OT: Talking Cars Tuesday - Gas Money

Submitted by JeepinBen on May 29th, 2018 at 1:15 PM

That's right, it's Tuesday. Anyway, gas prices were up at least $0.50 per gallon compared to last memorial day. We're not at the $4/gal like we were a few years ago, but we're above the $2.50 that we've had for a while. With gas going back up is that going to affect any of your car buying purchases so far? Would you drive less? What kind of mileage do you get now? How much are you worried about it in your new car?

(Trying to avoid the geo-politics of gas pries. Between OPEC, fracking, infrastructure/gas taxes etc. let's just stick to the cars, eh?)



May 29th, 2018 at 2:34 PM ^

Same as it ever was...

I get 37-41 miles on a charge. 37 miles in the dead of winter (I live in SoCal) and 41 in summer. Weather does effect range, but that's it. Battery has an 8 year warranty for most people, but 10 years in California.

I've never owner a car this long. Not a GM guy but this has been my best car yet. Waiting for them to work the bugs out of the Model 3 and for the lower priced version to lease it. Should be another 2-3 years.

Rose Bowl

May 29th, 2018 at 8:49 PM ^

Drove my friend's new Model 3, nice car.  I would like a better interior though.  Ended up with a new Passat, 700 mile hwy range, 70 second recharge (fuel), laser welded seams, out the door for $19k.  I would consider an electric as a second vehicle, we are just not there yet.

Naked Bootlegger

May 29th, 2018 at 1:42 PM ^

The Chevy Volt was going to be my next vehicle, until a job change rendered it impractical (see my post below. I'm mostly highway miles, so paying extra for a Volt batteries was not a smart option).   Anyway, I haven't followed Volt production updates recently.  Does it continue to have a future in the GM portfolio?   Did sales numbers hold up during the recent low gas price era?   


May 29th, 2018 at 4:28 PM ^

the Volt and the Bolt. I'm not sure why they don't get more love from the automotive world when they are arguably at least as good, and maybe better than the Prius and the Model 3 with which they compete. And I generally don't like GM vehicles. 


May 29th, 2018 at 7:31 PM ^

My Model 3 reservation because of the reliability issues with the car. I think most people prefer the 3 over the Bolt because it’s a more hip and progressive car sold by Musk.

oriental andrew

May 29th, 2018 at 4:08 PM ^

I remember driving between Atlanta and Ann Arbor in the mid-90s and filling up premium for less than a dollar a gallon. Crazy times. 

My car (2003 Infiniti I35) gets about 20-21mpg city, probably about 27mpg highway. 

I'm strongly considering the Buick Regal TourX as my next car, but I do wish it had better fuel economy. It's not terrible (rated 21 city/29 hwy), but hardly better than my current car. If only it were 10% better....

This is honestly what is keeping me considering a sedan of some sort (not a fan of SUVs or CUVs). The new Accord, Camry, and Mazda 6 all look pretty great and it's hard to justify getting a wagon because wagons are cool (imho), when there are sedans out there with better features and fuel economy for less. 

I still have time to decide, at least, since I won't be buying a car until we're done paying off the minivan (September can't come fast enough!). I'll also probably wait at least a year for a used  or late MY 2018 before/as the 2019's hit the dealer lots. 


May 29th, 2018 at 1:24 PM ^

i have let it go for a couple of years since the prices came down so much.

as a point of reference, when i started driving gas was .59/gal.   i think it was because the dinosaurs had just died off...


May 29th, 2018 at 5:15 PM ^

heat your oil by pumping it into a used water hearer.  mix about 15% methanol and lye with cooking oil and circulate it for a while (a day) then let it sit.  drain out the precipitate, sprinkle some water over the top too to gather impurities as it naturally displaces the diiesel fuel at the bottom of the tank.  drain that off too.  

viola, you have bio diesel.  i can make about 45 gal batches.  also the precipitate can be used to make soap or if you add a salt (calling mgochemists on this one) you can use it for fertilizer, so i've been told. 

picture of a bio diesel reactor, not mine though, mine is way less pretty.  i can't get the pic of mine to 'copy' into the blog pic box.  sorry. 

Image result for biodiesel reactor


May 30th, 2018 at 9:38 PM ^

i'm late on this too, just home from work and with a minute to type.  answers:

no financial yield per se, but last time i figured it, the cost per gallon to produce was ~ .40 cents.

i get 5 and 8 gallon jugs of used oil from friends who have or run restaurants. i probably have a 2-3 hundred gallons in reserve, but can get more if i start asking for it. 

bio diesel is a better fuel than dino-diesel for mileage, i'd say a 10% improvement.  virtually pollutant free and it actually smells nice when burned.   the reason for the better mileage is the greater lubricity of the fuel vs. the ultra low sulpher diesel they sell now. 

there are two important caveats to that though.  first, when its really cold like in duluth or NW lower michigan, the gel point of bio diesel isn't low enough, so you can't use 100% of it but must mix it with dino-diesel. i have experimented with various mixtures that say they lower the gel point, but at least as of a few years ago i'd found nothing that makes a huge difference.  the second caveat is that the new emission standards have caused most of the fuel injection systems to be super high pressure and that can change the chemical composition of the biodiesel.  i have tried to avoid that in the vehicles i've purchased, but the new (used) truck we got last year would be subject to about a 20% limitation on biodiesel. 

i don't have any reason to be in duluth on a sunday morning, but if i ever am, i know where i'll be.  would love to meet you and your family, and with mine.  i bet there is lots in common.

blessings to you and yours,



May 29th, 2018 at 1:26 PM ^

I have a mixed commute, about 17 miles in 40-60 minutes. On a 40 minute drive to work I get about 30-33mpg, driving home over an hour it's closer to 22-27mpg, depending on the route I take and traffic.

Crusie control 70*mph on I-94 I'll get about 36-38mpg. Hooray 100% efficient manual transmissions!

*77, fast enough without worrying about the MSP.

The Krusty Kra…

May 29th, 2018 at 1:38 PM ^

Last year when my lease was up, I was sniffing around getting a Silverado with that fuel guzzling 5.3 liter. Long story short, finances didn't get to where I wanted them. I have a Malibu with Auto Stop/Start and a 1.5L Turbo engine. I get 33 mpg and had to pay 30 dollars to fill the tank for the first time last week in almost a year of ownership. Good work brain.

Naked Bootlegger

May 29th, 2018 at 2:11 PM ^

....gas mileage.   I've put on over 30K miles in the past 1.5 years due to a job change, so I fill up frequently.   I push 40 mpg in a Subaru Outback on the rural 2 lane highways going 63-65 mph.   Once I hit the interstates and set the cruise to 75 mph, I'm back near 30-31 mpg.   In winter, reduce those numbers by 10%.  

One bonus of the slow driving RV season on upper Midwest 2 lane highways:  the mpg's increase while patiently cruising at 52 mph behind a caravan of RV's.   Slower speeds and drafting are great for hypermiling!


May 29th, 2018 at 5:11 PM ^

I have a friend that just picked up a VW Golf with the Diesel. I asked him about it because I hadn’t seen a Golf in years. He said it was because of “dieselgate”. They had a diesel Jetta and after it was “all over” he decided to go Golf. Admittedly, I had no idea what he was talking about, but I nodded like I was up to speed on the situation. Tundra and my 13mpg in the City hurts right now.

BTB grad

May 29th, 2018 at 1:59 PM ^

I got a Cadillac CTS with a 4-cylinder turbo. Have absolutely loved it up to this point. Highly reccomend.


If that's out of your price range, Chevy Malibu and Buick Regal are the other vehicles I was deciding between and both have 4-cyclinder turbos. Both drove really well and I have friends who have both and they really like them.


May 29th, 2018 at 4:10 PM ^

just got a Fusion with a 1.5 liter ecoboost engine. He likes it and it gets great mileage (he got 36 on a recent road trip). I love the looks of it. 

But to my grew-up-in-the-80's brain it is still hard to wrap my mind around the idea of a 1.5 liter engine powering something that big. 


May 29th, 2018 at 2:15 PM ^

While turbocharged engines used to be the realm of performance vehicles, everybody's making small turbo engines now - Ford has their Ecoboost, Chevy has the LFV, all of the Asian manufacturers have varying turbo 4s. It's a practical way to meet all of the emissions requirements without saddling the buying public with 60 hp gutless cars.


May 29th, 2018 at 2:23 PM ^

Turbocharged engines, as everyone has been mentioning, are quite common these days.  That's because the automakers have figured out you can use them to meet MPG requirements.  They should be easy to find even in used cars.

Unfortunately, my experience with a turbo engine is that the horsepower vs. MPG numbers are now an "or" proposition instead of "and."  That is, unlike a naturally aspirated engine, you can either have the promised horsepower or the promised MPG, but not both.


May 29th, 2018 at 1:44 PM ^

On weekends I'm usually hauling kids or cargo and my old 4Runner gets about 17mpg. During the week I commute 55 miles each way every day and my manual '00 Civic gets 37-ish.
They're both paid-for and nothing I could buy competes for lower overall cost, but I keep wondering about a recent year hybrid.


May 29th, 2018 at 1:48 PM ^

in the last couple of vehicles I purchased. Down sized two vehicles recently. One was just this weekend. My daughter had been driving my old 4 Runner and we found a great deal on a new RAV 4 for her. Really a nice vehicle and she should get 6-7 more MPG with it over the 4 Runner which is nice with gas pushing up around $3.00 a gallon.