Saving gas?

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What are the lot times on gas guzzlers these days? That should be the driving force, not government.
Originally posted by rusty 63 model: Datsun F-10 (ugly!)...
I had a girlfriend who owned one. I loved its "Italian" H-pattern shifter with first gear on the lower left.
I figure the same people that buy huge vehicles just so they can see over traffic are the same idiots who want to slow the rest of the drivers down to save them some gas.... all the while they're still barrelling down the left lane at 80 on the cell phone because rules don't apply to them. Personally I'd like to see registration and excise taxes nullified, and insurance reformed, so it makes sense to have a second, fuel efficient vehicle. Make up the revenue loss with another nickel or so in gas tax. Javacontour is correct about the EPA ratings criteria change, I think it was about the mid 80s when that happened. What's shameful is the older Geo metro could pull 50 hwy then the daweoo built replacement 36ish? Apparantly the new smog regs are tough on NOx, a function of lean burning. [I dont know]
Lower speed limit still doesn't address many wastful practices: 1) idling to keep A/C on 2) idling to keep heater on 3) overly aggressive acceleration Idling can get very silly such as: 4) idling because battery is dead (I had some servicemen idle their van while working in my house because battery was dead and they "didn't have time" to replace it????) Laws and regulations such as speed limits are very crude methods that often can cause more harm due to unanticipated side effects. It is generally more effective to tackle these problems using technology. As an example, many trackers have to idle a lot at times, such as border crossings. They simply cannot kill A/C in the middle of summer while waiting at a border. So some company came up with an idea of installing a secondary engine, a small generator, that has enough power for A/C and limited movement (slow) so that main engine can be turned off. Of course, generator burns much less fuel. Simple idea that doesn't compromise on functionality. Same goes for the #3 which is being fixed by hybrids. Simply use a secondary temporary energy stoage (batteries) for the acceleration boost needed, then recapture some/most of that energy when breaking at the next traffic light. Some may complain that hybrids don't work. Some drivers will abuse ANY technology and cannot be satisfied ever. Also hybrids still have a lot of development ahead to improve them. And so on. Bottom line is that it is much easier to spend some money on engineers to fix fuel efficiency than change laws/regulations.
well you can help some technologies with (less) regulation. There's no technical reason I can't buy a new VW diesel car in Maine, it's just against the law. [Mad] Our environmental regs don't seem to mind if you pump out tons of CO2 but watch those NOx and particulates. Very hard to nail something common-sense down.
I drive a lot. I think the biggest waste of fuel comes from a good 80% of the population driving their cars like race cars. People feel compelled to be the first one to the red light. During medium traffic people are gunning it to close the space between them and the car in front of them. On the freeway with no traffic people are averaging 85+mph in their SUVs, Minivans, and Hybrids. It is an all too common sight to see an SUV roar past me at WOT only to be stopped by cars going 70mph - then they change lanes to resume their pedal mashing to 90+mph. Though I'm sure restaraunt drive thrus and idling hurts a lot - here in California 405, 101, 10 freeways are traffic nightmares. Sitting in traffic for an hour or more has to be a serious gas problem. Even on the 210 freeway - westbound in the morning and eastbound at night - traffic traffic traffic with thousands of cars running AC in summer. I would think that is a horrific waste of gas??? I think encouraging companies to set different work times might help traffic - but it is a lot more complex than that, I'm sure.
Keep in mind, Civics are tuned to get the best gas mileage at 70 MPH. Lowering the speed limit would reduce their efficiency.
Speaking of Chicago.... Each time I've driven there, I've been held both ways up 80 to 120 minutes to drive 4 to 10 miles to the I-94/I-80 interchange, just so the tollway can collect their measly 60¢. How absurd!!! All three lanes were open during construction and there were no accidents. The locals tell me this is considered normal traffic!! All I could think of is how much time I (and others) were wasting, plus how the Chicago air quality was going to pot, just so someone can collect their stupid 60¢!! At least in Florida when there's a crunch, they open all tollbooths to free up traffic.
Highway mileage is always much better than normal around town driving. The highway is not the gas problem. The greater problem is the way people drive their massive vehicles in daily conditions. We need smaller cars, and better driving techniques.
Originally posted by mechtech2: Highway mileage is always much better than normal around town driving. The highway is not the gas problem. (...snip...)
Apologies for nit-picking, but highway mileage isn't always better. In hybrids, the pattern is typicall reversed, since the car is able to "salvage" so much more otherwise wasted energy during the constant stop-and-go of city driving. The EPA ratings for the Prius are 50 hwy, 60 city. I've been seeing 44-46 hwy and 46-48 in town, though I did just top 50 on a half fill, all city. [Cheers!]
In Sept 05 when prices hit $3.00 people slowed down a lot. I ran down to Fl. to see family and limited my speed to 65 mph max. I passed more people than passed me. I went down the last week of July 06 and the complete opposite occured. I was getting passed by 90% of the passenger vehicles. On the other hand almost most all of the commercial vehicle traffic was running at 65 mph or less. The exception was the Greyhound buses.
What matters is the total cost of driving, not the price of one part of the process. Driving slow only makes sense when time has little value. A bus full of people should not go slow, since the cost of even the extra food to feed the passengers will outweigh the fuel saved. People who call for new laws to control other people are forgetting that they are calling for the use of deadly force to threaten their fellow man. That is why politics raises tempers.
ALS, big oil knows that drivers' "threshold" has risen and they keep savoring it. At first people were shocked at $2.00-$2,50/gallon gas (enough for states to waive sales taxes and the US gov. to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve). Today, people aren't phased by $3.00/gal gas, so the question is, when will big oil be once again testing to see what the new threshold is?
I may be wrong, but I don't think we'll see any REAL reduction in highway speeds, idling and unnecessary trips hither & yon, until fuel reaches over $5.00/gal. In other words a change in the American way of life/driving. It may take hard core technology and a combination of ideas mentioned in this thread. But there certainly isn't going to be any reduction in the numbers of vehicles in the years ahead.
Never mind idling , how about just setting and maintaining the correct tire pressure! Take a quick peek in a parking lot sometime. Start with the cheap, simple stuff and worry about the minutae when you can be sure of the easy part [Smile]
Originally posted by javacontour: It's the market, stupid. If you want gas prices to go down, then use less.
Quote of the day. And even if it isn't the Market as many conspiracy advocates indicate. ...The cheapest gallon of gas for "you" is the one "you" don't use. The other thing mentioned is that the same people who want the government to do something about gas prices are the same ones that don't want the government to mandate types of vehicles or lower speed limits.
Fuel economy depends upon the user, not CAFE or the speed limit. Select a vehicle that suits your needs, not your ego, drive it smoothly and track your mileage with every fillup and I promise you will enjoy lower fuel costs than what you have now. Always remember that you are running your own race. You need not fret that the neighboors have bought some huge pig of an SUV and you need not worry about some idiot passing you on the freeway.
Originally posted by badtlc: Keep in mind, Civics are tuned to get the best gas mileage at 70 MPH. Lowering the speed limit would reduce their efficiency.
No, it wouldn't. The principles of fluid mechanics apply to all vehicles, including the Civic. What is your source? [ September 08, 2006, 11:22 PM: Message edited by: rpn453 ]
If the speed limit were lowered to 55 the country would use MORE gas not less. The lower speed limit would effectively reduce the capacity of already congested roads and highways. There would be more traffic jams that would be worse in intensity and last longer causing more pollution and fuel consumption than we've got now. Not to mention the fact that when a speed limit is set artificially low it will always make the road more dangerous. That's the reason fatality rates have gone down since the elimination of the 55 mph limit and part of the reason that the Autobahn system is safer than the Interstate system.
Hacker, I totaly relate to your comments, just change that to the Chicago metro area, except we have no HOV lanes and about 10 Hwy jurisdictions all working independent of one another (construction jobs seem never to be coordinated) and improvements lag about 10 years behind.
I think people are already doing a fine job of blocking others on the freeways at any speed. They get lined up side-by-side so other can't pass. They can still do it, even at lower speeds. They know when others are driving too fast and they do a good job of controlling the flow. The police help, too, by not giving them tickets. When you see cars passing on the right, you know there is a regulator up there doing their job. It's a difficult job, being a regulator, but someone has to do it. Some people are born to the work. And you must remember, it's an all volunteer force. Remember the rule, it's slower traffic to the right, unless you're an important person, then the fast lane if for you. We will follow. What else can we do.
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