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Energy tip #5: use the right motor oil

motoroil.gifFeed your engine the right fluids and you will improve performance. That’s why a healthy portion of us opt to fill up with a cup of leaded coffee in the morning.

If you want to give your car a boost and are in the mood to save money, checking to make sure you’re using the right motor oil could help to pad the pocket and please your auto’s underbelly at the same time.

Next time you’re at the gas station, pull out your owner’s manual. Flip to page E-12 (pass the part about filling up your tires to the right pressure) and check to see if the 10W-30 you’ve been using is the oil that your engine really wants. If not, you’re in line to gain up to 2% in increased gas mileage.

It might not sound like a lot, but let’s see the where the numbers lead us (detailed spreadsheet here):

Miles per year: 12,000
Avg. MPG: 19.6
2% increase in MPG: 19.9
Gallons saved: 11
$/gallon: $ 3.00
$ saved/year: $ 31.59
lbs. CO2 saved: 206

The nice thing about changing to a different oil is that it doesn’t cost a dime. So that’s $31.59 squirreled away for a rainy day.

If you happen to be travelling overseas this summer, you can use this stash to finance an Intercontinental flight offset and fund 7,500 more pounds of CO2 reductions, bringing your cumulative total to 7,706 pounds of CO2. And that’s how you can put a meager 2% savings to good use.

Proper respect to everyone who voted last week on Tip #4. 86 people out of 117 committed to air drying a load of laundry. If everyone had the same experience I did, it was remarkably painless and surprisingly fast (your shared experiences welcome). Now, if we can get all 86 to do this for half of their loads for an entire year…we’d save 87,376 lbs of CO2. Enough to take at least 7 cars off the road. That’s not too shabby y’all.

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