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Thread: A (semi) serious suggestion to lower gas wasting

  1. #1
    mrblanche
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    A (semi) serious suggestion to lower gas wasting

    Experts say that if every American checked his tires and inflated them to the recommended range, we would save about 6% of the gas we currently burn in the U.S.

    So...I think Wal-Mart should hire servicemen with CLEARLY MARKED service trucks to go up and down the rows of cars, checking every one of them and airing them up. Over the months, they would probably get a significant portion of the cars in the country.

    Those same experts say that if gas consumption dropped by 6% in the U.S., gas would go down to $1.50/gallon. After all, it actually fell last summer when, instead of our usual 2% increase over the summer, we only experienced a 1% increase, probably due to reduced driving.

  2. #2
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    Re: A (semi) serious suggestion to lower gas wasting

    Yes. I agree. If we would use bicycles durning spring, summer and fall months to run short errands with obviously light loads(less than 5 miles), we might save a couple of percent. Gasoline demand is largely inelastic, so small changes in consumption result in large price swings.

  3. #3
    MikeHalloran
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    Re: A (semi) serious suggestion to lower gas wasting

    Technically and socially, it's an excellent idea.

    But Wal-Mart, or somebody, needs a direct financial incentive to equip and pay the technicians.

    Yeah, chances are they'd get it back in reduced fuel costs, but not right away, and somebody has to put in the front money.






  4. #4
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: A (semi) serious suggestion to lower gas wasting

    Quote Originally Posted by swamprat
    Yes. I agree. If we would use bicycles durning spring, summer and fall months to run short errands with obviously light loads(less than 5 miles), we might save a couple of percent. Gasoline demand is largely inelastic, so small changes in consumption result in large price swings.
    That could help with the obesity issue, too!


  5. #5
    MikeHalloran
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    Re: A (semi) serious suggestion to lower gas wasting

    Most of the year is fine bicycling weather here in SoFla...

    ... but riding a bicycle beyond your driveway is suicidal.

    Recent reports claim that we are, again, the nation's capital for road rage incidents ... and that's just the ones that get reported. Only newcomers would even bother.


  6. #6
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: A (semi) serious suggestion to lower gas wasting

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche
    Experts say that if every American checked his tires and inflated them to the recommended range, we would save about 6% of the gas we currently burn in the U.S.

    So...I think Wal-Mart should hire servicemen with CLEARLY MARKED service trucks to go up and down the rows of cars, checking every one of them and airing them up. Over the months, they would probably get a significant portion of the cars in the country.

    Those same experts say that if gas consumption dropped by 6% in the U.S., gas would go down to $1.50/gallon. After all, it actually fell last summer when, instead of our usual 2% increase over the summer, we only experienced a 1% increase, probably due to reduced driving.
    It's a great idea - in concept. I'd just skip the Wal Mart part!

  7. #7
    mrblanche
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    Re: A (semi) serious suggestion to lower gas wasting

    Can you suggest another place that:

    A) could afford it, and

    B) would get such a large portion of the population?

    I wouldn't restrict it to them, but I figure on a monthly basis, they'd get 50% of all the cars in the country.

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    Re: A (semi) serious suggestion to lower gas wasting

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche
    Can you suggest another place that:

    A) could afford it, and

    B) would get such a large portion of the population?

    I wouldn't restrict it to them, but I figure on a monthly basis, they'd get 50% of all the cars in the country.
    You took the words out of my mouth, however, if increasing tire pressure could raise fleet mileage enough to drop gas prices, I think Wal-Mart would have thought of it already.

  9. #9
    mrblanche
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    Re: A (semi) serious suggestion to lower gas wasting

    Quote Originally Posted by swamprat
    You took the words out of my mouth, however, if increasing tire pressure could raise fleet mileage enough to drop gas prices, I think Wal-Mart would have thought of it already.
    I doubt it.

    Wal-Mart has an agressive fuel cost containment program, including APU's and external climate control on every one of their trucks.

  10. #10
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: A (semi) serious suggestion to lower gas wasting

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche
    Can you suggest another place that:

    A) could afford it, and

    B) would get such a large portion of the population?

    I wouldn't restrict it to them, but I figure on a monthly basis, they'd get 50% of all the cars in the country.
    I think the simplest, least expensive way to achieve the same thing would be for people to check their tire pressure themselves! Unfortunately, that is too much work for many people. But the good news is many new cars (2007) come with tire pressure monitors now. Soon, there will be little excuse for running under-inflated tires....

  11. #11
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: A (semi) serious suggestion to lower gas wasting

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche
    Quote Originally Posted by swamprat
    You took the words out of my mouth, however, if increasing tire pressure could raise fleet mileage enough to drop gas prices, I think Wal-Mart would have thought of it already.
    I doubt it.

    Wal-Mart has an agressive fuel cost containment program, including APU's and external climate control on every one of their trucks.
    What is "external climate control"???

  12. #12
    mrblanche
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    Re: A (semi) serious suggestion to lower gas wasting

    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel
    What is "external climate control"???
    It is clilmate control (heat and A/C) that is supplied by something other than the truck's own engine. In this case, the APU does it, very quietly and for about 1/10 the fuel.

  13. #13
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: A (semi) serious suggestion to lower gas wasting

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche
    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel
    What is "external climate control"???
    It is clilmate control (heat and A/C) that is supplied by something other than the truck's own engine. In this case, the APU does it, very quietly and for about 1/10 the fuel.
    What's an APU?

  14. #14
    mrblanche
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    Re: A (semi) serious suggestion to lower gas wasting

    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel
    What's an APU?
    Auxiliary Power Unit. A frame-mounted generator and HVAC unit.

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    Re: A (semi) serious suggestion to lower gas wasting

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche
    Can you suggest another place that:

    A) could afford it, and

    B) would get such a large portion of the population?

    I wouldn't restrict it to them, but I figure on a monthly basis, they'd get 50% of all the cars in the country.
    I think the simplest, least expensive way to achieve the same thing would be for people to check their tire pressure themselves! Unfortunately, that is too much work for many people. But the good news is many new cars (2007) come with tire pressure monitors now. Soon, there will be little excuse for running under-inflated tires....
    I think that tire pressure monitors are an indicator of general bureaucratic overreach. How do they come up with this stuff?

    I drove a 2005 Infiniti G35 when visiting my brother in CT. It had a tire pressure warning system. After a visit to the gas station to fill my supposedly low tires, the damned yellow light stayed on the duration of my trip.

    There is a good possibliity of this regulation going the way of the seat belt interlock. In some places, air pumps are hard to find, even in this urban concrete wasteland most people are living. In addition, if these units malfunction, letters will be written.

    I personally check my tires every two months and have been found to be no more than 2psi below recommended pressure.

    Tire pressure monitors? They wont work because people will ignore them. Remember the pre OBD II check engine lights? People ignored those as well.

  16. #16
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: A (semi) serious suggestion to lower gas wasting


    "Tire pressure monitors? They wont work because people will ignore them. Remember the pre OBD II check engine lights? People ignored those as well."

    You might be right!

    I think anyone who doesn't check their vehicle's tire pressure at least every two weeks is inexcusably lazy - and deserves to have their tires wear out prematurely (or unevenly) and lose a few MPGs, too.

    On the bikes, I check the pressure before every ride... .

  17. #17
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    Re: A (semi) serious suggestion to lower gas wasting

    Quote Originally Posted by swamprat

    I think that tire pressure monitors are an indicator of general bureaucratic overreach. How do they come up with this stuff?

    I don't know whether the requirement for those things arose in the safety bureaucracy or in the industry, whatever the case, I believe that both sides thought it a good idea.

    The safety people because they are safety people and the industry because every little bit adds to profit and there is an element of protection from law suits by idiots.

    The cost to the consumer will be great over time, too. The things are not that costly initially but will need replacement over time (?five years) and may be as much as 100 bucks per wheel plus mounting and computer work.



  18. #18
    mrblanche
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    Re: A (semi) serious suggestion to lower gas wasting

    I used to make money in truck stops during down time by betting drivers not 10% of their tires were within 10 pounds of the recommended pressure. In other words, if 2 of the 18 were at 90 or over (100 is the recommended pressure on most truck tires), I lost. I didn't lose much.

    Just the same, I'm confident I could make the same money at a gas station with the essentially the same bet. If you have 1 tire with 3 lbs of the recommended pressure, I'd lose. I guarantee you not 1 car in five would make it.

  19. #19
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    Re: A (semi) serious suggestion to lower gas wasting

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric

    "Tire pressure monitors? They wont work because people will ignore them. Remember the pre OBD II check engine lights? People ignored those as well."

    You might be right!

    I think anyone who doesn't check their vehicle's tire pressure at least every two weeks is inexcusably lazy - and deserves to have their tires wear out prematurely (or unevenly) and lose a few MPGs, too.

    On the bikes, I check the pressure before every ride... .
    I guess I fall into that category. I check mine once a month and they are usually about 2psi under recommended pressure. The problem is, today's filling stations are more interested in selling big gulp sodas, corn syrup laden energy drinks, potato chips, candy bars, and air freshener rather than equipping the stations with tire pumps. I think that instead of jawboning another stupid device such as a tire pressure monitor down our throats, the morons in government should have forced all oil company owned gas stations to equip their buildings with working, tire pumps. I'll bet that a higher percentage of people would fill up their tires if they were readily available.


  20. #20
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    Re: A (semi) serious suggestion to lower gas wasting

    Quote Originally Posted by swamprat
    I think that instead of jawboning another stupid device such as a tire pressure monitor down our throats, the morons in government should have forced all oil company owned gas stations to equip their buildings with working, tire pumps. I'll bet that a higher percentage of people would fill up their tires if they were readily available.

    What ever happened to 'full service?' Today that means that somebody else pumps the gas, no more, at a cost of some 25 cents per gallon over self service.

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