Thursday, June 19, 2014

Ranger Tank #3 - Because I Could

Refueled again this morning at the same Wawa as the last two times, but at a different pump. Gas was $3.349/gallon, and I bought 13.036 gallons after driving 332.0 miles. So my mileage for this tank was 25.47 mpg.

When I am driving to work, I notice a sign on the side of the road END MEASURED MILE. Sadly, I don't recall ever seeing the BEGIN MEASURED MILE sign. Well, I saw the END MEASURED MILE sign yesterday and when I got to the interstate, I thought I'd follow those mile markers and see how the Ranger's odometer matched up.

So I looked at th eodometer at a mile marker, and after one mile on the interstate, the odometer moved 0.95 miles.

So if this is in fact true, when I go 95 miles on the odometer, I actually have gone 100 miles. It's a 5% difference. If my odometer is 5% short, and I'm actually going 5% more miles than I think I am going, then my mileage should go up 5% as well, so I'm possibly getting over 26.5 mpg.

Maybe some day I'll get the odometer and speedometer calibrated. Probably not, because I'm cheap.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Ranger Tank 2: The Second One

I refueled this morning in the rain at the same Wawa and same pump I used last time.

I stopped before the fuel gauge got down to one quarter tank, because last time I put in more gas than the owner's manual said was possible and I was just barely below a quarter tank. So I ended up with 13.979 gallons on 355.1 miles, for a fuel economy of 25.40 mpg.

So on two tanks on the Ranger, I am averaging 24.96 mpg, and on the four tanks in the minivan when I drove that, I averaged 24.05 mpg.

The minivan was much faster and more powerful and got almost as good mileage. Probably this is the difference between 1995 truck engineering and 2008 minivan engineering.

But such is life. This is what I have done and now I am living with it.

In a couple of years, one child will go off to college, followed by the others two years later, so in four years everything will be changing again. Probably the car situation will shift around as well. In the meantime I am enjoying the Ranger.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Ranger Tank "#1:" I Thought It Would Be Better

So I added gas to the Groovy Ranger this morning. The good news is I went 406.0 miles and there wasn't a low fuel light to be lit at all. The bad news is that the owner's manual says the tank is 16.5 gallons and I put in 16.558 gallons of gas!

The double bad news is that means I got only 24.52 miles per gallon.

The triple bad news is that I mostly was driving conservatively, and only had hard acceleration about 4 or 5 times.

The quadruple bad news is that when the pump stopped, I heard a splash and saw a little puddle underneath the filler nozzle area, and there wasn't any gas dripping off the side of the truck so I am a confused mess!

So now there's a baseline measurement on the mileage of the old Ford Ranger. It's about half a mile per gallon better than the 4 tanks of minivan gas from the time I drove the minivan to work. I was expecting better. I suppose I can do better.

I've got to stop trying to go 70 on the interstate. This poor little truck was giving its all to go that fast. And it's not the most aerodynamic thing out there.

Still, this is about a 32% decrease in mileage over the Mighty Corolla. Or, a 32% increase in my gasoline cost.

On the other hand, we made an easy trip to the dump, with a convenience factor there... But it will take regular trips to the dump in order for the value to make up for the difference in gas cost.

But now that we have the little Ford Ranger, it's in the fleet and who knows what will happen in a few years when the kids are out in colleges? Probably one of them will take the minivan, which will open up a slot in the garage, and my experience buying and selling on craigslist was so fun that I'm comfortable buying a used economy commuter from there in the future.

In the meantime, we will live with the Groovy Ranger, accept the negatives, and take advantage of the positives...