Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Drivers' Ideas to Save on Gas Are Getting Plenty of Mileage

Yesterday the LA Times ran a story about the lengths people are going to to try to save gasoline - some that work, some that are urban legends. One analyst summed it up:
... they are responding in much the way they try to lose weight — with complex special diets, instead of by simply eating less and exercising more, Kloza said.
So here are the dos and don'ts:
- turning off the air conditioning increases fuel economy, but opening the windows reduces fuel economy, so keep the windows closed
- driving behind a big rig to reduce drag does improve fuel economy, but is dangerous (duh)
- tires should be inflated to the recommended level - fuel economy decreases 2% for every pound below the recommended pressure
- maintain a steady speed - don't gun the engine at stop lights or dart in and out of traffic "A recent study showed that a driver with a heavier foot got only nine miles a gallon, but when he slowed down, he got 20 miles a gallon..."
- various gadgets and contraptions that claim to increase mileage haven't been shown to work

- gas prices do not generally go up on the weekends - the prices change every day, with the biggest changes usually on Wednesdays
- gas stations near freeways are more expensive
- higher octane gas does not improve fuel efficiency. Some cars are designed to run on 92 octane, but if yours isn't go for the lowest octane the stations sell. "There's almost no justification I've found for anybody to use the medium grade, 89 octane..."
- Costco and Sam's Club sell cheaper gasoline, and stations near those stores may have lower prices to compete
- fuel is denser when it's cool, so, in theory, you can get more gas by filling up at night. However, the meters on modern pumps are designed to compensate for this, so the difference is negligable.

You can go to the Cheap Gas site to find the lowest reported prices in your area.
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Anonymous search engine optimization said...

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10:56 PM  

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