Saturday, June 28, 2008

More Motoring Tips - 10 Easy Ways to Save Over a Grand on Gas

by Sean Tucker
Tuesday, June 24, 2008 provided by U.S.News

According to the mileage book in my glovebox, I averaged about 21 miles per gallon in May. So far in June, I'm at 26.

New, more fuel-efficient, car?

Nope, I'm commuting in the same old Volvo S60 that has seen better days. Same dent in the right rear door. Same old Cheerios wedged under the child safety seat in back. (Yeah, I know. I'll get to it, Honey).

So how did I do it? I'm trying to learn to drive more efficiently, and little by little, it's working. With a few simple changes, you can easily squeeze more gas mileage out of the car you're already driving.

A Note on the Calculations:

Your mileage will vary. Governments and automakers estimate fuel mileage savings by percentage -- do x and you'll get five percent better fuel mileage. I wanted to know what they meant in real dollars, so I used the average mileage Americans actually got from their cars in 2007 (22.4 mpg, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics) and boosted it by the percentage each tip should gain. I've assumed you spend 55 percent of the time driving in the city and 45 percent driving on the highway. I borrowed those assumptions from the formula EPA uses to calculate the mileage of new cars.

Using the average price of a gallon of gas as of June 12 ($4.05, according to AAA) and assuming you drive 15,000 miles a year (according to EPA estimates), I calculated what each tip would save in a year. The numbers aren't a perfect prediction -- I have no idea what you drive, or what's in your trunk -- but they do provide an interesting perspective. Here are ten easy ways to put the math to the test and put some more cash in your wallet.

1. Get that "Check Engine" Light Checked Out:

Possible Savings: Off the charts

A faulty oxygen sensor -- a fairly common cause of those unexplained "check engine" lights -- can actually cost you up to 40 percent of your engine's performance. If the light's on, make the appointment now. It could pay for itself very quickly.

2. Check Your Tire Pressure:

Possible Savings 133.9 gallons/year ($542/yr)
According to some government estimates, the average driver could boost their fuel efficiency by 25 percent just by keeping their tires inflated. That's often a free, or cheap, repair. On my way to work, I pass two gas stations with air compressors I can use for free, and three -- apparently owned by cheapskates -- that take quarters.

3. Change Your Air Filter:

Possible Savings 60.9 gallons/yr ($247/yr)

Gas is half of the combustion equation. Air is the other half. A clogged air filter can rob 10 percent of your engine's efficiency. A new air filter can get that 10 percent back -- usually for under $15.

4. Drive 60 on the Highway, Not 75:

Possible Savings: 57.8 gallons/year ($234/yr)

On the highway, stay close to the speed limit, and keep your speed as constant as traffic allows. Most cars reach optimal gas mileage at about 60 miles per hour. Speeding up increases wind resistance against the car, making the engine work harder and burn more gas. According to the EPA, each 5 mph over 60 that you drive decreases fuel efficiency by up to seven percent.

5. Turn Off the A/C:

Possible Savings 31.9 gallons/yr ($129/yr)

Some air conditioners rob an engine up to five percent of its fuel economy. There is some controversy about this one -- many newer cars are able to compensate for the energy used by an air conditioner and don't suffer the same penalty for keeping cool.

6. Get Your Engine Tuned:

Possible Savings 25.8 gallons/year ($104/yr)

Most of us can boost our mpg by four percent with a simple tune-up.

7. Drive Calmly in the City

Possible Savings: 17.9 gallons/yr ($73/yr)

There's a red light up ahead. You're going to stop when you get to it. Do you keep your foot on the gas until it's time to brake for the light? Most of us do, but that doesn't necessarily make sense. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that accelerating rapidly and braking hard can reduce your car's fuel efficiency by as much as five percent. And that may be a low estimate. Look at it this way -- are you willing to spend money to stop at that light sooner?

8. Lose Weight:

Possible Savings 13.1 gallons/yr for each 100 pounds you remove ($104/yr)

Government estimates say that an extra 100 pounds in your car can reduce fuel efficiency by up to two percent. And that's an average -- the smaller the car, the more extra weight makes the engine work harder.
So, empty the trunk. In winter, don't just scrape the windshield, scrape the entire car -- snow and ice add to the weight of your car.

9. Lose the Roof Rack

Possible Savings 13.1 gallons/year ($53/yr)

Wind resistance is the enemy of fuel efficiency. Do you have a roof rack? Every time you drive, it's making your car fight wind resistance, and burn fuel. Most of the time, that's money you're spending to carry an empty roof rack. Get a two percent boost by taking the thing off.

10. Change Your Oil on Time

Possible Savings 6.6 gallons/year ($27/yr)

After 3,000 miles, changing your oil (using the recommended grade) gives you back one percent of your car's mpg rating.

How Much Can You Save?

If you follow the tips above, that's $1,514 less you could spend on gas in the next year. Though it's a rough estimate, it shows you what small changes in your habits -- most of which you can make for free -- could do for your wallet.

Source : Click here .

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

mybenz - mysatisfaction

Click here to enter.

Dear readers / visitors, I found the forum quite interesting with plenty of useful tips and information. If you are the owners of mercedes benz, you may find the portal beneficial as well. Please click here to visit the website.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tips on Filling your Vehicles...

This is a Message received from a friend:

I don't know what you guys are paying for petrol... but here in Durban, we are also paying higher, up to 47.35 per litre. But my line of work is in petroleum for about 31 years now, so here are some tricks to get more of your money's worth for every litre.

Here at the Marian Hill Pipeline, where I work in Durban, we deliver about 4 million litres in a 24-hour period thru the pipeline.

One day is diesel; the next day is jet fuel, and petrol, LRP and Unleaded. We have 34-storage tanks here with a total capacity of 16,800,000 litres.

ONLY BUY OR FILL UP YOUR CAR OR BIKKIE IN THE EARLY MORNING WHEN THE GROUND TEMPERATURE IS STILL COLD. Remember that all service stations have their storage tanks buried below ground. The colder the ground, the denser the fuel, when it gets warmer petrol expands, so buying in the afternoon or in the evening.... your litre is not exactly a litre.

In the petroleum business, the specific gravity and the temperature of the petrol, diesel and jet fuel, ethanol and other petroleum products play an important role. A 1degree rise in temperature is a big deal for this business. But the service stations do not have temperature compensation at the pumps.

WHEN YOU'RE FILLING UP, DO NOT SQUEEZE THE TRIGGER OF THE NOZZLE TO A FAST MODE. If you look, you will see that the trigger has three (3) stages: low, middle, and high. In slow mode, you should be pumping on low speed, thereby minimizing the vapours that are created, while you are pumping. All hoses at the pump have a vapour return. If you are pumping on the fast rate, some of the liquid that goes to your tank becomes vapour. Those vapours are being sucked up and back into the underground storage tank so you're getting less worth for your money.

ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT TIPS IS TO FILL UP WHEN YOUR TANK IS HALF FULL. The reason for this is, the more fuel you have in your tank, the less air occupying its empty space. Petrol evaporates faster than you can imagine. Petroleum storage tanks have an internal floating roof. This roof serves as zero clearance between the petrol and the atmosphere, so it minimizes the evaporation.

Unlike service stations, here where I work, every truck that we load is temperature compensated, so that every litre is actually the exact amount.

ANOTHER REMINDER, IF THERE IS A FUEL TRUCK PUMPING INTO THE STORAGE TANKS, WHEN YOU STOP TO BUY, DO NOT FILL UP - most likely the petrol/diesel is being stirred up as the fuel is being delivered, and you might pick up some of the dirt that normally settles on the bottom.

Hope, this will help you get the maximum value for your money.

“FuelStretch” TIPS

The Taylors’ Guinness World Record challenge will provide comprehensive insights for a fuel efficiency programme which Shell is promoting called “FuelStretch.” This programme is designed to help everyday motorists cut the cost of motoring through a mix of enhanced fuel technology and education in fuel-efficient driving techniques. So, when the Taylors leave London, they’ll be conscious that fuel-saving their way across the planet will mean they need to adhere to the following principles:

1. Drive smoothly - Aggressive driving can use as much as a third more fuel than safe driving*. Avoid accelerating or braking too hard and try to keep your steering as smooth as possible.

2. Use higher gears - The higher gear you drive in the lower your engine speed is, which can improve fuel efficiency. So change up a gear whenever you can, without labouring the engine.

3. Tune and service your engine - A well tuned engine can improve fuel economy by up to 4%**, so change your oil and follow your car manufacturer’s recommendation on servicing.

4. Keep your tyres at the right pressure – Correctly inflated tyres are safer and last longer. A tyre that is under inflated by just 1psi can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 3%**. An under or over inflated tyre is also more susceptible to failing.

5. Avoid carrying excess weight – For every extra 100 lbs (45 kg) you carry your fuel efficiency can drop by 1-2%*. So keep your boot or back seat clear of unnecessary items that just add weight to your vehicle.

6. Keep the windows closed - Wind blowing through an open window will slow you down. To compensate, you may put your foot down harder, using more fuel.

7. Take the roof rack off - If you’re not using your roof rack then remove it. They affect the aerodynamic efficiency of your vehicle and create drag, reducing fuel economy by as much as 5%*.

8. Use the correct oil - Always use the recommended grade of motor oil. Using the manufacturer’s recommended lubricant can improve fuel efficiency by 1-2%**. Higher quality motor oils can also help your engine operate more efficiently.

9. Fuel Matters – All fuels are not created equal. Fuel economy is maximised in the engine through a combination of good driving habits and using the best fuel…one that helps reduce friction and improve cleanliness in the engine, thereby boosting fuel efficiency. The Taylors have chosen Shell fuel to power their world record attempt as a result of their own personal tests of several commercially-available fuels and their belief in Shell’s product quality and 50-year heritage of innovative fuels research and development.

10. Use cruise control - Using cruise control on major roads helps you maintain a constant speed and, in many cases, will improve fuel consumption.

11. Avoid excess idling - Idling gets you nowhere but still burns fuel. Turn the engine off when you’re in a queue, or waiting for someone, until you need it.

12. Plan trips carefully - Cutting down on the time spent in the car is the easiest way to conserve fuel. To reduce driving time, combine all your short trips and errands into a single journey.

13. Avoid over revving - Change gear in good time when you pull away or when you’re accelerating. Never ‘redline’ the rev counter.

14. Avoid high speeds - The faster you go the more wind resistance you’ll encounter and the more fuel your vehicle will consume just to maintain speed. Driving just 5mph over the speed limit can affect fuel economy by up to 23%***.

15. Keep your distance - Leave a sensible distance between yourself and the car ahead to give you ample time to brake evenly.

16. Use air conditioning sparingly – Air conditioning puts added strain on the engine and uses fuel to operate, so limit use to particularly hot or cold days. On temperate days use the fan instead.

17. Check the air filters - Air filters keep impurities from damaging your engine. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve fuel economy by as much as 10%** and will help protect your engine.

18. Avoid rush hour - If you can travel outside of peak times, you’ll spend less time stuck in traffic and consume less fuel as a result.

19. Conserve momentum - Think ahead when you’re driving. For example, slow down early to let traffic lights change, rather than stopping completely, or speed up a little before you reach the foot of a hill.

20. Avoid small fuel fills – Fuel evaporates every time you open the fuel cap. To stop this, avoid repeatedly topping up your tank. Also check the seal on your fuel cap is airtight.

It might sound like an awful lot to keep in mind: but once these tips are absorbed into drivers’ everyday approach to motoring and maintenance, they become second nature. What also becomes second nature is the knowledge that trips to the forecourt will become less frequent, which – in these days of rising costs – has to be a major benefit for each and every driver on the road.

*Estimates for fuel savings from sensible driving are based on studies and literature reviews performed by Energy and Environmental Analysis, Inc., Washington, DC.

**Estimates for fuel savings from vehicle maintenance, keeping tyres properly inflated, and using the recommended grade of motor oil are based on studies and literature reviews performed by Energy and Environmental Analysis, Inc., Washington, DC. Assumes fuel price of $3.07 per gallon.

***Estimates for the effect of speed on MPG are based on a study by West, B.H., R.N. McGill, J.W. Hodgson, S.S. Sluder, and D.E. Smith, Development and Verification of Light-Duty Modal Emissions and Fuel Consumption Values for Traffic Models, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, March 1999. Assumes fuel price of $3.07 cpg.

Source : Autoworld