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I have a story in the Monitor today about a trio of auto-related LSRs, the larval phase of bills – that is, they will metamorphisize into possible bills when the Legislature returns to session, although the bills may emerge from committees to see the light of actual votes.

The story, which was hosted on the site’s Political blog, I guess because politicians are involved, is here. To Granite Geek, the interesting part is this:

The reason that many people coast, including this reporter and Spillane, is because they think it saves gas. Surprisingly, however, a number of studies have shown that for most engines, coasting in neutral actually uses more gas compared with coasting with the car in gear.

Basically, in neutral your car is idling so that all the RPMs are powered by fuel – coasting in gear, most or all of the RPMs are powered by the wheels turning, so less fuel is used. Judging what’s happening from the RPM readout, as well as from the instantaneous MPG readout, is misleading.

I was very, very surprised to learn this, since I coast in neutral all the time and congratulate myself on my efficiency. That is, I used to coast in neutral …

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