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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Getting Pumped Up

Apex, NC 10-21-10

The economy is still stuck in neutral with not much growth. The good thing is that it is not getting worse. Since 2008, the American consumer has changed behavior. We are still in debt in many cases but we do not like it at all. And we are really watching our pennies and using credit less.

With the price of gas again at two dollars and silly, we are really noticing it at the pump and in our wallet. For a number of reasons, none I understand, gas is crawling up and slowly eating more and more of our pocket. When just having a decent paying job in today’s environment is a blessing we just cannot boycott gas stations and stop driving to work.

In the news this morning was yet another discussion of E85 fuel. E85 is not a bad thing; we just need to understand it better. Here is the scoop. You are running 10% ethanol in your tank a majority of the time anyway. A lot of stations add it to increase octane levels. When you pump gas and smell a little sweetness as it goes in, you have corn-blended fuel heading into the tank. That is okay! We can run on it all day long regardless of the engine or the year of car.

If gas gets to 15% ethanol, you should only pump that into a flex fuel vehicle. With about 2000 E85 stations across the United States, there are a lot of good Detroit sheet metal out there that can run flex fuel and these vehicles state it on the back of the vehicle and on the gas cap. E85 is indeed cheaper. But you get less mileage. It is also higher octane, about 95, rather than the 87 we usually pump.

It is important to remember to only put the correct fuel in your vehicle at all times.

To be on the safe side, just use 87 octane gasoline. You do NOT need 89 or 92 octane unless you have to run premium fuel. Running higher octane gas in a vehicle engineered and built to run on 87 is just a waste of money.

You will actually save money by not rabbit accelerating from the light, not tailgating, and keeping the right PSI in your tires. Rotate them with your REGULAR oil changes. And replace your air filter. You will see performance and mileage increases that pay for themselves over time.

Yes, gas is creeping to three bucks. No one likes that. Saving money at the pump is possible by blatant common sense, both in how you drive and how you maintain your vehicle.

Remember ALSO, that I sell car insurance through a number of A rated companies. Hopefully a free quote from Woomer Insurance can bring value to other areas of your budget. Call me at 919 533 9069 in you live in North Carolina.

Meanwhile, drive slower in your well maintained vehicle you will visit the gas station less!

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