• January 20, 2008
  • By Mr. Cheap Stuff
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Will Driving 55 mph Save Money on Gas?

Tesla RoadsterI have a friend who likes to drive around really fast. His theory is that it saves him gas to go faster because he burns less fuel than with starting and stopping and just sitting still. But this is a total myth. As much as many of us would like to believe that driving fast saves us money on gas, it is simply not true.

Myth: You can burn less fuel by driving fast because it cuts your driving time in half.

Fact: You burn more fuel with rapid acceleration than driving at a moderate speed.

It is also true that cars get better mileage on highways, due the lack of streetlights. This will cut down the amount of times you need to break and accelerate. This is a good time to crank up to higher speeds so as to reach your car’s optimum gas mileage. But do not go too fast.

Each car is built different and each one reaches its fuel economy – or maximum potential at a certain speed limit. Typically, a car going over sixty miles an hour is likely to decrease its fuel economy. It is also recommended to use cruise control on highways; it cuts down the engine speed and allows it to maintain a steady momentum without exerting too much effort. Another thing to remember is keeping your car in good condition. When was the last time you had an oil change.

Think of an engine like an immune system. If it is oversaturated and congested, it will not be able to perform as well, and, therefore, deplete from you gas mileage. An engine that has all sort of build-up in it is going to tear through gas more because the gasoline will not flow as well through the car. You can keep your car healthy by keeping it clean, and keeping it clean will allow it to perform better and in effect save you money.

Another thing to consider is weight. No I’m not telling you to go on a diet but a car that is excessively heavy is going to burn more fuel starting and stopping and even staying still – or idling – which is going to decrease your fuel economy. If you are driving in a heavy vehicle, try to drive temperately, without idling too much – or you can clean out your car and only put items that you really need to cut down on excess weight. For more information there are numerous websites one can visit to read up on car maintenance and good driving tips.

Here are some other quick tips to help squeeze extra miles till your next fill up. BTW as I write this Gas is prices here in Hawaii are about $3.40.

1. Remove Excess Weight

Throw all that junk out of the trunk. Every 100 lbs decreases your efficiency by about 2%.

2. Use Overdrive Gears

It is just that simple. It is a nobrainer you should be using overdrive almost all the time if you have an automatic car.

3. Don’t drive aggressively

This is probably on of the most over looked things but go easy on the accelerator. If your in traffic tailgating the car in front of you will NOT make you get to your destination any faster, plus you are increasing your chances of an accident (Remember it is an abundant world). Check out Hypermiling.com, these guys try to get 100 mpg from regular gas cars.

4. Pump Up Those Tires

Make sure you keep those tires properly inflated.

5. Drive Like a Contrarian

Try not to drive during peak times. Just put a little more thought on when you drive and you could save a lot of time as well as gas.

Telsa Roaster – “The first really cool electric car”

So will electric cars ever be cool? Check out the Tesla Roadster, it looks amazing and make me wonder why the big automakers haven’t made something like this. It goes from 0-60 in less than 4 seconds, for those of you that don’t know that is faster than a Lamborghini. It also only costs 2 cents per mile. Want one? Their sold out, but you can put your name on the waiting list. Link that may be worth your time: GasBuddy.com CNN – Take your foot off the gas

Mr. Cheap Stuff

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