Gas-and-Semolian-Saving Tips, Part II

May 16, 2008

Last time we listed a goodly number of gas-and-money-saving ideas that could immediately be put into play before you even get behind the wheel!

Today we’ll look at other solid strategies for extracting the most from every gallon that goes into your tank.

Keep idling your engine to a minimum, and minimize fuel waste!
Apparently you don’t need to warm up these new cars for as long as they did the automotive dinosaurs of old. Also, try not to leave the motor running while you’re off doing business. I remember once reading of D.C. lawmakers introducing a “bold, new” gas-price-relief plan on the steps of a public building in 2006—and all the while a fleet of their own drivers sat across the street with their engines idling like they’d discovered Jed Clampett’s private reserve…just waiting for this “groundbreaking” energy press conference to wrap up!  What’s wrong with that picture?

No revving necessary!
Fortunately for those of you on a schedule, I don’t have any engine-revving stories to relate at this time. Just try not to go into Speed Racer mode before takeoff—and especially just before shutting down—if you can manage it.

No “jackrabbit” starts!
From now on, we’re clearly going to have to be very Zen about our handling of our autos and the resources that power them. Any “take-no-prisoners”,  Dukes of Hazzard-style impulses will need to be brought under control for the sake of the economy—yours, mine, and ours!

Observe the speed limit!
Think of the speed limit as a tidy little legal cap on the rate at which you’re allowed to burn gasoline: The faster you go, the faster it goes. And so it goes.

Use cruise control on those long trips!
I confess I never learned how to do this cruise-control thing, but I can’t think of a more financially compelling time to start!

Accelerate as you approach inclines; don’t wait till you’re actually on that hill to give it the gas!
Less work for the engine, less fuel being gobbled up! Nice.

Be mindful in your use of auto air-conditioning!
Keep it off when you can; and set it as low as you can when you need it, ’cause it’s a mayyyyy-jor energy-sapper!

Maintenance 101: Get regular tune-ups (check those air filters!); check tire pressure and wheel alignment; no snow tires in the warmer seasons!
Make your vehicle a lean, mean, gas-saving machine–and you’ll make the scene while pocketing green!

(Forgive me, it’s late.)


There’s another very powerful strategy we can bring to bear in keeping down our truly-frightful gasoline costs. But this method is more complex than those mentioned herein. That’s because it involves patience, coordinating, and—most challenging of all, other humans.

Yes, it’s that mysterious, other-worldly concept known as CARPOOLING, and we throughout southeast Missouri would do well to add it to our energy-saving, cost-cutting transport mix, post-haste!


Next up: A look at why the prospect of something like carpooling presents such a challenge to many Americans…

It’s not just a matter of logistics, but of who we’ve become, thanks to that frontier vibe of long ago…

(Think Clint Eastwood in High Plains Drifter; Robert Redford in Jeremiah Johnson; Kellie Martin in TV’s Christy…)

* * * * * *