Friday, February 09, 2007

Bad Advice

NPR's 848 program ran an episode this morning with a man that teaches how to get hypermilage out of a normal automobile. He did so by avoiding braking, killing his engine and coasting, and pulling away from a parking spot as soon as his engine started. This is the email I am sending 848:
You're hypermilage segment highlighted some dangerous and damaging driving techniques. The person rightly points out that limited braking and slower driving can save gasoline. But to turn off the engine and coast in the middle of the road endangers both the hypermiler and others driving around him. Not only does the coasting car not have the ability to accelerate away from a dangerous situation, without the motor running the power steering and power brakes are shut down. A person must muscle the steering and brakes in this situation and may not be able to avoid a collisions. The shutting down of the engine may also be illegal! The hypermiler also describes pulling away from a parking space as soon as the engine is started. This is doing damage to the engine if the car has set for some time. The oil has drained from the engine block and needs to be pumped into the block to grease the moving parts. While this does not take a long time a driver should allow a few moments for the oil to circulate. This is especially important in cold weather since the oil is slower to circulate.

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