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Saving Gas the Easy Way and Saving Gas The Hard Way

Don Willson

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Saving gas has been a topic that's been foremost on everyones mind as of late. I remember when I was a youngster, I used to work at a gas station and was shocked when the price reached $.20 a gallon. “Saving gas" meant not going out Thursday night to run up and down the drags because you are saving your gas for Friday night when everybody else would be there. Now days $.20 wouldn't even get you TO the gas station let alone do anything to that little needle in your dashboard should you try to put it in your tank. We're actually happy when the price of gas remains below $3.50 a gallon! Saving gas is what this article is about- different ways of saving gas and some alternative fuels that may one day replace the gas we use to get from here to there.

The best way to save gas is probably one of the easiest ways as well. It doesn't cost a thing, except possibly a little time and you would really be surprised at just how much gas it can save. It's called “going slower"! A lot of people have an issue with this and I have to admit I did for a long time as well, not thinking that going slower would make any difference, but I've been converted and so can you. Here's my experience with this method of saving gas.

Like most people my age, I'm a speed freak. I loved to find out what kind of speed I could get out of the car on the freeway. Between my home and work its approximately 22 miles and I often challenged myself to see how long, or more precisely, how little time it would take to get to work. Of course, always staying within the speed limit (wink wink). I have a Ford Windstar van as I have certain medical conditions that disallow me from driving or riding in the small boxy cars they sell nowadays. Not that I would want to - even with the 50 miles per gallon that they get. In kind of a big guy being 6'4" tall and 280 pounds. . . I simply don't like sitting with my knees in my ears!

Anyway I decided to try an experiment. I've always wondered what those double lines by the number 55 on my speedometer meant so what I did was this: I found the “shortest route" to work (according to MapQuest) and started driving it every day at the maximum speed of 55 mph. Now this shorter route is approximately the same number of miles as it is taking the freeway to work but WOW! Did I notice the difference! My 15 gallon tank in the WindStar was more than half full after a normal week of driving. After the second week the tank would usually be empty and I would have to refill it, but I still had more than a quarter of the tank left in my van! I did some quick refill recalculations and found out that I'm only using two thirds the amount of fuel that I would on the freeway. Now I know what those double my lines mean! Put the needle at the double lines and instead of getting 32 miles per gallon you get 45 miles per gallon! It may take me a couple of more minutes to get to work, maybe a little more stop and go, but I saved a lot of money on gas and that's the whole point isn't it?

Another way they've found to save gas without your even knowing it, is to put additives in your gasoline to water it down a bit. One of the most popular ones is grain alcohol, something that I use to seek out as a kid to drink, not put in my car. They say it burns cleaner and I have to admit that it has to be better than the lead that they used to put in the gas because of its anti-knock qualities. Besides, with today's supercomputers that they have in cars, knocking has become a thing of the past (I always use the doorbell anyway).

There are other alternative fuels that can be gotten and used in your car listed among these are propane once again pure alcohol, fuel cells, and even water, yes water!

On the next page of find details on some of these different alternative fueling methods but here's a short list of some of the methods that I've looked into so for:

FUEL CELL-generates electricity with standard water. Zero emission which makes it a very attractive source of energy however there are some major drawbacks with this particular system including the cost, size, weight and so on. . .

GRAIN ALCOHOL-another great way to power your car! However it does take some major modifications to the engine. But it has zero emissions very low emissions and most of the exhaust is water vapor. One of the things I like most about this fuel is I find mixes great with orange juice on ice!

PROPANE-this is actually been around awhile and some companies still use it to power their trucks around town. The highly explosive nature of the gas under pressure and the fact that you have to carry so much of it are only two of the major disadvantages with the type of fuel.

HYDROGEN-the idea of hydrogen cars is been around for quite some time as well but it's even more explosive than propane and harder to carry around! More on the next page.

And last but not least (and also my favorite)

WATER-you heard me right, WATER! This is the same water you drink. All you have to do is fill up your tank with it and drive away! One of the major advances in the recent decade, this gives of propulsion from an almost unlimited resource and automatically replenishes itself as well! The ideal fuel! More on this on my next page.

Just remember the one thing that you can do now to help everybody save fuel saved gas save our environment and basically save our planet. . .

DRIVE SLOWER-look for that little double line on your speedometer and make the needle point at it as often as you can. It worked for me and I'm sure it will work for you.

Give it a shot! What we got to lose?

Are you having a problem saving gas at the pump like I was? Check out this unique way to save gas without losing power! You can even eliminate the use of gas all together! Run Your Car On Water is the place to find out the how to do it all! Check it out!


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