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How does gas at $4 and higher impact you?

gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,850
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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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,849
    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: 28,850
    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: 21,849
    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: 21,849
    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: 21,849
    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: 5,511
    I sure hope he gets 38+. I get 37-39 in my MKZ hybrid, lifetime is 38.3.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,416
    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: 27,671
    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: 14,705
    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: 27,671
    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: 14,705
    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: 27,671
    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: 21,849
    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: 21,849
    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: 15,120
    Heck, I got my 1994 Cadillac DeVille to hit 70 MPG, but it was coasting downhill in neutral! :P
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,705
    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 YooperlandPosts: 40,012
    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: 14,705
    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.
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