Admin

Posted by

Michelle Fern Michelle Fern
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
edge staff writer

Share

Gas guzzling economics

Rate this item
(0 votes)

While we basked in the sun when the recent temperatures finally broke the 80 degree mark, I'm already seeing people running their vehicles with the air conditioning on. It's going to be a long summer for these folks, as the approach of summer also means the usual rise of fuel prices that hit only one thing the wallet. 

Those who follow the petroleum industry explain it away by stating that more people travel in the summer months, thus creating a larger demand on the country's fuel supplies. This is only partially true it's also the time of year when refineries transition between producing two different types of gasoline, a winter blend and a summer blend. Since 1990, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has required the use of reformulated gasoline blends under the Clean Air Act, where higher amounts of low-cost additives like butane help gasoline evaporate more quickly during the winter, but are reduced for blends used during the April through September season.

Additionally, renewable fuels such as corn-based ethanol have been blended with gasoline since 2008 and average about 10 percent of each gallon sold. Unlike butane, however, ethanol blends cost more to produce, so it leads to higher gas prices during the summer months when butane is reduced. The EPA has estimated the impact to be 2 to 4 cents per gallon.

Despite passage of a recent ban on such ethanol-blended fuels in Augusta, where lawmakers hinged the ban to similar measures having to be passed in at least two other New England states, the blends are still leading to higher out-of-pocket expenses as we travel more in the summer and crank up the A/C. Although winter heating bills are behind us, consumers should still be wary of how we use our fuel and make efforts to maximize our gas efficiency.

Here are a few tips to do just that:

Check your tires

Properly inflated tires can improve fuel efficiency by 3.3 percent, saving you 8-9 cents per gallon at the pump, according to the EPA. The agency also says fuel economy drops 0.3 percent for every one-pound drop in air pressure in all four tires, so at least in theory, having four severely underinflated tires could reduce gas mileage more than 3.3 percent.

To locate the correct inflation for your vehicle, don't look on the sidewall of the tire it could fit dozens of very different vehicles. The recommended pressure is most commonly listed on a sticker inside the driver's door. If there's no sticker on the door, you can usually find the specs in the owner's manual.

Remove excess weight

Get that junk out of your trunk! Avoid keeping unnecessary items in your vehicle, especially heavy ones. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your fuel efficiency by up to two percent. 

Plan ahead

Combining errands into one trip saves you time and money. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a longer multipurpose trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm. Sketch a rough map of your path in most instances, taking a spiral pathway is much more efficient than one that looks like daisy petals.

Avoid idling

Even during the colder months of winter, idling to warm your car up is very wasteful. Cars warm up more quickly and efficiently when they're driven. If it's really cold say single digits or lower you can begin driving even after just 15 seconds of startup. Idling can use a quarter to a half gallon of fuel per hour, depending on engine size and air conditioner use. 

Leave early and drive more slowly

While each vehicle reaches its best fuel economy at a different speed, gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 miles per hour. According to Fueleconomy.gov, each five miles per hour you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional 24 cents per gallon.

Other tips to help improve gas mileage: 

  • Don't ignore the check engine light, it may be trying to tell you something important that could save you money on gas.
  • Washing and waxing your vehicle can make a surprising difference towards improved fuel economy because a clean car slips through the air more easily. Also, broken, cracked or missing underbody panels can seriously cut fuel economy.
  • Your car's air filter is probably fine. Unless the air filter is more than 30,000 miles old, it's unlikely to be dirty enough to make any measurable difference in fuel economy.
  • Roll up the windows and turn the A/C on. At speeds of 25 mph or more, aerodynamic losses due to open windows are typically greater than mileage that may be lost due to using the A/C.

28 comments

  • Comment Link Jannie Monday, 13 November 2017 01:57 posted by Jannie

    This design is spectacular! You obviously know how to keep a reader amused.
    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved
    to start my own blog (well, almost...HaHa!)
    Fantastic job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it.
    Too cool!

  • Comment Link Vanita Sunday, 12 November 2017 22:06 posted by Vanita

    Hi there, You have done a great job. I'll certainly digg it and personally recommend
    to my friends. I'm confident they will be benefited from this site.

  • Comment Link Simone Friday, 10 November 2017 21:44 posted by Simone

    Hello! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could locate a captcha
    plugin for my comment form? I'm using the same blog platform as yours and I'm having
    problems finding one? Thanks a lot!

  • Comment Link Aurelio Monday, 23 October 2017 09:20 posted by Aurelio

    Hi there! This post couldn't be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous room
    mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward
    this write-up to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read.
    Many thanks for sharing!

  • Comment Link Erica Sunday, 22 October 2017 19:43 posted by Erica

    Wow, this article is nice, my younger sister is analyzing these kinds of things, thus I am going to convey
    her.

  • Comment Link Liam Tuesday, 17 October 2017 19:51 posted by Liam

    hi!,I love your writing so much! proportion we communicate
    more about your post on AOL? I need an expert in this area to unravel my
    problem. May be that's you! Having a look ahead to see you.

  • Comment Link Ines Saturday, 14 October 2017 07:11 posted by Ines

    It's really very complicated in this active life to listen news on TV, thus I only use web for that purpose, and get the most recent information.

  • Comment Link Maddison Friday, 13 October 2017 17:17 posted by Maddison

    You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation however I in finding this matter to be really something which I feel I would never understand.
    It sort of feels too complicated and very large for me.
    I am having a look forward on your subsequent submit, I'll try to get the cling of it!

  • Comment Link Hilda Saturday, 07 October 2017 22:59 posted by Hilda

    When I originally commented I clicked the "Notify me when new comments are added" checkbox
    and now each time a comment is added I get several emails with the
    same comment. Is there any way you can remove people
    from that service? Thanks!

  • Comment Link Earle Tuesday, 03 October 2017 04:26 posted by Earle

    I used to be recommended this website by way of my cousin. I'm
    no longer positive whether or not this post is written by means of him
    as nobody else recognise such designated approximately my problem.
    You're wonderful! Thank you!

<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 Next > End >>

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated.
Basic HTML code is allowed.

Advertisements

Website CMS and Development by Links Online Marketing, LLC, Bangor Maine