Going Loco(motive)

This entry introduces a new facet of the Greener Alice blog, greener topics! I'll be tackling things such as eating locally, gardening greener, "recycled" crafts, and lots more!! Today's topic, as you might have guessed from the subject, is about... cars!

Having just bought myself a "gas guzzler" (see Day Nineteen), I spent some time online today looking at "hypermiling" tips. Ok, it didn't start that way, but it never does.

I was doing some research pricing repairs for the new monster, and one of the links that popped up sent me to a forum at ecomodder all about driving tips and modifications to improve gas mileage. That got me thinking... my truck's always going to be a truck, but I can at least do something to coax better mileage out of her.

For the geek minded, there's some really fascinating information over at this cleanmpg page. It includes some great driving tips on how to get the most out of your gas, and a lot of graphs and charts explaining the aerodynamics behind several of the tips and modifications. A warning, though... the basic tips are great, but some of the more "advanced" ones are dangerous! Some of the advanced tips are even illegal in certain states, so use your common sense.

Some quick tips I've gleaned from the various articles I read today:
  • Check your owner's manual and use the lowest kinematic viscosity oil that is recommended for your car. Most cars can even take a lower number than what is "suggested", make friends with your local auto supply and talk to the folks there. Mobile1 0W-20 was highly recommended in several of the forums, it's one of the lowest-viscosity synthetic oils on the market.
  • On a related note, regular tune-ups and filter changes can save you tons in gas mileage! 
  • When your car goes in for a tune-up, ask your mechanic to check the oxygen sensor. Engines run on gas AND air, and having a working oxygen sensor is essential for a proper mix in the fuel injection system.
  • "Hypermiling" driving techniques look a lot like Sunday driving... accelerate slowly, brake slowly, coast when you can, and try to avoid roads with a lot of stop signs. You don't have to drive like this all the time (especially if it would be unsafe to do so!) but just keeping a few of these ideas in mind can help you stretch your gas tank a little further.
  • When running errands, drive to the farthest point first, then work your way back. Cars run best when the engine is warmed up, and you defeat that each time you drive a short distance then cut the engine. Driving to the farthest point first then making stops on your way home helps make the most of your driving time to warm up the engine.
Hope you enjoyed part one of greener driving!


No comments:

Post a Comment