Sunday, June 08, 2008


Tomorrow I'm going back to work after one week off. The thought makes me rather weak. Still, it's time to go back to real life. It's been quite a pleasant break. Not that I did much. But it's still good.

I didn't go out yesterday evening. For some reason, I was very tired. I did go for breakfast in the morning with Gette, Rin and Ivan. It was pretty cool. I haven't been to town that early on a Saturday morning since a long time ago. The city is very pleasant to be in during that time of the day. Not much traffic and not many people. The weather was quite nice too.

In the news, the fuel thing is still very hot news indeed. Rather than rant about it some more, I'm going to find ways to deal with it and prevent it from causing me to go bankrupt.

I've been modifying the way I drive and after some rather obsessive rpm watching I managed to squeeze an extra 10 clicks this week before I had to refuel again. Not bad. So that's one thing you could do, watch your gearing and don't over rev unless really necessary. For me, that means not going above 2000 plus rpm before shifting. Except for 1st gear where the limit would be 3000rpm.

My car hits 80km\h at slightly above 2200rpm if I remember correctly. That's just nice for me. I also coast a bit more going downhill and before braking for traffic lights. Obviously, all this driving techniques only work for manual transmission.

Talking about fuel consumption, my car's got a rep for not being very economical. It's probably due to the exhaust tip. The exhaust tip on the Saga LMST is quite big actually. For me, it's hasn't been a guzzler. But then again, when I change my engine oil I refuse to use cheap ass mineral oil. I use synthetics instead.

They cost more but in the long run it's good for the car. My car is almost 6 years old and it's still ticking away like clockwork. The engine runs perfectly and I still have no problems cold starting early in the morning. I don't do anything to the engine so I'm quite sure the smoothness can be maintained by using a high grade oil. Plus, high grade oils reduce noise and engine drag and therefore good for fuel consumption.

So the next time your car is due for service think about using semi or full synthetic oil if you can afford it. Your overall fuel cost will go down and your car will appreciate it too.

It won't be cheap though. I did mine on Friday and it cost 128 bucks for oil, fuel filter, labour charge and those two little bulbs that illuminate the rear plates. I did it at a Shell station and they have some kind of promotion where they give you a voucher for 13 bucks of gas. That was pretty cool.

Right now, I'm reading up on things like engine treatment and those gadgets that claim to reduce fuel consumption. I wonder if they really work...

Another thing is weight. Extra weight is bad. I changed my rims from 14" steel to one of those lightweight alloy 15" ones and they do make a bit of difference. I also don't keep junk in the car. I suppose this helps too.

Why am I not using the bus to go out?

I live in Matang. That should be a good enough explanation. I don't fancy buying fuel but I fancy sitting on my ass for two hours waiting for the damn bus even less. Wasting up to two hours of my life waiting for a bus isn't going to cut it with me. Especially when I need to go to work.

The bus service in Matang sucks. Until they fix the public transportation issue here I won't rely on it. Plus the last bus is way too early for my taste. A rail transit system is much better than the bus but it costs a lot to develop and no way is it going to appear here in Kuching.

Not for another 50 years probably.

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