Friday, May 02, 2008

Followup to Random thought #1

Wayne Gerdes can get 180.91 mpg out of an insight.

Yes, I’m shamelessly using this mans hobby to vindicate my relentless endorsement of FOLLOWING THE DRIVING LAWS. Because, I suspect that the fact that I have pointing out to people that breaking the driving laws (For example: exceeding the legal speedlimit) is

  • illegal. And, if the USA is a legitimate government, immoral

  • endangers human life
has had absolutely no effect. On the other hand, I suspect that if I can convince people, even just hint to their subconscious, that they might save money, then they will change their driving habits.

For those of you who don’t get a chance to read that article here are the highlights.

The author of the article gets DOUBLE the standard MPG on almost any car.

Here are a few thoughts from me, either found in this article or others, on how to save gas:

1.) Drive slow (the author of the article never exceeds 50mph but just following the speedlimit would help a lot (not to mention its safer, and LEGAL). The faster you go (and especially the faster you accelerate) the less efficient your engine gets with its gas. Also, when you go faster you waste more fuel slowing down for curves and other cars.

2.) Don’t leave junk in your car. one heavy item in your car over the course of a month (say a case of water that you don’t need, or a 50 pound bag of dog food you just haven’t taken out yet...) can add up to a lot of extra gas. (Weight*amount driven=gas loss) Try to minimize the weight, if you cant, try to minimize the amount of driving you do with it.

3.) Don’t try and rush a light, just time yourself. Stopping kills mileage. If the light is red try slowing down as early as you can and as little as you can so that you don’t have to stop before it turns green again. The article cites a study that found quick acceleration and fast breaking on average only cuts drive time by 4%, that is really not worth it considering how much fuel you shoot out the back of your car uncombusted when you slam on the gas.

4.) Sadly, air-conditioning and driving with your windows down both guzzle gas. Either one is about the same. Air-conditioning pulls power off the drive-train of your car, sort of like having extra weight. but driving with the windows down isn’t any better, it turns the nice millimeter honed areo dynamic exterior of your car into a big hole-filled drag fest, end result is that it costs you gas either way.

5.) Treat your car nice. Late oil changes, underinflated tires and poor engine maintenance hurt mileage.

6.) Lastly, Hating that big truck driver in front of you is just plain silly. big trucks like that make a positively huge rift in the air, basically you can "draft" (ride in the slipstream behind them) from a much longer way back than normal cars. Which is very good news, because tailgating is a flagrant disregard for human life. In any case, driving behind a big truck lessens the amount of work your car has to do, saving you gas mileage.

7.) Acceleration takes the greatest amount of gas, so if you can park downhill you can save noticeable amounts of money just by letting gravity take its course. Also, think about this, if accelerating burns the most fuel, and backing out of a parking space involves accelerating, breaking, accelerating, breaking, accelerating breaking ect... parking so that you can just pull forward could really add up over the course of a month or two. Think of it this way. If you can park so that you can get in the car and roll down hill when you want to leave every day (at work for example) and you manage to do this five days a week, saving maybe 5 cents a day (1.25% of a gallon of gas.) over the course of a year you would have just "earned" 13$. the people who really save are the ones who find dozens of things they can do each day like this imagine having $150 a year more money for driving just a little differently.


Jeremy said...

........ hmmmm....... thinking, thinking.......... processing........ digesting......... downloading........... unzipping........... repackaging......... uploading..........

Driving fast cuts time to destination by 4%.

Jeremy said...

Okay I did laugh at number 6

Anonymous said...

you've got way too much time on your hands....


Sir Nicholai said...

I figured you should have a link to: