My next door neighbor Chuck is a genius. He has driven the same car for 15 years yet I never hear him complain about the price of gas or the price he has to pay his mechanic. The fact that he drives a 1999 Buick Le Sabre makes His silence all the more baffling. I asked Chuck how he could stand to drive such an old car, he said “a car is simply a mode of conveyance as long as it performs this duty faithfully I care not how old or out of date it may be”. Surely I thought his gas and maintenance bills must be so bad he has gone into a state of somnolence. Chuck could tell I was not satisfied by his answer so he proceeded to tell me how he could own an old Buick Le Sabre and not be on his way to the poor house. The secret he told me to getting good gas mileage and low maintenance bills was in my right foot.
Chuck explained how constantly hitting the brakes then the gas pedal while stuck in traffic not only overworks your right foot but also causes unnecessary wear on your vehicle and poor gas mileage.
By now I knew I was in the presence of a genius. I sat down at Chuck’s feet and said “please continue
your words of wisdom Master”. Here are the highlights of my time with Chuck-
Give your brakes a break-in heavy stop-and-go traffic, don’t just watch the vehicle immediately in front of you. Use the brake lights of cars even further ahead to help you anticipate upcoming starts and stops. In this way you will be able to maintain your cars momentum thus saving money on fuel and wear on your brakes.
Slower is better- your car’s air resistance goes up much quicker than your speed, especially on the highway. A mere 10 percent increase in speed requires a staggering 33 percent increase in horsepower to overcome the air resistance.
Red is Green and Green is Red-when coming up to a traffic signal that’s red, consider it is likely to be green when you get there. When it’s green, consider it is likely to turn red by the time you arrive.
If the light is likely to turn green, try to time you arrival so you can continue through with minimal change in momentum. If the light is likely to turn red, approach even more slowly so you can still be moving at least a little when it changes back to green.
Maintain your maintenance- pull out the owner’ manual and become familiar with the manufactures recommended timetable for giving your car a tune-up. Every 3,000 miles be sure to get your engine oil and filters changed. Check your tire pressure frequently and especially when there is a big change in weather temperature.
E-10 isn’t for Everyone-gasoline mixed with ethanol (usually 10% ethanol) isn’t as efficient as gasoline without ethanol. If the price between E-10 and regular gasoline is the same use the regular.
There are many more ways to save on fuel and maintenance than just the tips I have listed here. For those interested in learning more ways to save check out Chuck’s favorite website: http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2007/05/30/how-to-improve-your-gas-mileage-23-top-tips-for-better-fuel-economy/