Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tank 292 - 27 September 2K11 (Operation: Duct Tape - Commence!)

As I tried refueling this morning at the Fas Mart near my home (where the only thing slower than the pumps is the cash register clerk), I initially thought my identity had been stolen.

Over the weekend, my gmail account informed me that several dozen messages failed. Turned out, some spammer hijacked my gmail account and sent messages to all my gmail contacts, 10 or 20 at a time, telling them about some amazing something they needed to click on or something. Happily, Google figured out it was spam before it went through the internets, so I think none of my friends actually got the spam.

Why does this matter? Here's why:

So the gas pump asks for the 5-digit ZIP code associated with my credit card's billing address. After you push the 5 digits, you press "enter," which is a step that I'd expect wouldn't be necessary, as the machine ought to know when the 5th button's pressed that that's the ZIP code.

So I swipe my card and enter what I thought was my ZIP code and hit enter. A few seconds later, the gas pump tells me to go see the attendant.

"Oh, crap," I think to myself, "not only did my gmail get hijacked, now it's my credit card."

Then I realized that I may not have put in my ZIP code, but perhaps it was my PIN number, which is just 4 digits, and that caused the gas pump mega-confusion. So I canceled the transaction and started again and it all worked out and I pumped in 10.752 gallons after going 412.8 miles. So my mileage was 38.39 miles per gallon.

More importantly, over the weekend I duct-taped over the lower vents on the lower part of my bumper in my fuel economizing improvement effort. I used red duct tape, because my car's red, but the duct tape was "just a couple shades lighter" than the bumper. It looks bad. So I acquired some black duct tape to go over the red. This ought to look better, since the mighty Corolla's just the "CE" version ("CE" stands for "Cheap Edition"), and the area where fog lights would be is filled with black plastic inserts and there are black mouldings along the sides of the doors and the side view mirrors are also black plastic.

So shortly I'll cover it all up with black duct tape. Meanwhile, this will be the first tank where I may be able to see the affects from duct taping these vents.

Will there be an improvement in my gas mileage due to any increased aerodynamic advantage? Time will tell.

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