Pat Goss

Driving Green to Save Some Green

We all want to save money. What if you could not only save money, but also help the environment at the same time? With gas prices always fluctuating—and usually increasing—your driving expenses are a great place to save some green! We’ve provided some easy tips to help with gas efficiency, saving you both time and money at the pump and helping the environment by reducing gas emissions.

1. Junk in the Trunk Do you have a ski or bike rack attached to the car? Do you have a trunk full of stuff? Take it off or get it out! Removing excess weight will lighten your car, therefore improving the gas efficiency of any vehicle.

2. Pump it Up

Make sure all four of your tires are properly inflated. This improves your car’s performance and gas efficiency. Also, when you’re replacing your tires, look for low-rolling-resistance (LRR) tires, which are specially designed to improve a vehicle’s fuel economy.

3. Slow and Steady

As you’re driving along, be more like the tortoise than the hare. Speeding up and then slamming on your brakes is not only terrible for your brake pads but it also hurts the environment, and your gas economy. Flooring it for just a few seconds can give off more emissions than driving regularly for a half an hour.

4. Top it Off

When filling your tank – less frequently because of all the green driving tips you’re following – there are a few things to keep in mind.

Use regular gas unless your car’s manual states you need premium, because otherwise it does not do anything for your performance or fuel economy.

Don’t over fill past the automatic mechanism. This is bad for the environment because the gas vapors will escape your car and go into the air. This is also bad for your wallet because many gas pumps are now equipped to control the gas vapors from escaping into the air and will instead go back into the station’s tanks. When you fill past the line, the extra gas will go back this same way into the station’s tank but you are still charged for it.

Don’t spill the gas on the ground. One, that’s gas you’ve paid for that’s going to waste. Two, that gas gets washed into the local water or evaporates into the air, creating pollution.

5. Take Care

Make sure you’re taking care of your car and getting regular tune ups. This will certainly help your wallet in the long run, not only in regards to the gas tank but over the entire life of your car.

Change your oil regularly or get it done if you don’t do it yourself.  If you’re a DIY-er, watch this helpful tutorial on checking oil or head to our CARCHEX Youtube channel for others!

Get a tune up because the harder your car has to work, the less gas efficient it will be.

Try to keep your car out of extreme temperatures. In the summer, try to park in the shade and use a windshield cover. This will help by not needing to blast the air conditioning, which uses gas. Also, the liquid in the AC itself is bad for the environment. In the winter, allow your car some time to warm up before you hit the road and use a windshield protector to keep the ice off. Simple upkeep will keep your wallet fatter and car driving longer.

6. The More the Merrier

Carpooling and car sharing are among the greenest ways to save the environment and money. Surely some of your coworkers live nearby, or perhaps a few neighbors work near your office. Why not join forces and split the gas fees, as well as the lower your individual carbon footprint?

Many companies are supporting these efforts and will reward employees; some even have a bus for their employees in certain areas. Look into what your company does or perhaps talk to your boss about starting a program. It never hurts to help the environment!

If you really want to make an impact, there are, of course, even greener living ideas such as telecommuting and four-day workweeks or trading in for a hybrid. But remember that even small steps, like the simple tips we mentioned here, all add up to a big difference in protecting the environment–and your wallet.

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What Should Be in My Car’s Summer Emergency Kit?

While many of us prefer summer breezes to winter blizzards, extreme heat, humidity, and other summer weather can take a toll on your car. It is important to keep an emergency kit with items appropriate for the season in your car just in case. In this video, Pat Goss explains what you should always keep in that summer emergency kit.

Video Transcription
Well, during the summer you need many of the same things that you do during the winter. That is going to include an interchangeable blade screwdriver (they usually have 4 different sizes, they are very inexpensive), you want to have a pair of adjustable pliers, you want to have some wire cutters, some kind of a knife, and you want plastic electrical tape. Preferably also some duct tape, because that can solve a lot of problems, especially if you have some piece of the body that comes loose. In addition to that, mechanic’s wire, which is a soft wire that you can use to tie things in place like the exhaust system and so on. And above and beyond that, some emergency things for safety: Band-Aids, a first aid kit sort of arrangement, in case somebody gets hurt. Essentially that covers it, except for the number one thing you always want to have–and that is a fully charged cell phone, so that you can get help.

Happy Memorial Day from CARCHEX and Pat Goss!

CARCHEX and Pat Goss wish everyone a safe and happy Memorial Day!

Video Transcription
Hey folks, thank you for watching. Have a happy Memorial Day and above and beyond everything else, be safe.

Summer Driving: What Time of Day is Best?

Myth: To save money during the warmer summer months, you should try to limit driving to early morning or later at night.

Fact: If your car is in good condition, it doesn’t matter what time of the day you drive.

Video Transcription
Well, that all depends on the coefficient of drag of the automobile, the wind resistance as far as type as tread on the tires, and the rolling resistance of the tires combined with the axle ratio, and the horsepower and torque output of the engine. If you have all of those factors, and you can do the equation then what you come up with is a determination as to whether you drive at high noon or midnight. That can save you a lot of fuel in the long run.

Just kidding folks! It really doesn’t matter. If you’re car is in good shape you can drive it any part of the day, hot, cold, doesn’t make any difference.

Driving in High Winds

This time of year can bring some extreme weather, including strong storms with high winds. What if you get caught driving in one of these storms? Think driving next to a large tractor trailer in high winds is the safest place to be? You might want to think again.

Video Transcription
Well whenever you’re driving in high winds, number 1, you want to pay close attention to everything around you and be prepared for a gust of wind to move your vehicle across the road, so you have to be prepared for that and be ready to react. But one of the big mistakes that a lot of people make is they will ride along beside a tractor trailer, or a trailer that is being towed or something like that, a bus even. Well, the thing that you may not realize is that is a very dangerous place to be because a large vehicle has a lot of wind surface and that means that a really strong gust of wind can cause that tractor trailer to flip over, and if you’re beside it, it could be right on top of you. So stay out in the open.

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