Tip of the Week
Your right foot holds the key to better gas mileage. How aggressively you apply the gas or brakes affects how frequently you have to stop for fuel. And driving style is even more important with today's cars, as the spread between a vehicle's best and worst mileage may be 10 mpg or more. Here are some tips you can use to improve your gas mileage during the miles ahead, using your car's technology.
* When you are in the driver's seat, be aware of the vehicle's numerous computers. "Many newer cars have body, brake and transmission computers as well as engine computers," says Tom Taylor, engineer and vice president of auto parts retailer RockAuto.com. These computers adjust vehicle systems and performance. Gas will be wasted whenever you do something that misleads a computer into thinking you are not driving to maximize mileage.
* Aggressive steering, acceleration or braking tells your car that gas mileage is not your top priority. The car's computers calculate you must be having fun, avoiding a hazard or climbing a steep grade. The computer might adjust the transmission so the engine speeds up, activate the brake calipers on one or two wheels to avoid a skid or increase the flow of fuel and air in anticipation of the need for even harder acceleration.
* A hybrid car might turn on the gasoline engine once it receives input that the driver needs performance instead of gas mileage. Many modern engines deactivate cylinders to save gas. Cylinders shut down so a V-8 becomes a V-4. The computer reactivates all the cylinders when the driver's foot presses harder on the gas pedal. If the car continues to get mixed signals from the driver, it may remain in performance modes and continue to use more gas than necessary.
* Many drivers also mistakenly believe they can do a better job of saving gas than the computer. New cars frequently come with paddle shifters on the steering wheel so the driver can control the transmission. A driver might decide they will shift the gears manually to save gas. Modern transmissions may have eight or more gears. Meanwhile, continuously variable transmissions (CVT) have no conventional gears at all. The computers will always maintain some control of the transmission. Using the paddle shifters leads the computer to assume the driver wants to have fun or is driving in challenging conditions. While the paddle shifters are in use, the computers may completely turn off engine cylinder deactivation. This means all of the cylinders will be using gas all the time. The computers may maintain higher engine speeds and use more low gears to enhance performance.
Youíve heard all about the Camaros, Corvettes, Mustangs, Barracudas and Roadrunners, but there are some muscle cars out there that are so rare (and some so forgettable) that you have likely never heard of them. Here are some awesome muscle cars that you may have never heard of.
- 1968 Chevrolet El Camino SS - 1960s Pontiac Bobcat - 1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt - 1969 Dodge Coronet Super Bee 426 Hemi - 1965 Rambler Marlin - 1965 Plymouth Belvedere II - 1974 AMC Javelin AMX
- S.M. Darby/BestRide.com
Did You Know
According to a report on CNN, Paris recently implemented a temporary driving ban because pollution is so bad in the city. The ban means that cars with license plates ending in even numbers canít drive on Mondays, and cars with plates ending in odd numbers canít drive on Tuesdays.
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Tip of the Week