The next round-up

Jeffro, pumping some diesel, clicks off the pump with 137.001 gallons showing, and asks if we’re similarly OCD:

Just to make it easier to calculate my account balances, I pump my own gas to the nearest dime.

Are you picky — do you “round it off,” or do you just run until it clicks off and call it good?

Weirdly enough, I run until it clicks, and then enough to bring it up to the next dime. And then I go home, calculate mpg, and sob: it’s winter, so instead of my usual 21-22 mpg, I’m barely over 20. In the interest of improving my statistics, I’ve been buying the same grade at the same station for the last several months. I figure I’m taking about a 3-percent hit using E10. Then again, the best tank I ever scored was running the superslab through Midwestern cornfields on 93-octane E10, breaking the 31-mpg barrier. (EPA sticker: 20/28 original; 17/25 revised.)


  1. Jeffro »

    17 January 2013 · 7:49 pm

    Thanks for the link!

    And I calculate mileage right then and there, because I keep one of those little Auto Record black books with all the expenses, oil changes, repairs, tires, and of course fuel. There is even a trip diary in those things, but I don’t use that.

  2. Nicole »

    17 January 2013 · 8:00 pm

    I calc my mileage with every fill up but when I fill up, I go till it stops, not to a whole number.

    Hub told me recently about a cross-Kansas trip that a friend of his took in an at the time new Corvette. Everyone thinks of them as inefficient in the mileage department. Apparently just because they are rarely run at the optimal point for the engine. This one got 35 mpg while running 90+ in the flatlands for several hours. So it’s not that performance cars are wasteful, it’s that the speed limit is insufficient to enable maximized efficiency. :)

  3. CGHill »

    17 January 2013 · 8:16 pm

    The Corvette is blessed with tall gearing up top and an engine that can loaf at that speed, but I’m happy to endorse the sentiment in its entirety. :)

  4. XRay »

    17 January 2013 · 8:18 pm

    Like that, Nicole. I’ll use it on the next motorcycle cop I happen to meet.

    Oh. I top off, extremely, no matter what the bastards say. Gains me a day and a half of not needing fuel. Though I try for an even dollar, I’ll settle for 50 cents. Never those damn odd things.

  5. McGehee »

    17 January 2013 · 11:14 pm

    Are you picky — do you “round it off,” or do you just run until it clicks off and call it good?

    On those rare occasions when I have a vehicle with a working gas gauge I’ll consider rounding it off, but if I need to be able to monitor MPG to predict my next refueling, I can’t afford to play games with my fill-ups.

  6. mnavarre »

    17 January 2013 · 11:42 pm

    I pretty much don’t need to drive anymore, so my fuel usage is pretty much calculated in Gallons per Month. Though I’m not sure Beers per Bike ride is all that much cheaper.

  7. Baby M »

    18 January 2013 · 7:59 am

    My GTI’s onboard computer automatically calculates both trip-average and rolling average MPG, and I’ve done the math when filling up enough times to be assured that it’s accurate.

    The EPA rates it at 21 MPG city, 29 highway, and 24 combined. My real world rolling average ranges from 28 to 30 MPG in mixed city and highway driving–it consistently outperforms the EPA ratings (as does your Nissan, apparently). On a long freeway trip over relatively flat country a couple years back, I got the trip average up over 33 without trying.

  8. CGHill »

    18 January 2013 · 11:10 am

    Automakers have been known to tweak the performance curve to do well on an EPA-type test, and the buyers be damned. Apparently neither Volkswagen nor Nissan do this — though the ubiquitous Nissan VQ engine’s thirst increases faster than its displacement, which makes me wonder about some of their new V6 models (or, for that matter, the newest four-cylinder Altima, which bags numbers consistent with the next size class down).

RSS feed for comments on this post