Over Pressure

Parking at UCLA

There has been a lot in the news lately about Obama and McCain squeaking for oil conservation. I must clear up something that is getting blown out of proportion. Over inflating tires will not save any oil. logically, over inflating tires makes them wear out faster, and use up more tires. and guess what tires are made out of? Petroleum! Not gona help. The proper tire inflation, marked on your cars door pillar (not on the tire, thats the max for the rubber itself) is the right way to do it. By the way, don’t bother with nitrogen unless your racing or have expensive rims. Here are some better ways to save gas, and if your really into the religion of environmentalism, you might save a bug or two.

Make sure your car is well maintained. Anything that the car has to work harder to do will use more gas, and more tire. That includes whole vehicle maintenance, not just the engine. Alignment, suspension components, even the electrical systems condition takes its toll.

Installing hi quality stiff shocks can help, but your ride will suffer.

Installing low rolling resistant tires will help. For example Michelin harmony. If your cheap, get the narrowest hardest tire you can find. Keep in mind this will effect emergency performance.

Keep your windows up on the freeway, it creates drag. Keep the AC off. If its hot, bring a large glass of ice.

Lay off the brakes. DO NOT DRIVE SLOW, that wastes the gas of everyone behind you. (and pisses me off when I’m trying to coast) Your brakes (unless you drive a hybrid) are designed specifically to remove energy from your momentum. In other words, they waste energy. A car is most eficient when its in its highest gear at its lowest non bogging engine RPM, Usually around 50 MPH on a modern car with overdrive. Get up to a decent speed and coast. If there is a stop coming up, don’t boogie all the way up to it, take your foot off the gas and slow down as much as possible without the brakes (but don’t hit anyone). In my truck, I get up to 30 or 40 mph in the city, and take it out of gear. this makes a difference of almost 4 miles per gallon, but i drive a stick.

It is rumored that some car designers are testing an engine management system that makes the gas pedal harder to push when you accelerate too fast. My answer to this; cut a Tennis ball in half and screw it under the gas pedal. Make sure you don’t screw through wiring or a gas line, and make sure you know the difference between the gas and the brake pedal. I will not be responsible for stupidity, i get enough from the car designs themselves.

And the best solution to save gas: buy a good lightweight bike.
Balloon Motercycle

5 Responses to “Over Pressure”

  1. Nice site. There

  2. I want that bike!!!

  3. Here’s your idiot- of- the- day question- how do I locate my tire size? I used to know, but I can’t remember anymore. A friend was going to give me four new tires including rims, insisting they were all size 15, but the tires are obviously much too big for my car.

  4. the tire size is only important if your keeping the rims. the rims must be from a car with the same lug pattern and offset. kinda hard to just measure that, you need a tire guy. the tire size is printed on the sidewall in something like 195-70R15 where 195= width, 70= percent hight, R= speed rating 15= rim size.

  5. For the coasting trick – taking it out of gear doesn’t help. When you do that the car needs to use gas to keep the engine spinning (and alternator generating, and power steering working…. and such) as opposed to using the momentum of the car to do that for you. Coasting in top gear will get you the best efficiency.

    I can tell you aren’t a mechanic, but thats ok. Coasting means letting the car roll in neutral with the engine idling. Driving under light acceleration in top gear is called “at cruise”. An engine at idle uses much less gas than an engine at 2 or 3 thousand RPM. “At cruise” is very efficient, but i have experimented in both my stick shift VW truck and in my wife’s Civic hybrid. In my truck i get 23 MPG. if I hyper-mile it, (i also shut the engine off when i coast for short hops) i get 27 MPG. In they Hybrid, i generally get the MPG gauge to pop up 1-2 miles per gallon on a 10 mile trip by pushing the stick into neutral between intersections. The problem is that the battery doesn’t recharge as much.

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