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Entries Tagged 'MPG Tip' ↓

Why Do Gasoline Prices Vary by Location?

Do you take the time to look for less expensive alternatives to fill up your vehicles fuel tank? I’ve noticed that the service stations in my neck of the woods tend to have consistent pricing levels. Some are always high, some are always low, some ride the middle line, and some are extraordinarily high. I make my fueling choices based on the 1) the quality of the fuel and 2) the price. Brand doesn’t matter, as long as it’s quality fuel.

I had to fill up a test car with premium fuel this afternoon and had a bit of extra time, so I checked the prices at a handful of local stations. I was shocked by the astronomical price difference or “spread” as it’s referred to in the biz. In this video, I compared the prices at four different gas stations in one region.


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NASCAR Gas Mileage Racing

Fuel management is key to success in NASCAR. Races are won and lost depending on a team’s ability to accurately measure the amount of fuel necessary to cover the distance. At this year’s Pocono 500, I asked Dr. Eric Warren, the director of competition for Richard Childress Racing, for some insight into gas mileage racing in NASCAR.

“Each race is a certain length,” Dr. Warren explained. “Say it’s a 400-mile race. The objective is to get to the finish line and 400 miles quicker than anyone else.” NASCAR cup cars have fuel tanks that hold approximately 18.5 gallons. “Let’s say we can get a hundred miles on a tank of gas depending upon the racetrack, that might be 60 laps or it might be 50 laps on a two-mile track,” Dr. Warren continued. “If that caution comes out with 53 laps to go or 110 miles to go you have to stretch and make sure you start saving fuel because making it to the end of the race is more important than having to make an extra pit stop.”


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Can the Right Footwear Help You Get Better Gas Mileage?

Just as sure as your car needs to be tuned up, you need to be in tune with your car to optimize fuel economy. Your feet represent one (or two) of the most important touchpoints. Wearing the right footwear (or no footwear at all) can make a measurable difference in efficiency. When the summer rolls around, I often drive my own car barefoot. It’s a habit I picked up while growing up, and it’s never left me. Bare feet are a boon for light-footed driving.

Of course, it’s not always practical to drive barefoot. The mere thought repulses some people (particularly those with foot phobias or the dreaded fungus). The socially acceptable thing to do is to wear something on your feet. But it shouldn’t just be any something …


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Derive Systems: Improving Fleet Fuel Efficiency via Software Solutions

Fleet vehicles use a whopping amount of fuel. The Federal Highway Administration estimates that the average delivery truck travels approximately 13,000 miles per year, a police car slightly over 15,000 miles, and a light truck nearly 12,000 miles. Multiply those numbers by the size of each fleet and the numbers roll up.

Whether it’s a police cruiser, an appliance repair truck, or an executive transport coach, optimizing idle settings is key to slashing overall fleet fuel consumption. The average fleet vehicle spends a monumental amount of time idling. A fleet manager can see a substantial reduction in fuel costs by implementing some simple changes. Yet it’s rarely done.

Derive Efficiency handheld OBDII device
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D-I-Y Front Lip on the Cheap

Adding a front lip was one of the first aero modifications I made to my 1999 Honda Civic HX Coupe (a.k.a. SLAMBO). I used heavy duty agricultural plastic to get the job done, cutting down a sheet of bamboo root barrier. Bamboo root barrier comes in a variety of widths and weights. The lighter the weight, the easier it is to make the bends. You won’t find it locally, though, and it tends to be expensive. Most folks use lawn edging like this Five-inch wide Master Mark Plastic Landscape Edging. I’m not sure if this stuff is too heavy to make tight bends, but it looks similar to the material that Mighty Car Mods used in their recent D-I-Y Lip episode.

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