Maximize Your Fuel Efficience

Written by Andrea Susan Glass

Withrepparttar escalating price of gas, buying a fuel-efficient car makes a lot of sense. Approximately 15% of new car buyers reject a model due to poor gas mileage. Nearly 40% of those consumers who eliminate a full-size SUV due to gas mileage ultimately purchase a midsize SUV instead, while nearly 20% purchase another model altogether. (J.D. Power and Associates, Sept. 2004.)

But even if you don't currently own a fuel-efficient car, there are lots of ways you can improverepparttar 102769 fuel efficiency of your present vehicle until you're ready to purchase one ofrepparttar 102770 best gas mileage cars. Your personal driving habits have a big effect on your fuel use and costs. You can better manage your vehicle operating costs as well as minimizerepparttar 102771 emissions it produces by driving less and more efficiently. Here are some tips to help.

First, you need to know what kind of mileage you are getting. Calculate this by filling up your tank and recordingrepparttar 102772 odometer reading-or you can reset your trip gauge to zero. Next time you get gas, fillrepparttar 102773 tank again and dividerepparttar 102774 miles you traveled between fill ups byrepparttar 102775 quantity of gas you bought on this fill-up. This is your car's miles per gallon or mpg. If it's pretty dismal, here's how to turn your fuel guzzler into a fuel saver:

Drive slower: The aerodynamic drag on your car increases noticeablyrepparttar 102776 faster you drive. The drag force at 70 mph is about double that at 50 mph, so keeping speed down can increase your mileage considerably. Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds over 60 mph. Each 5 mph above 60 mph is like paying an additional $.10/gallon for gas. Observingrepparttar 102777 speed limit is also safer for everyone.

Maintain a constant speed: Every time you speed up, you use energy, some of which is wasted when you slowrepparttar 102778 car down again. By maintaining a constant speed, especially drivingrepparttar 102779 posted speed limit, you will improve your fuel efficiency. Just by increasing your highway cruising speed from 62 mph to 74 mph you increase fuel consumption by about 20%! Using cruise control onrepparttar 102780 highway helps you maintain a constant speed and will usually save gas.

Drive gently: Aggressive driving-speeding, rapid acceleration and hard braking-wastes gas. These bad habits can lower your gas mileage by 33% at highway speeds and 5% inrepparttar 102781 city. In addition, reasonable driving is safer for you and others, so you may be saving more than gas money. Consider using overdrive gears onrepparttar 102782 highway, as this decreases engine speed, reducing fuel usage and engine wear.

Avoid Excess Idling: Idling gets 0 miles/gallon and wastes fuel and money, is hard onrepparttar 102783 engine and adds to toxic emissions. Cars with larger engines typically waste more gas at idle than those with smaller engines. Turn off your engine if you think you will be stopped for more than 30 seconds. However, if you're driving a fuel-efficient car like a hybrid, your electric motor is on when you idle, so you're not wasting any gas at all!

Minimize air conditioning: Using your air conditioner in hot weather can increase your fuel consumption by more than 20% in city driving. Whenever possible, close all windows and userepparttar 102784 air vents to circulate air instead of air conditioning. You will improve your fuel efficiency in summer by minimizingrepparttar 102785 use of air conditioning and using your car's flow-through ventilation, especially onrepparttar 102786 highway. If you must userepparttar 102787 air conditioning, setrepparttar 102788 controls to a level that letsrepparttar 102789 system cycle, and turn it off oncerepparttar 102790 interior of car is cooled down enough. Also consider such options a sunroof and tinted glass to keeprepparttar 102791 car cool.

Keep Your Car in Shape: Maintaining your vehicle in top working condition saves you fuel and money, and reduces long-term maintenance costs while minimizing harmful emissions.

Keep Your Engine Properly Tuned-Getting regular tune-ups when your car is out of tune or has failed an emissions test may improve gas mileage by about 4%. If your car has a faulty oxygen sensor and you have it fixed, gas mileage could improve as much as 40%. Make surerepparttar 102792 spark plugs, if you have them, are firing properly, replacing them when necessary. Haverepparttar 102793 engine timing checked for accuracy.

Fuel Cells & Alternative Fuel Vehicles

Written by Andrea Susan Glass


The history ofrepparttar fuel cell can be traced back torepparttar 102768 19th century. Since thenrepparttar 102769 development and usage of fuel cells in a variety of applications have come a long way. Fuel cells hold great promise for fueling alternative fuel vehicles. Here is some ofrepparttar 102770 history ofrepparttar 102771 development of fuel cells:

William Grove inventedrepparttar 102772 fuel cell in 1839. General Electric invented proton exchange membrane fuel cells inrepparttar 102773 1950s Francis Bacon demonstrated a 5kW alkaline fuel cell in 1959. NASA's use of fuel cells duringrepparttar 102774 Apollo space missions inrepparttar 102775 1960s wasrepparttar 102776 first commercial use of fuel cells. Alkaline fuel cells have flown over 100 missions and operated for more than 80,000 hours in spacecrafts operated by NASA. The US Navy has been using fuel cells in submarines sincerepparttar 102777 1980s Fuel cell buses are running in several cities aroundrepparttar 102778 world,repparttar 102779 largest beingrepparttar 102780 European Union backed CUTE project (Clean Urban Transport for Europe). All major automakers have prototypes of alternative fuel vehicles using fuel cells onrepparttar 102781 road-some have already been leased to customers. Iceland has plans to convert its fishing fleet from diesel engines to hydrogen fuel cells as part of a national project to create a fossil fuel free economy Several car manufacturers are hoping to produce their first semi-commercial models of fuel cell cars by 2005, yet they will most probably not be mass produced until 2010. Numerous fuel cell products will be coming to market-portable direct methanol fuel cells will power mobile phones, laptops and cameras inrepparttar 102782 near future A fuel cell is around 60% efficient at converting fuel to power, doublerepparttar 102783 efficiency of an internal combustion gas engine-which makes it perfect for alternative fuel vehicles. Fuel cells have several advantages over conventional power sources like internal combustion gas engines or batteries. Additionally, there are disadvantages facing manufacturers hoping to commercialize fuel cells. See how they stack up asrepparttar 102784 next best fuel for alternative fuel vehicles.


Fuel cells reduce pollution that is caused byrepparttar 102785 burning of fossil fuels-their only by-product is water Ifrepparttar 102786 hydrogen used inrepparttar 102787 fuel cell comes fromrepparttar 102788 electrolysis of water, then using fuel cells will eliminate greenhouse gases Because fuel cells don't need conventional fuels like oil or gas, they eliminate economic dependence on politically unstable countries Since hydrogen can be manufactured anywhere there is water and electricity, production of potential fuel can be allocated in various areas Fuel cells operate at a higher efficiency than diesel or gas engines which makes them an ideal source of efficient power for alternative fuel vehicles Most fuel cells operate silently, while internal combustion engines do not Fuel cells can operate for longer times than batteries, therefore to doublerepparttar 102789 operating time, onlyrepparttar 102790 fuel needs to be doubled and notrepparttar 102791 capacity ofrepparttar 102792 unit itself The maintenance of fuel cells is relatively straightforward since there are few moving parts inrepparttar 102793 system Disadvantages

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