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Gallons and Gallons of Gas.

26 Aug 2005  |  Tags: ,

Gas prices are way down this week, at least in my area, which is pretty slick since my car’s engine is only rated for Premium. Either way, definitely check out this Dashboard widget for the Mac: Link.

This thing found me gas stations that I didn’t even know about! Be careful, though… some of the smaller ones have crumby gas. I’ve run into this a few times… if that price is too good to be true, watch-out.

A few rumors about how to save gas:

  • Shifting your automatic into neutral while going down hills will save you gas. Somewhat true… but don’t Do it! This does a lot of damage to most automatic transmissions. If you want to save gas, buy a standard and just pop it into neutral. (plus, standards are better anyway) Regardless, the savings in gas with this method is minimal.
  • If you drive a standard or tiptronic transmission, keep your RPMs low to save gas. False. The tachometer’s RPM gauges the speed of the engine itself… not how hard it’s working, or how much gas you’re feeding it. You could be going down a hill at 6000RPMs and not be using any gas at all. Of course, flooring the gas pedal will raise your RPMs, but if you’re going up a hill, for example, your RPMs will stay low since the engine has to work harder.
  • Drive slower. False. Gas usage has more to do with acceleration. I typically get 20 to 30 Miles-Per-Gallon on the highway in 5th or 6th gear, but I rocket out of intersections and only get about 4 to 12 MPG. Again, gas usage has to do with how hard you’re pressing the gas pedal….
  • Buy a Hybrid car. False. Research has proven that Hybrid cars aren’t a good investment because they’re a) New technology, therefore unreliable. b) Don’t save enough gas to balance out the investment in the car. [The actual amount of gas money you’ll save is less than the additional amount you’ll splurge for the car’s fancy fuel/engine system, for the typical individual.] c) Dorky and uncool. — They are better for the environment, but Hybrids aren’t really the way to go for now. HOWEVER, If you put extra batteries in your Toyota Prius, you actually get very decent results. This is a pain, though, and you’re still driving around a dorky car.
  • Convert your diesel engine to run BIODIESEL. Absolutely true. Run your car on vegetable oil, and save thousands per year! (plus it’s not some stupid car like a Hybrid… this is an awesome Volkswagon.) For more information, search Google for ‘BIODIESEL’.

Anyway, basically the best way to save gas is to simply dust off the old bike from the garage and take that for a spin instead. The choice is yours, but BIODIESEL is definitely a cool way to go!

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