Friday, August 22, 2008

Gas Mileage- how to improve it

Been checking out those Hybrids have you? Well you can always practice Hyper Miling or you can try and get hybrid mileage out of your current car by doing a few simple things- I drive a plethora of cars (as you can see in the pic)- And I get great gas mileage!

Start with your choice of vehicles- Lets face it - you cannot buy a Hummer and expect 30 miles to the gallon. A smaller car is probably a good choice. My 1966 valiant,by today's standards would be a mid size car, it was sold as a compact- has a 225 slant six engine and gets about 22 mpg. Driving a 42 year old car might not be the best way to get great gas mileage unless it is a Nash Metropolitan or a BMW Isetta-

1961 Nash Metropoltan

1961 BMW Isetta

1- Keep your engine in tune- This has nothing to do with your choice of CD's. A tune up can greatly improve your mileage. Just changing your spark plugs every year can improve your mpg! Also Keep the engine and systems in repair!- Fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve your mileage by as much as 40 percent!
2-Keep your tires inflated- Proper inflation can improve your gas mileage! I have a slow leak in one tire on my Suzuki, so I watch it like a hawk.
3. Keep your oil clean- change your oil a bit more often than recommended- If they tell you every 7000 miles it is probably best to change it every 3,500-4000 miles. I don't think people need to change their own oil. You have to dispose of the waste oil and that usually means taking a trip with a full oil container to a auto parts store or gas station that accepts the oil, spilling oil in your car, buying cat litter to spread on oil you dripped on the garage floor, etc. Your lube shop is your friend! For about $20, they will change your oil and oil filter, check all your fluids, and maybe vacuum your car.And they should already get their waste oil recycled-ask them! And always use the recommended weight if Oil. It should say in you owners manual. And don't try to fool yourself with the "My car uses a quart a month, so I never change it- I just keep adding oil" BS- If your car burns a lot of oil or leaks oil over a quart a month - you got problems - maybe not now but later- get'r fixed!

4- Change and/or clean the air filter- you should be able to hold the air filter up to a light and see light through the air filter. Like visualizing an acid trip. Except there shouldn't be any birds. Some air filters are meant to be cleaned. The one on my MGB is an example you take it off blow air through it, cuss and wash it then spray some oily crap on it and voila! A clean air filter!
5- Drive like grandma (except if your grandma has the last name of Andretti) - Taking it easy on the road can improve your gas mileage.

Now, If you are looking for a new car, I say why new? Why not a gentle used car? You can take a car, like my Suzuki Swift (Geo Metro),or a slightly used Toyota or Nissan can be an excellent choice- My roomate, Martin, before he bought his new Scion "Toaster", bought a 1983 Toyota Tercel and put over 100,000 miles on it. The car has close to 300,000 miles on it- and it is still going- (a friend of ours bought it) Just following common sense maintenance and driving methods gets you near hybrid like gas mileage numbers, and buying a used car IS recycling and reusing.

Martin's 1983 Tercel
My next car hopefully will be a Think Electric car, but be that as it may, I still like to squeeze out every drop of gasoline I can! You can do like me and have a fleet of cars, that way they all have gas or at least one will. Unless it is time to gas up the fleet- that is always a blue day! Those days I would rather walk!


TDP said...

Do you get fleet-rate insurance, Rob? Whew, I can barely pay for the one 2002 car I have! I think its cool you have a car four decades old. Do you have any problem getting parts?
Thanks for the tips on getting better gas mileage. Gotta go get a new air filter...

Robj98168 said...

Snow- No I dont but two of the cars are insured as Classic Vehicles- with a great reduction!
Parts aren't a problem- thanks to ebay, craigslist and the junkyards!

Connie said...

Rob, what do you think of smart cars? I'm thinking of trying to get one for Nee when she graduates high school.

Love the Toy truck... we used to have a classic Mercedies but it was stolen and thrown from a cliff. I'll have to turn the facts of that into a short story.

Robj98168 said...

I love the Smart- I want a think because I want an electric. If not a Think at least a ZENN NEV. The Think is a Mercedes, so it should be good. I know the safety issues are surpisingly good. That is not a concern for me as I am a very defensive driver. I think Nee would love it!

TDP said...

Ooooh, both of those are good choices, the Zenn NEV is actually affordable too. But, guys, for the money and the speed factor, have you considered the NMG from Myers Motors (old corbin sparrow?). It's kinda odd looking but Boy! Does it go fast and its all electric! If I had the money, that's what I'd buy.

Robj98168 said...

I meant to say the Smart is a mercedes. The Think is Norwegian like me so obviously a mentally superioir product

Connie said...

sputter, gag, I think I just choaked on a bean