Archive for the ‘Gas for your car…’ Category

Wait on That SUV: Will Gas Prices Go Back Up?

January 20th, 2015

cheap gas

We’re all well aware that gas prices are absurdly low. Filling up my Audi Q7 used to approach $100, and now I can comfortably fill up for under $50. Prices are well below $2.00 per gallon, which harkens back to the good times of nearly a decade ago.

Of course with cheap gas, American drivers seem to forget that prices were ever high. Check out this quote from CNN:

With fuel prices steadily dropping, SUV and crossover sales climbed 11.8% higher last year. Now, with gas below $2 a gallon at most U.S. gas stations, that trend is expected to continue.

Instead of being thrilled that gas is cheap and keeping fuel-efficient cars to make the savings even bigger, we go right back to our SUV addiction. You know what that’ll do? That’s right. Welcome back, $4 gas.

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Gas Now at $1.99: Credit the Electrics?

January 2nd, 2015

Gas below $2/gallon!

Well look at this, friends: Gas prices are now below $2 per gallon.

Back in 2010, we could have looked ahead to 2015 and wondered how close we’d be to $5 per gallon or more.

Last time we paid this low a price for gasoline, Bill Clinton ran the country, and music came on shiny round discs.

That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but it seems accurate as far as I can remember.

Gas selling at $1.99 per gallon in my area brings back memories of listening to Vanilla Ice, rolling in my 5.0 and putting $10 in my tank to nearly fill it.

Should gas really be this cheap, or should the government step in and increase prices to encourage people to drive more efficient vehicles?

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Want to Go Green? Drive With Gas!

December 31st, 2014


As I become more of a proponent of electric vehicles, I forget that I was once firmly against them.

It took me a long time to hop on the EV bandwagon, because I wasn’t convinced the problems of limited range, questionable cold-weather reliability and the lack of charging infrastructure could be overcome.

As the years passed I’ve become more convinced that electric cars have a place. They certainly aren’t replacements for the family road-trip vehicle, but they are perfectly suitable vehicles for commuting back and forth to work.

My biggest problem with electric cars, though, remains unaddressed.

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World’s Weirdest, and Coolest, Vehicle Conversion?

December 29th, 2014


So you think you know someone. You can be married to a woman and share life’s most intimate moments, and then, one random Sunday morning, she can say this:

“You should look up my friend Otmar and his zip-together Volkswagen bus.”

Ummm…. what?

I replied, “Who is this friend you speak of and why have I never heard about said zip-together bus?”

She said he’s a long-time family friend and that she has physically laid eyes on this bus. I promptly asked Google for more information and found what I believe to be the weirdest, and possibly coolest, conversion project I’ve ever heard of: The Stretchla.

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Battle of the Microcar: Elio Versus Tango

December 22nd, 2014


Gas prices continue to fall, and guys like me, who lumber through town in big SUVs that swallow fuel as quickly as we suck down carmel macchiatos, are smiling, because fill-ups have gone from almost $90 to just over $50.

Saving money at the pump makes us happy, and we spend the saved money on extra macchiatos.

Yes, even macho SUV-driving guys drink macchiatos. We may not like to admit it, but we’re also interested in microcars. Why? Because sometimes we just don’t need the capability and room that giant utes offer. Sometimes we just want to drive to work quickly and cheaply.

A few microcars are hitting the market to fill that need. Two of them in particular are addressing the need for tiny driving in drastically different ways.

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Are New Hydrogen Cars Better Than Electrics?

November 18th, 2014

Honda FCV concept

If cars ran on water, the price of H2O would probably jump to $4 per gallon, and filling our tanks wouldn’t be any less expensive than using gasoline. The good part, though, would be that we’d have an unending supply, and we could drive forever without polluting our environment.

Cars powered by water won’t ever happen, but cars powered by hydrogen, which emit only water, are happening already.

Much like electric cars, hydrogen-powered cars aren’t very practical, because there is no refueling infrastructure in place. Unlike electric cars, fueling up involves filling a tank with compressed gas, which can take a matter of minutes rather than hours.

Toyota and Honda are both big proponents of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, but owning one certainly won’t be cheap.

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Miles of Smiles Per Gallon

October 22nd, 2014


When gas prices hit or exceed $4 per gallon, the cost to fill up my Audi Q7 gets scarily close to $100. I drive to conserve fuel by accelerating slowly, cruising on the highway at about 60-65 miles per hour, and not letting the engine run to warm up the car in the driveway.

At my local Costco this weekend, I pulled up and saw what I thought was a price of $3.94 on the pump’s display. Closer inspection showed a price of $3.44, and I nearly jumped for joy. Fifty cents per gallon, at about 18 gallons, saved a good nine dollars and made me a happy dude.

Gas prices are falling across the country, which is great news for all of us. If you want to save even more at the pump, while driving a brand new car, check this out:

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Don’t Resist: Stop-Start Here to Stay

October 15th, 2014


Do we need stop-start engine technology in this country?

Those of us who continue to drive vehicles powered by fossil fuels need every piece of technology we can get to reduce the amount of fuel we need to fill our tanks.

Stop-start technology works by automatically stopping the engine when a car comes to a complete stop, then starting it again when the brake pedal is released.

The technology has been a success in Europe, where gas prices are exorbitant. As many as 70 percent of cars sold there are equipped with stop-start, compared with just seven percent here. There’s  definitely been a lukewarm acceptance of stop-start in the States, but it’s time we readily embrace it because soon the vast majority of new cars sold here will have it.

Even if the buyer has no idea.

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Saving Fuel: New Car or Just Drive Slower?

August 19th, 2014

Canadian gas prices

Don’t be deceived by the gas signs when traveling abroad.

Gas prices here in the States are about as high as they’ve ever been, hovering just below $4 per gallon in my area. The premium stuff is $3.89 at my corner station.

That makes filling up my SUV a major account drain. In fact, there should probably be men in suits and dark glasses verifying account balances before drivers are allowed to enter a gas station’s general proximity.

Having a rig that gets 20 miles per gallon, tops, is expensive. Unfortunately, it’s also necessary when you have a family of 6 and enjoy adventurous car camping trips in another country.

A Toyota Prius just isn’t going to cut it.

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Are Free Cars On the Horizon?

August 7th, 2014


How would you like to have an alternative fuel car?

I know, thoughts of expensive cars that can’t be driven too far from home are flooding your mind. Plus, why pay so much more for an electric or hydrogen car when you can have a traditional car that runs on relatively cheap and widely available gasoline?

Alternative fuel cars can be a tough sell. But what if you could have one for free?

Automotive News has a story about the possibility of Japan offering free hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles to its citizens. Could that be what’s needed to convince people to go green?

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