Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Now Appearing in My Driveway... THE CASH CAB!

Well, the green minivan failed us for the last time. After a small
spike in electrical-related frights, the "wannas" won out over the "lets
keep its" and we traded in the 1998 Chrysler Town & Country (128,000
miles) for a 2008 Toyota Sienna (22,500 miles).

The new minivan is officially some shade of blue, but to the untrained
eye it is actually dark gray. In some ways it is not as fancy as the
T&C, as the Sienna has "only" 2-zone heat/air conditioning (T&C had "3
zone), and the Sienna has hubcaps and not alloy wheels.

But, the Sienna has tire pressure monitoring, traction and skid control,
and rear seats that fold flat, as well as windows in the doors that open
up. The kids really wanted to have that.

Looking around on the internets, I found that a 2005 Sienna is the main
vehicle used in the awesome game show CASH CAB. It's the same body
shape as our "new" 2008 van. I think that when I share this information
with the kids, they will like to know this.

I hope it improves the general feelings of the family. One child was
unnaturally attached to the green minivan. Probably because we had
joked that it's older than her, and would she want us to get rid of her
when she got to be that old, when she complained at how old the green
minivan was.

Lesson learned. Don't joke about getting rid of your kids!

Allegedly, the Sienna also has better city mileage, 17 mpg vs. 16 in the
green minivan. It also has a trip computer for me to complain that
grossly inflates the true fuel economy numbers.

So now we drive the Cash Cab. It's fitting because it came in at a
medium-sized pile of cash. I sure hope it lasts us at least 10 years.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tank 192 - 22 April 2009

This last tank was notable in that it drove the car one tenth of a mile
further than the tank before. This time it went 410.3 miles on 11.764
gallons, making for a pitiful 34.88 mpg overall. However, three days of
that were from Courtney driving around town, as I drove the green
minivan to work this week. Long story, but the green minivan may be on
its last gasp of life so I drive it in the unlikely event that it dies
in service...

The only thing good about my recent tanks of gas is that many of them
have come after 400 miles. Fuel economy- worse than 2008. Days between
tanks- worse than 2008. Cost of gas- less than 2008.

This was the 14th tank of the year. Last year, the 14th tank came on 18
April, so by some miracle I remain on the good side of that comparison.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tank 191 - 13 April 2009

Man, this not carpooling is starting to bother me. I had to refuel
after just six days. But some of that was due to using the Mighty
Corolla for two extra trips north to visit family and a class I am
taking on my Friday off.

Still, this was the shortest tank since, oh, 12 March, so just a month.

Anyway, 11.302 gallons after going 410.2 miles = 36.29 miles per gallon.
Not too great, but it's been worse.

Perhaps I should pump up the tires more.

I thought that my "I'll drive 70 or 75 now because it gets me better
mileage" theory was correct, but now I ma not too sure. Perhaps it's
also heavier morning traffic.

Maybe the car's getting old. Probably not.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tank 190 - 7 April 2009. Always Buy Exxon Gasoline!

This tank had a few notable items. First, it took me 435.3 miles, the
farthest that any tank has taken me so far this year. Second, it took
11.590 gallons, the most I have managed to squeeze into that tank this
year. I also went 49.0 miles after the low fuel light came on, also a
record distance travelled with the light on.

I am a donkey on the edge!

After all that, I managed 37.56 miles per gallon on this tank. Not
spectacular, but about 1 mpg higher than my 2009 average so far.

So far this year I have spent $227.74 on gas for the mighty Corolla, on
12 tanks. One year ago I had filled up 13 tanks and spent $404.40 on
gas. Gas remains over one dollar cheaper per gallon than last year at
this time.