Category Archives: technology

fuel economy

6 Little Known Facts That Can Boost Your Fuel Economy

With the gas prices practically in the sky (at least it feels that way); everyone is looking for a way to save a few bucks at the pump this year. So here are six simple ways that you can make that MPG go a little further this year.

1. Old Engine Oil=Lower Fuel Economy

Yes, the quality of your engine oil does indeed affect your fuel economy. So make sure you change the oil in your car according to your vehicles maintenance schedule, and you will be a step ahead at the gas pump.

2. Stop Carrying Dead Weight

Here’s the deal; traveling with excess weight in your vehicle makes your engine burn fuel faster thus degrading your fuel economy. Want to get another boost of MPG’s? Start cleaning that car out to get rid of all the junk that isn’t being used. No matter how you make your car clean, just remember that the less weight your car carries, the more your gas mileage will improve.

3. Break Your Bad Driving Habits

Let’s face it; you and I both probably have some bad driving habits. Did you know, aggressive driving such as rapid accelerations and speeding can decrease your gas mileage by 33%! The more steady and consistent your driving becomes, the more fuel efficient your vehicle will be.

4. Cruise Control Won’t Help You

The fact that cruise control keeps you going at a constant speed doesn’t take in to account shifts in the terrain. Try it yourself. Set the cruise at 60 MPH and listen to how hard your engine accelerates when you drive up an inclined section of freeway. If all roads were flat, cruise control would be perfect for optimizing your fuel economy. But because most roads are made up of series’ of inclines and declines and are rarely flat, you have much more control over how your vehicle handles the road if your foot is actually on the pedal. So, stay in control of your cruising and you’ll be on your way to maximized fuel economy in no time at all.

5. Avoid Traffic

Ok ok, I know what you’re already thinking. How is not getting stuck in traffic a “little known secret’ to boost fuel economy?! Clearly no one in their right mind goes looking for traffic. Crawling along the road at a snail’s pace is not the most efficient way to use your limited gas supply.

6. Keep Those Tires Properly Inflated

I wasn’t going to include this tip, because I thought it was common knowledge that under-inflated tires drastically affect your fuel economy. Also, tires with low air pressure do a lot more than lower your fuel economy. Low tire pressure can also lead to premature wear, poor handling, and even massive failures while driving on the highway. So do yourself a favor, and swing by your local gas station and make sure check your tire pressure today.


6 Facts about Gasoline that You Should Know!

Gasoline is such a big part of how Americans get from place to place. Gasoline is the sweet liquid that we depend upon every day to keep our cars and nation going. It is part of what has help propel the United States into a world power over the past century, and it is what powers the vast majority of motor vehicles; whether they are by land, sea or air. Here are six things that are important to know about gasoline and why they are important to us as everyday gasoline users.

Fact 1: The tax you pay per gallon

We all know that gas prices change on what seems like an everyday basis but the taxes you pay per gallon of fuel can vary wildly. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has an excellent cost breakdown from the month of March, when gas prices averages at $3.53 per gallon. Basically, total taxation comes to 12 percent of that overall price. Federal excise tax equaled 18.4 cents, and by averaging state taxes on top of it, the EIA came up with the figure of 23.52 cents per gallon.

Each state has a different rate of taxation per gallon of gas, so where you live is the most important factor in determining the total price of filling up your tank. States like California and New York generally have higher taxes and the exact rates can boil down to a number of economic factors. Taxation can be used by legislators to encourage people to take public transport to ease roadway congestion or as measure to combat air pollution. The manner in which those taxes are applied also varies state to state through excise and sales tax.

Fact 2: Where does your gas come from?

Tracking down exactly where the gas you are pumping came from is downright near impossible. There are numerous variables in gasoline production, and the product that ultimately ends up at your neighborhood gas station most likely saw its genesis at a number of locations. The EIA doesn’t collect information as to the source of gasoline sold at local outlets, so its origin cannot be easily determined.

The product you’re purchasing could have been developed at a number of different refineries, own by any number of different companies. Gas producers also receive crude oil, which is refined into gasoline from a bunch of different sources, both foreign and domestic. Even after gasoline leaves the refinery, it often is blended with the products of other refineries through a pipeline, and then sold to gas stations in bulk. Basically, the fuel you’re putting into your vehicle can’t really be traced back to its definitive source.

Fact 3: How much fuel comes from a barrel of oil?

When news outlets report on oil and gas they generally talk about the production in barrels. One barrel commonly abbreviated to ‘bbl’ can contain up to 42 gallons of crude oil. From those 42 gallons, a U.S. refinery can generally refine roughly 19 gallons of gasoline.

Fact 4: Why does the U.S. export fuel when prices keep climbing?

Recent studies have shown that the U.S. is taking big steps towards limiting its country wide dependence on foreign fuel and that has come through a combination of increases domestic oil and natural gas production. As American oil producers ramp up production numbers, exports have been on the rise as well. The one thing we all find ourselves asking every time we roll up to the pump is, if production is increasing and the process is becoming more refined, then why do process keep rising? Why are American companies exporting fuel that we could use here to drive prices back down?

The answer is fairly complicated, but, in its purest form, basically gasoline producers can hit higher profit margins by sending their product abroad. There are other factors, like inadequate pipeline capacity and shipping constraints, which lead many companies to send petroleum products to easier-to-reach markets. Essentially, the amount of production and gas prices aren’t as closely related as people might think, and things like taxation could have a bigger impact. Companies will sell their product where they can secure the biggest profit, which is why exports have continued despite higher prices domestically.

Fact 5: Ethanol’s role

Over the past decade, ethanol has become a popular term in then energy lexicon, especially when discussing fuel prices and production. Ethanol itself is short for ethyl alcohol, a main component in most gasolines that can be produced from biological sources, like corn or sugar cane.

Ethanol is an additive for many fuels, and according to the EIA, makes up about 10% of overall gasoline consumption. Ethanol has grown to become a fixture in most gasoline sold at the pump, but the exact amount can vary by location. The basic role of ethanol is to oxygenate gasoline, causing it to burn cleaner and more efficiently.

Fact 6: How much CO2 is produced from Gasoline?

Burning fossil fuels is the main contributor toward increasing greenhouse gases in the environment, and motor vehicles are a big source of emissions. Burning a gallon of gasoline without any ethanol added produced 16.64 pounds of carbon dioxide, while burning a gallon of diesel produces 22.38 pounds, according to the EIA’s data. With added biofuel content, those numbers are reduced depending on specific blends.

As consumers and businesses look for ways to lessen their environmental impact, vehicle emissions should start to see a reduction in coming years. Companies like Tesla are taking steps to make cleaner technologies available to other car makers, which should add more competition and increase the number of electric cars on the road as well.

Muscle cars, GO15

8 Little Known Facts about the Muscle Car

Almost every red blooded American male loves a good muscle car. And why shouldn’t they? The Muscle Car is part of what makes American cars so special. They were created in America for everyone to love and drive. And we did just that! Not only did we fall in love with the muscle car when it was first created we still love it today. From the classic originals to the modern muscle car, we love them all! Here are a few facts about the muscle car that you probably did not know already.

Fact 1:

Mercury Cougar tail lights were used for the 1967 Shelby Mustangs while the 1968 model incorporated the ones from 1966 Ford Thunderbirds.

Fact 2:

Chevy never produced a 1983 Corvette. The second generation ended up in 1982 and the third generation started in 1984. Some say Chevy needed more time to fit the emission regulations, others claim it was quality bugs at the factory. All 1983 prototypes, except for the one that is at the Nation Corvette Museum, were destroyed.

Fact 3:

Daytona’s aerodynamic drag coefficient is 0.28 – great one for nowadays too. The radical height of the rear wing is said to be not that necessary, the idea was to be able to fully open the trunk.

Fact 4:

Pontiac T-Top roof for the 1976 models were made by Hurst. But they leaked, so Pontiac developed their own version and launched it in the 1978 models. Still, so of the 1978 Firebirds had the Hurst one (aka “Hurst Hatch”).

Fact 5:

The 1969-1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 had three different engines installed. The “S-Code” was hardcore but had warranty problems due to incorrect assembly process so the lighter-duty version “T-Code” was developed. The product ended with “A-Code” which had new valvetrain.

Fact 6:

Chevy did not allow any other Chevrolet to be more powerful than that of its top performance car – the Corvette, until the LS6 was made.

Fact 7:

Chevrolet actually developed the ZL-1 427 engine for races. COPO Camaro used that V8 at the Can Am series.

Fact 8:

Pontiac picked up the leftover GNX turbocharged engines from Buick and used those for 1989 20th anniversary Trans Am muscle cars.

Tire Myths

Tires are a vital part of every car and how one billion cars get from point A to point B. Some of these truths and myths make sense, they are the ones we have heard of but some will surprise you on how crazy they are and how we never knew that before. So what are these crazy tire myths and the truths about them you ask, keep reading to find out.

tire mythCrazy tire myth number one:

Car manufactures and tire manufactures have printed on the inside of the car or on the outside of the tire on how full to fill your tire, this is the tire pressure or PSI. But what you probably didn’t know is that it is a myth that tires need to be inflated based on this number. The number provided is actually the maximum that the tires should be filled to, anything more than this and your tire could cause some major accidents or even burst.

Crazy tire myth number two:

Another crazy tire myth is that lowering the tire pressure will better the grip you get on wet surfaces. This is actually really dangerous because then the tire grooves that are there to help disperse the water actually trap the water in the tire giving you less grip on the road and giving the potential risk of hydroplaning or having your car lock up; become a greater possibility.

Crazy tire myth number three:

During the summer time, the air in tires expands due to high temperatures and thus tire pressure should be reduced by a few PSI. This is a big myth, since the rubber on the tires keeps the heat from getting in. The air pressure inside the tire will stay the same temperature if the pressure stays the same. However, if you do reduce the tire pressure the temperature of the tire pressure will heat up since there is less pressure which will cause the tire walls to flex or bend. We advise you to maintain the company recommended PSI even during summer months.

Crazy tire myth number four:

Tire pressure should be reduced in the winter months to improve handling. As we just mentioned, you should not reduce the tire pressure in the summer and you should never reduce the tire pressure in the winter either. In fact, during the winter time you should increase the tire pressure by 2 PSI for every 3-4 degree drop in temperature.

Crazy tire myth number five:

Winter tires are only required during snowfall. This one is a simple one, if you stay in a place where the temperature is below 10 degrees we suggest winter tires for the sole purpose of they are better equipped to handle extreme cold than regular tires are. Even if it isn’t snowing there or it never snows there, if the temperature drops below 10 degrees you should have winter tires on.

Crazy tire myth number six:

Valve caps are used to prevent the tire from losing pressure. This one is one of the craziest but the truest tire myths at the same time. Valve caps are used to prevent dust, water, mud and other things from getting into your tire and causing air pressure loss. So you could make the assumption that valve caps are used to prevent tire air pressure loss but you would be missing the crucial point as to how the tire would lose the air pressure.

GO15Not only will the tires help your car become more efficient but so will GO15. When you use GO15 engine treatment there is an improvement in the ring to cylinder wall seal. This reduces gas blow-by, increases compression and therefore delivers more power and less fuel wasted. In effect, GO15 creates a Higher Combustion Efficiency resulting in improved mileage and performance.

No matter where you are in the world and what the weather is like there, you should always check your tire pressure once a week to make sure you have no leaks and you are driving safely everywhere you go. And, don’t forget the GO15 in your car to help it run smoother and more efficiently.

Self-Driving Cars Available Sooner Than You Think

Google has been working on the technology so cars can drive themselves. They could be available within the next 10 years.

The self driving cars from Google are already travelling on freeways problem free and the driver is there in case they need to take over the steering wheel. They are able to handle more and more situations you would come across driving through city streets. These were problems a few years ago but now almost solved.

“We’re growing more optimistic that we’re heading toward an achievable goal – a vehicle that operates fully without human intervention,” project director Chris Urmson wrote. The benefits would include fewer accidents, since in principle machines can drive more safely than people.

The cars are not perfect and still need human help when it comes to certain things like stop signs or when other drivers signal you to go around them or merge into a lane of traffic.

To date, Google’s cars have gone about 700,000 miles (1,126,000 kilometers) in self-driving mode, the vast majority on freeways, the company said.