What You Should Know About Alternative Fuel and Biodiesel Testing

Engine emissions are a byproduct of burning fuel, and before an adequate emissions system could be developed, diesel engines were emitting carcinogens and other health hazards. Fortunately, by adjusting the temperature of the burn and the content of the fuel, you can reduce emissions. Alternative fuels have been engineered as an attempt to reduce the amount of pollution released into the air from diesel engines. For this reason, we have moved away from petroleum-based products. While the price of oil remains high, this is a good economic decision, as well.

Some of the most popular alternatives are derived from plant materials, which offer the additional advantage of being sustainable. Soybeans or corn, for example, are renewable resources, and their oils are perfect bases for alternatives. Biodiesel can also be produced from animal fats or kitchen grease, which makes for a useful way to dispose of waste from another industry.

The basic principle of creating an alternative to ignite your engine is simple. The fuel needs to be a flammable liquid that is thin enough to be sprayed from the engine’s fuel-injection system. Glycerin is the substance that makes oil thick, sticky, and, well, oily. By removing the glycerin from any oil, you can create a biological substance that will burn cleanly.

The EPA has approved Biodiesel as a vehicle fuel, but it must meet certain standards. This is where the biodiesel testing comes in. You could pour raw vegetable oil into your engine and it would work, but that doesn’t mean it meets EPA standards. Chances are pretty good that the kinds of biofuel that don’t meet the standards will also eventually ruin your engine.

Testing your biofuel, whether you produced it or bought it from someone else, is not difficult. You want to be sure that it doesn’t contain glycerin, of course, but there are some other things to look out for. Soaps or acids might have been used to get rid of the glycerin, and you don’t want any of those substances left behind. Also, it is a good idea to check for oxidized oils that could be remnants from an old tank or may have been added to increase volume.

If you are not a chemist, don’t worry. Biodiesel testing equipment is available that is very easy to use. Portable testers also make it easy to trace the source of a problem by analyzing fuel in the tank or elsewhere in the system. You can even use these tools to test the fuel in a piece of used equipment to determine the contents before starting the engine. Biodiesel testing will ensure proper quality and performance in all of your diesel engines.

How To Get Great Fuel Economy Out Of Used Cars

While some complain that used cars are more expensive due to poor fuel economy, this is not always the case. There are forces at work in your favor. Most drivers have noticed that gas prices are beginning to dip lower than the national average, which has been above $3.00 per gallon since 2010. To add to these savings, there are several things you can do to save money on gas. With fewer dollars going to gas, set the extra money aside for car maintenance. Additionally, adjust your driving habits to save fuel.

Under the Hood

The experts agree: a properly tuned engine increases the fuel economy in used cars. Use the money you’ve been saving at the pump to correct any serious problems under the hood. For example, a bad oxygen sensor can destroy your fuel economy. Fixing this issue will save you a lot of cash.

Tire Pressure & Oil

One do-it-yourself tip is to check the air pressure in your tires. Your used car’s owner’s manual should state how much pressure is needed for each season. While you’re at it, be sure you or your mechanic have been putting the correct type of oil into the engine. Additionally, when you have your oil changed, ask the technician to show you the air filter. If it’s dirty, purchase a replacement. Many people don’t realize this common mistake is costing them extra money.

Gas Cap

While you’re at the gas station, check your gas cap. If it’s loose, cracked or appears leaky, it’s time for a new one. Another clue may be that your check engine light is on. This is often remedied by replacing the gas cap. If you need a new cap, try visiting your local auto supplies store, or order one from an auto parts warehouse online.

Driving Habits

Still not getting the mileage you want? Check your driving habits! Are you always speeding? Do you stop and start quickly? Do you do a lot of city driving? These could all be culprits. Give yourself plenty of time to get from point A to point B. Go easy on your gas and brake pedal. Take highways when available instead of city streets. Call your fellow co-workers and suggest carpooling to cut down on your driving time. Never sit with your car idling for long. If you’re waiting, turn off the engine. While you’re working on your driving habits, you may want to consider the weight of items in your car. A trunk full of unnecessary objects makes the engine work harder and use more gas.

As you can see, with the right strategy, you can get great gas mileage out of used cars. It could well be worth your time to heed the tips offered above to save at the pump.

Why Not Own a Fuel Saving Hybrid Vehicle?

When my present vehicle was purchased some 5 years ago I thought it had everything. It is a Toyota Camry Altise and a big step up from my 30-year-old Datsun 200C, which, when purchased new in 1981, had all the latest equipment and was like a Rolls Royce to drive. The Japanese manufacturers had spared nothing in it. As an older person the Altise is perfect for me as it also has exactly what I need for local shopping and the odd trip on the highway.

The problem with today’s products, whether cars or anything else, the thing you buy today is quickly outdated by something better tomorrow. That’s how I felt when my niece drove me in her hybrid Toyota.

The ride in this vehicle left me somewhat speechless. The noise levels are practically zero when driving and when stationary there is nothing to be heard at all. Thinking it had cut out I made a comment about it. That’s when she explained about the battery.

As one drives it the battery is recharged and is always the means of starting the vehicle before the petrol side of it kicks in. The ride in it is beautiful and inside the vehicle has more functioning tools, including the outside temperature display. My immediate thought was that I want one but my finances are rather limited so it will take awhile to achieve.

But even before that thought died in my head the news is for all-electric vehicles, which are now coming onto the market in greater quantities. The batteries in these don’t recharge as the car is driven but service stations are now supplying electric plugs for that purpose.

But, hold on there, something new has now been manufactured to surpass even these. The driverless car is coming off the starting blocks and already at least one manufacturer is taking orders. Where and when will we arrive at a vehicle to satisfy all demands? Driverless buses are now being tested to run around the show-ground in Sydney in six months time.

Driverless trains are also to be used on the new railway link between Sydney and the north-western suburbs in a couple of years. Wow! What a time to be deciding on a new car, or even a second-hand one for that matter. The Australian government has already announced that by 2030 no petrol driven cars will be sold here and possibly soon after they will not be registered.

This is certainly a change in vehicle decision and purchasing times. While I lusted over a hybrid car now it is already old hat and obsolete in future terms. In the meantime, however, it has to be the most fuel-efficient car on the road today.