atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#541: WTF??? (gas prices)

This morning I paid $3.17 per gallon to fill up the Cherokee. I was a bit annoyed, because on my way to work last night I'd passed several gas stations which were selling 87 octane for $3.10 per gallon.

That annoyance only lasted until a little bit ago.

I took Mom to a doctor's appointment this morning; and on the way home from there, we drove past the Speedway station...

Gas is $3.26 per gallon now

...and so I don't feel so bad about paying $3.17 per gallon any more.

* * *

I always round up. The given prices were, respectively, actually $3.169, $3.099, and $3.259. But when I round up, people then think I mean--for example--$3.179 when I actually meant $3.169 rounded up.

I mean, what the hell, it's 90% of a cent; the gas stations want you just to forget about it. That's why the sign says gas is $3.259 and not $3.26. If you buy a gallon of gas, is the gas station going to give you $0.001 in change? Hell no. America doesn't even have fractional penny coins. What's going to happen is, you're going to pay $3.26 for that gallon of gasoline even if you do somehow manage to pump in exactly $3.259 worth.

The only way you'll get change is if you buy a multiple of ten gallons. If you buy exactly ten gallons, you will pay $32.59, and that will be a non-rounded amount. If you buy eleven gallons, you'll pay an extra tenth of a cent for that eleventh gallon.

So you might as well add it to the price, the way I do. Damn it.

* * *

I don't know why the hell gas prices jumped so suddenly. I mean, it was $3.18 when we went to the doctor's office; and it was eight cents more when we came back. Labor Day is over, and the summer driving season should largely be over, too; of course we're still going to be on the "high oxygen" formulations for another month or two. (I'm not sure when they switch to the non-oxygenated fuels.)

* * *

Anyway, the Cherokee clocked in at 17.7 MPG; I drove 292 miles before the "low fuel" light came on, and when I filled it, it took 16.5 gallons. That fuel economy is a bit worse than I was expecting--I was hoping for around 20 or so--but it's acceptable. The Fiero gets 18, and it can only carry two people and their golf bags; the Cherokee can carry four people and their luggage in comfort. (Through the jungle, no less, if need be.) And 18 is still better than the best fuel economy we have ever gotten with Dad's full-size Econoline conversion van.

I would wager a few things contributed to the fuel economy figure, though. First off, I drove with the AC on a lot; it's been hot and the interior is dark grey. Second, I did plenty of driving on the original spark plugs. Third, almost all the driving I've done has been city driving. Fourth, it's all been on "high oxygen" fuel, which results in slightly lowered fuel economy. Most of these won't have much effect on fuel economy overall--I might get 1 or 2 more MPG once things cool off, the gas formulation changes back to "winter", and now that I've taken care of the basic maintenance items--but I expect that I would see 22 or so MPG on a long trip, where I wasn't constantly slowing down and speeding up.

Although I'm a bit disappointed that the fuel economy isn't better, I'm not really surprised. It's not a light vehicle, it's a 4x4, and it has the approximate aerodynamics of a brick.

* * *

What's kind of funny is that we are still working on the 5-gallon jug of gasoline we bought for the lawnmower at the beginning of the summer. I filled the 5-gallon can and the 1-gallon can at the gas station, and as needed we transfer gas from the big can to the small can, because it's easier to fill the mower from the small can. I don't know if we'll make it all the way to the end of grass cutting season on 6 gallons of gas, but we'll see. The Awesome is pretty fuel-efficient, though.

* * *

And now I can finally go to bed. Good night. Or morning. Or afternoon. Or WTF-ever it is.

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