Gas and a cruise

June 30, 2017

Last year, AAA hired an independent lab to compare top tier
gasolines with the cheaper blends. Although testing was simulated
and only 4,000 miles, some results were clear.

A minimum gasoline detergent standard was started by the EPA
in 1995 to meet emission goals. For some reason these blends
came out around the same time engine longevity took a giant leap
forward. So higher standards were created to deter long term
issues like clogged fuel injectors and carbon build up in
combustion chambers.

All gas comes with basic additives then the distributor will
blend more into top tier fuels based on brand specification.
Does all this make a difference you ask? According to AAA,
if you don’t use a top tier gas you’ll have 19 times more
carbon deposits than if you did use top tier.

And as some of us know, a clean engine is a happy engine. It
doesn’t work as hard as a dirty one and it lasts longer. Now is
where you ask, which gasolines are top tier and which are not?
Well, we found an app for that. To see the list of all top tier
brands in the U.S. and Canada, go here.

There is also a cruise in downtown Davenport later today (5:30)
hosted by Klemme’s Motorsports. Their showroom is located in
the old Firestone building at the corner of 3rd Street and
Pershing Avenue.

We’re sure there are other benefits to using the right gas as
well as other car related events today. These just caught our
eye so we shared them with you. Enjoy our Friday, it’s the last
one we get this month.
Comments are always welcome.

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To strange windy days

February 19, 2016

The wind picked up last night and has been peaking
all day. Constant gusts of 50-60 mph make for an
interesting outdoor experience. It’s so windy that
fleas are getting blown off dogs and skinny people
like myself are being warned to stay indoors.

DSC00005

But it is pretty to watch. Then I heard the
politicians in Illinois are up to their old tricks.
Representative Carol Sente is the main sponsor of
HB6008 which adds new meaning to the saying the
inmates are running the asylum.

The bill basically says hunters can’t discharge a
firearm within 1,000 yards of a building without
first getting the owners permission. So the hunter
would have to find out if he is within a square mile
radius of a building AND get the owner’s permission to
hunt before he fires a shot.

But it gets nuttier. HB6008 would make it illegal for
anyone to allow a dog to hunt within 1,000 of any
building with the owner’s permission!

The only known exemption is a licensed gun range.
That’s a good thing right?

Wrong! There are no licensed gun ranges in Illinois
so it is a moot point. We have no dog in this race as
I longer hunt and even if I did it wouldn’t be in
Illinois. But this is just another attempt to whittle
away at our rights.

And it begs the question: is the dog exempted if you
brought him along to the non-existent gun range? We
do live in interesting times.
Comments are always welcome.


Brilliant idea or propaganda?

May 22, 2015

car26

It should be no secret that I don’t like ethanol.
I get confused on why it is a good thing when it
harms cars and small engines, reduces our gas
mileage, and pollutes more than what it replaces.

Now comes talk of E15 and how is supposed to help
our environment even more because it harms cars
and small engines, lowers our gas mileage a little
more, and pollutes more than what it replaces.

Well if it so safe to use in our cars, why are the
automakers saying hold the phone? Why? You may
remember when the talk of E15 first started we were
told it could be used on models 2001 and up.

A few asking questions and few more spouting facts
didn’t do much to stop the mandate. But forgetting
what we’re told, and what is listed on the label on
the pumps, what do the automakers say?

Ford states it is acceptable for 2013 and newer
models, GM said it can be used on cars made since
2012 except the 2015 Chevy City Express, and
Chrysler says not to use it in any of its vehicles.

The backers of E15 usually pipe up about this time
and state that only one American manufacturer has
actually come out against it and they are uninformed. Ok.
Then how about Mazda, Nissan, Subaru, and Volvo all said
no to E15. For their cars built after 2012 they say to
check your owner’s manual and if E15 isn’t recommended,
keep using E10.

We are getting the bull shipped again. Who would
you rather believe, the talking government head
with an agenda, or the people who build the cars
we drive? Even AAA has an opinion.
Comments are always welcome.


It’s funny…

May 17, 2015

vern

Our government is a great source of amusement if
you think about it. First they came up with the
idea of a gas tax to pay for road repair. These
taxes remained level for many years until…

The same government ruled all automakers had to
start making cars that got better gas mileage. Of
course when you drive the same distance in a vehicle
that gets better gas mileage than the one you used
to drive, you use less gas.

You use less gas and the government gets less gas
tax monies to fix the roads. What to do. Well,
government’s answer was simple, raise the gas tax.

A little later on government started pushing the
car makers to produce electric cars again, as a
more kinder way to treat our environment. So a few
manufacturers got on board and produced electric
cars again. Then the government found out these
vehicles don’t use gas so owners paid no gas tax.

And as we know government’s solution is another
tax. Although called a per mile fee it is a tax.

During all this the government decided that the
gas we had been using for decades was no longer
safe for the environment. So the talking heads got
together and decided to make fuel out of moonshine.

They couldn’t call it moonshine so they named it
Ethanol. Touted as the cure for what ailed us.
Yes it lowered gas mileage but the environment
liked it so much the birds started singing again,
and the oceans quit rising. Or so we were told.

Now it turns out that the millions of acres
converted to farm corn for the ethanol is causing
environmental damage with runoff into our water
ways and pollution of our air.

But again we were assured there is no problem. Ok.
Scientist Joost de Gouw from CIRES and NOAA did a
study on a refinery in Illinois and discovered the
pollution is actually 30 times higher than the
government estimates, generates ozone forming
compounds, and is helping the buildup of smog.

One government entity did do something about it.
The Hawaii House of Representatives ended their
state ethanol mandate because using our corn for
fuel caused food prices to increase and the state
had recognized the unintended consequences.

And that is a small fraction of why we are amused by
our government.
Comments are always welcome.


Too many taxes blues

February 27, 2015

stovebolt

Here on the east coast of Iowa we are about to see
a ten cent increase in our gas tax starting this
Sunday. Almost immediately after the news broke that
this tax would go into effect, gas prices jumped…
ten cents!

We were told by the talking heads that this is
merely a coincidence and not the new tax
starting early. Seems refinery problems are the
culprit and not the new tax. Which means instead of
extra $5 per month the tax would thrust upon us we
are looking at an extra $10 per month to drive the
same amount we did last month.

This means I will have to live without pizza for
one week out the month as the extra money has to
come from somewhere. The wife claims it gets ugly
when I’m in pizza withdrawal.

Before I came home from the Navy Iowa imposed a
deposit on aluminum cans and bottles. I said then,
and still say today, this is not a deposit but a
use tax.

Then from the Careful What You Wish For Department
comes news that not everyone is happy with the Federal
Government discussing legalization of Marijuana.

Some who were all for legalization are now saying
this will amount to nothing more than outrageous
taxes being placed on the drug. We do have a car in
this race, but do remember the past.

When higher taxes were placed on alcohol these
same people said they didn’t care because they
didn’t drink. When taxes on cigarettes skyrocketed
they said good. It was a nasty habit and they didn’t
smoke cigarettes.

And now that legalization and taxes may hit their
favorite distraction they are appalled. Well,
welcome to the real world kids. There is reason
some people cringe when told “we’re from the
government and we’re here to help”.
Comments are always welcome.


What’s that smell?

August 2, 2014

50

Ethanol mandates have been in and out of the news
lately and E-85 is in some of our gas stations. We
have heard the bull they’re shipping from our
nation’s capital, but of course we remember that
they are politicians and can’t balance a checkbook
nor should they be allowed to carry matches.

But those of us who work for a living know that this
renewable fuel isn’t as good a deal for us as it
is for politicians in corn producing states.
Estimates have been as high as 40% of our corn crop
goes into ethanol production.

Why not mandate finding other sources to make the
fuel and a way to make it using a lot less water.
The excuses are getting old. We know ethanol can
be made with everything from algae to hemp to
switch grass.

Ethanol cost more to produce, lowers gas mileage,
corrodes older engines and parts, and pollutes as
much or more as regular gas.

It’s time we put somebody with common sense, or at
least somebody who wears big boy pants, in our
government so the hard choices can be made. We have
to stop the nonsense.
Comments are always welcome.


New ideas?

June 17, 2014

A lot of people are of the belief that light weight
cars running ethanol is a new idea and the way of the
future. You know, the ones with the composite body
panels and lightweight materials throughout made to
run on an alcohol/fuel mixture.

As far back as 1925, Henry Ford thought that ethyl
alcohol was the fuel of the future. He said: “The
fuel of the future is going to come from fruit like
the sumach out by the road, or from apples, weeds,
sawdust-almost anything. There is fuel in every bit
of vegetable matter that can be fermented. There’s
enough alcohol in one year’s yield of an acre of
potatoes to drive the machinery necessary to
cultivate the fields for a hundred years.”

From 1925 to 1941 Ford experimented with hemp to
make lighter cars and to make ethanol for gas.

hemp_car

Did you know that on August 14, 1941, Henry Ford
unveiled to the world his ‘biological’ car? Instead
of fiberglass the body was made of hemp and other
natural materials.

Though not mentioned in the video the timing gears,
horn buttons, gearshift knob, door handles and the
accelerator pedal were derived from soybeans. Even
the tires were made with something different,
goldenrod grown by his friend Thomas Edison!

Now we have carbon fiber and aluminum panels but the
idea is the same. Drop weight to save fuel and to
have alternative sources for said fuel. So after 80+
years of research the best we have is still ethanol?
One wonders.
Comments are always welcome.