Archive for the ‘increase in gas price’ 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.

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Gas-saving tips & myths: Test-based advice for improving fuel economy

As the summer travel season rolls in, prices at the gas pump are usually going in the wrong direction for our wallets. That’s when drivers become more concerned about how to squeeze the most miles from their fuel dollars and keep their cars running their best.

To help you stay in the know, here are some common questions that our auto experts often get asked about gas mileage and related topics:
What’s the best way to cut fuel costs?

Slow down. In our tests, we’ve found that driving faster on the highway can really take a bite out of your car’s fuel efficiency. We measured gas mileage while driving at a steady 55, 65, and 75 mph in a Honda Accord, Toyota RAV4, and three versions of a Ford Fusion, including a hybrid. The drop in fuel economy while going from 55 to 65 rangedfrom 4 to 8 mpg. Upping the speed from 65 to 75 cut it 5 to 7 mpg more. Overall, speeding up from 55 mph to 75 is like moving from a compact car to a large SUV.

What if I need to carry stuff on my car’s roof?

Carrying things on the roof increases aerodynamic drag, which hurts fuel economy. When we tested a  2013 Honda  Accord at a steady 65 mph, it got 42 mpg with nothing on the roof. Adding even an empty bike rack dropped the mileage by 5 mpg, to 37. A wind deflector reduced the wind noise but cut gas mileage to 35 mpg. And with two bikes on the rack, gas mileage dropped to 27 mpg, a whopping 15-mpg difference overall. Similarly, when we tested a  2008 Camry with a large car-top carrier, fuel economy dropped by 5 mpg.

Does running the A/C hurt fuel economy compared with opening the windows?

It depends on how hard the air-­conditioning system has to work. When we measured the fuel-economy difference in a  2008 Ford Focus, Honda  Accord, and Subaru Forester, we found that fuel use with the  A/C running went up with higher outside temperatures.  At 55° F, there were negligible differences. But when we measured again on days when the temperature was in the low 70s and high 80s, we got fewer miles per gallon with the  A/C on. In general, expect 1 to 4 mpg less with air conditioning.

How far can I go when my low-fuel warning light comes on?

There is no set rule, but most cars have a reserve of between 1 and 2 gallons of gas when the light goes on, or enough to travel about 40 miles or so at a moderate speed. To maximize those last couple of gallons, we suggest slowing down and maintaining a steady pace.

Can I improve gas mileage by installing a special air filter?

With modern cars, changing your air filter probably won’t improve your fuel economy. When we tested a car to see whether a dirty air filter hurt its gas mileage because of reduced air intake, we found that the car’s acceleration was hurt but not its fuel economy. The engine’s computer automatically compensated for the restricted airflow by reducing fuel use to maintainthe right air /fuel ratio. We expect similar results from any air-filter change.

Can running on empty hurt my engine?

Some people think that can draw in debris from the bottom of the fuel tank, but it’s not really a big concern. That’s because the fuel pump always pulls in gas from the bottom of the tank, even when it’s full. So if there is a debris problem, you’ll probably know about it long before the fuel level gets low. These days, there’s usually a fuel filter in the gas tank as well as one nearer the engine, so debris is unlikely to get through to your engine. If your tank contains junk, though, you might have to change the filters more frequently.

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