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saving fuel

 
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The price of gas jumped up again.  They expect we'll reach $5 a litre by the summer and maybe even higher.  Living in the psudo-sticks like we do, there aren't many transport options available.  Basically, it's a car or staying home.  

So let's brainstorm ideas on how to reduce gas consumption.

  • don't drive at peek traffic times like rushour
  • make several stops in one trip
  • turn right - apparently right turns reduce fuel consumption something like 20%... or so I'm told.
  • keep the car well tuned
  • grow a garden


  • I'm already doing all this.  What more can we do?  
     
    master steward
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    Properly inflated tires make quite a difference, and even going over up to 5psi makes more a more rigid tire which results in less rolling resistance, thus improving gas mileage. Another one is don't drive with the windows rolled down, that makes for terrible aerodynamics and causes lots of drag. Clean air filters is another improvement anyone can easily do.

    The whole right hand turn thing is based on not having to sit and wait for an arrow or for traffic in order to turn left, which sometimes happens when turning right also. This really only benefits folks who drive all day every day, i.e the fedex/ups/mail drivers. They're the ones that did the math and figured that one out.
     
    master steward
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    My solution is to do food storage.  If I run out of something most likely I have some in the pantry.

    We only go shopping every two weeks.

    Next would be to do online bill pay.

    I get my prescriptions through the mail.
     
    gardener
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    A hybrid car or a really small car like an "elio" if you can get one (84 mpg )... or maybe one of the those smart cars. If you are mechanical inclined and have nothing but free time (ha ha) ,building your own electric car and charging it with solar is doable...  
    We go 65 miles to the big city of Sandpoint , Idaho about every 3 weeks. Try to buy everything we think we need. Local store is only 4 miles away but you pay a premium for them buying the gas and your selection is well ... less than it could be.
    Internet  shopping is truly amazing... I can order/ have quickly delivered anything at all and it will be less expensive,take less of my time and be brought directly to my door all without leaving home  / bill paying ,socializing online (Permies of course) ... The down side  is very little in person social interaction.  Are we creating a generation of hide at home hermits, hunched over their internet connection ?

    Like you, we choose to live in a clean peaceful place.
    Do the best you can with your vehicle, combine your trips with a neighbor to the big city,  produce your own grocery's, Milk a cow, make cheese , take care of your chickens/pigs/cows ,breath the clean air and be REALLY glad you don't have to live in the "big city"
    Order online let ups pay for the fuel to bring it to you. Tune up your car ,air up the tires and then stay home as much as you can ... its much nicer there!
     
    gardener
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    If you can't afford a hybrid, consider a vintage 3 cylinder Chevy Sprint.
     
    pollinator
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    r ranson   wrote:They expect we'll reach $5 a litre by the summer and maybe even higher.


    Do you mean $5/litre locally for you? I can't see the average for B.C ending up being $5/litre - sounds like a lot of hype/scare.

    ---

    I'm not sure if it's too obvious to point out, but drive slower. Going 80km instead of 100km will probably save about 15-20% - that's at least what I estimated it used to save me. If there is some worry in driving slower, try to do trips as early or as late as possible when there is the least amount of traffic on the road.

    Using the brakes is taboo, at least in terms of efficiency. It's irritating for me to be in a vehicle with a driver who is going 100km and then 120ft before the Stop Sign they go heavy on the brakes - what a waste of gas and wearing on the brakes. I'm on grid roads, so about 350ft from the Stop Sign, I lay off the gas and glide to a stop, only just tapping the brakes for a moment. Equally important is to slowly accelerate once you leave a stop. Many people internally seem to think they need to shoot off from the Stop Light like it's Nascar in order to "keep the traffic flowing" (or something?), but taking 3-5 extra seconds to get to peak speed is not going to cause traffic jams.

    There are a few other methods aswell, but I do not feel comfortable recommending them, as some would call them dangerous - which they probably would be if used in the wrong scenario. Along with inflated tires James mentioned, the above techniques are part of "HyperMiling" which are used to reduce fuel consumption by changing driving habits or small adjustments that can be made to any vehicle.




     
    pollinator
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    Jarret Hynd wrote: Equally important is to slowly accelerate once you leave a stop. Many people internally seem to think they need to shoot off from the Stop Light like it's Nascar in order to "keep the traffic flowing" (or something?), but taking 3-5 extra seconds to get to peak speed is not going to cause traffic jams.



    I can think of 3 to 4 intersections around Detroit, MI that I run into with infrequency that have a well used, but annoying left turn.

    IF the first 3 people don't accelerate fairly quickly, then they are the only ones that make it through that light cycle.
    And it is a decent minute or three before the next cycle.

    In situations like this I can see that it is maybe more environmentally friendly to accelerate like a NASCAR driver if you are the first 2 or 3 cars, so that 4-6 can make it through the intersection and arent sitting idling(using up gas/polluting/etc)

    Just some contrarian wisdom to add into the discussion of slow acceleration.

    Peace
     
    Jarret Hynd
    pollinator
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    Yeah, I didn't really want to get into traffic logistics of larger centers because I figured the topic might spin into proper city-design. (I felt 5 Edits to add additional detail was already too many aswell lol)

    When the traffic one is surrounded by increases from casual highway/suburb traffic to major intersections that are typically congested, different driving styles are definitely necessary for each scenario.
     
    pollinator
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    James Freyr wrote:Properly inflated tires make quite a difference, and even going over up to 5psi makes more a more rigid tire which results in less rolling resistance, thus improving gas mileage. Another one is don't drive with the windows rolled down, that makes for terrible aerodynamics and causes lots of drag. Clean air filters is another improvement anyone can easily do.

    The whole right hand turn thing is based on not having to sit and wait for an arrow or for traffic in order to turn left, which sometimes happens when turning right also. This really only benefits folks who drive all day every day, i.e the fedex/ups/mail drivers. They're the ones that did the math and figured that one out.



    Inflating your tires too much can be counter productive. We use pneumatic tires because the tire itself absorbs small bumps in the road.  If you make the tire too hard, then instead of absorbing the bump, the whole wheel has to move up and over the bump.  Not only does this make for a more uncomfortable ride, but it wastes energy (it requires energy to move the wheel up and down)
    So if you mostly drive on really smooth roads it makes sense to go with a higher inflation pressure than if you drive on rough roads.

    Rolling the windows up makes a difference at higher speeds, generally speeds above 30-35 mph.  At lower speeds, aerodynamic drag is less significant.  At higher speeds, rolling the windows up and turning on the air conditioner can be use less gas, the exact speed depends on the vehicle but it's usually somewhere around 45 mph.

    An electric car can reduce your gas use to zero, but then you have the cost of building/buying the electric car.

    Bicycles are a great alternative for most people, as long as your trips are less than 15-20 miles each way.  Longer trips are certainly possible, but you can end up spending all day on the bike for really long trips.  Most people that are in moderately good shape can average 12-15 mph on a bicycle.
     
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