February 24, 2017, 2:37 am
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Saving gas; Smartphone secrets

MORE precious tips from my beloved Baba-Mail, too useful to delete; worth sharing with my readers. 
Baba-Mail tells us that gas isn’t cheap, but what most people don’t realize is that by making just a few simple changes to the way they drive, they will save on increasingly unaffordable petrol. Following these 14 pieces of advice can end up save you money:

1. Advertised MPG is a lie. Most MPG ratings are based on tests in controlled environments, or in some cases, are completely made up. The only true way to tell a car’s MPG (miles per gallon) is to drive it and divide the distance you cover by the amount of petrol you used.

2. Keep the pedal off the metal. Every time you floor it, you waste between 5% more gas in the city, and up to 33% on the highway.

3. Don’t brake too much. Brakes should be used when you can’t slow the vehicle down in other ways. If you have enough distance, just take your foot off the gas and let gravity and air friction slow you down. That saves gas wasted as heat, as well as extends the life of your brakes.

4. The speed limit is your friend. Most cars are designed to get optimal gas consumption at around 80 kmh, so as long as you don’t exceed that speed, you’ll save a lot of money.

5. Empty out the boot. The heavier the car, the more gas it needs to move, so remove anything you don’t need from the boot and keep only the essentials.

6. No need to top it off. You may think that it’s smart to give that one extra squeeze to the fuel pump, but that extra squeeze will mostly go to waste. Excess gas goes back to the station’s pumps to prevent spillage, and an overfilled tank loses gas to vapor leakage and spills.

7. Idle cars are the devil’s playthings. Idling your car is illegal in many places, and if it isn’t where you live, it should be. If you leave your car running while you know you’re going to be staying in a place, even for a couple of minutes, it should be enough reason to turn that key and stop the engine. An idling car wastes gas, shortens the vehicle’s lifespan, and pollutes the environment for no reason.

8. Turn down the air conditioning. If you need air, turn the AC off and open your car’s windows – it’s a more effective way. Operating your car’s AC on the highest setting can increase your gas consumption by up to 25%. Remember though that keeping the windows all the way down creates drag, which causes the car to use more gas too, so try not to open the windows all the way down.

9. Got cruise control? Use it! Driving without cruise control is less efficient, resulting in higher gas consumption. If you know you’re going to be driving at a certain speed for a while, switch on the cruise control and enjoy the (cheaper) ride.

10. Keep the tires full. A properly inflated tire can save up to 3.3% of your gas consumption, and will also last longer. If your tires are not properly inflated, you’re going to be wasting about 0.3% for every 1 psi that’s missing.

11. Maintenance is important. Getting your oil changed every 8,000-11,000 km is normal for a modern car. While you’re at it, changing the filters, spark plugs, and other parts will make your car purr like a happy cat, and save you money in the long run. 

12. Cheap gas is better. In the past, “premium” gasoline had additives and detergents that would reduce carbon deposits in the system. Nowadays, almost all kinds of gas have these additives, so unless your car specifically needs premium, you can use regular and save a lot of money.


More wise words from Baba-Mail: Amazing Android secrets. Most everyone owns a smartphone, but even though we’re all sporting these devices, Baba-Mail tells us that there’s a whole myriad of things we can do with smartphones that many of us don’t even know about. Here the least well-known Android smartphone secrets that Baba wants to share with us now:

1. Save battery power. All you need to do to benefit from this trick is to select a dark, plain background for your smartphone’s screen. This shuts off automatic pixel highlighting and makes your battery last longer. Note that this feature isn’t universally available across all Android devices.

2. Text-to-speech. If you prefer receiving any incoming information to your smartphone via hearing rather than having to look at its screen, you can point to Settings, Accessibility, and toggle the Text-to-Speech option to the On position.

3. Smartphone remote control. Did you know you can switch your phone off remotely if you ever happen to lose it? All you need to do is go to Settings, Security, then Device Administrators. Once you’re there, check the boxes for “Remotely located this device” and “Allow remote lock and erase”. You can now locate and lock your phone via this that website.

4. Guest mode. If someone asks to borrow your phone, but don’t fancy the idea of them snooping around your photos or other personal things, you can enable Guest Mode. Swipe down from the top of your screen using two fingers, then select the user icon in the upper right-hand corner. There, you’ll see an option to Add Guest. This will let you customize the actions your guest user is allowed to take. This setting may be called Private Mode on some phones.

5. Screen magnifier. You’ll find this a lifesaver if you have poor eyesight. Point to Settings, then Accessibility, then Magnification.

6. Hotspot mode. When you’re out and about, you might need internet access for a device such as a tablet. Use your phone as a WiFi hotspot by pointing to Settings, then Tethering and Portable Hotspot. Turn Portable WLAN Hotspot to On.


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