A few weeks ago, Chevron gave me a bottle of their newly launched product — theTechron Concentrate Plus. We tried it out on a 2002 Toyota Altis 1.6E and I am pleasantly surprised with the results.
Our test car has already run over 120,000 kms in the past 13 years and has performed quite well so far. Nevertheless, I’ve observed that it is not anymore as powerful and as fuel efficient as it used to be.
Our objective in this experiment is to find out if this Techron product does have significant effects on the performance of the car.
With the surging, and almost uncontrollable, rise of oil prices, the Philippine govt is actually thinking of drafting an Executive Order that will freeze oil prices.
According to Justice de Lima, this has happened before:
“Talking about possibilities, there’s always such a possibility of coming up with an executive order freezing the oil prices. If it comes to that, it will basically and primarily be an executive decision or action,” De Lima told The STAR.
She said the previous Arroyo administration had resorted to freezing oil price increases in 2009, through Executive Order 839.
De Lima said such a measure would be “legally feasible.”
Although it would be good in the short run, it’s the long term effects that may concern economists as freezing oil prices may sometimes lead to an even bigger oil price once the freezing has been done.
[Article via: The Philippine Star | Image via: Wikimedia Commons (CC by-SA 3.0)]
Now in these times, I am quite glad that I drive a small car with an engine capacity just a glass more than a liter bottle. But it being an automatic, it still is quite a challenge to get its fuel consumption above 9 km/l. I’ve been doing a bit of fuel-saving experiments recently especially since a gallon of premium gasoline has risen to more than 50 bucks a liter yet again.
You see you burn fuel by building up speed when you brake you simply convert all of that energy to heat. Not to mention wear out your brake pads. This is why quick cycles of acceleration and braking of city driving results in higher fuel consumption.
So what I’ve been trying to do is to brake less. I simply gauge how much speed I need to get to a point (say a speed bump) and only accelerate as much. It does take quite a lot of concentration since you need to feather your throttle just right. I tried doing this for a week and had pretty good results. Quick math gave me 10 km/l.
Too bad, driving around Metro Manila means you have to deal with some pretty impatient bastards who think that driving at 40 kph in a residential area is already too slow. So in that week alone, probably I was honked at scores of times, shouted at five times and flipped a couple of times.
Pretty irritating stuff just to get a kilometer more from a liter. Worth it?
At the rate that fuel prices are becoming unreasonably priced, we have been offered a lot of alternatives. We can see today that most of them are more compact compared to the previous years where SUVs and large bodied cars are preferred by the traditional car lover. But along with size comes the price to pay for more fuel to burn. Thus, it should not be surprising why cars these days are becoming smaller and crampy.
Take for instance the entry of two small cars, the Toyota Vios and the Honda City. Both were initially considered as cars for women. True to its concept, they were cheaper and suitable for the women drivers who only needed a vehicle to get them places. Apparently today, these compact vehicles have gone as far as serving the men, becoming an alternative since fuel prices are escalating and thus heeding for more conservative cars.
These two car models from Honda and Toyota normally come in 1.3 engines. With lesser power the only important thing here is that they can get you places. Getting anywhere fast is no longer important. It is about convenience and luxury and hence a big reason why most Vios and City models are slowly becoming common in the Philippine roads today.
Hybrid cars are the new demand these days, no thanks to the growing problems of continuous oil and fuel price hikes. While we see this is as a good resolution, obviously we will have to sacrifice a lot of things such as comfort and style. Hybrid cars are modernized looking cars that are getting close to what we all had in mind when we were projecting the future look of transportation.
The latest batch of hybrid cars do have that futuristic look but apparently, the usual leg room and the mileage that we normally get from the traditional vehicles will have to be modified a bit, a lot of it pointing towards issues that will definitely not sit well with most people looking for luxury when it comes to getting places.
Apparently the shift towards modernized hybrid cars will have its impact. Some may like it while others will not. But this early there are bound to be limited options considering car manufacturers such as Honda and Toyota have only begun developing these cars at present. Notable is the Toyota Prius which has gotten a lot of attention in the process. Honda is not far behind and expect other ones trying to stay afoot with them as the demand for alternative modes of transportation is gearing up.
Cost-wise, there will be other factors such as alternative fuel that will headline the news. Compatibility will certainly be something since alternative fuel development will be needed. That is perhaps one hindrance that most car manufacturers have to contend with since engines of these hybrid cars will have their share of fuel preferences. Better yet, if they can accommodate these bio-fuels and the traditional gasoline (assuming they stabilize in the future) would be great alternatives. You just never know when everything may go back to normal hence these considerations are on the car manufacturers line of developmental issues.
With the prices of fuel becoming overly impractical at this stage, alternatives to continue enjoying the benefits of having our private vehicles has been a need. Some have cut down on their trips while others have been checking out alternative fuel.
There are two fuel alternates being spread in the world today, namely:
- Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)
In the Philippines, only the second one, LPG has been introduce in the market. While I have my own cars and am aching for avoiding the high priced gasoline today there are some things such as the reliability of LPG on cars. Among them include safety and the impact it will have on the car’s engine.
On safety, it has been passed on that once an LPG tank in your car leaks, it is bound to result in health-related problems. One of the more famous issues is skin diseases stemming from the fumes. This is of course assuming that the LPG tank is installed at the back trunk of your car. So if you are planning to install an LPG tank, make sure that it is outside your car, preferably below the trunk which most taxis have done today.
As for its impact on the car engine, nothing has really been said. We all know for a fact that there are engines that have preference for the fuel density. Unleaded gasoline for example has been known to cause problems to the engine, forcing some car owners to avoid it and the price of having an untimely engine overhaul. Where does the LPG fuel stand here? Is it good for your car?
to be continued…