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Road Trip: Time vs Gas mileage?Follow

#1 Oct 08 2012 at 5:59 PM Rating: Default
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When driving long distances with no constraints, do you travel for time (arriving in the least or decent amount of time) or for gas mileage (slower to use less gas).

I've done the Memphis to Augusta trip several times now. At first I was driving 70-90 MPH with great time, but horrible gas mileage. Then I started doing a steady 65-75 MPH with a pretty decent time and gas mileage. Just recently, I did a steady 60 MPH to Atlanta, still had almost a 1/4 tank of gas (previously had to fill up 20 miles out from Atlanta), but I couldn't take it anymore and sped up to 65-75 MPH. I gained a few minutes back, but overall spent over 30 extra minutes on the road.

I think the 65-75 MPH will be my standard. What say ye?
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#2 Oct 08 2012 at 7:29 PM Rating: Excellent
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Gas mileage varies with many things. Most cars will get about the same mileage these days even if it's 60 or 80 mph.
Did you drive into a big headwind the whole trip? On the other side did you follow another car that was going the same speed?
Both of these can greatly influence your your mileage. Others like getting good gas and a tuneup and proper inflation of tires?
Driving with the air on? All the windows open? It can all have an affect on your mileage. I've driven many miles years back
with my own business buying and selling classic cars and parts. I used a 1963 Pontiac Station Wagon as my vehicle.
I changed it to stick and installed a 3-speed with overdrive in it. Often I would top 25 miles a gallon in it towing a flatbed!
One trip I followed a group of trucks sitting in the slip stream behind one. I topped 35 mpg with a trailer on that trip. Of
course having a CB and talking with them also helped.
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#3 Oct 08 2012 at 7:42 PM Rating: Default
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I did the same exact trip within a week. I've been paying close attention to all of the factors that you have mentioned.
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#4 Oct 08 2012 at 7:53 PM Rating: Excellent
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I just look at my dash, it tells me how many miles before I need gas, what my average usage is, optimal speed for gas milage based off of road conditions. I don't think about it I just enjoy the drive.
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#5 Oct 09 2012 at 4:26 AM Rating: Default
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Yea, my car doesn't do that. That's pretty cool though. To be honest, the biggest reason why I stopped doing 70-90 MPH was fear of getting a ticket. I don't like that feeling when all your organs drop when you pass a police officer hoping that he didn't clock you, or will pull you over.

I decided to take the slow cheap route because situations caused me to spend much more money than I wanted and I was trying not to spend any more than I have to.
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#6 Oct 09 2012 at 5:54 AM Rating: Good
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I drive about 10km(roughly 6mph) over the speed limit. Got nothing to do with gas consumption or time and everything to do with that's where driving feels most comfortable for me. Probably because when I was younger it was all about speed so that's just naturally more comfortable for me now.

My last car used to do what Tynuv's does, so every now and then I'd play around with the speed to see the "mileage until empty" gauge adjust.

Edited, Oct 9th 2012 8:55am by Uglysasquatch
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#7 Oct 09 2012 at 6:03 AM Rating: Good
Not that I'm for speeding, as I actually only go over 5-10mph over the limit, but I do ride with people who think the black numbers are just there as an option... on some tech channel (not sure if net or TV, been a few months now) there was a device you bought that also synced with your smart phone (if you have one). It detected both Radar and Laser. The syncing part to the phone was to mark that area as a trap on a road map, and you could also see where others (if others happen to be using the same set up/data base) had been tagged with radar/laser.

As to the question in the OP, my car can tell be how many miles until I "run out", so I just point and go.
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#8 Oct 09 2012 at 9:28 AM Rating: Excellent
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Not something I usually think much about. Will top about about 5 over the limit though, and there's a couple of towns around here I'll be more careful driving through. Usually will just stay with the flow and go whatever speed seems to be easiest. Passing people too, unless they're going like 5 under the limit I'm usually content to just tag along or wait for an extra lane. Pet peeve being those people who drive slow until they see a lane, then make you do like 15 over to pass them, before slowing down to old-grandma speed again.

In the end though, speed is more likely to be determined by how bad the need for a potty is, whether or not we still have accessible snacks, and the amount of screaming from the back seat.

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#9 Oct 09 2012 at 11:09 AM Rating: Excellent
I always travel for time. My time is more valuable than the cost of fuel, which I am fortunate enough not to have to worry about.
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#10 Oct 09 2012 at 11:28 AM Rating: Good
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PunkFloyd, King of Bards wrote:
My time is more valuable than the cost of fuel, which I am fortunate enough not to have to worry about.
Which is why I choose to fly when I have the option.
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#11 Oct 09 2012 at 11:54 AM Rating: Good
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lolgaxe wrote:
PunkFloyd, King of Bards wrote:
My time is more valuable than the cost of fuel, which I am fortunate enough not to have to worry about.
Which is why I choose to fly when I have the option.
I learned this one the hard way when I tried driving from Atlanta to Chicago one year.
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#12 Oct 09 2012 at 12:14 PM Rating: Good
lolgaxe wrote:
PunkFloyd, King of Bards wrote:
My time is more valuable than the cost of fuel, which I am fortunate enough not to have to worry about.
Which is why I choose to fly when I have the option.


I usually fly if the trip exceeds 6 hours via automobile. The bulk of my "long" drives are ~4 hour Vegas trips, which I will be doing on Friday. Smiley: nod
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#13 Oct 09 2012 at 2:48 PM Rating: Default
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Every internal combustion engine has an ideal rpm rate, where it will produce the most mechanical energy relative to the fuel consumed. What this means for a car is that based on a whole host of factors (wind resistance, tire inflation, gear ratios, etc), there will tend to be some speed that will end out being ideal. But since some of those factors change based on conditions outside the car, you can't always say X mph is the best speed. It's ultimately based on how hard the engine is working (and thus, how fast it's spinning). If you have a car with a tachometer, you're better off looking at that than the speedometer since the efficiency correlation is to rpm and not really mph.

I've found on my car that if I keep my rpms just under 2k, I get pretty decent gas mileage (relatively speaking). Since that ends out usually being around 75-80 mph, that works out just fine. On long drives, I'll usually just cruse at that speed changing only when traffic conditions warrant it. If I'm in more of a hurry, I can always drive faster. I find I tend to do that more when heading home from somewhere than when heading to somewhere. So heading back home from my brother's house in LA usually involves barreling down the 5 at 85-90 mph late at night. As to gas? I suppose if I drove a car that got good gas mileage in the first place, it would be more of a concern. Kinda made that decision when I bought the car.

Edited, Oct 9th 2012 1:49pm by gbaji
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#14 Oct 09 2012 at 3:39 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
On long drives, I'll usually just cruse at that speed changing only when traffic conditions warrant it.


Speaking of which, I saw a commercial the other day for a car with "adaptive cruise control" that is supposed to slow down and match the speed of cars in front of you and then automatically get back up to speed when its safe. No more braking for slow traffic only to hit the resume button again a few seconds later.

DO WANT.
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#15 Oct 09 2012 at 4:07 PM Rating: Excellent
That would be amazing.
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#16 Oct 09 2012 at 4:12 PM Rating: Good
BrownDuck wrote:
gbaji wrote:
On long drives, I'll usually just cruse at that speed changing only when traffic conditions warrant it.


Speaking of which, I saw a commercial the other day for a car with "adaptive cruise control" that is supposed to slow down and match the speed of cars in front of you and then automatically get back up to speed when its safe. No more braking for slow traffic only to hit the resume button again a few seconds later.

DO WANT.


The technical term for that is a chauffeur.
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#17 Oct 09 2012 at 4:22 PM Rating: Default
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PunkFloyd, King of Bards wrote:
lolgaxe wrote:
PunkFloyd, King of Bards wrote:
My time is more valuable than the cost of fuel, which I am fortunate enough not to have to worry about.
Which is why I choose to fly when I have the option.


I usually fly if the trip exceeds 6 hours via automobile. The bulk of my "long" drives are ~4 hour Vegas trips, which I will be doing on Friday. Smiley: nod


Yes, that's a good rule of thumb. Sometimes, the wait and work at the airports aren't worth the effort if you're only driving a few hours. I just had a really bad experience of literally flying/layover/delay for approximately 3 days one way and then about 2 days on the way back(long story), that I wanted to stay away from planes for awhile.
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#18 Oct 09 2012 at 5:18 PM Rating: Good
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BrownDuck wrote:
gbaji wrote:
On long drives, I'll usually just cruse at that speed changing only when traffic conditions warrant it.


Speaking of which, I saw a commercial the other day for a car with "adaptive cruise control" that is supposed to slow down and match the speed of cars in front of you and then automatically get back up to speed when its safe. No more braking for slow traffic only to hit the resume button again a few seconds later.

DO WANT.
No you don't. Infiniti has had it for years and unless it's been vastly improved, it's horrible.
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#19 Oct 09 2012 at 5:20 PM Rating: Excellent
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Almalieque wrote:
Sometimes, the wait and work at the airports aren't worth the effort if you're only driving a few hours.
I used to think that, but I can get so much more work done on my laptop sitting in an airport than I can driving, which saves me from having to work too late into the evening on days I travel.
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#20 Oct 09 2012 at 5:51 PM Rating: Default
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Almalieque wrote:
When driving long distances with no constraints, do you travel for time (arriving in the least or decent amount of time) or for gas mileage (slower to use less gas).

I've done the Memphis to Augusta trip several times now. At first I was driving 70-90 MPH with great time, but horrible gas mileage. Then I started doing a steady 65-75 MPH with a pretty decent time and gas mileage. Just recently, I did a steady 60 MPH to Atlanta, still had almost a 1/4 tank of gas (previously had to fill up 20 miles out from Atlanta), but I couldn't take it anymore and sped up to 65-75 MPH. I gained a few minutes back, but overall spent over 30 extra minutes on the road.

I think the 65-75 MPH will be my standard. What say ye?


Typically, if I'm traveling, it's not work related, just for vacation. At that time, anything that I will be doing at the airport is checking Facebook or on this website and that gets old rather quickly. I really need to find more websites. Smiley: frown
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#21 Oct 10 2012 at 2:28 AM Rating: Excellent
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Uglysasquatch wrote:

My last car used to do what Tynuv's does, so every now and then I'd play around with the speed to see the "mileage until empty" gauge adjust.

Who is Tynuv? :p I actually do the same, Cool thing with the Mini is that it at times kills the fuel flow when it isn't needed, Obviously only for a few seconds at a time when you let off the gas but when you do the mileage will jump to 9999.99 mpg which I always get a kick out of.
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#22 Oct 10 2012 at 3:23 AM Rating: Good
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I saw a Ty and that was the first name that popped in my head.
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#23 Oct 10 2012 at 7:47 AM Rating: Good
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Uglysasquatch wrote:
I used to think that, but I can get so much more work done on my laptop sitting in an airport than I can driving, which saves me from having to work too late into the evening on days I travel.
There's that, plus on vacation you can sit back and let other people do the work while you read or something.
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#24 Oct 10 2012 at 3:28 PM Rating: Default
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lolgaxe wrote:
Uglysasquatch wrote:
I used to think that, but I can get so much more work done on my laptop sitting in an airport than I can driving, which saves me from having to work too late into the evening on days I travel.
There's that, plus on vacation you can sit back and let other people do the work while you read or something.


Well, I guess another big factor is transportation. If I'm going to my parents house (which at one point had more vehicles than everyone in the family), I'm not concerned about getting around. However, if I visit my sister (who only has one vehicle), I like to have my car so I can also see old neighboring friends. That's one of the downfalls of traveling within the US. As a nation, we suck in public transportation in comparison to other countries.
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#25 Oct 10 2012 at 3:55 PM Rating: Good
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You mean countries the size of a small state?
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#26 Oct 10 2012 at 4:40 PM Rating: Default
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mostly.
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