road since the gas prices have gone up as much as they have.

You will begin to see many more Hybrids on the road especially more from Honda and Toyota, who seem to be the rulers of the road since gas has topped out at nearly $5 per gallon!

Posted: May 11th, 2009
at 8:26pm by Fuel Saver

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How To Hypermile

The New Cool Way To Drive

Instead of driving fast, driving enthusiasts are turning to another “cool” method of driving. No, not drifting and not drag racing… hypermiling. Hypermiling is defined as a driving technique that maximizes fuel economy. I am going to go over the positives and the possible negatives of driving with these techniques, and also how to use hypermiling in your every day driving!

First, I am going to teach you how to drive like the “professional” hypermilers. One guy is achieving nearly 59 miles per gallon on average in his Honda Accord… a car that is supposed to get 27 in the city and 34 on the highway. I bet you’re wishing you knew how to do this after hearing that aren’t you? He has slashed his fuel bill in half… something us normal drivers only dream of!

To hypermile, you are going to need to drive like a total menace. You are going to irritate a LOT of people, and you are going to be very selfish. The first thing you are going to need to do is turn off all the luxuries that you use in your car. Air conditioner, never again can that be turned on, defroster, seat heaters, etc. Next, you are going to need to learn how to use cruise control to your advantage. Turn it on when you are going up hills and on flat land, and turn it off when going down hills. Also, you are going to need to turn your engine off at stop lights and if you want, when you are rolling down hills. Remember, most cars shut their power steering off when you turn the engine off. Another thing that you can do is brake MUCH LESS. Let off the accelerator much sooner than you would normally. You don’t need to brake to stop at a red light… If you can time it correctly you can coast right up to the red light. This saves a lot of not necessary acceleration. You should never go faster than fifty five miles per hour, and you should never accelerate to 55 in less than 20 seconds. With these couple methods you should be able to increase your mileage by at least ten.

The good things about this is that you will save a lot of money, you will cause a lot less wear on your cars parts (brakes, engine, and transmission), and you will be able to brag about your cars awesome mileage whenever you fill up! But then there’s the negatives…

By turning off your vehicle down hills and at stop lights, you are going to become a lot more susceptible to accidents or fender-benders. If your car is off at a stop light, someone behind you might see your brake lights off and think you are about to accelerate and they will accelerate when they notice that. This could cause a rear-end collision which will put a burden on you. The accident could be a lot worse when going down a hill. Since you are slowing down while going because your car is off yet your brake lights aren’t on the person behind you could rear end you. Another problem with hypermiling is that you are going to cause a lot of drivers to be very angry with you. This isn’t that big of a deal but it could endanger other people on the road because the angry driver will now have road rage for the next ten to fifteen minutes.

Don’t let these people stop you though. If you are short on money because the economy is so bad, go ahead and use these techniques to save a couple bucks here and there. Personally, I try not to use these methods that often because I drive a Civic which gets nearly 40 miles to the gallon already, which is good enough for me! Another cool thing about hypermiling is that it is very easy to do and will relieve you of a lot of stress. Sometimes seeing all the angry drivers is actually kind of funny because of how stressed out they are. Go ahead and give hypermiling a try if you want to save a few bucks.

Posted: May 11th, 2009
at 8:21pm by Fuel Saver

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Four More Fuel Saving Tips

Four Tips to Get Better Gas Mileage

These days, no one takes the time out of their schedule to learn how they can save money. It is very easy to get better gas mileage you just have to take a few simple steps. With these simple steps you could be on your way to saving hundreds of dollars per year on gas.

1. Drive along with the trucks. Truck drivers are on the road nearly twelve hours per day; they know how traffic works. It’s certain that you’ve noticed how trucks always seem to be moving along at the same constant pace whilst other cars are constantly slamming on the brakes and accelerating hard. These truck drivers have been trained to squeeze out as many miles to the gallon as possible, and also how to put the least amount of wear on the transmission by not needing to shift as often. If you can, try to stay near or behind a big eighteen wheeler truck so you can follow his relaxing path.

2. Drive without the luxuries. The air conditioner in your car wastes a ton of gas. Try turning it off and opening the windows to enjoy a nice breeze. But with the windows open at higher speeds, it may actually be smarter to turn on the air conditioning in the car because the wind resistance is so great when you are driving at high speeds. Another luxury that could waste gas is getting thicker tires. Your car may look better, but wider tires means more rolling resistance. If you are going to upgrade your wheels to some newer ones, consider keeping the old ones. That way, if you are going to be going on long trips in that car you can throw on the stock small wheels to get better gas mileage on the trip.

3. Clean out your car. A number of people have so much stuff in the back of their car that there isn’t even any room to sit down. This could take a very heavy toll on gas mileage because it is very easy to acquire an extra forty to fifty pounds. The more weight in your car means the more weight your engine has to lug around. If you can, try to drop the extra weight. This will help you in the long run by ensuring that you are carrying the smallest amount of weight possible. If you clean out your car periodically you could be saving a good amount of money on gas.

4. Downsize. The best thing you can do to save gas mileage is to downsize your car. There are many cars out there now that are just too big. You need to evaluate what you actually need out of the car you will be purchasing or downsizing to. If you have a family of three, you can definitely get by with something small like a Nissan Versa. The Nissan Versa has tons of interior room and can be classified as a mid-size vehicle. Automakers are designing these cars with safety in mind also so you can feel comfortable when driving around in one.

Posted: May 11th, 2009
at 3:44pm by Fuel Saver

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Fill Up Your Tank

Filling Up The Tank

Sometimes when you fill up your gas tank, weird numbers can come up. I’ve seen a Honda Civic, which I KNOW their gas tanks are only 13 gallons get filled up to 13.1 gallons. How is this possible?

Tampering with pumps in an unauthorized nature does happen even though there are very regular checks that are done by the state’s gas measuring technicians to ensure their accuracy. There is a very legitimate reason that explains this phenomenon though. You might wonder why you’ve never wondered about this or thought about this to yourself because it is very simple.

Most manufacturers put out estimates that the actual capacity of a fuel tank can vary as much as 3 percent from the rating of the tank capacity because of design characteristics and also because of the manufacturing process. Another thing is that the physics that are associated with the components that are built to monitor the emissions system and also the electronics on the indicators and systems of fuel.

Most manufacturers don’t tell which parts of the fuel tank of the vehicle is that determine the capacity rating and this is very important to do. Also, what happens to these components when a vehicle is moving is a critical component in fuel capacity also.

There is a small area that is located at the bottom of the fuel tank that is known as the “unusable volume” This is because it is below the fuel line and can’t be used by the engine. This exists because it is physically impossible to build a gas tank in which it can be totally, 100% emptied out because if the fuel line was that low there would be air resistance in the line because it would be so close to the bottom of the tank.

Another part of the gas tank is the “vapor head space.” This is the top most portion of the gas tank compartment. This is almost always left out when a gas tank is measured for fuel capacity because fuel can never go that high. It is the part above where the filler pipe leads into the gas tank.

Now, drivers sometimes fill their tank beyond the pumps automatic shut-off point. This results in fuel either raising up into the filler pipe and over flowing, or fuel being drawn into the vapor head space. Also, the surface at the gas station could affect this. If you are not on a level surface and the ground is sloped towards the side where the vapor head space is and not where the filler pipe is, you could be filling up the vapor head space before the automatic shut off point is reached. You should use extra caution when filling up at gas stations that don’t have level surfaces because if this vapor head space is filled up it could cause a lot of damage to your car.

Your gas gauge sometimes reads over the Full reading and that is because tanks are supposed to be full much before the tanks actual capacity. Most pumps don’t do this though and just fill it up to the top. Also, when your meter reads E, you should have at least one or two gallons of gas left. This is called your “gas reserve.”

Posted: May 11th, 2009
at 2:43pm by Fuel Saver

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Boost Gas Mileage By Changing Your Spark Plugs

It’s amazing just how much keeping your car in tip top condition can help you save money on gas.

For example, did you know you can boost fuel mileage up to 30% by just switching out your old and dirty spark plugs with new ones.

Here’s a cool video worth watching:

And let me throw in a “plug” here for Autolite spark plugs – they’ve been making spark plugs since 1936. Their site has tons of cool info on proper torque and gap of plugs, avoiding pre-ignition, installation tips, and stats on gas savings you can get (I love stats!).

Posted: August 26th, 2008
at 7:23pm by Fuel Saver

Categories: Gas Saving Tips

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How To Live Without Car – Seriously

In this video, I interview my brother who doesn’t own a car, but still manages to commute to work everyday. He’s not like me and doesn’t work from home.

I decided to record this video since some people were pretty skeptical when I mentioned getting rid of your car as an extreme way to save money on gas.

We cover things like how to commute if you live in a place where it gets cold in the winter (my brother lives in Minnesota) and what kind of bike makes a good commuter bike.

Let me know what you think.

Posted: August 15th, 2008
at 8:53pm by Fuel Saver

Categories: Gas Saving Tips

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4 Extreme Ways To Save Money On Gas

When I was originally thinking of recording this video, I wanted to have 8 extreme ways to save money on gas, but that was just too many. And then there tips number seven… turns out that’s illegal. Tip 6 as it turns out was a scam. And tip 5 I’d just rather not talk about, k?

So I was left with four extreme ways to save money on gas. Sure, some of them may seem insane and you may think I’m truly out of my mind by even suggesting them.

If you don’t want to watch the video, here’s the quick ‘n dirty version of what I said:

1) Work From Home – This is my solution to high gas prices. I just work from my home office. And you don’t need to start your own business to do it, many employers these days allow you to telecommute.

2) Ditch you car - If you stop driving your car think about how much you’d save, 400, 500, 600 dollars a month? Public transportation and a bicycle can do the job for more people than you’d think.

3) Hypermiling – Want to double the gas mileage of your current vehicle without wasting your money on those so called gas saving devices (they’re mostly scams anyway)? Then take note of these driving techniques. They definitely don’t teach you this in driving school.

4)Make Your Own Biodiesel – I realize that most of us have gas powered vehicles, but for those of you out there with a diesel vehicle or if you’re thinking of getting one, you can go down to your local restaurant and usually get their waste fry oil for next to nothing, and that stuff is perfectly capable of powering your vehicle if you put little bit of a fuel additive in the tank… ends up costing less than $1/gallon instead of $5/gallon for diesel.

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Posted: July 29th, 2008
at 4:11pm by Fuel Saver

Categories: Gas Saving Tips

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Utah State Government Helps Employees Save Money On Gas

You know those weeks where you get a Friday off or a Monday for a three day weekend? Well, if you worked for the state of Utah, you’d be getting a three day weekend every week.

Utah is becoming the first state to make the four day work week mandatory (for some branches of the government).

I wrote a while ago about ways that businesses could help their employees save money on gas, and in addition to telecommuting (still the best option), letting employees work four 10 hour days instead of five 8 hour days was listed as an excellent option.

According to the governor of Utah, it’s being done to “reduce the state’s carbon footprint, increase energy efficiency, improve customer service, and provide workers more flexibility.”

The change affects about 80% of state employees, 17,000 or so.

Of course, with the mandatory change, it benefits not just the employees of the state, but also the environment. Instead of just a few people working four day work weeks, entire departments and even some buildings can be shut down, significantly reducing the amount of energy they use on a daily basis.

And it’s been reported that four day work weeks reduce the number of sicks days taken (who hasn’t had a severe case of the Monday’s?) and also reduces job turnover.

If you’d like to read more, here’s a few more stories for you to check out:
Utah Four Day Work Week Environmentally Friendly
Utah Says Good Bye To Casual Fridays

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Need an easy way to start saving money on gas right now? I recommend you get a gas card. They’re free, and the savings can really add up. Check out my gas cards page to find out which ones are recommended and which ones aren’t worth the plastic they’re printed on.

Have you signed up to get my free money saving report, “62 ways to save money on gas” yet? If not, click here to get it absolutely FREE!

Posted: July 4th, 2008
at 8:32am by Fuel Saver

Categories: Gas Saving Tips

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Fuel Efficient SUV Alternatives

As I mentioned last week, SUVs are grinding to a halt and trade in values on SUVs is plummeting (good news if you’re in the market for a used full sized SUV). So this week I thought I’d cover some of the fuel efficient alternatives to large SUVs that still give you plenty of cargo space and a higher ride without draining your pocketbook. One nice thing about these vehicles is they’re also cheaper than the larger SUVs they’re replacing.

1) Scion xB

First up is the Scion xB. This newly redesigned vehicle has plenty of interior space and lots of little nooks and crannies where you can store stuff. This vehicle gets 28mpg on the highway and 22mpg in the city and will run you $15,750.

2) Mini Cooper Clubman

Next is the Mini Cooper Clubman which gets the best gas mileage of all the vehicles in this list. The Clubman is about 10 inches longer than a standard Mini. And if you’ve never sat in a Mini before you’ll find that it’s surprisingly spacious inside for such a little looking car. I have a friend who tips the scales at over 300lbs and says that it’s one of the most spacious vehicles for him to ride in so don’t let it’s little size fool you. The Mini Clubman gets 37mpg highway and 28mpg city and will run you $19,950.

3) Toyota Matrix

The Toyota Matrix gets 32mpg on the highway and 26mpg in the city. This vehicle also comes with available all wheel drive so you don’t have to give up ability to drive in snow with the Matrix. This car will run you $16,190-$20,660. It has a unique look that some people love and others hate so you’ll have to make that determination yourself.

4 ) Kia Rondo

If you’re a fan of ugly vehicles then the Kia Rondo is perfect for you. Seriously, this thing is hideous – it looks like a cross between a station wagon and minivan that hit every branch of the ugly tree on the way down. However, this thing is capable of hauling people around and even has available third-row seats. It gets 26mpg Highway and 19mpg in the city and will run you $16,395-$20,195.

5 ) Ford Escape Hybrid

A couple years ago I helped one of my good friends drive a Ford Escape from Lincoln, Nebraska to Boston, Massachusetts so I can give you some first hand feedback on driving an Escape (and the hybrid is pretty much identical, it just gets better mileage). I’ll admit that I’m a fan of this vehicle and the 30mpg highway, 34mpg city (that’s not a typo, remember hybrids get better city mileage due to regenerative braking) certainly makes this an attractive option especially if you spend a lot of your time commuting through the city. This is an SUV, not a car, and it even comes with available all wheel drive, so if you’re not ready to give up your SUV in the name of fuel efficiency, you don’t have to. The one trade off is price – the Ford Escape Hybrid will run you $27,445-$29,215.

6 ) Saturn Vue Green Line

If you’re a fan of Saturn vehicles (or if you prefer to do the Patriotic thing and buy American), but the Ford Escape Hybrid is a little out of your budget, then the Saturn Vue Green Line might be the better option for you. It uses Chevrolet’s “mild hybrid” system and while I’m not entirely sure what the heck that means, I do know it’s a cheaper system to install in a vehicle but still boosts gas mileage. The Saturn Vue Green Line will run you $23,640 and gets 32mpg highway and 24mpg city. And you still get the higher up ride you may have become accustomed to with your SUV. So what’s the catch? Well, you gotta find one first. Saturn isn’t producing many of these vehicles right now and they’re pretty doggone hard to find. But if you do manage to find one, you know exactly what you’re going to pay for it since Saturn doesn’t negotiate on their vehicles (which means in this case they can’t charge more than sticker price.)

7 ) Mazda5

The Mazda5 is the slightly better looking cousin to the Kia Rondo as far as I’m concerned. I’d say this thing looks like a little minvan. However, it’s attractively priced at $17,995-$22,515 and gets 28mpg highway and 22mpg in the city while offering plenty of space for passengers and their stuff. It even comes with a third row of seats.

8 ) Subaru Forester

With Subaru you know you’ll be getting four wheel drive, and the Forester has been redesigned to look a less like a high riding station wagon and more like the SUVs we’ve all come to know and love. The Forester gets 27mpg highway and 20mpg in the city and comes with a price tag between $19,995 and $28,195.

So there you have it – eight alternatives to your gas guzzling SUV that will still give plenty of space to put your people or stuff but will be far more friendly to your pocketbook.

Did you enjoy this post? If so, why not subscribe to my RSS feed and be notified every time I make a new blog post.

Need an easy way to start saving money on gas right now? I recommend you get a gas card. They’re free, and the savings can really add up. Check out my gas cards page to find out which ones are recommended and which ones aren’t worth the plastic they’re printed on.

Have you signed up to get my free money saving report, “62 ways to save money on gas” yet? If not, click here to get it absolutely FREE!

Posted: June 15th, 2008
at 9:35pm by Fuel Saver

Categories: Gas Saving Tips

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