Thursday, May 24, 2012
Thursday, August 27, 2009
About the Author:
I remember going to high school and being the guy without a car. It was tough to watch all the “cool kids” hanging out in the parking lot booming rap music and idling their motors in order to broadcast the message: “Yes, I have a car, I am part of the highest caste, the clique of cliques, the nearly unattainable world of which you will never be a part.”
Whew, how things change! Fast forward to college. Here, if you didn’t have a car, it was a pain as well, but the issue was not about coolness. It was more about practicality, and avoiding the pain of having 15 over laden plastic shopping bags cutting in to your hand as you staggered home from the grocery store. And as you tripped in the crosswalk and your ramen went flying, you thought, “well, at least I’m saving on gas”, and yet you knew this thought was merely something to help you sleep at night….So sad…
But eventually I saved up enough cash and got a set of wheels— not a babe-magnet mind you— but a respectable vehicle nonetheless, and best of all, it actually moved! As time went on I was glad of the convenience that a car brought, but I never really thought about upgrading any of its components, or adding any extra accessories. These seemed like a waste of time to me, and a useless expense—the car was after all, losing value every day.
But then the gas prices started to shoot up in a major way. Across the nation, but particularly in California, motorists watched in disbelief as the prices crossed the three dollar mark then amazingly, the four dollar mark. “This is madness” I thought, but the prices continued to climb. In fact, as of this writing, the lowest grade of gas costs about 4.65 and the rumor is that it will climb further.
All this got me thinking. I was so used to not spending anything on my stock vehicle that I never stopped to consider that there could be items which could increase mpg. Adding a new air filter, or addons to make the car more aerodynamic, were definitely options. A motorist could also change his oil regularly or practice hypermiling, or driving techniques to stretch every drop of gas to its utmost.
I also started to think: “why shouldn’t my car look its best?” So I still wanted to be one of the cool kids. I had come full circle. Luckily, there is a world of mods out there for all types of vehicles, ranging from lift kits to spoilers to exhaust tips to performance chips. A person could easily put in a wealth of modifications that cost more than the value of the vehicle itself!