Thursday, August 17, 2006

Gas Price Drop Below $3

Gas Prices Drop Below $3

Average U.S. gas prices fell below $3 a gallon Wednesday for the first time in several weeks.
Pump prices across the nation are averaging $2.99 a gallon, reports Heathrow, Fla.-based AAA. The last time gas was under $3 was July 24. It is amazing how I get excited about buying gas at $2.85 per gallon and my wife tells me it isn't the best price. Just goes to show you how we become use to higher prices. I remember when gas prices went over $2 per gallon we thought it was terrible, now if they dropped back down to $2 we would really be excited.

Looking for lower gas prices: Bargain shoppers can realize further savings by logging on to several Web sites including, and AAA's Fuel Finder Web site,, to find the best prices. For example, at AAA's site, consumers can enter their zip code and find the cheapest gas available within 10 miles. According to, the Clark station on Pine Grove in Port Huron was selling gas for $2.76 a gallon Wednesday afternoon. Ford a list of tips on how to save fuel goto which provides motorists with money-saving tips and strategies to lower fuel costs.

On Monday, gas prices dropped 10 cents to an average of $3.02 in Michigan, after the UN-brokered cease-fire between Israel and Lebanon. A year ago, prices were averaging $2.53 a gallon across the state. As always it pays to shop around and understand where the lowest gas prices typically are. Also make sure you pay attention to weekly trends. For example gas prices tend to go up on Friday's and down on Sunday's.

Related gas saving articles:

  1. Ways to avoid pain at the pump
  2. Looking for Cheap Gas Find the Best Prices In Your Area
  3. Gas Saving Products Facts or Fiction
  4. Top Hybrid Myths
  5. Save Money with Gas Rebate Cards
  6. Are there fuel effiecient SUVs?
  7. Looking for a new car, compage gas mileage of every car
  8. Save Gas Home Page

Looking for investment related links checkout these articles:

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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Gasoline Rebate Checks

Gasoline Rebate Checks

Interesting article over at, here is what they said:

While congress debates whether to send consumers $100 gasoline rebate checks or temporarily suspend the 18.4-cent federal gas tax, it's up to you to fill your tank for less. With prices topping $2.92 per gallon of regular unleaded, according to the latest figures from AAA, chances are you're fully aware of — and maybe even employing — tactics that will help you get better mileage. Your tires are filled to just the right amount of air pressure, you've finally removed all the junk you were hauling around in your trunk, and you've actually been trying to obey the speed limit. I don't know about you but I guess I would rather have the 18.4 cents per gallon suspended. I buy a lot of gas so depending on how long they suspended the tax it probably would be pay back in about 40 weeks.

But the best way to cut your gas bills is to make sure you're buying the cheapest gas around. Gas prices can vary — sometimes significantly — from station to station. In Chicago, you might pay as much as $3.29 per gallon or as little as $2.79. So stay informed. Keep a notebook in your car to jot down the prices at gas stations you pass. And for this to really work, you'll need to note the time and date you passed by, too. (You do want to save money, don't you?) A lot times I find that the gas stations that are the closes to the freeways tend to be more expensive. If you can try to find a station that is a few blocks down from the freeway. Additionally, stations located in less expensive areas also tend to have better prices. Sometime it might be worth driving a half a mile to find the cheaper gas. If you are going on a trip try filling up before heading off to the vacation spot. Again a lot of times you find that vacation spots are much more expensive.

There are no hard and fast rules as to which day of the week or hour of the day will yield the lowest prices, says Jason Toews, co-founder of, an online a gas-price monitoring web site. Taking good notes comes in handy. Say your closest station updates its prices late every night. If prices are on the rise, you'll know that you shouldn't wait until the next morning to fill your tank. You might also call your local gas station to find out what time of day it posts new prices. A good rule of thumb is that the prices are probably going to go up on Friday's, try to fuel up on Thursday, especially if you are in the summer months. Also if you notice a big jump in the morning try waiting until the afternoon, even if you have to only buy a few gallons in the morning to get you to where you are going.

Try the following resources to find the lowest gas prices around.

Related gas saving articles:

  1. Soaring Gas Prices
  2. Ways to avoid pain at the pump
  3. Looking for Cheap Gas Find the Best Prices In Your Area
  4. Gas Saving Products Facts or Fiction
  5. Top Hybrid Myths
  6. Save Money with Gas Rebate Cards
  7. Are there fuel effiecient SUVs?
  8. Looking for a new car, compage gas mileage of every car
  9. Save Gas Home Page

Looking for investment related links checkout these articles:

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Saturday, April 29, 2006

Soaring Gas Prices

Soaring Gas Prices

The Wall Street Journal had a good article on facts about how much we drive and spend on gas each year. Here is what they said.

  1. Driving More Miles: In 2001 the average US family drove 5700 miles commuting back and forth to work vs. 4900 miles in 1990. In 1990 social and recreation driving was larger than commuting back and forth to work. You know what this says to me is the metro areas we live in are getting larger and larger. Also I really think that people want to live where they want to live and not always live where they work. One big way to reduce the cost of the commute is to car pool, not many people do it but it can cut your gas costs in half with just one rider, not to mention the reduction in wear in tear on your car.
  2. Average Gas Spending Per Year: Trying to reduce your gas cost? The average American driver uses 500 gallons of gasoline a year. So if gas is up a buck you get to spend $500 more per year buying gas, which is $10 per week or $40 per month. It is not life altering but it does hurt putting $90 of gas into your wife's Ford Expedition. Some people that I know have bougth a commuter car. They have picked up a nice used Grand Am or something that gets about twice the mileage that there Chevy Tahoe gets.
  3. Increase in gas theft: With rising gas prices many gas stations are reporting an increase in gas theft. In 2004 gas theft cost the industry $237 million which was about 1 in every 1100 fillups was a drive off. First of all in a lot of states I think you loose your license and get a fine so it really isn't worth stealing gas, pretty big penalties. You know these facts are from 2004 and they increased $37 million from 2003. I can only imagine how high the drive off rate is now. Make sure if you park your car outside at night that you invest in a locking gas cap. If you can park in a well lite area do it. You never know when someone will want to steal gas from you car too. It happened to my Dad when I was a kid back in the 1970s when we had 70's the oil crisis.
  4. Who has the highest gas prices? Not surprisingly Hawaii has the highest gas price in the nation at $3.30 per gallon, followed by California, New York, Connecticut and Maryland. You know this is probably classic supply and demand. Hawaii supply cost has to be high because of the location, I don't feel too bad for them Hawaii is really nice. The other states have high population and high demand. To find the lowest gas prices checkout my post on Gas Buddy a website that finds the lowest prices in the nation, pretty useful.
  5. Mars & Venus: WSJ says that women drive 36 miles per day vs. men who drive 45. This doesn't surprise me. My wife hates to drive very far anyway.
  6. Motor Home and RV drivers don't care: The WSJ says that motorhome and RV drivers don't seem to be affected by the high gas prices. They say that there are 8 million homes that own at least one RV, which is a 15% increase over 4 years ago. They point out that RV owners spend about 65% less that other travelers on food, accomodations and travel, largely beacuse of inexpensive camping sites and lots of backyard barbeque. That's the way I look at it. We have an RV and I rationalize it this way, if I stay in a cheap hotel in a resort area it cost me at least $100 to $125 per night and this is a cheap no frills place. The wife will not be happy at the place. If I stay 3 nights that would be lets says $300. Food for a family of 4 will cost me $15 for breakfast, $25 to $30 minimum for lunch, and $30 to $50 for dinner especially if you have some drinks it could be even more. You could eat of the dollar menu all the time but that gets old quick. So that is a minimum $70 for food/day if you are eating out multiply by 3 and that is $210. So hotel plus food is $510. If I travel 200 miles with the RV in each direction, that is 400 miles at 10 miles per gallon or 40 gallons of gas x $3 per gallon I spend $120 on gas. But remember you were going to drive there anyway lets say in a car at 20 MPG so the extra fule cost is only $60 bucks. When we RV we mostly eat the food we brought so we save big on the food cost as well as the room costs. Most of the time the camp ground cost is only $25 to $35 a night. Additionally when we RV we don't have to look for entertainment all day long which is also expensive. We ride bikes, go swimming, play games, it really is great family time. Anyway I am rambling, the fact is I own the RV and that is the largest expense anyway, using it really isn't that expensive when you compare to staying in a hotel. Of course staying at home would be cheaper but then we would just go shopping and out to dinner and that isn't cheaper either.
  7. Fuel economy stays steady: In 1979 the average passenger car fuel economy was 17 miles per gallon and light trucks were about the same. The MPG climbed pretty well up to 1993 when cars leveled out at 27 miles per gallon and light trucks at around 23. After that they stopped increasing. You know what happend we entered the roaring 90's the age of the SUV. Bigger is better, more Horse Power is better. The US automanufacturers did an effective job of lobbying congress to not increase CAFE or corporate average fuel econony and it stood still for 13 years. Now the Big 3 are complaining because no one wants SUV anymore. Duh! They had 13 years to figure out how to make them more fuel effiecient. Why doesn't every SUV have a clean diesel in it with an 8 speed automatic transmission. They would probably get 30 MPG! Ahhh! What were they thinking.
  8. Spending on oil and gas up: In 1983 the average person spend 5.5% of there income on gas. This went down to 2.5% throughout the 1990s. Probably why no one worried about increasing the mileage of an SUV. In 2005 this increased slightly to 3% and now everyone is worried. However, that is the main reason why the $3 gas prices haven't launched the US into another recession. The amount we are spending on gas is still lower than what we were spending in 1983.

Related gas saving articles:

  1. Ways to avoid pain at the pump
  2. Looking for Cheap Gas Find the Best Prices In Your Area
  3. Gas Saving Products Facts or Fiction
  4. Top Hybrid Myths
  5. Save Money with Gas Rebate Cards
  6. Are there fuel effiecient SUVs?
  7. Looking for a new car, compage gas mileage of every car
  8. Save Gas Home Page

Looking for investment related links checkout these articles:

Thanks for visiting please check out my other blogs and websites:

Ways to avoid pain at the pump

Ways to avoid pain at the pump

The Daily News Online had a good article on ways to avoid pain at the pump. Here is what they said.

The With gas prices hovering around the $3 mark and the summer driving season nearly upon us, here are a few ways to save money on gas this year.

  1. At the top of most lists is carpooling. It was big during the gas crisis of the 1980s and with projected shortages again this summer, it might be time to hit up a buddy who works at the same job for a ride. By sharing a ride to work or by taking turns driving your kids to baseball and soccer practices, you can stretch a tank of gas further each week. Most communities have public transit. Now is the time to catch a ride to the grocery store or to the library. You know it is really amazing to me how everyone complains about the gas prices but take a look next time you are on the freeway how many cars have more thant one person riding in them on a typical day. It is a great way to save gas and it reduces where and tear on your car.
  2. Looking at a summer trip? Try taking a train into Chicago or to Detroit. The price is right and you can save the wear and tear on your personal vehicle, as well as save on gas. If getting around town after you get there's a problem, rent a car or use that city's public transportation. Or instead of staying several days or a week, plan some summer one-day trips. You will have to do some searching around to make this one work and if you can do a last minute trip it might work. A friend of mine took here family from Detroit to Chicago on Amtrak and it was only $11 per person.
  3. Do a little research. Local news agencies are providing information on the lowest gas prices in their coverage area on a regular basis. The World Wide Web can also be a good source of information for cheaper gas prices. Do I have a solution for you check out my article that has links to the sites like Gas Buddy where you can look up the lowest gas prices on a daily basis.
  4. Need a little exercise? Ride a bike or walk to the local grocery store or over to a friend's house. You can save gas, help the environment and shave off a few pounds in the process. I have a friend of mine that works in Japan he doesn't even own a car anymore. When I visit Japan I don't notice a lot of fat people. Everyone has to do some walking everyday there so this helps them stay in shape.
  5. This might be a tough one to accomplish, but it certainly will save you time and help improve the environment. Try to avoid any situation where you are stuck in traffic with your motor idling. By not having to stop and start frequently, you will use less gas. By avoiding gridlock, you may also help your blood pressure as well.The weather is getting warmer and school is coming to and end. Now is the time that people start gearing up for vacations and long distance trips. If gas continues to soar throughout the summer months, we may have to take a hard look at our travel plans or learn to conserve on gas. Hey this is a great tip, if you have flex hours at work sometimes just leaving 15 minutes early really helps out on the commute home. If I leave at 5pm it take me 20 minutes longer to get home. If I bail at 4:25 pm it really helps.


Related gas saving articles:

  1. Looking for Cheap Gas Find the Best Prices In Your Area
  2. Gas Saving Products Facts or Fiction
  3. Top Hybrid Myths
  4. Save Money with Gas Rebate Cards
  5. Are there fuel effiecient SUVs?
  6. Looking for a new car, compage gas mileage of every car
  7. Save Gas Home Page

Looking for investment related links checkout these articles:

Thanks for visiting please check out my other blogs and websites:

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Top 10 Hybrid Myths

Businessweek had an interesting article about the 10 ten hybrid myths. The myths include:

1. You need to plug in a hybrid car.
2. Hybrid batteries need to be replaced.
3. Hybrids are a new phenomenon.
4. People buy hybrids only to save money on gas.
5. Hybrids are expensive.
6. Hybrids are small and underpowered.
7. Only liberals buy hybrids.
8. Hybrids pose a threat to first responders.
9. Hybrids will solve all our transportation, energy, and environmental problems.
10. Hybrid technology is only a fad.

For the complete article.

Related gas saving articles:

  1. Looking for Cheap Gas Find the Best Prices In Your Area
  2. Gas Saving Products Facts or Fiction
  3. Save Money with Gas Rebate Cards
  4. Are there fuel effiecient SUVs?
  5. Looking for a new car, compage gas mileage of every car

Looking for investment related links checkout these articles:

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Sunday, February 05, 2006

Carpooling for Grown Ups helps Save Gas and Reduce Your Driving Costs

The WSJ had an interesting article on carpooling last Thursday. There are several new websites that make it easy for you to find a ride to work, to share a ride to college, or buddy up for a trip to Florida. The average driver spends $2800 annually at the current gas prices. Carpooling even 1 day a week could add up to significant savings. Additionally if you are leasing your car or buying you will reduce the miles you accumulate on your car which will help you in resale or staying under the allowable miles for your lease. Provides service for Connecticut, New York, DC, Houston. It is kinda of cool since they have a reward program that encourages ridership. Serves every zip code however, I checked it iout and it doesn't have a lot of ride information for all of the states. Serves Washington state. Lets users find rides to special events. Has carpool information for a large variety of locations. I checked Michigan and they had a significant number of ride share requests. Serves US and Cananda. The site was launched in 1999. is another location to find people interested in carpooling. Last check there were over 13,000 posts for people looking to share a ride.

Either way carpooling is a great way to save gas and reduce your fuel cost. Check out my other blog posts on car pooling.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

"Gas-Saving" Products: Fact or Fuelishness? the truth about fuel additives

Gas prices are up, and so is the volume of advertising for "gas-saving" products. When gasoline prices rise, consumers often look for ways to improve fuel efficiency. Although there are practical steps you can take to increase gas mileage, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warns you to be wary of any gas-saving claims for automotive devices or oil and gas additives. Even for the few gas-saving products that have been found to work, the savings have been small.

"Gas-Saving" Advertising Claims
Be skeptical of the following kinds of advertising claims. "This gas-saving product improves fuel economy by 20 percent."Claims usually tout savings ranging from 12 to 25 percent. However, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has evaluated or tested more than 100 alleged gas-saving devices and has not found any product that significantly improves gas mileage. In fact, some "gas-saving" products may damage a car's engine or cause substantial increases in exhaust emissions.

The gas-saving products on the market fall into clearly defined categories. Although the EPA has not tested or evaluated every product, it has tried to examine at least one product in each category. See "Devices Tested by EPA" at the end of this brochure for category descriptions and product names.

"After installing your product on my car, I got an extra 4 miles [6.4 kilometers] per gallon [3.8 liters]."Many ads feature glowing testimonials by satisfied customers. Yet, few consumers have the ability or the equipment to test for precise changes in gas mileage after installing a gas-saving product. Many variables affect fuel consumption, including traffic, road and weather conditions, and the car's condition.

For example, one consumer sent a letter to a company praising its "gas-saving" product. At the time the product was installed, however, the consumer also had received a complete engine tune-up - a fact not mentioned in the letter. The entire increase in gas mileage attributed to the "gas-saving" product may well have been the result of the tune-up alone. But from the ad, other consumers could not have known that.

"This gas-saving device is approved by the Federal government."No government agency endorses gas-saving products for cars. The most that can be claimed in advertising is that the EPA has reached certain conclusions about possible gas savings by testing the product or by evaluating the manufacturer's own test data. If the seller claims that its product has been evaluated by the EPA, ask for a copy of the EPA report, or check for information.
In some instances, false claims of EPA testing or approval have been made.

Product Complaints and Refunds
If you're dissatisfied with a gas-saving product, contact the manufacturer and ask for a refund. Most companies offer money-back guarantees. Contact the company, even if the guarantee period has expired.

If you're not satisfied with the company's response, contact your local or state consumer protection agency or the Better Business Bureau.

Shifting Gears: Real Money-Saving Steps
There are numerous no- or low-cost steps you can take to combat rising gas prices. The most important place to start is at the gas pump; buy only the octane level gas you need. All gas pumps must post the octane rating of the gas under the FTC's Fuel Rating Rule. Remember, the higher the octane, the higher the price. Check your owner's manual to determine the right octane level for your car.

  • Here are some additional tips from the EPA to help you get better gas mileage.
  • Drive more efficiently
  • Stay within posted speed limits. The faster you drive, the more fuel you use. For example, driving at 65 miles per hour (mph), rather than 55 mph, increases fuel consumption by 20 percent. Driving at 75 mph, rather than 65 mph, increases fuel consumption by another 25 percent.
  • Use overdrive gears. Overdrive gears improve the fuel economy of your car during highway driving. Your car's engine speed decreases when you use overdrive. This reduces both fuel consumption and engine wear.
  • Use cruise control. Using cruise control on highway trips can help you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, reduce your fuel consumption.
  • Anticipate driving situations. If you anticipate traffic conditions and don't tailgate, you can avoid unnecessary braking and acceleration, and improve your fuel economy by 5 to 10 percent. In city driving, nearly 50 percent of the energy needed to power your car goes to acceleration. Go easy on the gas pedal and brakes. "Jack-rabbit" starts and sudden stops are wasteful.
  • Avoid unnecessary idling. Turn off the engine if you anticipate a lengthy wait. No matter how efficient your car is, unnecessary idling wastes fuel, costs you money and pollutes the air.
  • Combine errands. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as one trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm.
    Remove excess weight from the trunk. Avoid carrying unneeded items, especially heavy ones. An extra 100 pounds in the trunk reduces a typical car's fuel economy by one to two percent.
  • Maintain your car
  • Keep your engine tuned. Studies have shown that a poorly tuned engine can increase fuel consumption by as much as 10 to 20 percent depending on a car's condition. Follow the recommended maintenance schedule in your owner's manual; you'll save fuel and your car will run better and last longer.
  • Keep your tires properly inflated and aligned. Car manufacturers must place a label in the car stating the correct tire pressure. The label usually is on the edge of the door or door jamb, in the glove box, or on the inside of the gas cap cover. If the label lists a psi (pounds per square inch) range, use the higher number to maximize your fuel efficiency.
  • Underinflated tires cause fuel consumption to increase by six percent.
  • Change your oil. Clean oil reduces wear caused by friction between moving parts and removes harmful substances from the engine. Change your oil as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.
  • Check and replace air filters regularly. Your car's air filter keeps impurities in the air from damaging internal engine components. Not only will replacing a dirty air filter improve your fuel economy, it also will protect your engine. Clogged filters can cause up to a 10 percent increase in fuel consumption.
  • Consider buying a fuel efficient vehicleDeciding which vehicle to buy may be the most important fuel economy decision you make. The difference between a car that gets 20 MPG (miles per gallon) and one that gets 30 MPG amounts to $1,500 over 5 years, assuming gas costs $1.50 per gallon and you drive 15,000 miles a year.

Visit for more information. You'll find gas mileage estimates and other data from EPA for 1985-2003 model year cars.

EPA Evaluation Efforts
The EPA evaluates or tests products to determine whether their use will result in any significant improvement or detriment to fuel economy. However, the EPA cannot say what effect gas-saving products will have on a vehicle over time because it hasn't conducted any durability tests. It's possible that some products may harm the car or may otherwise adversely affect its performance. In fact, today's vehicles' emission control systems are very sophisticated and complex. They have On Board Diagnostic features that alert the driver to problems associated with the emission control and fuel delivery systems. Retrofit products may have an adverse effect on these systems.

Devices Tested by EPA
The following list categorizes various types of "gas-saving" products, explains how they're used and gives product names. Those with asterisks may save measurable, but small, amounts of gas. All others have been found not to increase fuel economy.

Air Bleed Devices. These devices bleed air into the carburetor. They usually are installed in the Positive Crankcase Ventilation line or as a replacement for idle-mixture screws.

The EPA has evaluated the following products: ADAKS Vacuum Breaker Air Bleed; Air-Jet Air Bleed; Aquablast Wyman Valve Air Bleed; Auto-Miser; Ball-Matic Air Bleed; Berg Air Bleed; Brisko PCV; Cyclone-Z; Econo Needle Air Bleed; Econo-Jet Air Bleed Idle Screws; Fuel Max*; Gas Saving Device; Grancor Air Computer; Hot Tip; Landrum Mini-Carb; Landrum Retrofit Air Bleed; Mini Turbocharger Air Bleed; Monocar HC Control Air Bleed; Peterman Air Bleed; Pollution Master Air Bleed; Ram-Jet; Turbo-Dyne G.R. Valve.

Vapor Bleed Devices. These devices are similar to the air bleed devices, except that induced air is bubbled through a container of a water and anti-freeze mixture, usually located in the engine compartment.

The EPA has evaluated: Atomized Vapor Injector; Frantz Vapor Injection System; Hydro-Vac: POWERFUeL; Mark II Vapor Injection System; Platinum Gasaver; V-70 Vapor Injector; SCATPAC Vacuum Vapor Induction System: Econo-Mist Vacuum Vapor Injection System; Turbo Vapor Injection System.

Liquid Injection. These products add liquid into the fuel/air intake system and not directly into the combustion chamber. The EPA has evaluated: Goodman Engine System-Model 1800; Waag-Injection System*.

Ignition Devices. These devices are attached to the ignition system or are used to replace original equipment or parts.The EPA has evaluated: Autosaver; Baur Condenser; BIAP Electronic Ignition Unit; Fuel Economizer; Magna Flash Ignition Control System; Paser Magnum/Paser 500/Paser 500 HEI; Special Formula Ignition Advance Springs.
Fuel Line Devices (heaters or coolers). These devices heat the fuel before it enters the carburetor. Usually, the fuel is heated by the engine coolant or by the exhaust or electrical system.The EPA has evaluated: FuelXpander; Gas Meiser I; Greer Fuel Preheater; Jacona Fuel System; Optimizer; Russell Fuelmiser.

Fuel Line Devices (magnets). These magnetic devices, clamped to the outside of the fuel line or installed in the fuel line, claim to change the molecular structure of gasoline.

The EPA has evaluated: PETRO-MIZER; POLARION-X; Super-Mag Fuel Extender; Wickliff Polarizer [fuel line magnet/intake air magnet].
Fuel Line Devices (metallic). Typically, these devices contain several dissimilar metals that are installed in the fuel line, supposedly causing ionization of the fuel.

The EPA has evaluated: Malpassi Filter King [fuel pressure regulator]; Moleculetor.
Mixture Enhancers (under the carburetor). These devices are mounted between the carburetor and intake manifold and supposedly enhance the mixing or vaporization of the air/fuel mixture.

The EPA has evaluated: Energy Gas Saver; Environmental Fuel Saver; Gas Saving and Emission Control Improvement Device; Glynn-50; Hydro-Catalyst Pre-Combustion Catalyst System; PETROMIZER SYSTEM; Sav-A-Mile; Spritzer; Turbo-Carb; Turbocarb.
Mixture Enhancers (others). These devices make some general modifications to the vehicle intake system.

The EPA has evaluated: Basko Enginecoat; Dresser Economizer; Electro-Dyne Superchoke; Filtron Urethane Foam Filter; Lamkin Fuel Metering Device; Smith Power and Deceleration Governor.

Internal Engine Modifications. These devices make physical or mechanical function changes to the engine.

The EPA has evaluated: ACDS Automotive Cylinder Deactivation System*; Dresser Economizer; MSU Cylinder Deactivation*.
Accessory Drive Modifiers. These devices reduce power to specific auto accessories.

The EPA has evaluated: Morse Constant Speed Accessory Drive **; P.A.S.S. Kit**; PASS Master Vehicle Air Conditioner**.

Fuels and Fuel Additives. These materials are added to the gas tank.

The EPA has evaluated: Bycosin; EI-5 Fuel Additive; Fuelon Power; Johnson Fuel Additive; NRG #1 Fuel Additive; QEI 400 Fuel Additive; Rolfite Upgrade Fuel Additive; Sta-Power Fuel Additive; Stargas Fuel Additive; SYNeRGy-1; Technol G Fuel Additive; ULX-15/ULX-15D; Vareb 10 Fuel Additive; XRG #1 Fuel Additive.

Oils and Oil Additives. Usually these materials are poured into the crankcase. The EPA has evaluated: Analube Synthetic Lubricant; Tephguard.

Driving Habit Modifiers. These are lights or sound devices to tell the driver to reduce acceleration or to shift gears.

The EPA has evaluated: AUTOTHERM**; Fuel Conservation Device; Gastell; IDALERT**.
Miscellaneous. The EPA has evaluated: BRAKE-EZ; Dynamix; Fuel Maximiser; Gyroscopic Wheel Cover; Kamei Spoilers**; Kat's Engine Heater; Lee Exhaust and Fuel Gasification EGR; Mesco Moisture Extraction System; P.S.C.U. 01 Device; Treis Emulsifier.

* Indicated a very small improvement in fuel economy but with an increase in exhaust emissions. According to Federal regulations, installation of this device could be considered illegal tampering.
** Indicated a very small improvement in fuel economy without an increase in exhaust emissions. However, cost-effectiveness must be determined by the consumer for a particular application.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

2007 Chevy Tahoe Fuel Ecomony

Chevrolet has announced the debut of the 2007 Chevy Tahoe, the next generation of the industry's best-selling full-size SUV. The new Tahoe is comprehensively redesigned and delivers a sharper, more precise driving feel, more power with improved, segment-leading fuel economy, increased interior refinement and improved quietness.

Improved efficiency
A new Gen IV small-block V-8 family – the newest chapter in the small-block's 50-year history – offers more power than comparable powertrains in previous models. Fuel-saving Displacement On Demand technology also enables better fuel economy. When combined with other vehicle-wide features, including improved aerodynamics, the small-block V-8 helps give the Tahoe the segment's best fuel economy. Preliminary testing with 5.3L-equipped models shows unadjusted combined fuel economy ratings of 20.5 mpg with 2WD models and 20.1 mpg with 4WD models. That's better fuel economy than any other full-size SUV

The new Tahoe takes over at the top of the segment in sales, quality and comfort – Tahoe has been the best-selling full-size SUV since 2001. The outgoing model (along with its longer sibling, Suburban) has ranked first in the J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Survey for five years, topping all import and luxury models. Engineers built on Tahoe's established credentials with a “no compromises” mantra that realized improvements in many areas of performance, quality and comfort.

Contributors to the 2007 Tahoe's segment-leading capability include:

• Superior ride, handling and quietness
• Improved efficiency
• Refined interior with thoughtful conveniences built in
• Distinctive, sporty exterior design
• Enhanced safety and security

“Tahoe is known for delivering whatever its customers want, whenever they want to do it – a hard-earned reputation reflected in countless independent quality studies, buying guide recommendations and customers who have returned to buy another vehicle,” said Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager. “The '07 model enhances the attributes that have made Tahoe the industry's best-selling full-size SUV and improves them with dramatically increased attention to detail in smoothness, quietness and refinement. We believe it is simply the best Tahoe yet.”

Superior ride, handling and quietness
The 2007 Tahoe is built on GM's new full-size SUV platform, which incorporates features such as a new, fully boxed frame, coil-over-shock front suspension, rack-and-pinion steering and an all-new, premium interior system that bolster the vehicle's comfort, quality and capability. Wider front and rear tracks enhance handling and lower the center of gravity for a more confident road feel.

Tahoe's engineers paid extensive attention to detail to ensure a quiet driving experience. It starts with a new, stiffer frame, which reduces vibrations transmitted to the passenger cabin. The strength and accuracy of the full-boxed frame also enables more precise mounting and tuning of chassis and suspension components, which also helps reduce vibration. Even the tires on the large, 17-inch standard and 20-inch available wheels, were designed to reduce noise.

Noise-reducing components and materials are used throughout the body structure, including the headliner material, door seals and front-of-dash area. The engine also features a quiet-tuned alternator and an acoustically tuned engine cover that dramatically reduces engine noise heard inside the vehicle. New door seals help reduce seal “pull away” at highway speeds, which can cause wind noise. Also, Tahoe's more slippery shape, thanks to improved aerodynamics, streamlined exterior mirrors and roof rack, and tighter body gap tolerances, makes Tahoe quieter as it slices through the air.

Tahoe also features details such as spray-in expanding foam, which helps reduce noise by filling in space to eliminate sound paths. The foam, located mostly in the A-pillars, expands to fill the void of a space. Tahoe's quietness and smoothness is complemented by the Autoride suspension system, which is standard on LTZ. This segment-exclusive bi-state, real-time damping system provides an extremely refined ride with greatly reduced body motion. The system consists of a semi-active, two-position damping control system that responds in real time to road and driving conditions, based on body and wheel motion sensors.

Tahoe's quietness and smoothness are complemented by capabilities full-size SUV customers depend on. Tahoe 4WD models offer up to 7,700 pounds (3,492 kg) of towing capability.

Related fuel saving links:

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Saturday, January 21, 2006

Hybrid tax credits a win-win situation

The credit is aimed at helping the environment and the U.S. auto industry. Last year Americans had their pick of 11 hybrid vehicles — cars and trucks that use a combination of gasoline and electric power — available in the market. This year consumers who choose one of these vehicles can take as much as $3,400 in tax credit on their purchase or lease.

The credit, part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, is aimed at helping the environment and boosting domestic auto sales. The credit also applies to less common types of energy-efficient cars using other alternative-fuel technology. Unfortunately, the credit will be phased out for each manufacturer as they reach sales of 60,000 qualifying vehicles. This might help jump-start the auto industry temporarily and encourage consumers to buy hybrids now rather than later, but it will not encourage the long-term solutions presented by fuel-efficient cars.

Many students decide to purchase new cars when they graduate from college and begin earning regular salaries. Anything that allows them to choose an energy-efficient car should be a permanent change to the tax code, something that will continue to encourage each generation of automobile consumers to choose the most environmentally friendly option, they can afford. Because many cutting-edge technology cars are not usually the cheapest option any incentive should be a top priority.

Implementing the credit permanently also will send a strong environmental message to auto manufacturers to continue producing these efficient vehicles, as they will become increasingly popular and “cool” among consumers, especially young adults. Keeping the tax credits intact is win-win situation for the manufacturers and the environment.
The domestic manufacturers now must compete with the more-popular foreign options. The Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner still lag behind the Toyota Prius in sales, and if the new tax credit is to work, U.S. companies will be forced to come up with more in-demand and recognizable products.

In any event, now is the time for students who will soon graduate and be in the market for new vehicles to consider buying an environmentally friendly car, and they’ll save a bit when it is time to pay the Internal Revenue Service, too.


Are gas rebate cards worth it?

UNDATED -- Instead of just complaining about high gas prices, how would you like to get money back every time you fill up? Gas rebate cards can save you big if you use them right. But not all cards are the same and there are some pitfalls to watch for. Ira Stoller, uses several gas rebate cards. "I get a five percent rebate every time I gas up," said Stoller. "I save about $300 a year. Stoller is one of millions of people who now use gas rebate cards, credit cards where the incentive isn't airline mileage or bonus points, but money back on gas. The popularity of these cards has surged in the last year or two, according to spokesperson Curtis Arnold. Arnold says there are different kinds to choose from. Some are brand specific but a growing number of cards offer rebates on nearly any gas purchase. "If you want to shop around for the best gas prices in town," said Arnold. "you're still going to get that rebate." But do your homework. Some cards promise sky-high rebates but they're merely introductory offers that drop in a month or two. And know how to claim your rebate. Some cards mail you a check, others credit your account...and some wait for you to ask. "A key thing to worry about on these cards is the expiration of the rebate," said Consumer Action's Linda Sherry. "It can expire if you don't ask for it on some of the cards. So, that can be within even as short a time as six months." Sherry also warns that if you typically carry a credit card balance, these cards are not for you, because they often have high interest rates! But, if you play it right, you can save big. One customer boosted his savings by using his rebate card to buy a discounted gas gift card. His combined savings: 26 cents a gallon! It's also worth noting that many of those cards also offer rebates on things like groceries and drug store purchases.


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Saturday, January 14, 2006


TOYOTA PONDERS A POWER/ECONOMY SWITCH FOR HYBRIDS. Toyota Motor Corp. is studying technology that would equip drivers of hybrid vehicles with a switch that enables them to shift between “green” and “power” performance settings, reports The Wall Street Journal. Jim Press, president of Toyota’s U.S. sales operations, says the concept would enable the company to address criticism that it’s fuel-sipping Prius hybrid is too lethargic but its RX400h SUV hybrid is too performance-oriented. The system would allow drivers to maximize fuel economy or, in the words of another Toyota executive, “drive the wheels off” whenever they want a surge of power.

OEMs PUSH HYBRIDS, CROSSOVERS AT DETROIT SHOW. Automakers are using this week’s pre-show media events at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit to trumpet a bevy of vehicles aimed at the U.S. market’s two hottest segments: hybrids and crossovers. General Motors, Nissan and Toyota are among those adding hybrid vehicles or expanding their hybrid lineups this year. Other OEMs—including BMW, Hyundai, Subaru and Volkswagen—either plan to add hybrids a few years from now or are showing concept hybrids at the show. Companies touting new crossover vehicles—trucklike models that ride on carlike platforms—in either production or concept form include Acura, Buick, Ford, General Motors, Jeep, Lincoln and Mazda.


HONDA PREPARES DIESEL ENGINE FOR U.S. Honda Motor Co. says it is developing a four-cylinder diesel engine to offer in some of the vehicles it sells in the U.S. by the end of the decade, Automotive News reports. It wasn’t clear whether Honda is developing a new engine or modifying either the 1.7- or 2.2-liter diesel it currently offers in Europe.

HONDA MIGHT BUILD MINICAR IN THE U.S. Honda Motor Co. says it will consider building its little entry-level Fit car in the U.S. if the little four-door is a success, Reuters reports. The Fit will debut in the American market in April as a Japanese-made import. Honda predicts first-year sales
between 30,000 and 40,000 units. The company is adding the Fit to its U.S. lineup to compete with an impending flood of small entry-level models from competitors. Honda tells Reuters it will
consider local production only if the Fit doesn’t cannibalize sales from its larger Civic car line.

EPA Mileage Tests to be Updated

EPA Mileage Tests to be Updated Existing Tests Don't Reflect Actual Driving Conditions

January 10, 2006

The Environmental Protection Agency plans to announce new tests to determine automobile and truck gasoline mileage estimates that will more accurately reflect the actual mileage drivers see with their cars and trucks.

The new tests and standards will begin with the 2008 model year.

Consumer advocates have repeatedly criticized the existing EPA mileage estimates as inaccurate and have called on the agency to update its tests that were first developed in the 1970s.

Modern automotive technology and changing driving demands make the EPA's laboratory numbers misleading at best. The EPA tests fail to take into account clogged commuter roads as well as high speed interstate driving.

Last year Consumer Reports said that of 303 vehicles it tested, 90 percent failed to achieve the mileage standards stated on the vehicle’s window sticker. Some of the tested vehicles missed the mark by as much as 50 percent.

The EPA estimates are important to automakers. They use the numbers to meet federal fuel economy standards.

Most recently, hybrid drivers have complained that the EPA estimates and manufacturer claims are inaccurate.

The controversy over Prius mileage continues as many owners tell ConsumerAffairs.Com that the hybrids are not living up to their EPA estimates. Deborah in Louisville joins a growing number of Prius owners complaining about the EPA estimates and Toyota’s mileage claims of 60 mpg in the city and 55 on the highway.

"After six months of tracking," she writes, "the best mileage I ever got was 43 miles per gallon. Most often my mileage is between 30-36 miles per gallon and that is no better than cars I have had in the past. I am very disappointed in (their) fraudulent advertising and the money I have shelled out only to be disappointed."

Toyota continues to insist that it just is not possible for a properly driven Prius to achieve such poor mileage and blames the results on driver error, not the EPA mileage estimates or company claims.

Carol in Evanston, Illinois found her actual Prius mileage far below the Toyota and EPA numbers.

"When my husband and I first bought the car in August 2005, the average mileage came in at around 55 mph, which I thought was pretty good since I drive 60 miles for work each day. But after a month or two, the mileage began to go down, and right now in December I'm hovering around 42 to 44 miles per gallon," Carol wrote.

"This is very disappointing, especially since I'm very careful to watch the display, watch my foot pressure on the accelerator, keep the air conditioning off," she said.

The new EPA mileage tests will be phased in two stages. The first stage will begin with 2008 model-year vehicles and will lower mileage estimates to reflect the drain of air-conditioning and other high technology and equipment now part of modern vehicles.
Phase one could cut mileage estimates by as much as 13 percent.

Phase two begins with the 2011 model year. The specifics of those tests that the EPA is contemplating are unclear but the mileage estimates are likely to include emissions as well as mileage.

After the EPA formally proposes the changes, the agency will have 90 days for public comment before taking final action.

Currently the EPA tests mileage for city driving as well as highway driving. City driving speeds are limited to 52 mph and highway speeds do not exceed 60 mph.

The tests are conducted at room temperature with the vehicle's air-conditioning turned off.

The agency tests only about 10% of new models, relying on automakers to use the guidelines to test their own vehicles.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Diesel engines make a comeback on the Jeep Liberty

Record high gas prices pushed U.S. consumers to consider the new generation of clean-running, quiet diesels. The newest U.S. offering is the Jeep Liberty which easily exceeded it sales goal of 5000 units. As of December 22, 2005 the 8240 were sold by the Jeep brand.

Toyota's Hybrid Prius help keep the Green image

Toyota offers a fair number of gas guzzling SUVs and large pickups. However, they have managed to keep their image clean by featuring fuel effiencient vehicles such as the Prius Hybrid. Toyota started focusing on Hybrid by in the 1990's, their cars offer distinctive aerodynamic styling and feature vehicles that get almost 60 miles per gallon (MPG).

At first naysayers called hybrids nothing more than a glorified marketing strategy. Most experts felt that customers would not pay the premium price for a vehicle just based on the operating costs savings. However, consumers flocked to hybrids, could it be a trend or a feel good factor that drives the sales. Also, taking a $3000 hit on the price of the car happens once when you buy it, however, most people buy gas once or twice a week and when gas was at $3.40 a gallon driving your SUV made you feel bad every week.

The Toyota Prius sold more thand 100,000 units in 2005, outselling entire brands such as Suzuki, Audi, Hummer, and Mini. Toyota will expand it hybrid presense to the Highlander, camry and Lexus. The popularity is reinforced by the success of the Ford Escape Hybrid whose demand is greater than Ford's capacity to build them.

GM introduces new vehicles at LA auto show focused on fuel economy

GM focus on the ecocology and fuel savings in last December's LA autoshow.

2007 Chevy Suburban: The all-new 2007 Suburban is Chevy's flagship SUV and is built on GM's brand-new full-size SUV architecture, combining advanced fuel-saving technologies and changes in design aerodynamics for best-in-class fuel economy. The 2007 Suburban will go on sale in the second quarter of 2006.

Chevy also introduced the newest member of the passenger car family the 2007 AVEO sedan. Saab presented a fueled concept vehicle the Aero Bio-Power which is powered with 85% ethanol and 15 percent gas.