AD #1509 – Top 10 Green Carmakers, Check Your Pressure, Expect More Turkey Day Traffic

November 26th, 2014 at 11:58am

Runtime: 8:01

- Ranking the Greenest Automakers
- Car Sharing Set To Explode In India
- Car Sharing Could Save You $5,000 a Year
- Audi Wants Model S & i8 Competitor
- Cheap Gas = More Thanksgiving Traffic
- Check Your Tire Pressure

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49 Comments to “AD #1509 – Top 10 Green Carmakers, Check Your Pressure, Expect More Turkey Day Traffic”

  1. Tom Cerbo Says:

    That is why those lucky enough to have Nitrogen in there tires (as my 2009 Nissan Murano) do not have to worry about lights on the dashboard popping up, a great feature.

  2. pedro fernandez Says:

    I must be some kind of freak cause every month I check my tire pressure and if I’m down even 3 or 5 PSI, I fill it up to 35 COLD, in other words while the car has not been moved overnight, a lot of service techs check it when they’re hot, giving an incorrect reading and thus they end up letting air out.

  3. Kit Gerhart Says:

    A big reason I have always thought Tesla stock highly overvalued, is that any big car company can build a car to compete with the Tesla S, if so inclined. It now sounds like VW/Audi has become so inclined.

  4. Drew Says:

    Wishing a safe and happy Thanksgiving to all!

  5. C-Tech Says:

    The rental car companies keep 2-3 people occupied checking tire and check engine lights at the larger locations. After all the tire pressure warning may be due to a change in the weather or it may be due to the screw stuck in it.

    Is the pollution given off creating those batteries considered in the greenhouse calculations?

    I just don’t think the sound of an electric performance car can match the tuned growl of a gas performance car.

  6. C-Tech Says:

    I agree with Drew. Safe travels and family unity.

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    1, I have 80% nitrogen in my tires.

  8. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Nitrogen reacts the same as air does as far as temperature goes (all gases adhere to the gas laws). While nitrogen may provide a sort of uniformity (in molecule size and may not leak as easily as air) it is still temperature dependent (and reality the differences are very slight as air is 78% nitrogen to begin with). Here is an article (to your defense) but temperature still rules.

    See everybody back on Monday; hope all have a happy holiday.

  9. C-Tech Says:

    @ #7 Kit, My chemist girlfriend explained it to me, very funny.

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    8, Thanks for that link, Chuck. I’ve looked for real information on that topic, but never found it.

    I always considered the use of nitrogen in tires to be a placebo fix for a certain number of people, but there is something to it, at least regarding pressure loss through the rubber of the tire. As far as this guyI know who is firmly convinced that his Helix scooter rides better with nitrogen in the tires, I suspect it is 100% placebo.

    Since oxygen leaks out faster than nitrogen, the concentration of nitrogen vs oxygen in my tires should be getting higher over time, and the amount of air needed to get the pressure up to spec should decrease each time I top off the tires. This is assuming that most, or all of the air loss is through the rubber carcass of the tire, and not between the wheel rim and the tire or through the valve. The article mentioned only “leaks,” and pressure loss through the carcass, but did not mention loss at the rim, or through the valve.

  11. HtG Says:

    7 Sometimes part of my car sits in shade while the rest is under full sun. The tire pressures get all wacky. If I drive around for a bit while pressing the brake pedal and pulling the handbrake, I find everything returns to normal.

    I wonder what other people do.

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    11, I haven’t noticed a difference in the way the car drives, but I certainly notice with the tire gauge. If the car is parked outside when I check tires, I make a point to check them early in the morning, if the car is not parked toward, or away from the sun with all of the tires in the shade of the fenders.

  13. Brett Says:

    Pure nitrogen from a bottle doesn’t change with temp as much because it is “dry”. Compressed air from a pump is full of moisture and water has a tremendous expansion coefficient.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    13, As long as the concentration of moisture in the air is low enough that condensation isn’t occurring, Boyle’s gas law works the same with humid and dry air.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    14, That’s Charles’ Law.

  16. HtG Says:

    So, theoretically, if I fill up a tire “with air” on a humid day, while the other tires got filled on a dry day, I’m asking for a world of hurt.

    Maybe we should really be filling our tires with helium instead. Lower angular momentum means better positive and negative acceleration, thus less global warming. Prolly shouldn’t mess with hydrogen.

    /sarcasm, see 11

  17. Nick Thomas Says:

    Is the greenest automakers list determined from model efficiencies and choice? Or does it factor in company initiatives and zero-landfill waste facilities etc ?

  18. cwolf Says:

    Hell, for all those fickled,fill your tires with sand or the like and you won’t have any worries! Tires really don’t loose that much pressure over 2-3 weeks to cause concern, unless a hole or bad bead exists. I mean, how many folks over inflate tires a few pounds to better mpg’s or lessen for better traction with no ill effects? The pressure range for normal wear has to be taken in consideration. For sure, tire pressures are not one of my priorities for they are checked often enough.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’d heard of using oats in tires, mainly bicycle tires, that wouldn’t hold air. Since it would be hard to get the tire completely full, you put in as much grain as you can dry, and then hose down the wheel/tire. The water makes the oats swell up, so the tire is full.

  20. donfromnaples Says:

    So is green defined as sales of hybrids and electrics? Clean diesels are not green?

  21. cwolf Says:

    Kit, once you get those oat filled tires moving…well, I hope the breaks work REALLY well! Bus?..what bus?

  22. HtG Says:

    Maybe consider a tailhook, Kit.

  23. cwolf Says:

    donfromnaples: perhaps hybreds should be thought of as sem-green for they have an backup power source,electrics called maybe-green…if power is not generated from a coal powered plant and diesels … maybe a sage green, if’n the fuel is not from the tar sands of Canada which have polluted the entire region around the work sites! Just a thought.

  24. donfromnaples Says:

    Hybrids, still utilize gasoline
    Electrics, still use natural gas to charge
    Both hybrids and electrics have battery disposal concerns
    I still think hybrid diesels would offer a great intermediate solution.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    21, …or throw out a tethered sand bag.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    23, Seeing that there are few, if any hybrid diesels, even in Europe, apparently diesels don’t have enough advantage over Atkinson cycle gas engines to justify the extra cost of a diesel.

  27. cwolf Says:

    I used to use a tailhook thrown out a side window to make sharp turns, then I found it easier just to drag foot, but my wife started to complain about the holes, not only in my shoes, but also in my socks! I wondered how I got that thick calus on my heel! just fun’in!

  28. HtG Says:


    NHTSA just ordered Takata to expand the driver side airbag recall to the whole country, not just humid areas.

  29. HtG Says:

    whoop, sorry, I see Automotive News has had that story for several hours.

  30. cwolf Says:

    I learned of this several days ago. Rumor is, OEM,s don,t want to be included, in any way, with TAKATA, but Honda,since 2002,knew of the problem and in time others knew,but did little to nothing. So how is TAKATA to cover the cost of the recall without going broke? The OEM’s are not guilt free,IMO, so what’s next for them?

  31. cwolf Says:

    The UAW to picket at Wallymart for $15/hr wages! Do ya think this will fair well the countless temps at Toyota or get the attention of those in Miss.? To be or not to be…..?

  32. donfromnaples Says:

    Diesels have higher thermal efficiency than Atkinson cycle gas engines and the BTU of diesel far surpass gasoline.

  33. donfromnaples Says:

    even biodiesel, very little environmental impact, has a higher BTU than gasoline

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    31, 32. Petro diesel takes about as much extra crude to make over gas, as the extra btu’s it produces, roughly 7%. With more production of biodiesel, at competitive prices, the whole cost equation will change.

    Diesels have higher thermal efficiency than Atkinson cycle gas engines, but apparently not enough higher for Toyota, Ford, or even VW to use them in their hybrids. The only diesel hybrid I know of, which may or may not be in production, is a Peugeot CUV.

  35. cwolf Says:


  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Happy “Black Friday” everyone. I won’t go shopping today, but went to the post office to mail a package. It was a great time for that, with no wait at all.

  37. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Roger that, Kit; I don’t much like shopping even when it’s not ‘crazy’ out there (but there are those that do). Wouldn’t have all this crazy stuff if they offered the same prices, all the time; seems the retailers are happy with the sale-price margins (but what do I know). :)

  38. HtG Says:

    Kit, I’ve been watching this ebay auction of a 2001, first edition Prius. The Florida dealer is doing a ‘no reserve’ auction ending today, but the current bids are mid 2k while the dealer lists the car at 6750. Let’s see if it gets pulled before the deadline.

    yeah yeah, I shopped a little online yesterday, and today renewed my sub to some rag published daily in DC. No waiting here, either.

  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    37, Those first Priuses are sort of collectable, but apparently not very collectable, seeing how that auction is going. We’ll see what happens those next few hours. It has fairly high miles, which might be hurting it.

    The first gen Priuses never appealed much to me, because they were just a rather pricey small sedan, albeit one that got exceptional mpg for the time. When they went to the second generation, with the hatch and long load floor, along with the great mpg, they appealed to me quite a lot. If someone would make a similar car with a conventional power train for $4-5K less, that would be a great car too.

  40. pedro fernandez Says:

    Yep the local county govt has a few Prii that were used for light duty, such as delivering subpoenas and such and when thy come up for auction they cost even more than the used police CV’s. unless you know some big shot at the local county govt.

  41. HtG Says:

    I don’t think gas prices are helping the price of this Prius either. Maybe that’s why the dealer is selling it with no reserve. (I saw gas here at $2.91, and I’m sure you guys saw what happened to world prices in just the last hours)

    I liked this car when it came out, if only for the dinky looks. I find I’m quite at odds with mainstream preferences sometimes.

  42. pedro fernandez Says:

    Any one who goes out and buys a gas hog has to be an idiot, you know there will be some big crisis in the middle east and oil will shoot up again and they’ll be stuck with a gas hog that no one will want to buy.

  43. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’ve personally known only one person who has owned a first generation Prius, but I know close to 10 people with second and third generation. These friends, along with myself, wanted utility along with the gas mileage.

    As I remember, the first generation Prius had an MSRP of about $20K, so, corrected for inflation, it would have been more expensive than the much more capable current one.

  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    40, The first generation Prius was based on the Yaris, called Echo in the U.S. at the time. As things go around, the current Prius C is based on the current Yaris.

  45. cwolf Says:

    Are the battery packs for all Prius universal,except for any updated modifications to the cells?

  46. Kit Gerhart Says:

    44, They are different for each generation, and the “C.” Between generations, the number of cells, and thus the voltage has changed. I don’t know if the “V” has the same battery as the liftback, but if not, it would be similar. All of them still use NiMH batteries, except the plug-in which uses lithium batteries.

  47. HtG Says:

    That old Prius on ebay sold for 3000+300 in fees. Nice wheels for someone.

  48. Kit Gerhart Says:

    46, It sounds like someone got a “classic” at a good price. I’ve heard gen 1 Priuses called Prius Classic, as pre-BMW Minis are called Classic Minis. The terminology probably fits better with Minis.

  49. Bob Wilson Says:

    Tesla is not a “green car” company?

    I am pretty sure Tesla are 100% green and in excess of 10,000 units per year.

    Bob Wilson