Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Tank 129 Update - 22 Aug 07

This morning's commute to work drew the needle down past the halfway
mark. This notable event happened at 274 miles. Usually I am pleased
when this happens around 250 miles, and now I am curious if it is
possible to go 300 miles on just the first half-tank of gas.

In order to make the jump from 275 miles on half a tank to 300 miles on
half a tank, my fuel economy must jump by a bit over 9%,or about 3 mpg
over my year-to-date fuel economy average of about 37.5 mpg. If my
recent fuel economy is more indicative, this means I must average closer
to 43 mpg to accomplish 300 miles on the first half tank.

I might be able to cheat and just squeeze in more gas after the filler
clicks off the second time. But this would clearly make my collected
data useless, as I'd be forced to start filling the tank until it
overflows each time, and I just don't want to do that.

The past few days have been much cooler than normal. Perhaps this is
having an affect on my fuel economy. But if that is true, then there is
support for the "hot gas theory," which I have recently declared
worthless based on recent and historical data. But now that I collect
temperature data as well, I expect to somewhat analyze heat vs. mileage
at some point down the road. But generally, I still don't believe a
word of the "hot gas myth."

My main explanation for being able to go 274 miles on the first half
tank is that my afternoon commutes since the last fill-up have averaged
about 50 minutes, compared with the average of 65 to 70 minutes over
previous trips home on the same days of the week.

I have noted before that it appears my travel times to get home appear
to have more of an impact on my overall fuel economy than anything else
so far.

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