Exxon posted a ten biliion dollar profit last quarter. Let's all say a quick prayer for them as they struggle to come to grips with this most recent setback. Rumors have it they were expecting profits to be in the fourteen to sixteen billion dollar range. As a good spin doctor, I can safely say that Exxon is experiencing a shortfall of between four and six billion dollars, despite their ten billion dollar profit level. I know how I feel when I don't have four to six billion extra dollars in my pocket, so I can feel their pain.
In case you are one of those who are angered by this most recent trend of high gas and oil prices and even higher oil company profits, here's what you can do to "stick it to the MAN", if that's your thing.
1. Do not, under any circumstances, buy higher grade gasoline unless your car's manufacturer explicity instructs you to do so. It is a myth that higher grade gasoline produces higher gas mileage, and protects and cleans your engine better than normal grade. Don't believe me? Check out this link for yourself. The truth is, higher grade gasoline DOES NOT improve fuel economy one iota.
2. Change your oil every six thousand miles or seventy-five hundred miles, whichever your car's manufacturer recommends. In extreme cases, some vehicles will require oil changes every three thousand miles, but these cases are for EXTREME use (as in dust, sand , etc) and certain specific vehicles within certain specific manufacturer's auto lines. By far, those vehicles are the exception , not the rule. Six thousand miles is a good, safe expectancy for the visocsity of your engine oil to be maintained. Today's oils are mostly detergent oils, which mean they clean your engine for you, suspend the dirt in the oil (making it impossible for the dirt to get into sensitive areas such as near zero tolerance bearings and such) or deposit it quickly into your oil filter.
Here is one major important fact for you to learn. Changing your oil more frequently than every six thousand miles will not protect your car's engine better, nor will it keep your engine cleaner. ( it also won't earn you brownie points with your car's manufacturer) Simply put, if you change your oil every three thousand miles, you are throwing your money into the garbage every other oil change, or more implicitly, you are increasing the oil company's profit FOR them.
Here is a link to provide you with even more information about your car's oil.
I suppose I could also add that driving less and car pooling will reduce the amount of money you spend at the gas pump, but you already know that. How smart are we if we aren't already doing it? Americans especially, we should know better than to complain about high gas prices if we aren't willing to change the way we do things. Literally, if we aren't doing the small things we can do to reduce our dependancy on oil, we have no right to complain about high oil prices.