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I'm Doing a Slow (15%) Burn Over Being Cheated on Gas

Aug 15, 2008
Did you know that only 15-20% of the gasoline you put in your tank actually goes to moving your car, SUV or truck? Yes, that's one of those obvious statistics that you probably heard years ago.

But have you stopped to think for a minute about what that really means? It means the other 80-85% of the fuel you put in your car every time you fill up is wasted. It's this leftover, unburned or incompletely burned gasoline that leaves carbon sludge to clog and prematurely kill your engine, and greenhouse gas to clog the sky and poison the earth.

That 85% is 10 out of every 12 gallons of gas you pump. At $4.00 per gallon, it's $40-42 of every $50 you spend. Wasted. Underused. Spoiled.

To add insult to injury, your car comes equipped with an computer system designed to help maintain this wasteful lifestyle. According to Dennis Lee from Better World Technologies, USA, "The computerized fuel injection system is a gatekeeper that is designed to prevent after market devices that are designed to improve fuel economy from working. If you wonder why Detroit would be involved in that, unburned fuel eventually wears down engines so they do not last much past the warrantee. They call it "planned obsolescence".

If that smacks of "conspiracy thinking" to you, consider how quickly new technologies are introduced and improved in the marketplace. Computers that used to fill rooms now fit in the palm of your hand. Telephones do too.

Yet according to a recent study by the international research group at WantToKnow.info, since 1908 and the Ford-T, the average miles per gallons has dropped by almost 40%! One hundred years and all we've done is mass produce a product that is half as good as the original??

That 15% burn rate looks and sounds a little different when you put it in that light, doesn't it. It "burned" me enough that I actually went out and did something I never thought I would even consider, or even thought I could do. But more about that in a minute.

Practicing gas saving driving habits is what we do to conserve gasoline used in our cars. Over the coming months, I'll be passing along many more conservation tips from the people who have been dubbed "hypermilers" because they have turned driving into an art form that nets some of them close to 100 miles per gallon! Hypermiling techniques only help us meet half of our challenge, and some of them, as we'll see, can be very dangerous.

Increasing the efficiency of our car's engine is the other "bigger" half of a sound money saving formula. Unfortunately, in our haste to find a quick fix and get more bang for our buck, many of us could wind up spending more than we save on some of these miracle products.

The simple way to end your gasoline dependency right now would be to purchase one of the new NEVs - neighborhood electric vehicles - or get your celebrity uncle to lease one of the new hydrogen fuel cell vehicles for you. However, you would be limited to very narrow range driving. There's only one county in the US where you could refuel your hydrogen car.

For the rest of us, "leaning" out our gasoline, combining it with another fuel agent, is the way to force our engine to actual use more of the gasoline at its disposal. There are a number of gasoline additives and agents that will do that. Unfortunately, there are also a few that say they will, but don't.

There is also a second, alternative fuel that you can mix with your gasoline to improve your gas mileage. Some people have reported gains of more than 100% using this second fuel, but most people average between 25-50% improvements. You can find out more about this option on the gas2o.com site.
About the Author
Liz Micik is a freelance writer who covers alternative fuel sources and how ordinary people are using them to save money and help the earth. You can read product reviews, find more on driving to save money on gas, get a free eBook and ongoing news and tips at http://www.gas2o.com
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