Got Gas?

posted by Momo Fali on July 26, 2011

Do you remember when you were young and gas station attendants used to come out and fill up your tank, wash your windshield and check your oil? If you’re under the age of 30, don’t answer that.

I can still hear the “ding ding” as we would pull into the station and I can see the attendant looking spiffy in his uniform. Buying gas was a pleasurable experience.

Somewhere along the line, things changed. Prices went up, we started pumping our own gas, checking our own oil and washing our own windshields…and what I consider the biggest crime of all, paying for air.

So, when BP asked me to be involved with their Commute Better campaign here in Columbus, I was unsure. Aren’t these companies…I don’t know…the enemy, or something?

No, as it turns out, they’re not.

BP wants to make your experience pleasurable again. They have enlisted a Commute Better Crew who will be at crucial points for Columbus commuters for the next four weeks. They will be handing out commute essentials, answering your questions and maybe they’ll give you one of those old-fashioned smiles like we used to get from the people pumping our gas.

Now, remember…I was skeptical. Before I signed up to work with the BP Commute Better Crew I wanted to be educated on their product. I know a lot of Columbus drivers whose mood depends on the ease of their commute. I have friends who never deviate from their normal route and will sit in traffic no matter what. I see parents who leave their cars idling while sitting in the school parking lot at dismissal. I wanted to help all of them by informing them that it’s okay to make a change, but I wasn’t going to do it without knowing everything I could about BP.

So, I went to gas class. For real.

I learned that most every BP station is a sole proprietor; a mom and pop shop, if you will. And, apparently, each and every one of them prides themselves on making your stop enjoyable. They want to provide you with clean facilities, bright lights, fresh paint, nice landscaping and more than anything, they want to be known for brewing a good cup of coffee.

I recently spent half a day with a chemist who explained, in detail, how a car engine works and why using quality gasoline is important. Almost everyone I know uses their grocery store loyalty card for better gas deals and I saw with my own eyes what happens to an engine when you’re using a low detergency gasoline. It isn’t pretty, folks.

I saw that all grades of BP gasolines with Invigorate, help to clean and protect your engine from harmful build-ups and I learned that the knocking I hear in my car is not a good thing. Not good at all.

Because BP wants us to Commute Better, we brainstormed on how to prevent wear and tear on your vehicle. From the aforementioned idling to mapping out your day so that you run all of your errands at once, preferably on the same side of town. And, whether I liked it or not, local auto expert Dan “Boots” Longenette said that we should check our air pressure and oil every other time we fill up. I know that’s a pain, but your car is likely the second most expensive thing you will ever buy. You should treat it right.

And, guess what? BP wants to treat YOU right too! One lucky reader will receive a $40 BP gift card! Just leave a comment on this post telling me how you “Commute Better” (Do you change your air filter every 12,000 miles? Do you accelerate gently? Do you drive without air conditioning?). Please leave a valid email address with your comment before Monday, August 1st at noon EST. A winner will be chosen at random.

*Update* Congrats to Colleen! She was the lucky winner!

Disclosure: I was compensated by BP for my time and promotion of the Commute Better Crew.


filed under BP, Giveaway, Reviews and tagged with ,


  • Cheryl Harrison

    I drive without air conditioning every day. It’s not by choice, mind you, it’s been broken for 4 years, but this counts. πŸ™‚

  • Lisa Daly

    I always try to drive without a/c and I always turn the car off at dismissal! Oil changes and tire rotations regularly too! And I could really use a free tank of gas:-)

  • kakaty

    I remember when I could get a few days worth of gas with the change in my ashtray! And I remember cars with ashtrays. I’m old.

    We try to combine trips as much as possible and take very good care of our cars. Regular maintenance and I check the tire pressure every 3rd fill up. It’s surprising even with new/good tires how often they need a little bit of air.

  • Bean

    Hmmm… well, I was told years ago that more gas is used when you drive at higher speeds with the windows down – so I keep my AC on, but I do consolidate my errands to keep traveling to a minimum! πŸ™‚
    If I win this gift card, I’m giving it to my sister.

  • Marty J

    I always change my air and oil filters regularly. I coast for some time before coming to a stop sign, and never race-start.

  • tena

    Well, growing up, my stepdad owned gas stations, so I’ve been raised to watch out for the best prices on gas and always fill up.

    I have started consolidating trips and really cutting down on useless trips to the grocery for only a gallon of ice cream, I mean milk.

  • Rachel (Hounds in the Kitchen)

    I carefully plan errands so they are closer together to save driving time, gas, and hassle.

  • Emily

    I buy BP gas with Invigorate, of course πŸ˜‰

  • carmen

    I try to always buy BP gas. πŸ™‚

  • domestic extraordinaire

    I make sure to rotate my tires (okay I don’t do it but the nice man at the oil change place does for $3.50 per tire) every other oil change. It really helps on the wear of the tires and I hear that helps in gas mileage.

  • Heather C

    I always combine trips and if I am having lunch in the car (I am a community Health nurse…lots of time spent driving) the engine is off πŸ™‚

  • Melisa

    You will probably be SHOCKED by this, but I run errands in order of their location so I don’t “over-drive” by zig-zagging all over town! πŸ™‚

  • Melisa

    P.S. Best post title EVER.

  • Heather

    OMG. We don’t have air in (one) of our cars. AND I never had an attendant pump my gas. (I’m under 30 tho *giggles*)

    Sidenote: my first tank of gas was only $1.09 tho!


  • Christina

    I drive during periods of the day that don’t contribute to daytime air pollution. Not by choice – I work 3rd shift – but I also don’t need air conditioning when driving to work at 10:30pm.

  • pam davis

    We recently purchased a luxury used sedan: My husband drives me to work every day because I do not drive: We are Senior Citizens & practice all recommended maintenance upkeep on our vehicle.Never go below 1/2 tank gas, use high grade gsoline, tire rotation, oil changes & maintain the interior as well.Very soon, I will be retired along with my husband & we will have to be aware of the most efficient ways to preserve the longevity of our vehicle.

  • Laura Warner

    i married a handy guy to handle all of that stuff!!!

  • Amy

    I was born in a small town, and I live in a small town, run my errands in a small town, that’s probably where they’ll bury me… LOL

  • Tori

    I drive with the windows down A LOT– OK, not really by choice, I just have two daughters who get carsick all the dang time, so they insist on driving with their heads hanging out the window like a dog. It’s a good thing to save on air conditioning, but honestly? It totally wrecks my ‘do.

  • Headless Mom

    I commute better because I DON’T. (The beauty of being a SAHM!) I would love to win this though. $40 would be a great dent here in CA where the prices are sky high!

  • unmitigated me

    My 8-year-old car has entered the high-mileage territory, so I treat her to a very high grade of synthetic oil, AND use BP gas.

    P.S. Those Moms and Pops are the only thing that keeps me buying BP gas after the way they (mis)handled the terrible oil spill in the gulf. I wanted to boycott, but the station owners were not at fault!

  • Liz

    I have my 17yo newly licensed driver pick up the milk, eggs and fabric softener and do the commuting for me! In all seriousness, with my kid using my car, now, we’re changing the oil and rotating tires more than ever. Thanks for the cool giveaway!!!

  • Sylvia Joy

    I find when I am traveling I like to use the cruse control that it saves on gas, also I love riding with my windows open and my sunroof open instead of using the air conditioning.
    Sylvia Joy

  • Lisa @ Oh Boy Oh Boy Oh Boy

    can I be honest and say I don’t! I’m horrible about maintainance and drive my husband crazy. I do try to keep the ac to a minimum and I’m not a crazy lead foot but the rest, I’m totally lazy about.

  • Jessica

    We change our oil and filters (oil and air)regularly at home. We keep track of the mileage for the next change on a dry erase board in the garage so we stay on schedule. We do this with all maintenance tasks that we can do ourselves – including brakes, etc. My husband also checks the tires from time to time. But having read your post, I’m thinking we should make an effort to check our tire pressure and oil level more frequently. Even though we are good about changing the oil on schedule, I NEVER check it between changes. That’s probably not good. πŸ™‚

  • Miss Britt

    OK, so we don’t commute right now, but we do quite a bit of driving. We’ve noticed that we get better gas mileage if we drive at 55 mph instead of 65 or 75.

  • Amy

    My household Commutes Better by not having a car [or driving licenses actually]. We cycle/walk/train and occasionally bus to our destinations.

    Tonight we cycled to the Post Office then the grocery store.

    I know I am not eligible to win for myself because I’m outside the US, but my sister is in the US and I’d love to be able to pass this on to her.

  • Amy

    Well, considering I don’t have a car at the moment I am doing a lot of good things! We do want to downsize though, to a more economical car that will last a LONG time hopefully!

  • Colleen - Mommy Always Wins

    Just two months ago I moved much closer to work – I now only commute for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour! I still feel like I’m in the car too much, but its much better than what it was!!!

  • Karen

    One of my grandma’s favorite sayings was, “Oil is the lifeblood of a car”. I get regular oil changes and when the air filter does not look at all white, but all gray, it gets changed. I’m going to have to think about the gas thing. I always fill up at the grocery store gas station.
    Karen –

  • mel

    I am trying not to drive as fast as I used to. I also accelerate slower than I used to.

  • vegas710

    We are always saying we’re going to take better care of our cars but maintenance seems to get pushed back further and further. Maybe instead of checking the oil and tires at fill-ups, I’ll make it a Saturday chore.

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