Finally, spring. Daffodils! Budding trees! Short sleeves! Rising gas prices!
Wait, what was that last one?
In case you hadn’t noticed, the average price of gas jumped from $3.49 to $3.62 in the last month, and prices are expected to hover around $3.57 a gallon throughout the summer, just one penny below last year’s average.
Luckily, there are many things you can do to use less gas and keep rising prices from eating away at your budget, starting with properly maintaining your car. And after the brutal winter we had, you car may need it more than ever.
When I worked for the City of New York, I often asked people what they felt was the worst environmental problem. Many said tailpipe pollution. Emissions from the tailpipes of cars and trucks seemed particularly insulting because—as we all walked our kids to school—the tailpipes seemed to be spewing black smoke just at the level of our kids’ heads.
Our cars and trucks have become a lot cleaner since then, but exhaust from vehicle tailpipes is still a major source of air pollution, responsible for up to 45 percent of soot and smog-forming pollution in many areas of the country. Air pollution still sends thousands of kids and adults to the emergency room every year with asthma attacks or breathing difficulty, and keeps hundreds of thousands more home from school or work; it can even shorten the lives of people with heart or lung trouble. The latest set of tailpipe and clean gasoline standards announced today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will help reduce smog and soot and clear the air for millions of Americans, saving thousands of lives and up to $19 billion in health costs each year.
Back roads. Byways. Scenic highways. Arizona is chock full of them.
Here are five of our favorites.
Route 66: small-town America, with a side of kitsch
'Get your kitsch on Route 66' might be a better slogan for Arizona’s scrubby stretch of Mother Road. Lumbering dinosaurs. A wigwam motel. A prank-filled ice-cream shop. You’d think these people didn’t realize Interstate 40 passed them by a few decades ago.
Western Arizona is home to one of the longest stretches of pure, unadulterated Route 66 – 173 free-range miles that never join the interstate. From Topock, on Arizona’s western border, Route 66 rolls north to Oatman, passing through the town’s craggy hills, begging burros and hokey Old West charms. Then it’s a twisting drive past tumbleweeds and saguaros on the way to the Black Mountains and a final push to Kingman.
Car expert Lauren Fix, The Car Coach demonstrates how to properly and legally hitch a trailer. Watch frightening footage of what happens when a trailer is improperly hitched.
Is the recent decline in China's car market a cause for concern? Automotive expert Lauren Fix, The Car Coach weighs in on the causes and possible impact for the automotive industry for CCTV.