Monday, February 11, 2013

I get really bad gas mileage...

I have a 2004 Toyota Camry that we affectionately refer to as Stitch since its blue and I like to think that I'm a decent driver. I don't shoot off when the light turns green and I try to slowly start and stop my car when driving. (I might still tailgate occasionally  but i'm getting better at it!)

After driving out to Utah over the Christmas holidays and seeing my car get over 400 miles on a tank of gas, I was a happy camper...

I took advantage of cruise control and highways and the 400 miles we got out of my car on every fill up could have easily been more since we never once hit the gas light in between fill ups because that's just not smart driving when your away from home and not familiar with the area.

But this week I hit the gas light on my car since I was trying to only fill it up once last month so we could send a bit more money to savings to help get our accounts get back in order...

But back in California gas is approaching the $4 a gallon mark AGAIN. I don't care what the national average is, we are paying between $3.83-$3.99 a gallon for gas in Southern California (with the lower end being the costco price!).

When I last filled up my car, the gas light had come on after my car only went 289 miles... By the time I got to our local gas station my car was at 299 miles... I filled up the slightly larger than 15 gallon tank and did the math.

My average city mpg is 19.5 miles...


Being so close to work, I only drive about 10 or 12 miles to get there, than another 10 or 12 to get home so my car never really "warms" up and i don't do very much highway driving at all.

We try and take SCB's beater car when we go out and about to save the miles on the Camry and so Wanda gets driven around while SCB isn't working at the moment... but even then, Wanda barely hits the freeway and despite being 20 plus years old, gets pretty good gas mileage and has a smaller tank to boot as well. (It helps that she's a stick shift)... but even with her just doing city mileage, she gets way better mpg. (too bad I can't drive her... we tried to teach me but because she's so old i'm actually too short to drive her around).

So i'm driving Stitch to and from work, and getting poor mileage... which is one thing in and of its self... but then I heard the news about how the government is thinking of imposing a new tax on fuel efficient cars-- a per mile fee... (they claim its so they have more money for road improvements)... and i'm upset. We have been thinking about possibly trying to get a hybrid in hopefully 5 plus years when one of the cars dies if we need to be a 2 car family, and one of the perks behind a fuel efficient car, is the gas savings.

(Now we haven't done research to see if the savings outweighs the cost of the hybrid car and the repairs, so don't worry... we aren't jumping the gun or anything here-- just a conversation in passing that our next car should get better city mpg)

But what I do worry about is if they do impose this "per mile fee" on everyone, will they remove the gasoline tax? If they do, I might be for it since we don't drive a whole lot... but it will screw over a lot of companies and truck deliverers for sure...

But I bet they won't remove the gasoline tax, so people who have bought hybrids will get double taxed... and another thing, (since i'm already ranting and its on topic) I'm not sure why gas is so expensive when a few years ago oil was selling for the same price per barrel... If its the same price per barrel... shouldn't it be similar in terms of price per gallon if its costing them the same amount to make???

Are you feeling the pinch at the pump?


  1. I think gas was about the same price about 5 years ago. I don't get why they charge what they do besides the fact that they're greedy.

  2. I used to love driving our diesel pickup, until they came up with this low-sulfur mandate that drove up diesel. The thing is a monster but would still get 20 mpg. Diesel was cheaper so we could justify the lesser fuel economy. Now diesel costs $.50 more a gallon than gasoline. Soo... we parked the truck and stuck to our Camry's. I have an '05 that gets 28-31 mpg. DH has an '02 and a lead foot, getting around 25 mpg. We both drive a lot of highway miles.

    If your fuel economy has gone down that much, even with city driving, I would consider replacing your spark plugs, maybe a new fuel filter, check your tire pressure. Smells fishy to me.