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How does gas at $4 and higher impact you?

gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
edited February 21 in General
I think about it every time I need something at Costco or Home Depot now that I am 15 miles away. It takes a gallon to get there and a gallon to get back. I ask myself, is what I am going for worth $9 extra? I consolidate my trips for a couple weeks now. I used to go every day or two when it was only 3 miles away.

My wife took a bag of plums and peaches to her sister this morning. I told her that was going to cost her $9 to deliver 4-5 lbs of fruit to her sister. Her response was SO WHAT! My wife is cheaper than I am except with her family. Then she hands out money like it was nothing.
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Comments

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,973
    but one of my acquaintances, who doesn't have a pot to pee in, or a window to throw it out, just traded in his 2010 Jeep Wrangler for a Honda CR-Z. I dunno how much he actually paid for the Wrangler, but it was used, a 4-door, and had a sticker price of around $23K.

    He thinks he's going to get 38 mpg out of the CR-Z, and says the Jeep has been getting around 15. According to his calculations, he should save about $2100 per year in fuel, and said the monthly payments were the same.

    So, I dunno, but in this case maybe this is one rare example where trading a fairly new vehicle because of fuel economy actually works?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    The CRZ does have an EPA rating of 37 MPG combined. 5 folks reporting 36-42 MPG combined. Depends how he drives it. Better not drive it like his Jeep off road.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,973
    38 MPG !!!! NO WAY !!!

    More like about 28 if he's lucky !!!


    I think I told him to budget for 30-32 mpg, and count anything above and beyond that as found money. But he insists that he read on various forums that people can get 38 mpg. And everybody knows that if you read it on the internet, it HAS to be true. :P

    I just hope the dude doesn't have more than one friend, because if he does, somebody's getting left at the curb!
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    OOPS !!!

    I thought you said the CR-V.

    The CR-Z can definitely get 38 MPG.

    My bad....
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,973
    Depends how he drives it. Better not drive it like his Jeep off road.

    Exactly. And, how much do you wanna bet, he's gonna dog it just like he did with his Jeep?

    Now, maybe it's easier to beat the EPA ratings on some cars than it is with others? I borrowed my uncle's '03 Corolla a few times, and I remember once, taking it on a highway run, got around 37.8 mpg. It was EPA-rated 38 by the standard of the time, and by today's standards I think is around 35 on the highway. And I was driving it like an old lady, as this was early 2007, and gas was getting expensive.

    Yet I was able to get my 2000 Park Ave ultra to hit ~31 mpg once, yet it's EPA rated 25 highway by today's standards, and 27 for its time. And while I was kinda gentle on it, I drove it a lot faster than I did my uncle's Corolla! I tried to accelerate slowly whenver possible, but cruising speeds were notably higher.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,973
    The CR-Z can definitely get 38 MPG

    Yeah, but could it get it in "reasonable" local driving, or would you have to hypermile it and do a lot of highway driving?
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,583
    I sure hope he gets 38+. I get 37-39 in my MKZ hybrid, lifetime is 38.3.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,901
    You have to look at car switching in terms of GALLONAGE, not mpg. He saves a lot on gas because he's buying a lot fewer gallons. Had he ditched a 15 mpg for a 21 mpg car, it would hardly have been worth it. But from 15 to 38, that's a sizable imiprovement.

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  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 28,743
    Actually, the guy that swaps his 15 mpg car for a 21 mpg car, makes more sense than the guy swapping his 24 mpg for 38 mpg...

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  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,864
    edited July 2011
    With no context, the answer is a yes/no/maybe.

    So for example, IF we put it in (A) context, say 15,000 miles yearly, then yearly gasoline consumed: 1000 gals, 714, 625, 395.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 28,743
    edited July 2011
    It's all math... no context needed..

    (1000 -714) > (625-395)

    That is the same for all mileage driven... just move the decimal points.

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  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,864
    You might think or say that, but without context, your premise is wrong. So if I am the guy that is getting 38 mpg, why should I care if you get 15 mpg?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 28,743
    You should go back and read the original post... it's a math problem .. and, how many miles driven has nothing to do with it...

    regards,
    kyfdx

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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,973
    Actually, the guy that swaps his 15 mpg car for a 21 mpg car, makes more sense than the guy swapping his 24 mpg for 38 mpg...

    Years ago, when I bought my 2000 Intrepid, part of the consideration was fuel savings. It was EPA rated 20 city, 29 highway, while my old '89 Gran Fury ex copcar was rated something like 13/15. It usually got around 13 mpg in local driving, but surprisingly, could actually break 20 on the highway, and that was without babying it!

    Well, I figured that if the Trep really did get 20 mpg in local driving, it could save me about $150 per month just in fuel! At the time, I was figuring around 35,000 miles per year, as I was still delivering pizzas. I also presumed $1.159/gal for the 87 octane the Intrepid could use, versus around $1.459 for the 93 that the Gran Fury preferred. You could cut back the spark advance on the Gran Fury to allow it to run on 87, but then it also got worse economy, so there was no real savings. Plus, it made it run like crap.

    FWIW, the numbers came out to $3928/yr for the Fury, $2028 for the Intrepid, or a savings of around $158/mo. That really did seem like a big deal at the time.

    I just ran the math again, but using $3.999 for premium (what I paid the last time I filled up) and $3.699 for 87. Today, the numbers would come out to $6473 for the Intrepid and a whopping $10,766 for the Gran Fury! That would be a monthly savings of around $358/mo!

    However, if I decided to go back to delivering pizzas, and was in that same situation, at today's fuel prices I'd try to seek out something fairly economical and cheap. If I got something that could manage 30 mpg, that would get it down to $4315 per year, or a savings of around $537/mo, versus that old Gran Fury.

    Now, in reality, the savings would have been a bit less, since some of my driving would include highway mileage.

    Oh, and one other advantage, which helped a little bit, was that I was able to write off mileage, since I itemized on my taxes. I think it was 28.5 cents per mile back then. So, if I drove 200 miles on a busy night, I'd get a writeoff of $57. Back in those days, that writeoff usually kept me out of the 28% federal bracket, so I figure once you factor in state/local taxes, I got about 35% of that back. So that $57 writeoff gave me $19.95 come tax time. And almost paid for 200 miles worth of premium fuel for the night.

    Looks like the mileage rate has been bumped to 55.5 cents per mile now. So 200 miles would see a writeoff of $111. Nowadays, with taxes what they are, I'd see about 1/3, or $36.63. If I was still running the Gran Fury and using $4/premium and getting 13 mpg, I'd be spending $61.53 in fuel, so the tax writeoff would only cover about 60% of the fuel. It would just about cover the fuel costs for a 20 mpg car running on 87 octane at $3.799, though.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,973
    ou should go back and read the original post... it's a math problem .. and, how many miles driven has nothing to do with it...

    Yeah, on a percentage basis, going from 15 mpg to 21 isn't as big of a jump as 24 to 38 mpg is, but since you're using more fuel to begin with, the actual savings is larger.

    I've always thought that if the EPA and auto makers put just a little more focus on getting the gas guzzlers to be a little more efficient, rather than taking already-efficient small cars and trying to squeeze every last drop out of them, would do more good.

    For instance, there's one little trick I do with my '85 Silverado during the warmer months that often boosts fuel economy by about 10%, sometimes even more. It has a tall 5" air filter, and the top of the air cleaner, rather than being flat, is sort of pie tin shaped, with a ~3" lip. I'll take that air cleaner top on and put a flat one on, which exposes the air filter all around. And suddenly that truck, which had been getting a miserable ~9mpg, is suddenly boosted to 10+. Perhaps that doesn't sound like such a big deal, but for every 100 miles that truck goes, it's saving 1.1 gallons, or $4.40 ($4/gal, and the old beast has a preference for premium)

    If you had a car that got, say, 40 mpg, I don't know if there's much of a mod you could easily do to it to suddenly get 44 mpg. And even if you could, you're only going to save about 0.23 gallons every 100 miles. Or 92 cents every 100 miles (at $4/gal). To get that 40 mpg car to save you 1.1 gallons every 100 miles, you'd actually have to mod it to get around 71 mpg!

    Oh, and that air cleaner trick doesn't work on my truck in colder weather. It starts taking longer to warm up, runs cooler, stumbles a bit, etc.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,168
    Heck, I got my 1994 Cadillac DeVille to hit 70 MPG, but it was coasting downhill in neutral! :P
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,864
    edited July 2011
    Really there is not much in the post to read or cause complications. Host or not and with all due respect, you are painting yourself into a box. How many miles is just ONE way. Your example does point out the utter stupidity we have been following for decades if not generations.

    But then on the other hand if America really wanted high mileage vehicle AND did not still want or chose to make them, they would let higher mileage vehicles in rather than literally ban to restrict them.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,570
    edited July 2011
    I think the point is:

    "A modest improvement in fuel economy for a relatively inefficient vehicle can provide greater savings in terms of financial cost to the driver and environmental impact than a proportionately larger increase for a more economical vehicle." (wiki)

    So going from 15 to 21mpg is a bigger deal than whatever the other example was.

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  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Doesn't a 40% improvement mean the same thing regardless of the actual numbers?

    40% improvement is 40% improvement.

    moving from 15 mpg to 21 mpg is 40% improvement (6 divided by 15)
    moving from 20 mpg to 28 mpg is 40% improvement (8 divided by 20)
    moving from 25 mpg to 35 mpg is 40% improvement (10 divided by 25)
    moving from 30 mpg to 42 mpg is 40% improvement (12 divided by 30)

    All those are the same.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,864
    edited July 2011
    The real issue is America really doesn"t care.

    Larsb "gets it". So if the host kdfyx does not want to put things in "context", the assertion made is literally meaningless.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,583
    Well, 40% improvement is the same, but the gallons saved varies widely, that's the point. Improving a gas guzzler by 40% save way more gallons/year than improving a 30 mpg car by 40%. Over 15,000 miles:
    15 to 21: Saves 286 gallons
    30 to 42: Saves 143 gallons

    So we'd save a lot more gas getting folks out of 15 mpg vehicles and into 21 mpg vehicles than the 30 to 42 swap. And the whole goal is saving gallons, right?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Yep I see that. You'd save twice as much money on gas. Weird.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,864
    edited July 2011
    Yes, that would be one consequence. But one has to wonder why the AGGREGATE savings is not important??? Keep in mind that 75% of the vehicle fleet are large cars and greater (much lower to low mpg ANYWAY). So while I agree with the premise and consequences...... who really cares !!! ????

    So for example, if I want to get 50 mpg and BETTER, why am I penalized? (There are only app 2 vehicles of 585 that are capable of 50 mpg let alone PLUS+ !!??) Not only that, the real insult to injury is they (American OEMS) are saying higher mpg cars will cost app 3,000 to 6,000 more !!! I say poppycock. Just let in those (European) cars in that actually do get 50+ mpg. !!!

    We all of course know why that will NEVER happen. So for example, I am grateful for the ones that actually slip through the cracks (VW Jetta TDI, 2003)
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,973
    Doesn't a 40% improvement mean the same thing regardless of the actual numbers?

    Percentage-wise it's the same, but when you're talking about gallons of fuel saved, and money saved, it's not. If you're using 1000 gallons per year, a 40% savings is 400 gallons. If you're only using 400 gallons per year, there's no way you can save 400, unless you totally give up the internal combustion engine. And, if you're using 400 gallons per year, a 40% savings is only 160 gallons.

    So, end result is, your savings is less. However, you were spending much less money to begin with, so overall you're still paying less.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,570
    edited July 2011
    In this context, I think Texases gets it too. Tis better to first retire the guzzlers than to expend efforts to make subcompacts even lighter. Diminishing rate of returns at work.

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  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,864
    edited July 2011
    The answer is really (STILL) no. I mean, what full sized car or truck was really put on the chopping block (other than model lines that already were sladed for the glue factory? Mercury for example) ? The Ford F-150 (probably the most ubiquitous and best selling PU for easily 25 years? Oh please. Here is an Edmunds.com take ..."For 2011 the Ford F-150 gets an all-new, all-powerful engine lineup, effectively addressing the one main weakness in this best-selling pickup. "... According to fuel economy.gov, it (2011 Ford F-150) gets 16 mpg on a GOOD day. This represents a 36% discount to the current 25 mpg standards. It WILL be a 54% discount to the upcoming 2012 35 mpg standards.

    Again if they (OEM, CONSUMERS and legislative to enforcement systems) are fine with 12-16 mpg, I, TOO am just fine with that. But like I have said, why should I be penalized because I want to use WAY less? (I truly know the reasons why)
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,973
    But like I have said, why should I be penalized because I want to use WAY less? (I truly know the reasons why)

    How, exactly, are you being penalized?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,901
    What texases said! :)

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  • acdiiacdii Posts: 753
    Problem is, if you try to get a pickup to reach 35 MPG, you take away everything that a pickup is for. A pickup truck is just that, a truck. It needs power and torque, it needs to be able to haul a lot of weight. Make it lighter, reduce the engine, and you no longer have a pickup truck.

    Now here is the thing, people need to stop buying gussied up pickups for driving to and from work or the store. They are for hauling, and towing, not cruising. If you buy it to use it for driving and not hauling and towing, well, stopurbitchin.

    I have an F350 Dually, it stays in my garage, only drive it when I need to. I used to drive it as my daily driver, when diesel was cheap. Tried the hybrid route, but they are soo boring to drive for 2 hours every day. It boils down to a balance of getting as good MPG as you can yet still enjoy driving what you have. The one thing about the F350, 18 MPG, 8000 pounds. 21 highway. My Flex only does a little better. Add up the cost of diesel, wear and tear, and oil changes, the F350 costs far more to drive than the Flex, even if it only gets 1 MPG better average driving.

    I don't know how they can ever get pickups to meet 35 MPG standards, even if they went all diesel. If you try to hybrid it, the weight of batteries alone would take away from cargo capacity, and from Gm's flop of a hybrid the gains are minimal.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,168
    It boils down to a balance of getting as good MPG as you can yet still enjoy driving what you have.

    In that case, something like my wife's LaCrosse or my old Park Avenue is it. The new LaCrosse is so nice, I wouldn't feel deprived if I had to give up my Cadillac DTS. I believe you can even get a four-cylinder in the new LaCrosse.
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