Wednesday, March 16, 2005

fuel-efficient life

My sophomore year, the Volvo & I drove an hour between school & work every day. I swear I paid just over a buck for a gallon of gas. Seems like a crazy dream now...

PRNewswire* reported today that the national average is already more than $2 a gallon. "Experts in the industry are currently forecasting that gas prices
will reach the $3.00 mark by summer."

Ah, here come those experts who spend every March/April pimping the same song and dance. Just in time to scare us for the summer rush. They must work for Southwest Airlines. How can it be cheaper to fly to "Bah-ston" than to drive there from Philly?

"Over the last five months we have seen a slow and steady decline in large
SUV consideration. Additionally, shoppers have been telling us that even
small increases in gas prices will lead them to consider more fuel efficient
models," said Rick Wainschel, Vice President, Marketing Research, Kelley Blue
Book. "We have never hit the $3.00 a gallon mark. If we hit that mark, it
could be an interesting sales season. We will continue track purchase
intentions and vehicle sales as fuel prices climb."

Some people give a damn about this nonsense. Others, like "Rick," buy brand new monster Suburbans on a whim. And they refuse to drive them ANYWHERE. As Rick says, he can literally see the gas gauge moving when the car is on. Heheh...

5 Gas Saving Tips From the Editors of Kelley Blue Book

1. ...deleted by blog owner. If you don't know this one, turn in your car keys & learn the name Schwinn...

2. 4 tanks of gasoline with an engine & valve cleaning additive like Techron or V-Power can clean your fuel injectors as well as most professional grade cleaners. Clean injectors will help your vehicle get better mileage.

3. Turn off or lower your air conditioning, but don't roll down your windows. Both create drag on your car, requiring more gas to keep up your speed. It takes about 5-8 horsepower to run the air conditioning. Using the recirculation feature is another option. Of course if it's more than 80 degrees outside, you may want to run the air intermittently.

4. Check your vehicle's air filter and tire pressure. A clogged or dirty air-filter can slow your vehicle down & use more gasoline. A clean filter will promote less gas waste. Under-inflated tires could also cause excessive drag, slowing the vehicle down & using more gas. This could become a safety hazard as well.

5. Accelerate normally from a fully stopped position & avoid flooring or stabbing the gas pedal. The flooring or stabbing action pushes more fuel to the engine than is needed to move forward.

In the market for a more fuel-efficient vehicle?

RANK MAKE/MODEL CITY HWY
1 2005 Honda Insight 61 66
2 2005 Toyota Prius 60 51
3 2005 Honda Civic Hybrid 48 47
4 2005 Volkswagen Golf 38 46
2005 Volkswagen New Beetle TDI
2005 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
5 2005 Toyota Echo 35 42
6 2005 Toyota Corolla 32 38
7 Scion xA 31 38
8 2005 Honda Accord Hybrid 29 37
9 2005 Dodge Neon 29 36
10 2005 Hyundai Accent 29 33

SOURCE Kelley Blue Book
Web Site: http://www.kbb.com

*My spellchecker wants me to note that I refused to change "PRNewswire" to "pornography."