The first self-service gas station in the United States was opened in Los Angeles in 1947, and the only states that currently ban self-service gas stations are New Jersey and Oregon. According to infoplease.com, the purpose of these laws was to protect consumers and gas station owners from costly and possibly deadly accidents. Most of our readers are looking to save money when filling up the tank. According to gaspricewatch.com, a general tip on gas savings is to avoid starting and stopping your engine needlessly. Idling your engine for one minute consumes the gas amount equivalent to when you start the engine.
If you live in any but the two states mentioned above, chances are you’re pumping your own gas (and trying to find the cheapest prices)… SafeAuto Insurance spokesman Norm Macdonald, has a message for you in his most recent “Street Smarts” video. Be sure to stay tuned to our ‘Play It Safe’ Blog for more “Street Smarts” and gas saving tips!
Tags: Self Service Gas Stations, Self Service Gas New Jersey, Self Service Gas Oregon, Gas Saving Tips, Cheap Insurance, Cheap Car Insurance, Safe Auto Insurance
We've all done it: Pulled into a gas station late at night and, yawning, gotten the pump set up. We've gone in, gotten some coffee, come out, and promptly spat out our drink because we've realized we're putting the wrong gas in our car. It could be the wrong octane, or it could be diesel instead of gasoline.
This is bad for several reasons. Running the wrong fuel through your car could increase “engine knock,” which means lower performance and potentially more damage to your car (likely not paid for by auto insurance). Worse, carbon deposits can collect, and they suck up the wrong grade of gas, making the problem linger and the aggravation that much worse.
It's not a fun situation, but it's not necessarily the end of your car. If you find yourself in this situation here's what to do.
Step 1: Whatever You Do, Don't Start Your Car!
No matter what, starting your car is going to make a bad situation vastly, vastly worse. Starting your car will circulate the wrong fuel and start damaging it at multiple points. It can also invalidate your warranty, something you may very much need before this situation is resolved. So, whatever you do, no matter how tempting it is, do not turn that key.
Step 2: Figure Out How Much of the Wrong Gas Got in Your Car
If you squeezed the handle and immediately realized your mistake, you probably don't have much of the wrong fuel in your car. This might mean the solution is nothing more than filling up your car with the right octane and rolling out with a bit of embarrassment, although you should never, ever assume this is the case. If you have an entire tank, well, then you've got bigger problems.
Step 3: Talk to the Attendant
Keep in mind, you're at a gas station, this happens all the time. There's a distinct possibility that they have protocols and tools in place to help you. So let them know that you've put the wrong fuel in the tank, and ask them if there's anything they can do to help. Odds are good, especially if there's a service station there, that they can. If your car is out of warranty, the gas station is probably going to be the place most likely to help you.
Step 4: Call Your Dealer or the Manufacturer
If your car is still under warranty, call the dealer or the manufacturer. Preferably the dealer, but the manufacturer will have a help line if you're stuck with this problem late at night. Ask them exactly what you should do: They will likely recommend that you have your car towed to the nearest shop and the fuel tank drained. They may also possibly recommend that the seals and filters be replaced, so be prepared for that expense as well. Either way, listen to them and do exactly what they say.
It's not a great situation to be in, but putting the wrong fuel in your car is not the end of the world. Just don't start your car, find somebody to help you, and you'll be back on the road in no time.
Tags: Gas Prices, Pumping Gas, fuel efficiency, Fillin up Tank, SafeAuto, Safe Auto Insurance
Think the upcoming federal standards for an average of 54.5 mpg seems a bit high? Volkswagen thinks it doesn't go nearly far enough. In fact, they plan to go six times better ... a car that goes 300 miles on a single gallon.
So how in the heck does that work?
Light as a Feather
It starts with size. Much of what we've seen about this rumored super-car indicate that it's going to be more Smartcar than SUV. Most of the concept cars on which it's supposed to be based are tiny little two-seaters. This isn't out of line with the current high-mileage vehicles out there, such as the Nissan Leaf or the Mitsubishi MiEV, both very small cars that make up their mileage as much by not having a lot to haul in the first place.
The rumored concept car would beat them both, however. The last time we saw one of these was in 2009. At that point, it was lighter than even the classic Volkswagen Bug, which you might remember wasn't exactly a heavyweight. It weighed just 838 pounds, and in the intervening three years, new materials science and welding techniques have developed that may make an already light car even lighter. That's extremely useful: the less overall weight a car has to haul, the less overall fuel it has to burn.
Diesel Fuel and Electric Power
Next there's the fuel itself, which might be the big sticking point for the American market. It's probably not a big surprise that this car is being engineered to burn diesel because, well, European manufacturers love turning out diesel cars. Volkswagen has highly-advanced diesel technology at this point, and the rumored engine, right now, is a two-cylinder diesel engine. Diesel gets more power per liter burned, which makes it ideal if you're looking for a lot of power with a little oomph.
Next up in the technology parade is the hybrid tech we all know so well from the Prius and other hybrid vehicles. Yep, this wouldn't be an all-electric car: Even current electric technology makes that difficult, to say the least. But it would be largely electrically powered, to the point where even braking would charge up your batteries and make your next stop at the gas station just that much further out.
So When Will We See It?
When might we see this diesel-burning, lightweight, gas-sipping German automotive wonder? Good question. One of the problems with concept cars is that they tend to be testing beds for technologies instead of actual products. This car might never leave the lab, but all the various weight-saving ideas and fuel-conserving strategies are ones you'll be seeing sooner rather than later, and not just in Volkswagen cars. Ford is already talking about their Fiesta that can go 45 miles to the gallon, and other manufacturers are beginning to roll out new fuel-saving technologies because of enormous consumer demand.
In short, you might only see this car if you go to a car show. But at some point – and sooner than you think – it will have its fingerprints all over the new cars.
Get a great insurance quote for your next new car. Contact Safe Auto today!
Tags: Cheap Gas, Great Mileage for Car, Affordable Gas Prices, SafeAuto, Safe Auto Insurance, Cheap Car Insurance
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There are many bad drivers out there on the road. Play It Safe with helpful tips, articles, videos, and of course, examples of what not to do. Brought to you by SafeAuto Insurance Company.