I Want Better Gas Mileage

Tips For Better Gas Mileage

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Much like you, I spend far too much of my life cringing at the thought of filling my gas tank. Though I can't change the prices themselves, I can (and have!) come up with ways to increase my mileage while decreasing the amount of miles I have to drive. In the articles on this site, I share a few tips and tricks that can go a long way in lessening the impact the fuel pump has on your wallet. I hope you can use the knowledge within to save at least some bit of personal sanity.

Archive for May, 2008

Posted by admin on May 29, 2008

Better Gas Mileage With A Moped

If high gas prices are really busting your budget – and you don’t mind standing out from the crowd – consider buying a moped for your day-to-day trips.  Mopeds are small scooters that look like miniature motorcycles with the pedals of a bicycle.  They don’t have the distance range of a regular car, but they’re great on gas mileage. So even if you don’t use the moped as your primary vehicle, you can use it for a few trips a day and save a bundle on gas.

Typically, the two things that separate a moped from a regular motorcycle are a smaller bore engine and smaller tires.  Each state defines what makes a bike a moped differently, although they essentially define the same thing.  For instance, Massachusetts says they have to have an automatic transmission, they cannot be capable of going more than 30 mph, and their cylinder capacity must not exceed 50 cc.

Take a trip to just about any college and you’ll see at least a few mopeds parked around campus.  They’re perfect for short trips that are either too long for bikes or too short for a car.  Currently, you can buy a new moped for about $1,000 to $5,000.  You can also find used mopeds in good condition for around $500 to $1,000. If you’re interested in picking one up, check with motorcycle shops in your area or look for classified ads in your local newspapers and on Craigslist.

Mopeds will deliver excellent return on the investment – primarily in this area of gasoline consumption.  There are some models that can give you as much as a hundred miles per gallon.  A few have even been recorded to provide 120 miles per gallon, although that’s not a consistent range that you should expect.  Just like any car, riding your moped at a lower speed will help reach the higher fuel efficiency levels, as will keeping up on your bike’s maintenance.

In addition, there are rumors of a future “hybrid” moped that will allow you to recharge the battery by using the pedals.  This way, when you’re going downhill and don’t need the engine, you can use the pedals and save even more gas at the same time.  This would make the moped even more fuel-efficient than it already is and lead to even greater gas savings.

Currently, there are only a few moped makers in the United States, so the supply is limited.  This promises to change soon though, as more people seek out alternative means of transportation to try to cope with rising fuel prices. This could also lead to an increase in the price of these mini-bikes, so if you’re in the market for a moped, now’s the time to buy.

If you’re looking for new ways to save gas and live in a relatively urban area, consider downgrading from your car to a moped for all your in-town errands. Using a moped for short distances – like getting groceries or going to the movies – can save you a bundle when it comes to gas prices. Sure, you might get a few funny looks, but take heart – while others are laughing at how strange you look, just look at how much money they’re paying to put gas in their cars and you’ll feel better right away!

Posted by admin on May 21, 2008

The 100 M.P.G. Car!

The 100 MPG car, the “car of tomorrow”, is yet to arrive! It was a dream of all the automobile industry and the general public alike. The ideal car meant a fuel efficient, low-cost high mileage, no pollution, comfortable, low maintenance vehicle, ideal for long as well as short trips family car! The average price of a gallon of gasoline has increased several times in the past few years, and is still rising, the emission levels are dangerously high, the middle-east has become more volatile and hostile, and the dollar is plunging to ever new lows every day, and the climate seems to have changed forever.

The “car of tomorrow” would just have solved many of the above problems! The hybrid car is very close to being that dream car. Still, several automobile companies are developing better engines implementing new generation technology and advanced auto and aerodynamic designs. Thus, the dream 100 MPG ideal car is not a distant dream anymore. An engine that can deliver 100 miles per one gallon of gasoline or any other fuel delivering equivalent mileage is becoming a reality.

To make matters more interesting, the X Prize Foundation is announcing a competition for the first car to break 100 miles per gallon barrier. The X Prize Foundation is the same group that kick-started the space-tourism industry with its $10-million competition to produce a reusable private spacecraft. The prize money can be in the $25-million range as an appropriate incentive. The X Prize Foundation people hope the prize will urge people to completely reconsider what a car should look like and how it should function. “We need a paradigm shift,” says Mark Goodstein, the executive director for the automotive X Prize. “We need to change the way people think about automobiles.” That’s an ambitious program for all!

Smaller, Better, Cheaper

The most obvious approach to achieving super-high mileage is to reduce overall weight and wind resistance, the chief oppositions of highway mileage. This is the stratagem you see in student engineering contests, in which teardrop-shaped vehicles on bicycle wheels on a regular basis achieve hundreds of miles per gallon of gasoline. But these vehicles are all extremely expensive prototypes. The challenge is to make a light, highly aerodynamic, reliable, strong, and most important, an inexpensive vehicle to mass-produce.

Steve Fambro’s Aptera, which he designed in his garage in Carlsbad, California, is a three-wheeled, bullet-shaped two-seater that minimizes aerodynamic drag and weighs only 850 pounds (the Toyota Prius weighs 2,890 pounds). He cut weight by using a carbon composite frame, which is a race-inspired solution that should help with efficient crash shock absorption.

Fambro’s company, Accelerated Composites, is attracting the attention of several venture capitalists. He hopes to have his Aptera on the market in less than two years. He said, “Everything I had been doing was with an eye toward manufacturability.” By using new composite-construction techniques, including inexpensive molds and automated fabrication processes, Fambro assures that he can keep the cost of each vehicle under $20,000. Moreover, when combined with a hybrid engine that burns diesel, the Aptera could break the 300 mpg barrier too! That could well be the day to rejoice!

Posted by admin on May 14, 2008

Tips On Saving Gas And Money

  • Consider car-pooling while sharing the gas price and the ride. Four colleagues riding one car is always economical than four people riding four different cars.
  • If possible, drive during off-peak hours and avoid the rush hours. A rush hour consumes almost 3 to 5 times more fuel and creates much pollution.
  • Plan your trips. Drive the shortest routes to your office, home, entertainment, vacation, and other outdoor activities. You can also use public transportation like train or bus, if possible, to visit places. You will meet different people on the way, can make friends, and can also get a good walking exercise.
  • Buy a small car. A small car is lighter and saves more fuel compared to a medium-sized or a large car.
  • Avoid drive-ins. Park your car and walk inside the shop. This saves fuel and is also a good walking exercise.
  • Rather than going for shopping every day, or many times a day, go shopping once in 2 to 3 days, or even once a week.
  • Allow your kids to walk to school, or allow them to use the school bus.
  • If you have more than one car, use the most fuel-efficient car most of the time.
  • If possible, relocate closer to your office. With rising fuel prices, relocating will save a lot of money and will also minimize the wear and tear of your vehicle.
  • Avoid “jackrabbit” starts! Sudden stops and jerky starts consume more gasoline. Start with a smooth acceleration and deceleration. This saves much gas and also produces less stress on the engine, the tires, and the vehicle.
  • Drive at optimum speeds. A drive at 55 mph will save about 20 percent fuel compared to a fast drive at 65 mph.
  • During winter, remove all the snow from the car’s body. Snow on the car creates resistance to the oncoming air and slows down the vehicle. Also, more force needs to be applied to overcome the additional resistance.
  • Fine-tune all the engine parts, tires, wheel alignment, spark plugs, brakes, and other important parts. This saves much fuel.
  • Use a hybrid car if possible.
  • Get the car tested for any emission.