Posted on 14 April 2011.
(ARA) – Remember when $4 seemed like an outrageous amount to spend on a gallon of gasoline? Now that number doesn’t seem so far-fetched. While you can’t do anything to control the unrest in the Middle East or oil rig explosions that could lead to gas prices spiking at a moment’s notice, there are a few things you can do to help ease the pain of high gas prices.
While buying a more fuel-efficient car might be an option for some, new and used cars that get more miles per gallon tend to be more in demand – and more expensive – when gas prices are high. If a new car isn’t an option for you, implementing the following changes can help ensure that you get the most from the fuel in your gas tank:
* Keep the gas you buy in your car. When gas prices are low, stealing gas would likely be more trouble than it’s worth, but when prices are high, it’s not uncommon for thieves to siphon gas from vehicles, especially those with larger tanks. Adding a locking gas cap can be done for much less than the cost of a tank of gas. In addition to preventing theft, locking fuel tank caps can also prevent anyone from tampering with your gas tank.
* Keep your tank full. While you’re looking to reduce the amount of gasoline you are using, constantly running your car with the tank close to empty can wear down your fuel pump. “The gasoline in the tank keeps the fuel pump cool. Take away the gas and the fuel pump runs hot and has a shorter life,” says Tom Taylor, engineer and vice president of RockAuto.com. If you have an older car that has accumulated dirt and rust at the bottom of the tank, keeping a full tank can help your fuel burn cleaner.
* Keep your car in shape. Keeping your engine properly tuned improves fuel efficiency by an average of 4 percent and repairing a major issue like a faulty oxygen sensor could improve efficiency by up to 40 percent, according the U.S. Department of Energy. The RockAuto.com parts catalog has oxygen sensors from $10 to more than $100 depending on the car,” says Taylor. Especially if you’re a do-it-yourselfer, you could quickly recoup the cost of an oxygen sensor or other repair after as little as one tank of gas through improved fuel economy.
* Keep your tires inflated properly. Keeping your tires at the optimal level not only keeps you safer, but can improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent, according to the Department of Energy. Your owner’s manual should tell you the proper psi (pounds per square inch) levels for your vehicle.
* Drive for optimal gas mileage. How you drive can affect how much gas you use. Most cars run at peak efficiency at around 60 mph, with fuel economy decreasing sharply when traveling faster. Aggressive driving with rapid acceleration and slowing will also have a negative effect on your fuel economy.
* Reduce weight and drag. Getting rid of items such as roof equipment when they aren’t being used can help your car become more aerodynamic and run more efficiently. Keeping unnecessary items in your car, especially if they are heavy, can also make your car work harder and use more fuel than it needs to.
By adding up the small savings gained by each of these tips, you can really notice a difference on how much you are paying at the pump, especially over a long period of time.
Posted in Featured
Posted on 04 March 2011.
Motorists filling up their tanks may see an unpleasant surprise at the pump. The price for a gallon of regular self-serve gasoline was predicted to go up to $3.49-$3.59 throughout Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky on Wednesday. For some gasoline stations this will mean increasing prices as much as 40-cents per gallon compared to prices earlier this week. Here in Cedar Springs, it was $3.39 as of press time Wednesday morning.
“The rise in gasoline prices is due to increasing crude oil prices as Middle East violence continues to make oil exports risky. We’ve seen wholesale gasoline prices continue to rise at the fastest pace since Hurricane Katrina,” said GasBuddy Senior Petroleum Analyst, Patrick DeHaan.
DeHaan is concerned that we may see a “double whammy” at gasoline pumps. He explained that Middle East violence could continue to result in higher gas prices as oil demand also increases ahead of the summer driving season. He expects prices to rise to an average of between $3.65 and $4.05 by the Memorial Day weekend.
“We could see prices spike above $4-per gallon if the situation in the Middle East isn’t resolved soon,” he notes.
Posted in News
Posted on 24 February 2011.
Gas prices were $3.35 in Cedar Springs Wednesday.
Gas prices took a hike Tuesday, when they jumped to $3.39 in Cedar Springs and across the metro Grand Rapids area. That was a 25-cent jump that had people lined up at Admiral on Main and Muskegon, historically the last gas station in the area to raise its price. The price had shifted downward to $3.35 at press time Wednesday.
Tom Kloza, publisher and chief energy analyst for the Oil Price Information Service, said in a recent blog that if not for the Egyptian uprising, we would probably be looking at cheaper prices for gasoline and diesel this month.
He also explained that our gasoline inventory is at its highest since 1989, but that it’s winter gasoline. Pipelines and terminal operators will soon be purging the supply system from winter gasoline (which needs to be volatile because of cold temperatures) to spring/summer gasoline, which requires much lower vapor pressure.
“My best guess is that U.S. refinery runs will scrape bottom in late February or early March, and thereby incite a 2011 round of “petronoia” that will lift nationwide retail prices to $3.50-$3.75 gallon,” predicted Kloza.
Posted in News
Posted on 16 December 2010.
Have you noticed that our wars just seem to go on and on? So have I, so I looked it up.
Since 1675, we have been in 26 wars. Several early ones were against Indians while we were still colonies. Then came the Revolutionary War against the British. Then, more war against the Barbary Pirates. We had the War of 1812, Texas’s fight for independence from Mexico, and the Civil War. We returned to battle in the Spanish American War. (My great uncle fought in that one.)
In 1918 we entered World War I and fought Germany. That was a particularly nasty one, but we were on the winning team.
In World War II we went up against the Germans, Italians, and Japanese. Dec. 7, 1941: the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. I’m old enough to remember the day. It was a Sunday, I recall, and our family was stunned with the news. The whole country was stunned. It took about four years but, again, our team won.
Korea split into North and South, and America went to war to support the South. Fresh out of high school, I was there. With the U.S. Army. We still have troops there.
We lost in Vietnam and the Bay of Pigs. We managed to win in Granada and Panama. Then – remember Bosnia?
Afghanistan and Iraq are still in progress.
Will it ever end? There must be a better solution to conflict than blowing up cities, resources, and human beings.
The good season
In the really old days, what we call Christmas was a celebration of the winter solstice (the sun is coming back, the sun is coming back!). The birth of Christ gave us a focus for renewal; the time of year was retained.
Eventually, of course, Santa came down the chimney and Hallmark took over. There’s something for everyone in this joyous celebration of the good things of life. Have a wonderful holiday, everyone. And peace on earth.
Sister Mary Ann, who served at a home health agency, was out making rounds visiting homebound patients when she ran out of gas. Fortunately, a station was just a block away. She walked down the road to borrow a gas can and buy some gas.
The only gas can the station owned had been loaned out. The attendant said she could wait until it was returned, but Sister was headed to a patient’s house. She decided not to wait.
Back at the car, she looked for some kind of container and spotted the bedpan she was taking to the patient. Always resourceful, Sister Mary Ann carried the bedpan to the station, filled it with gasoline, and carried it back to her car.
As she was pouring the gas into her tank, two Baptist ladies watched from across the street. One of them turned to the other and said, “If it starts, I’m turning Catholic.”
More on War
A dentist and a manicurist fought tooth and nail.
Posted in News
Posted on 09 December 2010.
By Richard N. Waldman, MD President, The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
During the holiday season, delicious and decadent foods are everywhere. Foods that have the potential to throw the digestive system for a loop are all around. Problems of the digestive system such as constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, and gas occur more frequently in women than in men and may be made worse by changes in hormone levels caused by menstruation and pregnancy. Women are also more likely to develop irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a common digestive disorder marked by persistent abdominal pain and bowel changes. IBS sufferers may have a strong digestive reaction to stress, large meals, caffeine, dairy products, and large amounts of alcohol—typical staples of the holiday season. Try these tips to avoid seasonal digestive consequences: Eating large meals and not getting enough fiber can trigger constipation. Symptoms may include having fewer than three bowel movements a week, firm or hard-to-pass stools, abdominal swelling or bloating, straining during bowel movements, and a full feeling after a bowel movement. The Fix: Eat at least 25 grams of fiber each day, drink plenty of fluids, exercise, and use the bathroom when you have the urge. Your doctor may also prescribe laxatives or other therapies. You may develop a case of diarrhea—defined as having three or more loose bowel movements in a day—after eating or drinking foods that contain harmful viruses or bacteria. Dairy products, caffeine, artificial sweeteners, certain additives, or medications such as antibiotics can also be a cause. The Fix: Eat hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Skip foods that have been sitting out on the buffet too long. If you have diarrhea, drink fluids to keep hydrated. Drink liquids that contain salt such as sports drinks or broth if diarrhea lasts more than a few hours. Avoid drinks that include dairy products, caffeine, or sugar which can make diarrhea worse. Rich, fatty, or acidic foods, chocolate, coffee, alcohol, mints, and big meals can cause stomach acid to push back into your esophagus and may lead to heartburn, a burning feeling in your chest and throat. The Fix: Avoid overeating. Instead of lying down after a meal, try taking a walk. Gas and bloating can be triggered by hard-to-digest foods such as beans, broccoli, cabbage, and dairy products (for lactose intolerant people). The Fix: Pay attention to which foods give you gas and avoid them. Your doctor may suggest an over-the-counter treatment. Talk to your doctor if your abdominal or digestive discomfort persists. Symptoms that have been present for at least 12 weeks out of the last 12 months may be a sign of IBS or a more serious condition, such as colon cancer. For more information, the ACOG Patient Education Pamphlet “Problems of the Digestive System” is available at www.acog.org/publications/patient_education.
Posted in News