Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Saving the Plant

I recently read an interesting article about fuel economy. Given that fuel has gone up around 13% this year, so far, I thought I'd take heed of the advice.

As well as usual advice: drive slower, check tyre pressures, take off roof boxes etc.. all the common cures for improved economy, it said how much difference other weighty items can make to fuel economy.

So our quest to save fuel started by taking the three seats out the back we rarely use (they weight a ton). Then we drove a bit more carefully and we started seeing an immediate effect on the fuel gauge (smiley face)

On Sunday morning I decided to do some weight shedding (on the van)! In the front passenger door I took out approximately 8kgs of 'stuff' including: sun screen for every kind of english weather ranging from factor 10 right through to factor 50 (in increments of 10); three boxes of pain killers (not sure if it's my driving or the days agility that brings the pains on); enough packets of tissues to satisfy the demands of a whole primary school of sneezing kids for a week; Umpteen packets of hand wipes of varies descriptions ranging from moist to sun baked which to be honest were so dry and hard they could have stripped a layer of gloss paint from a door; Antibacterial sprays/creams/wipes mostly out of date and enough pens to supply the primary school with too.

Then I tackled the black hole in the space behind where the rear seats had once been, that space car manufacturers specially design for us to loose things in. On the drivers side I discovered: four hats (winter, summer, wet weather and Christmas !); five pairs of gloves; two neck warmers; an odd trainer; two scarves and enough material to resurface a medium sized indoor riding school. That's just one side of the rear! I reckoned I took 15 kgs of stuff out of the van.

The economy improved even further (even bigger smiley face). Next up I thought about emptying the windscreen washer bottle, sure we don't need to carry 2 litres of water everywhere, take out those sun visors, don't need them at this time of year and do we really need reversing light bulbs? ....the list was endless.

Economy on Thursday night on the way to club was even better... whahoo keep on like this we wont need to fill up again - EVER! Then something strange happened....

On the way home (running on fresh air of course) I realised we were seriously lacking in power, in fact it wouldn't go over 40 mph; maybe we were so light we were actually flying? After further investigation and a phone call to the garage it all became apparent, the van wasn't becoming more economical at all, it was breaking down! It was in 'limp home' mode Doh.... What a big disappointment after I really thought I was on to something (not such a smiley face).

Still look on the bright side, it's all cleaned out and we haven't used a drop of fuel today because it's in the garage. All those pennies we saved on fuel will be going to Pentagon Mercedes. . . . Anyone know the going rate for gloves on ebay!


Pup said...

That made me laugh and laugh :)

Dani said...

HaHa!!!! That was a good read :-) x