Fuel Mileage and the New Year…

23 12 2011

Fuel Mileage…

Ever since a trip with my family to South Dakota around 2001, I have been overwhelmed with the idea that I have to get maximum fuel mileage out of my vehicles. My father always kept track of his fuel mileage. It was his way of seeing if something was going wrong within the engine of the car. If fuel mileage started to drop then it was a heads up that something was out of tune or about to fail. The car needed attention.

Well in 2001, my wife and I purchased a 1999 Jeep Cherokee Classic. My wife’s family and my family decided we were going to take a trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota. It was a beautiful trip. Before we left for the trip, Geary Beth’s father asked me the question that changed my perspective on my vehicles for the rest of my life. He asked, “What kind of fuel mileage you going to get out of that thing on this trip?” I do not think he thought it would do very well since it was a Jeep and 4 wheel drive. Well to tell you the truth, it did OK. It wasn’t great but it wasn’t bad either. But I was on the path now to figure out how to get the best fuel mileage out of this 4 wheel drive Jeep! And I did.

I did all sorts of things to help with the fuel mileage.

  • First, fluid change. Everything went synthetic and when I say everything, I mean everything (except power steering).
  • Next, a good fuel system cleaning. I had a buddy at Jiffy Lube who did the fluid change/flush and fuel system cleaning. I currently like and use Lucas Fuel Cleaner/Lubricant.
  • Next, a good air filter. I went with K/N OEM fit. That is really all they had back then. I would now go with a cold air intake.
  • Next, Spark Plugs. In this vehicle I put the Bosh Platinum 4s.
  • Tire Pressure. You have to become obsessed with checking your tire pressure. If one tire is low, not only will it wear funny causing all sorts of issues but will decrease your fuel mileage. When the temperature outside drops below freezing you will lose tire pressure. Be sure to check your tire pressure, it is vitally important in the winter.
  • Keep your vehicle clean and waxed. Aero dynamics. Also, keep the goofy flags and other things people hang from their vehicle off.

Why did I list all these things out? This is why, people ask me all the time what can I do to increase my fuel mileage? This is a great question with the cost of fuel these days. The problem is most people want the one thing they can do one time and be done. Well there is not just one thing you do one time and you’re done. It is consistent care with all the above. Doing just one thing may not make a noticeable difference but doing the entire list above can make a difference and also increase the life of your vehicle. A win, win all around.

The Jeep

  • Before – 14mpg in town and 18-19mpg on hwy
  • After – 18mpg in town and 25mpg on hwy

Now you are probably wondering what does this have to do with God, church, ministry or just life? Another good question. I am also sold out to the fact of maintaining my walk with God. I want to be ready and willing to be used by God to do whatever He has called me to do. That means I have to stay tuned up so that God can get maximum, effective use of me. So many times I meet with people and it is very evident that they are not getting maximum fuel mileage out of their walk with God. I hear things like, I am so tired, I do not have time for that stuff, I would like to do that but we have so many other things going on that I do not have time.

So here are Dave’s tips for maintaining your walk with God.

  • Stay in the Word, Bible. Daily read your Bible. Read it expecting the Holy Spirit to reveal and fill you with the refreshing truth of God’s Word. Just like taking a drink of water, read God’s Word. Just last night I made some popcorn. We use a hot air popper so we can control the salt and butter we put on. After having some I needed a drink of water because of the salt. Before going out in the world each day take a drink from God’s Word. Get filled with His truth and be refreshed by His Word. Do not go out and get dehydrated by the world that is looking for you to be unhealthy and unable to be ready to be used by God.
  • Pray – Stay connect to God through prayer. Have a healthy prayer life. I cannot imagine going through my day and not talking with anyone. If you know me, I am a talker. So I cannot imagine going through my day without praying and talking with my God. Take prayer beyond the mechanical and make it relational. Talk with God expecting Him to speak back.
  • Church – Attend a great Bible teaching and believing church. Go there so you can grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord & Savior and so that you can learn to love your neighbor as yourself. Worship and serve with other believers.
  • Serve God by serving others – So often the Christian life becomes a self-absorbed life. You just come and take in, never giving out. Overtime one becomes discontent with where they are and can turn bitter. “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10. Serving God by serving others keep your focus off yourself and puts it on God.
  • Pick and choose what you will do. We so many times get caught up doing so many good things that we do not leave room for the great things. As for my wife and I, we choose to limit our kids’ involvement in sports and other non-church/God related activities. Yes our kids played soccer, volley ball, karate, drama, band and orchestra. All those activities were divided between our 2 kids, not just one. But we left time for my wife, kids and I all served in our church. Chris led the Christian group at his school and taught the 3 yrs. old class at Sunday School. Tasha served with the little ones where ever needed. They both would come to the camp I led to serve. Limit the good things to be able to do the great things. The things that make an eternal difference in people’s life.

There is not just one thing you can do to get maximum fuel mileage out of your walk with God. It takes all the above and a commitment to stick with the above to accomplish it. It is not just a one-time do and be done, it is becoming abscessed or as I like to say OCD about it. It takes work staying on track.

So as the New Year comes I want to challenge you to stay tuned up and maximize your walk with God. Then when He speaks to you and challenges you to do something beyond you, you say “I am the Lord’s servant,” … “May it be to me as you have said.” Luke 1:38

Just like the question my Father-in-law asked me, I will now ask you… “What kind of fuel mileage are you going to get out of your walk with God?”

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