The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY)


- — John Paul, Senior Manager, Public Affairs and Traffic Safety, AAA Northeast


Not exactly a car question but If I have a bill to pay and am driving right by the store where the bill is due is it cheaper or does it use more gas for me to stop the car, go in and pay the bill or is it better to just put a stamp on it and mail it?


Years ago when cars had carburetor­s starting and stopping wasted gas. Today engines with electronic fuel injection starting a car uses almost no fuel. This is why many new cars use start/stop technology to save fuel. Making a special trip to the post office or store/office to pay a bill would not be financiall­y efficient or kind to the environmen­t. But if you are driving and combining errands it would make sense to stop and pay the bill. Published reports show it takes about an ounce of gas to start an engine, so 5-cents worth of gas plus another 10-15cents to park, versus 58cents for a stamp. Using basic math, it seems as if putting a stamp on an envelope would be more expensive. Now of course you could always pay your bills online.


Over the years at the end of the summer season I have been running the fuel out of my mower and 2-cycle trimmer as instructed by the owner’s manual’s storage procedure. In addition, I remove the spark plug and add a few drops of oil into the cylinder and rotate the piston a few times. Living on Long Island New York the season usually ends in November and starts up around February or March. Is it necessary for those four months to add oil to the cylinders?


The trimmer has enough lubricatio­n because of the oil and gas mix. With the lawn mower it couldn’t hurt to add a bit of oil and then turn the engine over with your finger over the spark plug hole and when you feel compressio­n stop. This way the valves are closed keeping moisture out of the combustion chamber. Adding fuel stabilizer to your gas cans will help the fuel from getting stale and help with seasonal storage. Q

For the past 30years, every 8-10 years I buy a new Buick and overall, I have been happy with my purchases. I moved to the United States when I was 10 years old and like buying American. It is time to buy a new car and I thought an SUV might be a good choice. I liked the Buick Envision, what do you think? A

The Buick Envision is a comfortabl­e, stylish. quiet SUV that seats five in roomy seats. The 2.0-liter turbo-charged engine is responsive and quite fuel efficient (I averaged about 30 miles per gallon). The model that I drove with the $2500 technology package had a list price of just under $40,000. I recently drove this Buick back-to-back with a small Mercedes SUV which cost $10,000more and would rate the Buick slightly ahead of the Mercedes and ride and comfort. One interestin­g note, this Buick is assembled in China using less than 1percent North American parts. Regardless of where this Buick is made, it is a solid choice.


What are your thoughts on dash cameras. With all that has been happening of the roadways lately does it make sense to add one of these cameras? A

I recently put a Garmin dash-cam in my own car for the extra security of having a witness to some of the weirdness that happens on the road today. The camera that I installed is behind the rearview mirror and doesn’t block vision or cause distractio­ns. Some states prohibit mounting anything on a windshield so check your local ordinances. In addition, some states are also considerin­g insurance reductions for passenger vehicles with dashboard cameras.

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