Category Archives: Fuel

Highway VS Intown Miles

We have all seen the car for sale add “all highway miles” if this were always true the highways would be packed 24-7. True highway miles put less of a strain on a vehicle but I think it is the transmission that benefits the most. No shifting in and out of gear as in town and with lockup it is even less. In prior years it could be said that the even speed causes less engine wear and that is true but with 4 lane highways and greatly increased traffic there is an increase in changes of speed putting additional stress on the engine. However it is true that extended trips do put less strain on a vehicle.

Engines are designed to cruise at around 50 to 75. With the smaller engines this decreases some and remember don’t overdrive. All vehicles have an ideal cruising range some of the smaller engines this may be in the 60 MPH others may be higher.

One item that highway driving helps to decrease wear and tear is the brakes however a few panic stops from 70 MPH can decrease this in a hurry and also warp your brake rotors.

15% Ethanol

I agree with those saying that the sky is falling with the addition of 15% ethanol. The gates Co. is even jumping on the band wagon, they are not sure if there fuel line can stand up to long term exposure to 15%.
I was a skeptic when 10% ethanol was introduced, and was correct in being so. Fuel injectors were fouled by rust and cetane build up, worse when cheap fuel was used. I owned an Amoco station at the time and we seen very few injectors problems. Later I owned an Auto repair shop across from a cheap fuel location, and we seen a lot of injector problems.
I don’t think that the fuel industry can regulate the percentage of ethanol as close as they say they can. Temperature makes a huge difference when it is added to fuel. I have read where the present percentage varies from 8% to 12%, IF we would go to 15% it could go as high as 17%. That is way too high, and would cause damage. This would lead to many problems in older engines.
Leaving it at 10% and regulate it closely, is also an option. I would only agree if the farmers and those that say it is hurting our food supply would agree, and I doubt that is going to happen. It would also have to be proven that the problems with power and fuel mileage are incorrect and I don’t think they are.
Drop ethanol and provide dollars to further develop power options such as eco-boost.
I just don’t think using food for power is a good idea.

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Fuel Prices

I wish someone would explain to me how gas prices can be in the high $3 range and at times above $4 when crude is $93. I don’t mind paying a fair price even the 43 cents we pay for gas tax I think is fair. I just don’t understand how the Exxon’s are getting by with what I consider price gouging and at times it could be considered profiteering, which is illegal. Our economy has made some strides at improving but as long as energy prices stay high the economy is not going to improve past a certain point. Everything we buy has to moved from point A to point B. Remember nothing happens until someone sells something to somebody and after the sale it has to be delivered. Washington DC has not made any movement to improve my life style, lowering gas prices would be a move in the right direction. 1 in 5 kids at sometime goes without a meal I am sure this would improve if energy prices were lower. A family should not have to choose between gas to get to work and food for their kids.

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Cheap Fuels

All the gas comes out of the same pipeline so why should I spend more for a name brand? True it all comes out of the same pipe but what happens to when it goes into the tanker is where the difference lies.Unbranded gas has very little additives added if any in some cases. Whereas the name brand fuels add a mixture of their own and this is where the difference is. Cetane is the main additive and it is what allows gas to explode in all temperatures. Heavy cetanes in hot weather and light in cold. When you hear that the switch is being made from winter to summer gas this is the biggest change. Cetanes are added at the refinery and are basically the same in all fuels however some brands add a type of cetane at the pipeline, this is for a chemist to explain and I will not even try to get into it here. Many other additives are also added cleaning, antiknock, octane booster and a lead substitute. Amoco Silver was the fuel with the highest additive count when they were still in business and I used this exclusively for years. Now I use Cenex I don’t know what they add but I have had no problems and it is close to my house. Name brands are become hard to find. There are several discounts being offered at some stations, so much off a gallon with grocery purchases. I have tried these and had no adverse effects, but I still shy away from a high percentage of ethanol which is all they offer. I don’t know if ethanol causes problems or not but I do know and have seen evidence of it holding water in suspension and causing fuel system problems.Don’t bother with a higher octane then your vehicle calls for, it is a waste of money. As are over the counter additives, there are 2 that may help some and they are Seafoam and any cleaner with Techron. They are meant to be used as a maintenance item but will help if the case is not to severe. In most cases save your money and get it repaired properly. There are several suppliers that are paying a fine daily for not releasing what they add to their gas, I don’t understand this and I have no idea what they are hiding but it cannot be good.

Gas Saving Devices

Like the sun rising in the east rising gas prices bring gimmicks out of the minds of hucksters. They plug into your lighter, wrap on your fuel line line, or a pad you sit on, kidding about the pad. They are always some item of technology withheld by the big 3 and big oil. Believe me they do not talk about such small items if it does not mean a billion in profits they don’t waste their time or resources on itOne such item plugs into your cigarette lighter and claims to condition electrical current so everything works smoother. Makes some sense but the device is only a circuit board for powering 2 lights. Of course it is tested and shown to be effective when paid for by the parent company. It sells for $59.95, won’t help gas mileage but you will have 2 pretty blinking lights. Actually I can see this being of some use as the blinking lights will keep your mind on saving gas.There are many factors involved in better mileage and they all add a small percentage but when added together can amount to a savings. Tire pressure, scheduled servicing, observant of how much extra weight you are carrying in your trunk, among many other small items will amount to a saving. You can always send me the $59.95 and I will guarantee $5.00 saving on your next 5 fills when I return $50 to you and keep the $5.95 for my trouble. I hope no one takes me seriously on this offer. one piece of advice I have read recently is to move your seat closer this will help prevent jackrabbit starts and stops. Tried it but did not feel right so I moved it back.

Shell Nitrogen Added Fuel

Shell is introducing the all-new Nitrogen Enriched Fuels, containing a unique, patented cleaning system designed to seek and destroy engine “gunk” (carbon deposits) in all three grades of Fuel. The new Nitrogen Enriched cleaning system protects and cleans up gunky build-up on intake valves and fuel injectors left by lower quality Fuels.Nitrogen is a key element of the active cleaning molecule in the new fuel, making it significantly more stable at higher temperatures common in modern engines, such as direct fuel-injection Fuel engines. The increased stability ensures that the molecule can work under much tougher engine conditions by resisting thermal breakdown better than conventional cleaning additives.In addition to developing the new fuel with the consumer in mind, Shell worked very closely with automotive manufacturers to gain insight into current and future engine technologies. These insights along with fuels technology leadership and a strong research and development program help Shell continually improve its products.Nitrogen Enriched Fuels were tested in laboratories, independent testing facilities, and on the road, accumulating more than a half-million miles in various vehicles and engines–including conventional, turbo-charged, and direct fuel-injection Fuel engines, hybrids, newer vehicles with low mileage, and older vehicles with high mileage. Shell scientists also used innovative testing technologies such as dual fuel engines to conduct head-to-head comparisons with other lower quality Fuels. In these tests, split engines simultaneously run on different types of Fuel in order to collect data under the exact same conditions. The results of these head-to-head comparisons proved that the Shell Nitrogen Enriched Fuels are more effective than lower quality Fuels in protecting against the build-up of harmful engine gunk.The Nitrogen Enriched formula is proven to prevent build-up of gunk more effectively than Fuels containing only the minimum amount of cleaning agents as required by the EPA. The new cleaning system is certified to meet the TOP TIER Detergent Fuel Standard — voluntary standards designated by some of the world’s top automakers. In addition, Shell V-Power® premium Fuel provides maximum protection with the highest concentration of the Nitrogen Enriched cleaning system and more than five times the minimum amount of cleaning agents required by federal government standards. It seeks and destroys engine gunk even faster than regular Shell Fuel, providing maximum protection to help vehicles maintain peak performance.Shell is supporting the launch of Nitrogen Enriched Fuels with a national marketing campaign, including national TV, radio and online advertising, as well as point-of-purchase signage at Shell-branded stations nationwide. The new campaign builds-on the current “Passionate Experts” platform, focusing on the company’s commitment to fuel quality and passion for developing innovative new products.For additional information on Shell Nitrogen Enriched Fuels, visit [url”> News source: Bob is the oil guy

$10K Motor Oil

I was asked what is the most expensive part of a race car as far as research, and was surprised to learn it is the oil. Joe Gibbs has spent over a million dollars a year and over 10 million in all. For this they have gained an extra 10 horsepower which is a bunch when all the cars are so close. Oil companies have also pumped research into racing oil. Shell, Quaker State and Mobil make special oils packed with synthetic lubricants, new polymers and experimental molecules for the teams they sponsor. They won’t allow used race oil to be sold as a souvenir as it may allow someone to copy it. They have gone so far as to even protect the identity of the chemist calling him William the chemist referring to all who work on the project. Joe Gibbs won’t name the that company assembles their oil. They do sell racing oil to the public for about $10 a quart but it is not close to what they use in their race car.

Bad Gas

A lot of discussion lately about bad gas. When I hear a tech say bad gas my first thought is that he has no clue what the solution to the complaint is. There have been some rumors about excessive sulfur in some gas around parts of Texas with the Valero chain outlets (which they deny) . The sulfur has exceeded 120 parts per million which will prematurely wear out the fuel pump and also cause excessive clearance in injectors. First clue to excessive sulfur is a more than normal rotten egg smell. It can abrasively damage the fuel pump and in some severe cases the injectors. Every now and then we will see some old gas that causes problems but you can easily tell by the smell that the fuel is at fault. I use sea foam as a gas stabilizer when I store my convertible, snow blower and lawn mower. It works great and have never had any problems. So next time someone says you have bad gas simply say prove it. It is possible to remove the pressure hose from the fuel tank and take fresh fuel from a separate container but be very careful and make sure you fire insurance is paid.Many of today’s mediocre techs are at a loss if they don’t have a code to work from and they often forget to return to the basics and look for the simple answer. It is estimated that 50% of the vehicles over 5 years old have a slight vacuum leak. One more item I want to mention is the plug wire becoming stuck to the ceramic of the plug. This is becoming more of a problem with 100K plug replacement but I feel that at 100K the wires are due replacement anyway. A little dielectric grease here would eliminate this problem

Sales Down

For the first time in 15 years monthly sales of vehicles fell below 1 million to 964,873.Ford dropped 33.8%GM 15.6%Chrysler 33%All were worse than expected. Jim Farley Ford chief of worldwide marketing blamed it onto a atmosphere of caution and called it tantamount to a natural disaster.F-150 sales were down 42%from a year ago SUV down 57%.The rice burners did not do well either Toyota was down 33%.This was the 11th month in a row that sales dropped.It is estimated 1 out of 5 dealerships’ will close in the next year. Bill Heard closed 14 dealerships last week, but you should also know he is under investigation for improper business practices. Approval rate for loans is down to 63% from 83% last year. Most manufactured are blaming this on tight credit I think you cannot afford car payment and gas both. I don’t think the consumer has the confidence in the economy to make a large ticket item purchase.

Folding Gas Can

We recently discovered a collapsible, disposable gas can at an auto parts store. The company claims that you can store this mostly cardboard container under your seat, then expand it to use as an emergency gas can. Interesting idea, but will it work? Is it safe? We put it to the test.What Exactly Is This Thing?Itzagascan, they tell you right in the name what it is. But will it really work? Safety is an issue when dealing with any type of fuel, so is this thing safe to use? Itzagascan comes fully collapsed. It’s about the thickness of a magazine. There are instructions printed on the outside describing how to assemble the can, how to fill it, and how to be safe with it. Sure, they got it to work under controlled conditions in some lab, but we wanted to see what you would be dealing with if you trusted this package that was stuffed under your car seat.Putting it to the TestWe tested Itzagascan for leaks and found by Matt Wright, 2008Unfolding Itzagascan was easy. You insert a couple of tabs into a couple of slots, then inflate the plastic bladder inside and you’re ready to fill it up. We took the can to the gas station and put 3/4 of a gallon in there. I think it ran around $14. So far so good, it filled right up, and sealed nicely. We put the filled can in the back of a pick up to simulate what would happen as you were taking the gas can back to your stranded car. No leaks. Then we used the can to put gas into the tank. it worked better than the $35 plastic can we bought in a pinch one night at a convenient store. Itzagascan’s plastic filler tube fits nicely into the car’s filler neck. While the new safety caps on plastic cans make it almost impossible to put gas in the tank without making a huge mess, our cardboard can was drip free. Amazing! Just to take the point further, we decided to fill it back up and let it sit to see if it would develop any leaks. While the company says never to leave the can filled for more than 24 hours, we kept it in a safe, well ventilated spot so we could see how it went. Here we are, more than a week later, and there’s a dry floor underneath Itzagascan. The VerdictItzagascan gets two big thumbs up. It weighs nothing, costs nothing, and takes up no space in your car or truck. But in a pinch it gets you out of trouble just as well as any pricey gas can. It was easy to use, very clean, and seemed completely safe when used according to the directions on the package. It’s safe to say this is a revolution in dealing with roadside emergencies. Just when you think there are no more good ideas out there, somebody throws Itzagascan at you and you realize there can still be genius around any corner. Get one today, it’s a great addition to your personal roadside assistance kit. News source: About Auto Repair