an article in USA Today by James R. Healey, August 16, 2005:Don't buy gas with
ethanol. Ethanol, which is alcohol
made from corn, can help reduce pollution. But ethanol
contains only about two-thirds the energy of gasoline.
Mixing ethanol with gas forces you to use more to go the same
Gasoline costs are crimping everybody's budget. Some things
you can do to save money:
1. Shop for a lower price. Go to www.gasbuddy.com
to check on the cheapest gas prices near you.
2. Use lower octane. If your car is made to run on regular,
you're wasting money buying higher-octane gas. Even if higher
octane is recommended, your vehicle almost certainly will run
without harm on lower-octane gas. But if your engine pings,
knocks or rattles, it needs higher-octane fuel.
4. Check your tires. Underinflated tires take more energy to
turn, wasting fuel. Check them when they're cold using a
dial-type gauge, not unreliable pencil-style gauges. The right
inflation pressure is listed in the owner's manual or on a label
on the driver's doorjamb. Do not use the pressure printed on the
sidewall of the tire. That's how much the tire will safely hold
and has no connection to how much should be in the tire for
5. Get a tune-up. Make sure you have changed spark plugs and
filters according to the manufacturer's recommendations. Ignore
devices or chemical formulas promising big gains in fuel
economy. Most don't work.
6. Avoid short trips. An engine uses more fuel when cold than
when warmed up. Combine errands so you'll be driving a warmed-up
7. Drive gently. Hard acceleration uses a lot of gas.
8. Drive something else. Scooters are hip and give you 60 to 80
mpg depending on the model and how you ride. Regular motorcycles
also use less fuel than cars and trucks do. Gas-electric hybrids
combine fuel-sipping gas engines and electric motors to deliver
50 mpg or so, varying by model and use. Buy it this year and you
get a $2,000 federal tax deduction.
9. Don't drive at all. See if it's possible to telecommute,
walk, bicycle, car pool or take mass transit.
10. Do some homework. The federal government's
www.fueleconomy.gov gives mileage ratings for cars and light
trucks and allows you to build a comparison chart. To calculate
the estimated fuel cost for a trip, go to www.fuelcostcalculator.com.
by James R. Healey,
to C4aQE Home Page