Bill Burr’s Monday Morning Podcast (7-8-2013) (by HighestPrimate)
Dirty Car Art
The artist Scott Wade draws on dirty car windows the kinds of things most of us can only dream of being able to do on paper.
Sick! It doesn’t that dirty around here or else I’d try this on my whip.
My strategy for personal transportation was buying something cheap. Under $1000. No car note. Cheaper insurance. No interest to worry about.
I own my fucking vehicle. No repossessions. It won’t fuck my credit up. Drive whenever and however.
Deal with issues and possible breakdowns. Shit will break. It’s a matter of what and when sometimes. You just hope it’s something small like a sensor.
So if you go long periods without having to service or repair then the gamble pays off. You’re not paying any car note and saving money.
If the car continually gives you problems then buying a new car is probably better. Then the gamble backfires. Some cars lend themselves to buying used than others.
I probably wouldn’t get a credit card. If you do get a credit card, leave it at home. It’s harder to buy unnecessary shit this way.
Money and budgeting is important. Just my tidbits of advice.
For every penny that gas prices go up, Americans spend $1.25 billion more per year at the pump. No one wants to waste that kind of money. So unless you’re hauling the whole ball team,
If you’re driving something that gets reasonable fuel economy, drive it reasonably. When entering a highway,  ACCELERATE TO 60 MPH AT ABOUT DOUBLE YOUR CAR’S TOP 0-TO-60 TIME. As Popular Mechanics proved in a battery of tests, this puts the car in its more efficient top gear quicker than the smug hyper-miler crawling up to speed… in the left lane.
 COAST — IN GEAR. The same tests showed that rolling in neutral requires a trickle of gas to keep the engine running but in-gear coasting does not — and that if you anticipate traffic lights and  DON’T COME TO A COMPLETE STOP, you can boost mpg by as much as 50 percent.
A warm engine is more efficient, so string errands together by  DRIVING TO THE FARTHEST DESTINATION FIRST, which will get the block heated up, then work your way home.
When it’s warm out, keep cool by opening the windows, enjoying the breeze, and  TURNING OFF THE GAS-DRAINING A/C. At highway speeds, however, our tests showed windows-down driving creates drag. So at 60 mph or faster, roll up the windows and  PUT ON THE A/C.
Notice to hoarders: You don’t need to lug around a case of oil, a bag of sand, or that box of antique tools you got at the garage sale, right? So  EMPTY THE TRUNK — less weight, better mileage. Pickup drivers,  REMOVE THE 300-POUND TOOLBOX FROM THE BED and, while you’re at it,  CLOSE THE TAILGATE to create a drag-reducing air bubble. MythBusters increased the overall range of a full tank by 30 miles using this technique; the show also proved that A RIGHT-TURN ONLY ROUTE increases fuel economy by 3 percent, because idling (at stoplights, for instance) wastes fuel. For that same reason,  AVOID TRAFFIC PINCH POINTS. Driving at speed is more fuel efficient than creeping along in low gear. And if you’re not regularly carrying a bike or a kayak on that roof rack, reduce drag by  SLIDING OFF THE CROSSBARS or at least  SLIDING THE CROSSBARS ALL THE WAY BACK (making a single wing).
At the pump  AVOID GAS RATED E15; the “E” is for ethanol, which has about 30 percent less energy than gasoline and kills mpg. (Ethanol-free gas is rare today; you’ll probably have to settle for E10.) While at the filling station,  INFLATE YOUR TIRES PROPERLY and check them for uneven wear, which works against you. Stickier, wider performance tires also increase road friction and sap mileage. So  STEER CLEAR OF TIRES MEANT FOR RACE CARS, and  SWITCH TO ECO-FOCUSED TIRES, which reduce rolling resistance. Also,  GET A TUNEUP; a smooth-running engine is more efficient.
Finally, don’t overlook the obvious: Nothing saves gas like not driving at all.  RIDE YOUR BICYCLE to fetch that quart of milk, especially if the store is just a mile or so away.
"Many alternative fuels have failed, compressed natural gas seems to thrive"
I’m still skeptical of natural gas powered vehicles. If algae biofuels are around the corner, then diesel tech is better than natural gas tech to me. What do you all think?
The major con associated with electric vehicles is the fact coal is used for electricity generation.
But I feel the results might be possibly skewed.
Here are some diesel models coming to the US - plus a couple that aren’t.
Wow. Diesel technology out performs gasonline tech by leaps and bounds, but bad regulatory policies stop many more of these vehicles from being offered in the US. Europeans have been enjoying these kind of vehicles for years. And the technology in diesels make them greener than gasoline cars. While diesels cost $2000 more than gas models, you’ll recoup that in fuel.
- Chevy Cruze Diesel gets 50+ mpg. I’m excited about the Cruz. I hope Chevy combines the Cruze and Volt to make a super car. I see the Cruze being the future of the economy class of vehicles. I mean to get 50 mpg without hybrid technology is great. You’re paying $22,000 for mileage which costs at least a few thousand more in the hybrid range. But I feel to be more competitive, the Cruze should be around 1-3 thousand less.
- Volvo V60 Plug in Hybrid can get 100 mpg?? A diesel powered station wagon kicking efficient ass. Who wouldn’t be excited about this? This is a very advanced car. Oh yea. 280 “combined” horsepower. How much will it cost?
- Honda Civic i-DTEC gets 67 mpg. Nothing terribly exciting about a Honda Civic. But you can brag about getting hyrbid mileage with the perfomance of diesel. This car hasn’t been certified in the US yet. As I said before, I can’t imagine automakers not providing more diesel models especially in the economy class. 67 mpg and no hybrid technology? It’ll probably be around $16,000-20,000 range.
“Confessions of a Chevy Volt Owner.” A surprising, frank interview with an owner of a Volt after one year of driving.
- 203 miles per gallon in the first year at 16,000 miles. Not a typo. His previous car, a Volvo, got 18 miles per gallon. (I get about 28 mpg in my ol’ benz.)
- “I wish I bought the car. I absolutely love it.” He leased it because he was skeptical of owning it. But, wishes he bought it.
- “I didn’t buy it to save money.” The biggest surprise here. He bought it to help eliminate the need for oil.
- “My home electricity bill is about the same as when my daughter lived here in high school.” After a year of plugging it in to his home, his electricity bill remains the same and didn’t go up as expected.
- He responds to the common criticism, “The Chevy Cruze is cheaper.” “Well, a bicycle is even cheaper and saves more gas than the Cruze. So is a used car. So is walking. Look, this isn’t about money, it’s about oil.”
The interview is short and surprising. Have a look.
UPDATE: Life Cycle Analysis suggests that electric vehicles produce the same emissions as a small car. Savings begin after about 80,000 miles. See here.
UPDATE II: See this short paper by German researchers comparing hybrid vehicle technologies. Concludes that EVs have built-in pollution problems at the supply chain side, which offset any savings on the consumer side. Couldn’t find a specific LCA on the Volt, though. Electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid energy efficiency and life cycle emissions (PDF).
MSN poll about cars. There needs to be more of shift from what is considered a sexy car. Right about now, a little compact car is great to me.
MSN Autos is a good autos resource too.
Car shuts off when idling. Instantly cuts back when brake is released. City drivers would save alot. Or people who drive in alot of traffic. This is already popular in Europe. Gaining steam in the US.
Best car there. All other cars were vanilla. I wanted to see more original creative cars. The auto show was a show room basically.
“One of the pieces of good news about the transportation bill passed by the Senate this week is that it restored the tax break for employees who commute by public transportation. This is an important incentive, especially since the tax code has long benefited those who drive their cars by subsidizing parking.” - Deron Lovaas, NRDC’s federal transporation policy director.
About time. Hopefully this will become nationwide.