Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tank 301 - 27 December 2K11 (End of Year Round-Up and 2K12 Preview!)

Yesterday I refueled on my way home, at the Stafford Wawa. I had gone 441.4 miles, and the tank accepted 10.924 gallons of gas, making for a quality mileage of 40.41 mpg. It was my 39th and likely final tank of the year.

The Corolla's gone 16,757.5 miles this year, which turns out to be about 2,000 miles fewer than last year, but about 700 miles more than the year before. So about average. It averaged one tank every 9.51 days, with an average fuel economy of 38.19 miles per gallon for the year.

That's better than the advertised fuel economy of 35 highway, like 9.1% better!

Gasoline apparently was an all-time high cost, at an average of $3.356 per gallon over the course of the year.

I spent $1,475.30 on gas. This works out to $37.83 per tank, or about 8.798 cents per mile (not including maintenance costs like oil changes (I performed three or four this year) or tires (I don't think I bought any tires, but I might have) or wiper blades (I bought some of them) or anything else. I think I had something done in the late summer but have since forgotten, but I have the receipt for it).

Looking forward to 2012, I may need to get a front wheel bearing replaced. I described the sound to the guy at the car shop and he said it sounded like a bearing may be worn irregularly that makes the odd humming noise that goes away when I curve left.

Also, my office is moving to be roughly 12 miles closer to my house. I had 201 commutes home in 2011. When the office moves at the end of September, there will be about 45 commutes from that location. This will reduce my commuting miles by about 1080 miles for those three months, so close to 4,000 over an entire year.

Overall, the Mighty Corolla is doing its job well with few problems.

I'm looking forward to 2012 where I'll not only track my mileage and length of time it takes me to drive home each day, but also my time to drive to work each day and the time I spend riding my bike (using the same rules I use when determining my time driving home), so I can track if I spend more time commuting in my car or riding on my bike. I think it'll be really close and a fun thing to track over the course of the year.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

End of Year Traffic?

Well, I-95 frommy office to my home is pretty much showing up as a red and black stripe for about half of the way. Fortunately, US Route 1 seems to be green and yellow.

From this, I conclude that I-95 is filled with holiday travelers who aren't aware that Route 1 is an acceptable alternative during heavy-traffic conditions.

Also it's raining cats and dogs outside.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Tank 300 - 15 December 2K11 (The Best of Tanks, the Worst of Tanks)

I refueled the Mighty Corolla on my way home last Thursday afternoon, stopping at the Wawa in Woodbridge, near my office. I had gone 421.3 miles, and probably could have driven home without any problems, but I was concerned that traffic would bad and I'd be sitting and not moving for a long time, and in those situations I grow painfully stressed out about running out of gas.

So I put in 11.392 gallons of gas, which made for a fuel economy of 36.98 miles per gallon for the tank, which isn't that great, but given my recent streak of stellar mileages, it's okay. Plus, my recent habit of "never getting gas at the same pump twice" has, I think, supported my argument that pumps shut off at different sensitivity levels.

Indeed, last tank the fuel gauge was down 1/4 tank at about 100 miles, and this tank I've gone close to 100 miles so far and the gauge needle is barely moved down a little over 1/8 of a tank. If this trend continues, the current tank will result in a great mileage, which will make this tank seem less horrible, and add to my theory that different pumps shut off at different times.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I am a big liar. But not on purpose (most of the time)

I'm going to get more gas for the Mighty Corolla today. And there's 7 more commuting days left in the year. If I drive extra-miserly, it's about 450 miles more, so conceivably I could make it without another tank, but probably I'll need to gas up again on the 28th or 29th.

But it will all work out.

I discovered a major flaw in my goal of riding my bike more than I commute in 2012, and that is that my bike computer stops the timer when I am stopped on my bike. When I am out on my one hour bike ride at work, the timer usually reports back 42 to 51 minutes of riding, because there are a few long stoplights I must wait for.

My commutes home count the entire trip, including traffic and stoplights.

Simple solution, though, is to look at the clock at the beginning and ends of my rides and keep track of time that way, so there's more of a direct apple to apple comparison.

This will make my biking time seem longer in the data collected. But I still anticipate it will be a close race throughout the year.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tank 299 - 7 December 2K11 (Hypermilers Do It Granny-Style!)

Refueled on my way home last night at the Sheetz near Central Park (which is neither central nor a park). The Mighty Corolla had gone 444.2 miles and the pump at Sheetz, following the practice of stopping at the second click, dispensed 11.298 gallons. The second click happened much earlier than I had thought it would, but the rule is the rule.

So my mileage was 39.32 miles per gallon for the tank. The average mileage for my last five tanks is currently 40.06 mpg, eclipsing my previous-best (and four-yrar-old) record of 40.03 mpg, set in October 2007.

I went 15 days between tanks this time, a feat unseen since July when apparently I went on vacation.

I enjoyed at least two commutes on this tank where I managed to draft behind (at a safe distance and reasonable speed of about 60 miles per hour) tractor trailers.

It's remarkable to note the difference in sound levels when driving behind a tractor trailer compared to driving behind nobody. The wind is drastically reduced. At least in the Mighty Corolla, the sound level reduces considerably as well.

Looking forward to the rest of the year, it's likely I'll only get one more tank of gas before the end of the month, which will be my 38th tank for the year, to match my current low of 38 tanks set in 2008. However, this will be my most expensive year for gas, as I have spent $1,404.35 on gas for the car so far this year.

2012 ought to see these stats reduce, as my office is scheduled to move closer to my home in September. And I hope to ride my bike to and from work during those last three months, to the extent that I can. And I hope to use more vacation days to reduce my trips to the office even more. Well, just a couple more days than this year, but every trip counts and makes a difference.