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Tag: gas

Gas Prices

Heard on the radio this morning that Buffalo is among the worst in the nation for gas prices.  Turns out we’re only better than two locations: Honolulu ($3.073) and Anchorage ($3.116).  Buffalo weighs in at $2.811/gallon, more than 10 cents higher than New York City even.

For reference, if you drove 12,000 miles/year and got 20 MPGs, you’d $1,686.60 on gas each year.  If you lived in Kansas City ($1.872), you’d only be spending $1,123.20.  That’s a savings of $563.40.  Ridiculous.

Hypermiling: Tank 2

Filled up for the first time since June 23.  Vacation and Workcamp really cut down on my summer driving, which is nice considering the prices for gas.  I ended up going 354.1 miles on 9.478 gallons of gas.  That’s a 37.36 MPG average.  Which means I’ve made my first goal already and only need to squeeze 3 MPGs out to meet my 40 MPG goal.

I suspect the next 3 MPGs will be significantly harder to achieve than the 10 I picked up since the first experiment.  Up next:

  • Timing the light out of the parking lot at church.  4 out of 5 times, I start my car, pull into the street and have to wait for the light to change.  I usually turn the car off there since it’s a long light, but I think I can improve it so I only have to do one startup.
  • Time exits from stores/shops to Niagara Falls Blvd and other busy roads.  I turned the car on this morning after getting gas and had to wait 20-25 seconds to get out of the station.
  • More pull-through parking at stores to avoid the reverse/stop/forward motion.
  • Replace spark plugs?  I’m told this could help my mileage and I don’t remember when it was done last.
  • Empty the trunk.  I keep lots of stuff in my trunk for no other reason than the old “I might need that someday while I’m out” excuse. 

I also sunk to a new low yesterday.  I was coasting into my driveway as usual and didn’t have quite enough momentum to get into the garage.  I was 3/4 of the way in and couldn’t bring myself to restart the car.  So I pulled a Fred Flintstone for the last 3 feet.

Upping the Gas Mileage

I’ve been experimenting with Hypermiling lately.  I started off with around 24 MPGs on average in the city and 28-30 Highway.  My latest tank of gas was almost entirely city driving, mostly between my house (Niagara Falls Blvd and East Robinson, behind the Wegman’s) and First Trinity.  Here’s what I did:

  • Avoided coming to a dead stop at all costs.
  • Coast into red lights and parking spaces with the car off.  If I had farther to go, I tried to only shut the car off when I knew I’d have 30+ seconds of off time.
  • Minimal drafting was used.

My first tank came in at 27.85 MPG.  For my next tank, I’m keeping most of the above with the following tweaks:

  • More coasting with the engine off.  Usually it’s in .2 mile increments or dropping my speed by 10 MPH.  I want to improve gas mileage, but I don’t want to be a hazard on the road.  This has proved to be efficient and not disturb the overall traffic flow much.
  • Restarting my car by popping the clutch.  On the roads, I can restart the car without using the actual starter in 2nd – 5th gears, depending on my speed when I need to restart.  The transition was a bit choppy the first 2 days, but it’s getting smoother.
  • Leaving my car off for lights where I will be parked for 30 or more seconds.  If I expect to be moving prior to that, I’ll restart with the clutch popping and idle at the light.  Ideally, I’m still trying never to come to a complete stop.
  • More intentional drafting.

We’ll see where the next tank comes in at.  While I probably won’t catch this guy any time soon, I’d like to make it to 40 MPGs consistently.  That would cut my annual fuel costs by $860 ($4.30/gallon, 12,000 miles/year.  24 MPG = $2,150 in gas, 40 MPGs = $1,290).  Even hitting 35 MPGs would save a substantial amount of money during the year ($675).  That’s more than enough for a you know what.

While I believe the hypermiling is entirely safe, I’ll not be practicing it with friends in the car unless they are ok with it.  Youth don’t get a vote about it, we just don’t do it.  🙂

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