Archive for the ‘fuel efficiency’ Tag

Today, June 1st, marks start of summer gasoline rules in Michigan

Rules mean higher gas prices at the pump:

You can expect to see a jump at the pump starting Wednesday.

June 1 marks the beginning of summer gasoline rules in Michigan — which means gas stations in Lenawee, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties must only sell or dispense a “summer gas blend” that does not exceed 7.0 pounds per square inch (psi) vapor pressure.

“Summer-formula gasoline increases fuel efficiency and helps smog-causing compounds from being released into the atmosphere,” said Craig VanBuren, acting laboratory division director for the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. “MDARD inspectors will conduct on-site testing during the summer gas season, which runs from June 1 to September 15.”

The current statewide average price for regular unleaded is around $2.50 a gallon. That’s up 19 cents compared to a month ago, but still lower than the $2.73 average we were paying a year ago.

How to file a gas quality complaint

If you suspect that you have purchased substandard fuel (mislabeled octane, water in gas, etc) or that you have received a short/incorrect measure, contact MDARD on our Complaints page. Questions about gas gouging should be directed to the Michigan Attorney General’s office at 877-765-8388.

Tips for energy efficient driving

1. Combine trips for shopping and errands.

2. Avoid unnecessary trips. Use the telephone or e-mail to communicate.

3. For short trips, walk or ride a bike.

4. Join a carpool or use public transit to and from work or school.

5. Don’t idle the car for more than one minute.

6. Drive the speed limit, or below, for better mileage.

7. Overdrive gears improve the fuel economy of your car during highway driving.

8. Avoid sudden bursts of speed, tailgating and pumping the accelerator pedal. Gradual starts and stops result in less fuel use and less wear and tear.

9. Out on the open highway, keep windows rolled up to reduce drag.

10. Using a vehicle’s air conditioner on a hot summer day can decrease mileage. If it’s cool enough, use the flow-through ventilation on your car instead of the air conditioner.

11. Travel during off-peak hours when possible.

12. Take the shortest route with the best roads.

13. Use the cruise control — it can save fuel by maintaining a steady speed.

14. Keep tires at the recommended air pressure.

15. Keep your car engine properly tuned.

16. Remove bicycle and ski racks when not in use.

17. Excess weight uses more fuel. Remove unnecessary items from inside the vehicle, trunk or truck bed.

18. Use the lowest octane gasoline recommended by the manufacturer.

19. When buying a new car, make fuel efficiency a priority.

20. Don’t buy a bigger engine than you need.

Read more at: http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/june-1st-marks-the-start-of-summer-gasoline-rules-in-michigan

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Better Driving Habits Help Family Finances and the Environment

According to the nonprofit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), motorists can help the environment and their own finances by incorporating a few good practices. Regular vehicle maintenance and better driving habits are two simple ways any car owner can go “green” — both for the environment and one’s own wallet.

Here are a few specific, easy-to-implement tips from ASE:

– Keep the engine running at its peak performance. A misfiring spark plug can reduce fuel efficiency as much as 30 percent. Replace filters and fluids as recommended in the manual. A well-tuned engine pollutes less and uses less. Moreover, neglected engine performance problems can cause costly repairs over time.

– If you do your own repairs, be a good steward of the environment. Dispose of engine fluids and batteries properly. A single quart of used motor oil can pollute thousands of gallons of water. Antifreeze poured on the ground can poison wildlife and household pets. Check around at local repair facilities to see if they accept used fluids and parts, or call your local government agencies for information on proper disposal and recycling.

– Keep tires properly inflated and aligned. If your air pressure is low, you force the engine to work harder and burn more gasoline. Tires that are misaligned also make your vehicle work harder. Consider, too, that poorly maintained tires wear out faster, which means more discards have to be scraped, recycled, or sent to the landfill.

– If weekend car tinkering is not your idea of fun, find a dependable ASE-certified technician. Ask friends for recommendations. Check the reputation of the repair shop with your local consumer group. Check out the technician’s specific credentials. ASE-certified auto technicians are tested for specific skills and knowledge in national exams, such as engine performance, brakes or suspension.

– Have your vehicle’s air conditioning system serviced only by a technician qualified to handle and recycle refrigerants. Older systems contain ozone-depleting chemicals, which could be released into the atmosphere through improper service. If you have used any over-the-counter remedies such as system sealants or self-service refrigerants, let the technician know prior to servicing the vehicle.

– Avoid speeding and sudden accelerations. Both habits guzzle gas and put extra wear-and-tear on your vehicle’s engine, transmission, steering and suspension system, and other components. Use cruise control and anticipate traffic patterns ahead. As a side benefit, your brakes will last longer, too.

– Consolidate daily errands to eliminate unnecessary driving. When waiting for friends or family, shut off the engine. Park in a central location at the shopping center, and walk from store to store, rather than drive from one end to the other.

– Remove excess items from the vehicle. Less weight means better mileage. Remove that roof-top luggage carrier after vacations to reduce air drag.

While there is no single vehicle that’s ideal for every lifestyle, regular car care and gentler driving lets you maximize gas mileage for your particular make and model — saving you money and helping the environment.

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) was founded in 1972 as a nonprofit, independent organization dedicated to improving the quality of automotive service and repair through the voluntary testing and certification of automotive professionals. ASE-certified technicians wear blue and white ASE shoulder insignia and carry credentials listing their exact areas of certification. Their employers often display the ASE sign. Shops with a high percentage of ASE-certified technicians often participate in the Blue Seal of Excellence Recognition Program.

Read more at: http://www.ase.com/News-Events/Publications/Glove-Box-Tips/Better-Driving-Habits-Help-Family-Finances-and-the.aspx

6 Simple Car Care Tips to Increase Gas Mileage

Six Gas Saving Car Care TipsSpring is here and so are rising gas prices. Not to worry, says the Car Care Council. A few simple and inexpensive vehicle maintenance steps can stretch your dollar at the pump and go a long way toward protecting the environment.

“Many motorists don’t realize that fuel consumption is directly related to auto care and has a significant impact on how much gas you use,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Gas prices can climb quickly, but the good news is that you can fight back. By properly maintaining your vehicle, you can improve fuel economy while saving money.”

The non-profit Car Care Council encourages motorists to be car care aware and perform simple maintenance to improve fuel economy.

– Tune-Up: Keep your car properly tuned to improve gas mileage by an average of 4 percent.

– Tire Pressure: Keep tires properly inflated and improve gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent.

– Motor Oil: Improve gas mileage by 1 to 2 percent by using the grade of motor oil recommended by the manufacturer.

– Air Filters: Replacing clogged air filters on older vehicles can improve fuel economy and will improve performance and acceleration on all vehicles.

– Gas Cap: Damaged, loose or missing gas caps allow gas to vaporize into the air.

– Fix It: Addressing a serious maintenance problem, like a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve mileage by as much as 40 percent, according to http://www.fueleconomy.gov.

In addition to vehicle maintenance, modifying driving habits, such as observing the speed limit and avoiding quick stops and starts, can also increase fuel efficiency. Consolidating trips, avoiding excessive idling and removing unnecessary items from the trunk are also easy ways to lower fuel consumption.

April is National Car Care Month and free vehicle inspections are happening all around the country. Find a free car care clinic or vehicle inspection event near you on the Car Care Council’s Event Finder to learn more about taking care of your car.

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a free copy of the council’s Car Care Guide or for more information, visit http://www.carcare.org.

Read more at: http://www.carcare.org/2014/04/rising-gas-prices-dont-have-to-cost-you/