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Monday, May 26, 2008

Episode 55, Techno Granny Tips on Gasoline Economy

Techno Granny Note on Episode 55 on Saving Gasoline
All information from this show was garnered from various websites and these are the Condensed version. I have tried to add links that will help you come to your own conclusion about what to do for fuel economy to help with the currently high price of gasoline.

Gasoline Conservation Tips
You can save money while reducing both fuel consumption and air pollution by following some of the tips listed here. Which steps you choose to take will depend on your own particular circumstances, but any of them will reduce the amount of money you spend for gasoline.
New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning
• When starting out, shift up to the next gear (manual transmission) as soon as possible without straining the engine.
• Drive more slowly. One study reported that for all vehicles tested there was at least 20% loss in fuel economy as cruising speed was increased from 55 to 75 mph. So, 20 mpg at 55 mph becomes 16 mpg or less at 75 mph.
• If your car has an instantaneous mpg indicator, use it to improve your driving efficiency.
• Remove extra weight from the car; 100 extra pounds may cost 1 mpg. Pack lightly for trips.
• Do not warm engine up before driving; it is not necessary, even in cold weather.
• Do not rev engine before shutting it off; this wastes fuel and can dilute motor oil, leading to excessive wear on engine parts.
• Reduce the use of your air conditioner at low driving speeds. When driving over 40 mph using the air conditioner costs less fuel than having windows open.
• Park in the shade and/or leave windows slightly open to reduce the need for air conditioning.

Fuel and Maintenance
• Replace air and fuel filters regularly as instructed by your vehicle’s maintenance manual; change air filter more often if driving in dusty conditions.
• Keep engine properly tuned.
• Use API certified "Energy Conserving" motor oil, either conventional or synthetic. Do not buy "aggressive" tread tires if you do not need them.
• Keep tires properly inflated and wheels aligned.
• Do not use mid-grade or premium grade gasoline unless specified for your vehicle. Older vehicles may require these grades to avoid "knock" which reduces power and may damage the engine.
• Do not overfill the tank.
• Determine gasoline mileage periodically. Declining mileage can be an early indicator of mechanical problems or a need for servicing.
• Store emergency fuel supply or fuel for gasoline-fueled power equipment in sealed, airtight containers, and it will still be usable in another season.

• LinksTips to Offset Higher Gas Prices from the Alliance to Save Energy
• Gas Mileage Comparisons and Efficiency Tips from the US Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency
• American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s Environmental Guide to Trucks and Cars
• is a local website which offers an online method for web site visitors to post and view recent retail gasoline prices.

Thirty Gas Saving Tips
by Ernest Miles
From: How to

The surest way you can improve your fuel cost problem is to change your motoring habits. Listed below under four categories are 30 effective methods of doing so... no need to buy expensive add-on equipment.
Techno Granny has actually only used the tips from this site which actually added information or were unique to this blog.
4. Avoid "reving" the engine, especially just before you switch the engine off; this wastes fuel needlessly and washes oil down from the inside cylinder walls, owing to loss of oil pressure.
5. Eliminate jack-rabbit starts. Accelerate slowly when starting from dead stop. Don't push pedal down more than 1/4 of the total foot travel. This allows carburetor to function at peak efficiency.
6. Buy gasoline during coolest time of day - early morning or late evening is best. During these times gasoline is densest. Keep in mind - gas pumps measure volumes of gasoline, not densities of fuel concentration. You are charged according to "volume of measurement".
7. Choose type and brand of gasoline carefully. Certain brands provide you with greater economy because of better quality. Use the brands which "seem" most beneficial.
8. Avoid filling gas tank to top. Overfilling results in sloshing over and out of tank. Never fill gas tank past the first "click" of fuel nozzle, if nozzle is automatic.
9. Exceeding 40 mph forces your auto to overcome tremendous wind resistance.
10. Never exceed legal speed limit. Primarily they are set for your traveling safety, however better gas efficiency also occurs. Traveling at 55 mph give you up to 21% better mileage when compared to former legal speed limits of 65 mph and 70 mph.
11. Traveling at fast rates in low gears can consume up to 45% more fuel than is needed.
12. Manual shift driven cars allow you to change to highest gear as soon as possible, thereby letting you save gas if you "nurse it along". However, if you cause the engine to "bog down", premature wearing of engine parts occurs.
13. Keep windows closed when traveling at highway speeds. Open windows cause air drag, reducing your mileage by 10%.
14. Drive steadily. Slowing down or speeding up wastes fuel. Also avoid tailgating - the driver in front of you is unpredictable. Not only is it unsafe, but if affects your economy, if he slows down unexpectedly.
15.Think ahead when approaching hills. If you accelerate, do it before you reach the hill, not while you're on it.
17. Avoid rough roads whenever possible, because dirt or gravel rob you of up to 30% of your gas mileage.
18. Use alternate roads when safer, shorter, straighter. Compare traveling distance differences - remember that corners, curves and lane jumping requires extra gas. The shortest distance between two points is always straight.
19. Stoplights are usually timed for your motoring advantage. By traveling steadily at the legal speed limit you boost your chances of having the "green light" all the way.
21. Park car so that you can later begin to travel in forward gear; avoid reverse gear maneuvers to save gas.
22. Regular tune-ups ensure best economy; check owner's manual for recommended maintenance intervals. Special attention should be given to maintaining clean air filters... diminished air flow increases gas waste.
23. Inspect suspension and chassis parts for occasional misalignment. Bent wheels, axles, bad shocks, broken springs, etc. create engine drag and are unsafe at high traveling speeds.
24. Remove snow tires during good weather seasons; traveling on deep tire tread really robs fuel!
25. Inflate all tires to maximum limit. Each tire should be periodically spun, balanced and checked for out-of-round. When shopping for new tires, get large diameter tires for rear wheels. Radial designs are the recognized fuel-savers; check manufacturer's specifications for maximum tire pressures.
26. Remove vinyl tops - they cause air drag. Rough surfaces disturb otherwise smooth air flow around a car's body. Bear in mind when buying new cars that a fancy sun roof helps disturb smooth air flow (and mileage).
29. Car pools reduce travel monotony and gas expense - all riders chip in to help you buy. Conversation helps to keep the driver alert. Pooling also reduces traffic congestion, gives the driver easier maneuverability and greater "steady speed" economy. For best results, distribute passenger weight evenly throughout car.
30. During cold weather watch for icicles frozen to car frame. Up to 100 lbs. can be quickly accumulated! Unremoved snow and ice cause tremendous wind resistance. Warm water thrown on (or hosed on) will eliminate it fast.

Drive Sensibly
Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5 percent around town. Sensible driving is also safer for you and others, so you may save more than gas money.
Fuel Economy Benefit: 5-33%
Equivalent Gasoline Savings $0.19-$1.23/gallon

Observe the Speed Limit
While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph.
As a rule of thumb, you can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.20 per gallon for gas.
Observing the speed limit is also safer.
Fuel Economy Benefit: 7-23%
Equivalent Gasoline Savings: $0.26-$0.86/gallon

Remove Excess Weight
Avoid keeping unnecessary items in your vehicle, especially heavy ones. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your MPG by up to 2%. The reduction is based on the percentage of extra weight relative to the vehicle's weight and affects smaller vehicles more than larger ones.
Fuel Economy Benefit: 1-2%/100 lbs
Equivalent Gasoline Savings: $0.04-$0.07/gallon

Note: Cost savings are based on an assumed fuel price of $3.72/gallon.

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