As Pontiac hobbyists we often state that, “We have gasoline running through our veins.” To many of us, life without the chemical-to-mechanical energy conversion that occurs inside the combustion chamber would seem almost unbearable. Even those passionate about the subject still know very little about the fuel that is a major focus of our interest. We know there are varied grades of gasoline, the stuff sold today is different from back in the glory days, and at the track you use race gas—and that’s about it. If that is the case with you, then this story will be an eye-opener. It is important to state early on in this primer that as the author, I, too was in the same situation as you when it came to a knowledge of gasoline. A few years back, I had the wonderful opportunity to spend an entire day at the research laboratory of a major oil company with the head engineer and chemist to entertain my questions. I learned more about fuel in that day than I had … [Read more...] about What To Know About Fuel – Give It The Gas
Figuring gas mileage
The price of U.S. gasoline could hit the $6 mark if international sanctions are imposed on Iran and shut down the Strait of Hormuz, through which much of the world's oil is shipped, the Chicago Tribune reports, citing remarks made by IHS chief economist Nariman Behravesh at an event sponsored by the National Automobile Dealers Association and IHS.Sudan, Syria and Yemen are among countries where there have been oil-supply disruptions, driving up the price of gas to its current levels. And, with 20 percent of the world's oil coming from the Persian Gulf and fears of Iran supply disruption, there's about a 20 percent chance gas prices will approach the $6 a gallon mark, and that could happen by early next year. According to Behravesh, such a jump could cause alt-fuel vehicle sales to spike and, with General Motors unlikely to be able to ramp up production of its Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in vehicle, Nissan Leaf battery-electric sales may surge.Gas prices are a subject that elicit … [Read more...] about Gas may hit $6 mark, or maybe pump prices have peaked
I recently passed a highway billboard offering "A cure for your addiction to oil." It was another example of my tax dollars hard at work: an oversized ad for Madison Metro, the Wisconsin's city bus company. Yes, where once fuel conservation was the moral equivalent of war, it now seems to require a 12-Step program. With the price of sweet, light crude flirting with a $100 a barrel price tag, we're all supposed to get "on the wagon." I mean bus. So, off we got to Auto Owners Anonymous.I find my group crowded into the bus dispatcher's office of the Madison Metro central garage. Metaphorically speaking, think Louis De Palma's cage from Taxi where the drivers line up to be the butt of insult jokes. The dispatcher's office is where the Q&A session goes down, before we're introduced to rows of engines and transmissions and then meet some two hundred city buses. A hand goes up. "What kind of gas mileage does a bus get?" It's a patently ridiculous question. Although fuel prices are … [Read more...] about Do Buses Save Gas?
The Environmental Protection Agency’s current Federal Test Procedure (FTP) for city mileage was originally designed to represent a typical trip on Los Angeles streets. The test– codenamed FTP-72– begins with a cold start from 70 degrees. It then runs for 7.5 miles at an average of 19.6 mph, with a peak speed of 56.7 mph (from a short freeway segment). The EPA Highway Fuel Economy Test (HWFET) starts with a warm engine, runs for 10.26 miles, averages 48.3 mph, and peaks at around 60 mph. Does anyone in the real world drive like that?Obviously not. By the ‘80’s, the EPA was deluged with complaints that its gas mileage estimates were entirely unrealistic (i.e. hopelessly optimistic). In 1984, the EPA reacted by lowering estimates across the board to “more accurately reflect driving styles and conditions.” The government agency trimmed EPA window sticker stats by 10 percent for the city, 22 percent for highway. This overdue amendment helped … [Read more...] about The Truth About EPA Mileage Estimates
Who woulda thunk it? Due to their high gas mileage, old Geo Metros are sought-after cars. Laugh if you want, but "Marci Solomon is hoping she'll be the one laughing- all the way to the bank -when her Geo Metro saves her from skyrocketing gas prices," according to CNN. Solomon has a 100-mile commute to work and her Honda Element was getting 28MPG, causing her to fill up twice a week at a cost of almost $100. So she began searching for an alternative and initially "toyed with the idea of purchasing a Prius," until she "rediscovered" old Geo Metros for sale on eBay. She focused on a 1996 two-door, three-cylinder, which opened with a $200 bid, and eventually "won it" with her winning bid of $7,300! Her ‘96 Metro's "average of 40 miles per gallon approaches that of a new Toyota Prius," and "bests most current cars by a long shot." Solomon says "I used to be a car snob, and I used to be too vain to drive anything that doesn't shine; but now it's about, ‘do I want to … [Read more...] about Gas Prices Drive Metros from Clunkers to Chic
Nature abhors a vacuum, and so does journalism. GM has been trumpeting the Volt’s 40 mile target AER (all electric range) since it was first announced on January 7, 2007. From that very day three years and eight months ago, journalists and enthusiasts have been asking The Big Volt Question: what is its fuel economy in CSM (charge sustaining mode)? There has never been an answer, except that at the 2007 announcement Bob Lutz “reasoned that…(after the battery was depleted) the engine sipping fuel at a rate of 50 m.p.g.” An early target or a Lutzian wild speculation that GM soon refused to verify or qualify. Ever.Fast forward to August 24, 2010: gm-volt announces that an astute reader has made a screen capture of an Aol Volt test drive promo video, that indicated that the Volt traveled 16.1 miles after the battery depleted and used .59 gallons, equaling 27.3 mpg. Did anyone really think that was a truly representative fuel economy for the Volt, not knowing … [Read more...] about Volt Gas Mileage Flap: GM PR Blames “Lazy Reporting”
The photo illustrating Zombie McQuestionbot’s query about what would it take to get you to buy a hybrid was of a Chevy Silverado hybrid pickup truck. I bet some of you seeing that picture didn’t know that Chevy even sold fullsize hybrid pickups and those of you who are familiar with them, may have dismissed the concept. It was called the 2-Mode hybrid system, introduced with great promise and fanfare but in the end it became the Rodney Dangerfield of hybrid drives. That’s too bad. Had the 2-Mode system been embraced by consumers on a wide scale, it might have saved more gasoline than all the Chevy Volts and Toyota Priuses put together.Actually, the Dangerfield crack isn’t fair to Jacob Cohen, who in real life had a long and illustrious career, once he got his big break on the Ed Sullivan show. In contrast, the 2-Mode hybrid has come and pretty much gone in half a decade. Maybe part of the problem was that instead of first bringing it to the market on pickup … [Read more...] about A 2nd Look at the 2-Mode Hybrid – It Could Have Saved More Gas Than The Prius
Being on top doesn’t mean a company can take its customer base for granted. Not satisfied with basking in the goodwill generated by the F-150’s best-selling status, Ford Motor Company has unveiled a refreshed 2018 model and a host of new hardware upgrades.While the upcoming F-150 sports an evolutionary facelift, it’s what’s under the hood that stands to tempt a new range of buyers.The most obvious change to the updated model is its new face, now featuring two broad chrome bars splitting the grille horizontally, eating into headlight territory in the process. Filling the gulfs within the grille is a helping of egg-crate bars, while the headlights and bumper see their own design alterations. If you really feel the need to stand out, those bars come body-colored in Lariat trim — at least, in Sport Package guise.Those changes also find their way to the rear, where a sculpted tailgate and revised taillights continue the theme of renewal. New wheel designs … [Read more...] about NAIAS 2017: 2018 Ford F-150 Shows Off New Face, Diesel and Gas V6 Engines
Drivers aren’t getting the same deal at the pumps as they were last winter, and the gas mileage of new vehicles shows it.Researchers at the University of Michigan say the average sales-weighted fuel economy of new vehicles hit 25.4 miles per gallon in May, the highest figure so far this year. It’s still less than the all-time high set in August 2014, but it shows not every car buyer is going for the thirstiest vehicle they can afford.U.S. gas prices ended the month of May at an average pump price of $2.33 a gallon, having risen steadily since hitting rock-bottom ($1.70/gallon) in February. That cost is still rising alongside modestly rebounding crude oil prices.Average fuel economy fell back into a shallow trough late last year as consumers got used to the idea of lower prices at the pump. For many, it was like the 1990s were back, and the Big Three thanked everyone for falling deeper in love with their light-duty pickups and SUVs. The year ended with an average fuel … [Read more...] about Average Fuel Economy Rises, So You Know Gas Prices Are Going Up
Fifty-one miles per gallon city. Forty-eight miles per gallon highway. Still the best numbers in the industry for nearly a decade now.Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I’m referring to the Toyota Prius, which is a 5-door hatchback that looks a bit like an egg mated with a shopping cart. It’s been a decade since the Prius came out in hatchback form, and a decade since it achieved those impressive fuel economy figures: 51 miles per gallon city. 48 miles per gallon highway. And still, no one has unseated the Prius.It hasn’t been without trying. After the original Honda Insight failed, Honda came out with a Prius-looking second-generation Insight trying to dethrone the king. But it didn’t even come close, with fuel economy figures reaching just 41 miles per gallon city and 44 mpg on the highway. Even the Civic Hybrid, in its current form, can manage only 44 mpg city and 47 mpg highway.And then there are the other challengers. The Ford C-MAX, also a hybrid-only 5-door … [Read more...] about QOTD: Why Hasn’t Anyone Out-Gas Mileaged The Prius?