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Tire pressure vs Fuel shortages


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The pressure stated on the tire is the MAX that should be used with full load. I agree with Harry and that keeping an eye on pressure and avoiding low pressure as being a means to saving fuel. Use the vehicle recommended figures for best handling and ride. I run mine between manufacturer and tire MAX, seems to work well on Honda Accords.

Also keep factory tire sizes on cars (unless they're show cars), wider tires have more drag on the road, smaller profile is usually smaller overall diameter, causing engine to run harder for same MPH. Both lessen mileage if that's the goal.

And drive the speed limit around town, no point in racing to the next stop light.

My old '92 Nissan work truck is a prime example. When fuel prices were more reasonable I didn't pay much attention to how much fuel I was using. I made many unnecessary trips, didn't maintain my vehicle like I should, and drove the heck out of it. I was averaging around 16 mpg.

Since gas hit the $4.00 mark I've made a conscience effort to save gas whenever and however possible.

I keep my tires up to 38 lbs cold, keep my oil changed now, replaced the air cleaner and plugs (2nd set in 148,000k), and take my time while driving.

I'm now getting 29-31mpg on the average. Most is keeping my foot of the pedal so hard.

My monthly gas bill is almost half what it was even in times of high fuel prices.

Just common sense and making the effort. Too little too late? Never too late to start.

Typical American here. I didn't think twice about gas prices and availability until now.


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I'm going to invest in gas cans since every one is keeping their tires inflated properly. All these cars are going to have to stop to drain all that extra gas out of their tanks. We will be conserving so much that we will have to find a place to dispose of all the extra gas. Insert smiley

Yes it does make sense to keep your tires inflated at the proper psi. You will save a little gas, it will save on wear and tear on your car and make you safer on the road. Common sense. Yes it makes sense to conserve just for an economical sense. We can not save enough to produce more. We are addicted to oil but not like heroin. More like oxygen, we need it to survive not just to feel good and if we don't have it we will die economically. There is no alternative to oil that will work economically in the near future. Yes we should find alternatives. The alternatives just aren't here yet. Why can't we look for alternatives while we also produce the oil that we need and is avalible to us?

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Be careful, a slightly overinflated tire affects a car's safety and handling much worse than a slightly underinflated one. There isn't a linear scale that shows this but guys that I've talked to that autocross their cars have to be very careful that they monitor their tire pressure very closely. Also, I used to have tires on my old Ford Taurus SHO that were good up to 44psi or so. I used to inflate them to 44psi. What was the result? I wore out the middle of the tires way before the edges showed wear. They were way too overinflated for the load they were seeing (3400lb sedan and 99% of the time only me in the car). Ford's recommendation was something like 32psi.

General rule of thumb I've heard for most passenger vehicles is to inflate the tires to roughly 1 psi for every 100 pounds of vehicle/load weight. So in my SHO 34-36psi would have been ideal.

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While all this talk of tire pressures is feel good and
all, the truth is, aside from helping the less than 25% of neglectful car
drivers get marginally better mileage, the total effect would not make much of
a dent in the "problem" as the real problem is in congress and has
been there for decades. The fact that THIS congress is so whipped by the
"greens" only adds to the bad situation. MARKET pressure should be
released to allow profitable and effective solutions to be found. This means
stopping ALL government spending and tax incentives that are forcing us to
waste tons of money on pie in the sky "solutions" while we
should be allowing private enterprise to do what it does best which is make a
profit at providing an answer to the needs of the people.

I maintain my vehicles well and have yet to get less than
175,000 miles on a car before needing any major kind of maintaince, normally, I
get about 250K then scrap the car. These are all US made cars, Chrysler
products. The worst car I have ever owned we bought new and it was a Nissan.

We do need to drill off shore, in Anwar (the size of the
drilling site in relation to the reserve is that of a postage stamp on a
football field or the period at the end of a sentence on a full size sheet of
newspaper!) We need to develop oil shale technology; we need nuclear power for electricity.
Dreaming of huge wind farms to supply power to the grid sounds nice and will
help about 1-2% but it is unreliable to deliver the power when we need it.
Solar is another pie in the sky. It only works during the day time and it only
works well in the southern US provided we set aside thousands of acres of wild
land to the production on power, gosh what would happen with the poor (insert
your favorite “endangered” species here) We NEED nuclear power generation.

Fuel cells are a good possibility provided we can get a good
network of hydrogen stations established to fuel the vehicles that need it but
then there are the problems of storage of hydrogen in vehicles and the fact
that it is MUCH more explosive than gasoline in an accident.

Electric vehicles are a possibility and will help some with
city people who don’t need to travel long distances and don’t mind paying a
good $15000 to $18000 ABOVE the normal sticker price of a vehicle. Then there
is the problem of where do we get the electricity to recharge the electric car?
We can’t build any more hydro power (insert your favorite “endangered” species here
again) Solar isn’t going to help at night when these cars will be plugged in
and again wind power is too variable to depend on, it is fine to help out the
grid but not to replace the power generating stations that run on oil.

Which brings up another point, Cars and trucks are not the
ONLY place that oil is used in this world. It is used in just about every
manufacturing process for every product that there is. Plastics, paint,
production of food, etc. Which brings up the point of the silly government
program that forces us to put corn in our fuel tanks rather than in our food
supply. This forces up the cost of food as there is less of it to eat and the
process to make fuel is horribly inefficient.

There are no easy answers, no golden bullet. We have enough
fuel in this country to last us easily for the next few centuries in the form
of coal, oil shale, natural gas and crude oil. We need to use our own resources
WHILE exploring alternate methods of transportation, conservation and responsible
use of our own fuel. Get government out of the way and let the market find the
answers. This would mean that extremist special interest groups who are
dedicated to returning us to the Stone Age would not get their way but I guess
that is the price we need to pay as a society.

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Absolutlely costs a sackful of money now just to bring up a barrel from depths to the oil at say 28 thousand feet. If innovation can be successful, then cost may be overcome to a profit.

Might as well be sci-fi, but companies like Devon are leading the way, with their international associates. By then solar,wind,thermals,bio-mass (algae?)wood by-products (pellet) battery tech. may advance a bit, with a good team of technician/scientist colleages. We are behind.

By then we just need oil for our antiques. We should be able to to go Green?

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We WASTE too much Oil, that is a fact ............... We don't need More Oil, we need to use Less Oil, no matter where it comes from. It's easy to drill for more off shore, if you don't live on that shoreline !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Is the use of oil not as efficient as it could be for
transportation? Sure,

Is it getting better? Yes,

Will it ever be perfect? NO

Is walking the answer? No.

Is public
transportation the solution? No not for most of the country. Those who live in
a VERTICAL city such as NY can make a much better use of trains, subways
and busses but for the vast majority of the country, which is horizontally orientated,
no, it is impossible to have enough stops going to where they need to be to be
used by enough people to be efficient.

You would think that in the LA/Orange County area, mass
transit would be effective but…the CITY of Los Angeles (not LA COUNTY) has an
estimated population of 3.8 million and spans over 498.3 square
miles, Orange County (which buts up against LA county line and is virtually the
same city differing in name only) has over 3 million population and covers over
798 square miles. So you have at least 6.8 million people living in one “city”
that covers over 1296.3 square miles. If you could place just ONE transportation stop per ¼ square mile (barely adequate
if you can get EVERYONE to walk at most ¼ mile to a stop from their destination
or home) , you would need 20,736 stops. This would necessitate thousands of
trains, and busses running at the same time to cover the territory and if every
train only made 20 stops per each route, it would take several hours to get
anywhere. For the record, you can drive
anywhere in the LA/OC area in an hour or so, two in the worst traffic with
accidents, yes I live here and can speak first hand. I drive 65 miles each way
to work; my commute takes 1huour and 10 minutes going to work and 1 hour and 30
minutes to go home through one of the most congested routs in the area. This distance is much longer than the range of electric cars
are capable of now. In the future if they can go at least 200 miles without
charging at 70 mph, I will certainly consider one but that is not going to be
in the near future.

And as I live in So Cal and can speak to drilling offshore
directly, I say, drill. The curvature of the earth is such that you can not see
a ship past 25 miles, it is impossible because it is below the horizon. The
wells would be located about 50 miles offshore, impossible to see from shore,
anyplace! As to spills and accidents, the Gulf of Mexico has far worse storms
far more frequently than we ever do, Drilling there is safe and Eco friendly,
surely it would be even more so, here.

We can not afford to pass up ANY source of fuel and we don’t
need to. It is POLITICS and activist judges that are most of the problem, not
the energy supply. Get Government out of the way and let the system work, we
don’t need to be spoon fed by a nanny state. Truthfully, if we could get
congress to ONLY meet for the 6 weeks that they are taking off right now for
vacation, and take vacation for the rest of the year, we would be MUCH better

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We had our wakeup call 30 years ago and didn't pay attention. Kept buying bigger and bigger fuel-wasters and living like the world was our oil barrel.

Crying that we don't have time to invest in new technologies and change our ways is admitting laziness and selfishness for an entire generation. We HAD the time and we BLEW it.

[rant mode off]

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Wow, you guys really like to talk about this...

Anyway, I would question why hybrid technology hasn't caught on more. There's really no disadvantage to the inherent technology itself.

Good question, lets see an example.

Let’s run the numbers and see why hybrid vehicles are not
more popular. We do see a LOT of them here in So Cal by the way.

The cost of a hybrid vehicle is about $8000 (national
average, local areas vary) more than the cost of a gasoline only vehicle the
same size. But let’s assume I am wrong about that and use ½ of my number

The 08 Saturn Aura green line hybrid with 164 hp gets an EPA
of 32 mpg on the highway.


For this example, let’s use these given parameters. You
drive the vehicle 100,000 miles and gasoline is $4.00 per gallon.

My current car, a 2004 Dodge Stratus with a 2.7 ltr 200 hp
V6, gives me a solid 25 mpg on the highway, most times a bit better.

Over the 100,000 miles driven, my car will use 4,000 gallons
of gasoline. The Saturn will use 3,125 gallons of gasoline, nearly 25% less,
not bad but what are the costs?

My Dodge Stratus:

4,000 gallons X $4.00 per gallon = $16,000 over the set
distance of 100,000 miles

The Saturn:

3,125 gallons X $4.00 per gallon =$12,500

For a difference of $3500, this difference does not make up
for the difference in the purchase price, let alone the interest on the
financed extra $4000.

Are there hybrids that get better mileage, sure, I picked
this one out as it was the first one on my Google search, I made no effort to
find the best mileage hybrid on the market.

The point is though; I have more power and better acceleration
when needed than a hybrid does. Due to the 50K miles a year I drive, I purchase
my cars used; in fact, I just bought my Stratus last week for $7500, off a dealer’s
lot as a certified used car with the lifetime power train guarantee. This is
also a Flex Fuel vehicle and I can use E85 if it is available but there are no
pumps selling it in So Cal that I can find and the mileage penalty for using it
is about 30% according to the operator’s manual. I tend to drive more than twice the miles in
the example above on each vehicle I own yet the difference in cost of operation
is not anywhere close to enough to want to buy a new hybrid, used ones come at
a premium also.

Most people trade in their vehicles before they reach the
numbers in the above example so the savings will be even less. I am sure that
as technology advances, the mileage for hybrids will get better and the
difference may indeed become worth it for me to go that route, I have no
problem with that but it will be market pressure that causes the vehicles to
improve their mileage, not government.

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Lewin's Freeze Principle

"A basic tendency of people is to seek a context in which they have relative safety and feel a sense of control. In establishing themselves, they attach their sense of identity to their environment. This creates a comfortable stasis from which any alternatives, even those which may offer significant benefit, will cause discomfort.

Talking about the future thus is seldom enough to move them from this 'frozen' state and significant effort may be required to 'unfreeze' them and get them moving. This usually requires push methods to get them moving, after which pull methods can be used to keep them going."

In a hundred people there will be a couple who can lead and the majority are followers that will resist all change. This is the dilemma of democracy - if the change entails risk, the majority will vote it down. Leaders therefore have to find means to overcome public inertia against change.

Oil is the old comfortable and familiar way. Everything else is new, unfamiliar and involves risk, and therefore resentment and resistance.

On the cusp of change, the majority will always be against it. This is to be expected. But, the majority are also followers, and with strong enough leadership will eventually have no choice but to accept the change.

Resistance to change is proportional to age. Young people are excited and fearless about the new adventures in renewable energy, old calcified farts are grabbing on to the handrails of oil. One of the best defensive mechanisms of the human race is that the old eventually die off.

You're right. It's time for a change. It's time to start drilling for our oil. For so long, we have not. Now, we have a bunch of old, tired farts living in the past, choosing to believe we don't need the extra production and arguing stupidly against it. Thank goodness there are a few leaders out there. If only the sheep would follow.

For all the "greenies" out there, I'll have to ask, "How did drilling for our oil ever really hurt you in any meaningful way?" There have been very few significant spills as a result of drilling. The most memorable came from transporting in a ship. How many rigs do you wake up and see every day and think to yourself, "Gosh, it's so ugly."? Virtually nobody. So, what's the beef? The beef is a bunch of people watching too much TV and buying into a false anti-production campaign based on fear tactics. Solution: Stop watching TV and get to working on how to be realistic and rational.

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The cost will have to come down on hybrids and electric vehicles before resistance to change by the public will vanish. There were small electric vehicles available 20 or more years ago but they were essientially modified golf carts that had about a 40 mile range.

Of course, proper tire inflation increases the mileage/range of hybrids and electrics also.

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A program on CNBC last night covering GM's challenges indicated that GM is putting its major chips on the "Volt," an electric car with a 40-mile range. After the battery drains, a gas generator re-charges it. Expected to be released in 2010 with a price of $45,000. Are they freaking nuts? The program interviewed one GM employee who indicated that GM is so counting on the Volt, that if it flops, it may be a long-term setback for GM. Well, he'd better get ready for a long-term setback. No $45,000 car is going to save GM. Idiots!


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I sincerely hope that you were not directing that comment at
me. Nothing could be further from the truth for me; I whole heartedly embrace change
and better ways of doing things. I was addressing the practicality of the
current options as they relate today. In the future things will certainly change,
as the only constant IS change but I resent the implication that I need to be
brought kicking and screaming to a “better way” that only the “enlightened few”
can see and that it is all for our own good. This is certainly an elitist
premise that I have noticed is espoused by the majority of liberals and I
deeply resent it.

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You're right. It's time for a change. It's time to start drilling for our oil. For so long, we have not. Now, we have a bunch of old, tired farts living in the past, choosing to believe we don't need the extra production and arguing stupidly against it. Thank goodness there are a few leaders out there. If only the sheep would follow.

Big Smile

I guess it takes a trained lawyer to make those kind of arguments!

Yes, I do like to turn rhetoric on its head. You know, "haste makes waste," "a stitch in time saves nine," etc.

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Nobody wants to be. Everyone wants wants everything for free. You know that.

It is a matter between choosing the lesser of two evils. [:P] (1) staying dependent upon a known resource even though the price is uncomfortably high, or (3) spending money on things that are less efficient and accepting less bang for the buck in hopes that emphasis on it will drive new technology that does not yet exist.

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