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Driving Head-On Into Weight Gain

Driving Head-On Into Weight Gain


A recent study shows a connection between driving and obesity.

Driving Head On Into Weight Gain

It’s no surprise that the world we live in today is a fast-paced one, where the ability to do something quickly is valued above many other criteria, including at times our health. A recent study conducted by the University of Illinois, which reveals a direct correlation between time spent in the car and the rates of obesity, proves that our literal need for speed is damaging our health. The more time people spend in their cars (measured in miles driven by a licensed driver) the more weight they gain.

These findings come as little shock since a lack of physical exercise is known to be a key cause of the obesity, and yet for reasons unknown, the case subjects used in the study were not questioned about their diets, lifestyles or incomes — all factors that can contribute to weight gain. Therefore while the researchers can confirm with 99.6 percent certainty that the correlation does indeed exist, they cannot definitively explain what causes it.

The Daily Byte is a regular column dedicated to covering interesting food news and trends across the country. Click here for previous columns.


Driving Head-On Into Weight Gain - Recipes

by Bob Sihler » Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:20 pm

Okay, this is related to climbing because I drove to Wyoming this summer and did a lot of climbing there.

I own a 2005 Nissan Xterra, rated for 15/21 mpg. In the city, I get 15-17. Highway, up to 22, sometimes 23. But when I was on my recent trip, I noticed that I was routinely getting 24-26, even when driving off-road (though not when using 4wd).

As I got back into the Eastern states, highway mpg went back to that 22-23 range even though the speed limits are lower there.

When I drove out to Colorado and Utah back in 2005 in the same car, I noticed the same thing. And when I rent an SUV in the West, I always get much better mpg than the rating. When I rented an Outback a few years ago, I was getting 33-35 in a model rated for 27.

So what gives? Is it something to do with the altitude? Is it something to do with the octane? In the East, the lowest you can get is 87, but you can find 85 almost anywhere in the mountain states.

I'm certainly not complaining-- I saved almost $150 from my fuel estimate even though I drove a few hundred more miles than I planned to-- but I am curious.

by Byran » Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:48 pm

by MarkDidier » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:01 pm

I had a somewhat opposite experience last summer driving from Indiana to Colorado. My gas mileage was the best in Indiana and Illinois and continued to drop as I headed across Missouri and was at its lowest in Kansas and then MPG seemed to improve while we were in Colorado. On the drive home I saw the same results - about 22 MPG in Indiana/Illinois and 15 MPG in Kansas.

The winds were terrible in Kansas which partially explains the drop there - but a 1/3rd drop still seemed rather severe just from wind. For a while I thought it might be related to octane but I can't confirm.

Fortuntaley I get to try this experiement again in a couple of weeks. I'll let you know if I see a difference this year.

by Bob Sihler » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:38 pm

The gas in MO and KS may have had a lot of ethanol in it, and ethanol produces worse gas mileage than "pure" gas. In Iowa one day, I fell for the "Plus" advertised at 89 octane but cheaper than the 85. It was only after fueling up that I noticed it had high ethanol content. Got about 18 mpg on that tank. I didn't make the same mistake again.

When I drove through Kansas in 2005, I did get a little lower heading west across the state, but I attributed that to the more or less steady uphill grade across the state. Mileage was much better heading east across the state.

by Bob Sihler » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:41 pm

Catamount wrote: My guess is that is has to do with stop and go traffic. Even if you're not in a traffic jam in the east, you are frequently slowing down, speeding up etc. On and off the gas constantly. In the wide open west, the speed of the vehicle is likely to be far more consistent on average. Could easily account for a couple of miles per gallon difference.

I also own a 2005 X-Terra. Good vehicle.

Good points and worth considering. However, this is even true for stop-free driving on interstates and open highways over a few hundred miles. The best I've ever gotten in the East on a tank is 24. It was easy driving over mostly flat terrain in the Tidewater area.

by MoapaPk » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:29 pm

Flat roads give better mileage than hilly roads, especially in 4-cyl cars. If you have to climb 5000' in 15 miles, you won't get the greatest mileage, and it isn't made up when you go back down (partly, if you have a hybrid). If you can hear the automatic transmission downshifting to 2nd a lot on hills, mileage will suffer. Often cruise control exacerbates the problem.

I've never gotten better than 26 mpg in my 2003 outback, which was rated for 28 highway. The old epa ratings were based on a "highway" speed averaging less than 50 mph. Above about 55 mph, the efficiency of the 4-cyl goes down from air drag.

Legally, speedometers can be up to 10% off on the overestimation side, and 1% off on the underestimation often the odometer has the reverse error. I've seen many odometers overestimate miles driven by 10%. A friend's car got great gas mileage until she put on the correct size (larger) tires.

by robzilla » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:59 pm

by robzilla » Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:08 pm

The gas in MO and KS may have had a lot of ethanol in it, and ethanol produces worse gas mileage than "pure" gas. In Iowa one day, I fell for the "Plus" advertised at 89 octane but cheaper than the 85. It was only after fueling up that I noticed it had high ethanol content. Got about 18 mpg on that tank. I didn't make the same mistake again.

When I drove through Kansas in 2005, I did get a little lower heading west across the state, but I attributed that to the more or less steady uphill grade across the state. Mileage was much better heading east across the state.

Here in Missouri we don't have ethanol unless advertised as such. (E85, etc.) I think the same goes for KS, but Iowa I think does mix it in. One thing that might be making a slight difference is humidity levels. Midwest air can contain a lot of water. Could be the computer is just really leaning it out when the air gets thinner and you're experiencing a decrease in horsepower but just not noticing any difference in performance other than the reduced fuel use. The tires would be at a higher relative pressure in a thinner atmosphere. I don't know, could be a lot of things. When I've noticed mine it's been during days with steep ups and downs, haven't really considered what could be doing it on longer more flat days, but I have noticed the difference fuel wise.


Driving Head-On Into Weight Gain - Recipes

by Bob Sihler » Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:20 pm

Okay, this is related to climbing because I drove to Wyoming this summer and did a lot of climbing there.

I own a 2005 Nissan Xterra, rated for 15/21 mpg. In the city, I get 15-17. Highway, up to 22, sometimes 23. But when I was on my recent trip, I noticed that I was routinely getting 24-26, even when driving off-road (though not when using 4wd).

As I got back into the Eastern states, highway mpg went back to that 22-23 range even though the speed limits are lower there.

When I drove out to Colorado and Utah back in 2005 in the same car, I noticed the same thing. And when I rent an SUV in the West, I always get much better mpg than the rating. When I rented an Outback a few years ago, I was getting 33-35 in a model rated for 27.

So what gives? Is it something to do with the altitude? Is it something to do with the octane? In the East, the lowest you can get is 87, but you can find 85 almost anywhere in the mountain states.

I'm certainly not complaining-- I saved almost $150 from my fuel estimate even though I drove a few hundred more miles than I planned to-- but I am curious.

by Byran » Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:48 pm

by MarkDidier » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:01 pm

I had a somewhat opposite experience last summer driving from Indiana to Colorado. My gas mileage was the best in Indiana and Illinois and continued to drop as I headed across Missouri and was at its lowest in Kansas and then MPG seemed to improve while we were in Colorado. On the drive home I saw the same results - about 22 MPG in Indiana/Illinois and 15 MPG in Kansas.

The winds were terrible in Kansas which partially explains the drop there - but a 1/3rd drop still seemed rather severe just from wind. For a while I thought it might be related to octane but I can't confirm.

Fortuntaley I get to try this experiement again in a couple of weeks. I'll let you know if I see a difference this year.

by Bob Sihler » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:38 pm

The gas in MO and KS may have had a lot of ethanol in it, and ethanol produces worse gas mileage than "pure" gas. In Iowa one day, I fell for the "Plus" advertised at 89 octane but cheaper than the 85. It was only after fueling up that I noticed it had high ethanol content. Got about 18 mpg on that tank. I didn't make the same mistake again.

When I drove through Kansas in 2005, I did get a little lower heading west across the state, but I attributed that to the more or less steady uphill grade across the state. Mileage was much better heading east across the state.

by Bob Sihler » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:41 pm

Catamount wrote: My guess is that is has to do with stop and go traffic. Even if you're not in a traffic jam in the east, you are frequently slowing down, speeding up etc. On and off the gas constantly. In the wide open west, the speed of the vehicle is likely to be far more consistent on average. Could easily account for a couple of miles per gallon difference.

I also own a 2005 X-Terra. Good vehicle.

Good points and worth considering. However, this is even true for stop-free driving on interstates and open highways over a few hundred miles. The best I've ever gotten in the East on a tank is 24. It was easy driving over mostly flat terrain in the Tidewater area.

by MoapaPk » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:29 pm

Flat roads give better mileage than hilly roads, especially in 4-cyl cars. If you have to climb 5000' in 15 miles, you won't get the greatest mileage, and it isn't made up when you go back down (partly, if you have a hybrid). If you can hear the automatic transmission downshifting to 2nd a lot on hills, mileage will suffer. Often cruise control exacerbates the problem.

I've never gotten better than 26 mpg in my 2003 outback, which was rated for 28 highway. The old epa ratings were based on a "highway" speed averaging less than 50 mph. Above about 55 mph, the efficiency of the 4-cyl goes down from air drag.

Legally, speedometers can be up to 10% off on the overestimation side, and 1% off on the underestimation often the odometer has the reverse error. I've seen many odometers overestimate miles driven by 10%. A friend's car got great gas mileage until she put on the correct size (larger) tires.

by robzilla » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:59 pm

by robzilla » Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:08 pm

The gas in MO and KS may have had a lot of ethanol in it, and ethanol produces worse gas mileage than "pure" gas. In Iowa one day, I fell for the "Plus" advertised at 89 octane but cheaper than the 85. It was only after fueling up that I noticed it had high ethanol content. Got about 18 mpg on that tank. I didn't make the same mistake again.

When I drove through Kansas in 2005, I did get a little lower heading west across the state, but I attributed that to the more or less steady uphill grade across the state. Mileage was much better heading east across the state.

Here in Missouri we don't have ethanol unless advertised as such. (E85, etc.) I think the same goes for KS, but Iowa I think does mix it in. One thing that might be making a slight difference is humidity levels. Midwest air can contain a lot of water. Could be the computer is just really leaning it out when the air gets thinner and you're experiencing a decrease in horsepower but just not noticing any difference in performance other than the reduced fuel use. The tires would be at a higher relative pressure in a thinner atmosphere. I don't know, could be a lot of things. When I've noticed mine it's been during days with steep ups and downs, haven't really considered what could be doing it on longer more flat days, but I have noticed the difference fuel wise.


Driving Head-On Into Weight Gain - Recipes

by Bob Sihler » Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:20 pm

Okay, this is related to climbing because I drove to Wyoming this summer and did a lot of climbing there.

I own a 2005 Nissan Xterra, rated for 15/21 mpg. In the city, I get 15-17. Highway, up to 22, sometimes 23. But when I was on my recent trip, I noticed that I was routinely getting 24-26, even when driving off-road (though not when using 4wd).

As I got back into the Eastern states, highway mpg went back to that 22-23 range even though the speed limits are lower there.

When I drove out to Colorado and Utah back in 2005 in the same car, I noticed the same thing. And when I rent an SUV in the West, I always get much better mpg than the rating. When I rented an Outback a few years ago, I was getting 33-35 in a model rated for 27.

So what gives? Is it something to do with the altitude? Is it something to do with the octane? In the East, the lowest you can get is 87, but you can find 85 almost anywhere in the mountain states.

I'm certainly not complaining-- I saved almost $150 from my fuel estimate even though I drove a few hundred more miles than I planned to-- but I am curious.

by Byran » Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:48 pm

by MarkDidier » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:01 pm

I had a somewhat opposite experience last summer driving from Indiana to Colorado. My gas mileage was the best in Indiana and Illinois and continued to drop as I headed across Missouri and was at its lowest in Kansas and then MPG seemed to improve while we were in Colorado. On the drive home I saw the same results - about 22 MPG in Indiana/Illinois and 15 MPG in Kansas.

The winds were terrible in Kansas which partially explains the drop there - but a 1/3rd drop still seemed rather severe just from wind. For a while I thought it might be related to octane but I can't confirm.

Fortuntaley I get to try this experiement again in a couple of weeks. I'll let you know if I see a difference this year.

by Bob Sihler » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:38 pm

The gas in MO and KS may have had a lot of ethanol in it, and ethanol produces worse gas mileage than "pure" gas. In Iowa one day, I fell for the "Plus" advertised at 89 octane but cheaper than the 85. It was only after fueling up that I noticed it had high ethanol content. Got about 18 mpg on that tank. I didn't make the same mistake again.

When I drove through Kansas in 2005, I did get a little lower heading west across the state, but I attributed that to the more or less steady uphill grade across the state. Mileage was much better heading east across the state.

by Bob Sihler » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:41 pm

Catamount wrote: My guess is that is has to do with stop and go traffic. Even if you're not in a traffic jam in the east, you are frequently slowing down, speeding up etc. On and off the gas constantly. In the wide open west, the speed of the vehicle is likely to be far more consistent on average. Could easily account for a couple of miles per gallon difference.

I also own a 2005 X-Terra. Good vehicle.

Good points and worth considering. However, this is even true for stop-free driving on interstates and open highways over a few hundred miles. The best I've ever gotten in the East on a tank is 24. It was easy driving over mostly flat terrain in the Tidewater area.

by MoapaPk » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:29 pm

Flat roads give better mileage than hilly roads, especially in 4-cyl cars. If you have to climb 5000' in 15 miles, you won't get the greatest mileage, and it isn't made up when you go back down (partly, if you have a hybrid). If you can hear the automatic transmission downshifting to 2nd a lot on hills, mileage will suffer. Often cruise control exacerbates the problem.

I've never gotten better than 26 mpg in my 2003 outback, which was rated for 28 highway. The old epa ratings were based on a "highway" speed averaging less than 50 mph. Above about 55 mph, the efficiency of the 4-cyl goes down from air drag.

Legally, speedometers can be up to 10% off on the overestimation side, and 1% off on the underestimation often the odometer has the reverse error. I've seen many odometers overestimate miles driven by 10%. A friend's car got great gas mileage until she put on the correct size (larger) tires.

by robzilla » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:59 pm

by robzilla » Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:08 pm

The gas in MO and KS may have had a lot of ethanol in it, and ethanol produces worse gas mileage than "pure" gas. In Iowa one day, I fell for the "Plus" advertised at 89 octane but cheaper than the 85. It was only after fueling up that I noticed it had high ethanol content. Got about 18 mpg on that tank. I didn't make the same mistake again.

When I drove through Kansas in 2005, I did get a little lower heading west across the state, but I attributed that to the more or less steady uphill grade across the state. Mileage was much better heading east across the state.

Here in Missouri we don't have ethanol unless advertised as such. (E85, etc.) I think the same goes for KS, but Iowa I think does mix it in. One thing that might be making a slight difference is humidity levels. Midwest air can contain a lot of water. Could be the computer is just really leaning it out when the air gets thinner and you're experiencing a decrease in horsepower but just not noticing any difference in performance other than the reduced fuel use. The tires would be at a higher relative pressure in a thinner atmosphere. I don't know, could be a lot of things. When I've noticed mine it's been during days with steep ups and downs, haven't really considered what could be doing it on longer more flat days, but I have noticed the difference fuel wise.


Driving Head-On Into Weight Gain - Recipes

by Bob Sihler » Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:20 pm

Okay, this is related to climbing because I drove to Wyoming this summer and did a lot of climbing there.

I own a 2005 Nissan Xterra, rated for 15/21 mpg. In the city, I get 15-17. Highway, up to 22, sometimes 23. But when I was on my recent trip, I noticed that I was routinely getting 24-26, even when driving off-road (though not when using 4wd).

As I got back into the Eastern states, highway mpg went back to that 22-23 range even though the speed limits are lower there.

When I drove out to Colorado and Utah back in 2005 in the same car, I noticed the same thing. And when I rent an SUV in the West, I always get much better mpg than the rating. When I rented an Outback a few years ago, I was getting 33-35 in a model rated for 27.

So what gives? Is it something to do with the altitude? Is it something to do with the octane? In the East, the lowest you can get is 87, but you can find 85 almost anywhere in the mountain states.

I'm certainly not complaining-- I saved almost $150 from my fuel estimate even though I drove a few hundred more miles than I planned to-- but I am curious.

by Byran » Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:48 pm

by MarkDidier » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:01 pm

I had a somewhat opposite experience last summer driving from Indiana to Colorado. My gas mileage was the best in Indiana and Illinois and continued to drop as I headed across Missouri and was at its lowest in Kansas and then MPG seemed to improve while we were in Colorado. On the drive home I saw the same results - about 22 MPG in Indiana/Illinois and 15 MPG in Kansas.

The winds were terrible in Kansas which partially explains the drop there - but a 1/3rd drop still seemed rather severe just from wind. For a while I thought it might be related to octane but I can't confirm.

Fortuntaley I get to try this experiement again in a couple of weeks. I'll let you know if I see a difference this year.

by Bob Sihler » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:38 pm

The gas in MO and KS may have had a lot of ethanol in it, and ethanol produces worse gas mileage than "pure" gas. In Iowa one day, I fell for the "Plus" advertised at 89 octane but cheaper than the 85. It was only after fueling up that I noticed it had high ethanol content. Got about 18 mpg on that tank. I didn't make the same mistake again.

When I drove through Kansas in 2005, I did get a little lower heading west across the state, but I attributed that to the more or less steady uphill grade across the state. Mileage was much better heading east across the state.

by Bob Sihler » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:41 pm

Catamount wrote: My guess is that is has to do with stop and go traffic. Even if you're not in a traffic jam in the east, you are frequently slowing down, speeding up etc. On and off the gas constantly. In the wide open west, the speed of the vehicle is likely to be far more consistent on average. Could easily account for a couple of miles per gallon difference.

I also own a 2005 X-Terra. Good vehicle.

Good points and worth considering. However, this is even true for stop-free driving on interstates and open highways over a few hundred miles. The best I've ever gotten in the East on a tank is 24. It was easy driving over mostly flat terrain in the Tidewater area.

by MoapaPk » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:29 pm

Flat roads give better mileage than hilly roads, especially in 4-cyl cars. If you have to climb 5000' in 15 miles, you won't get the greatest mileage, and it isn't made up when you go back down (partly, if you have a hybrid). If you can hear the automatic transmission downshifting to 2nd a lot on hills, mileage will suffer. Often cruise control exacerbates the problem.

I've never gotten better than 26 mpg in my 2003 outback, which was rated for 28 highway. The old epa ratings were based on a "highway" speed averaging less than 50 mph. Above about 55 mph, the efficiency of the 4-cyl goes down from air drag.

Legally, speedometers can be up to 10% off on the overestimation side, and 1% off on the underestimation often the odometer has the reverse error. I've seen many odometers overestimate miles driven by 10%. A friend's car got great gas mileage until she put on the correct size (larger) tires.

by robzilla » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:59 pm

by robzilla » Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:08 pm

The gas in MO and KS may have had a lot of ethanol in it, and ethanol produces worse gas mileage than "pure" gas. In Iowa one day, I fell for the "Plus" advertised at 89 octane but cheaper than the 85. It was only after fueling up that I noticed it had high ethanol content. Got about 18 mpg on that tank. I didn't make the same mistake again.

When I drove through Kansas in 2005, I did get a little lower heading west across the state, but I attributed that to the more or less steady uphill grade across the state. Mileage was much better heading east across the state.

Here in Missouri we don't have ethanol unless advertised as such. (E85, etc.) I think the same goes for KS, but Iowa I think does mix it in. One thing that might be making a slight difference is humidity levels. Midwest air can contain a lot of water. Could be the computer is just really leaning it out when the air gets thinner and you're experiencing a decrease in horsepower but just not noticing any difference in performance other than the reduced fuel use. The tires would be at a higher relative pressure in a thinner atmosphere. I don't know, could be a lot of things. When I've noticed mine it's been during days with steep ups and downs, haven't really considered what could be doing it on longer more flat days, but I have noticed the difference fuel wise.


Driving Head-On Into Weight Gain - Recipes

by Bob Sihler » Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:20 pm

Okay, this is related to climbing because I drove to Wyoming this summer and did a lot of climbing there.

I own a 2005 Nissan Xterra, rated for 15/21 mpg. In the city, I get 15-17. Highway, up to 22, sometimes 23. But when I was on my recent trip, I noticed that I was routinely getting 24-26, even when driving off-road (though not when using 4wd).

As I got back into the Eastern states, highway mpg went back to that 22-23 range even though the speed limits are lower there.

When I drove out to Colorado and Utah back in 2005 in the same car, I noticed the same thing. And when I rent an SUV in the West, I always get much better mpg than the rating. When I rented an Outback a few years ago, I was getting 33-35 in a model rated for 27.

So what gives? Is it something to do with the altitude? Is it something to do with the octane? In the East, the lowest you can get is 87, but you can find 85 almost anywhere in the mountain states.

I'm certainly not complaining-- I saved almost $150 from my fuel estimate even though I drove a few hundred more miles than I planned to-- but I am curious.

by Byran » Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:48 pm

by MarkDidier » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:01 pm

I had a somewhat opposite experience last summer driving from Indiana to Colorado. My gas mileage was the best in Indiana and Illinois and continued to drop as I headed across Missouri and was at its lowest in Kansas and then MPG seemed to improve while we were in Colorado. On the drive home I saw the same results - about 22 MPG in Indiana/Illinois and 15 MPG in Kansas.

The winds were terrible in Kansas which partially explains the drop there - but a 1/3rd drop still seemed rather severe just from wind. For a while I thought it might be related to octane but I can't confirm.

Fortuntaley I get to try this experiement again in a couple of weeks. I'll let you know if I see a difference this year.

by Bob Sihler » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:38 pm

The gas in MO and KS may have had a lot of ethanol in it, and ethanol produces worse gas mileage than "pure" gas. In Iowa one day, I fell for the "Plus" advertised at 89 octane but cheaper than the 85. It was only after fueling up that I noticed it had high ethanol content. Got about 18 mpg on that tank. I didn't make the same mistake again.

When I drove through Kansas in 2005, I did get a little lower heading west across the state, but I attributed that to the more or less steady uphill grade across the state. Mileage was much better heading east across the state.

by Bob Sihler » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:41 pm

Catamount wrote: My guess is that is has to do with stop and go traffic. Even if you're not in a traffic jam in the east, you are frequently slowing down, speeding up etc. On and off the gas constantly. In the wide open west, the speed of the vehicle is likely to be far more consistent on average. Could easily account for a couple of miles per gallon difference.

I also own a 2005 X-Terra. Good vehicle.

Good points and worth considering. However, this is even true for stop-free driving on interstates and open highways over a few hundred miles. The best I've ever gotten in the East on a tank is 24. It was easy driving over mostly flat terrain in the Tidewater area.

by MoapaPk » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:29 pm

Flat roads give better mileage than hilly roads, especially in 4-cyl cars. If you have to climb 5000' in 15 miles, you won't get the greatest mileage, and it isn't made up when you go back down (partly, if you have a hybrid). If you can hear the automatic transmission downshifting to 2nd a lot on hills, mileage will suffer. Often cruise control exacerbates the problem.

I've never gotten better than 26 mpg in my 2003 outback, which was rated for 28 highway. The old epa ratings were based on a "highway" speed averaging less than 50 mph. Above about 55 mph, the efficiency of the 4-cyl goes down from air drag.

Legally, speedometers can be up to 10% off on the overestimation side, and 1% off on the underestimation often the odometer has the reverse error. I've seen many odometers overestimate miles driven by 10%. A friend's car got great gas mileage until she put on the correct size (larger) tires.

by robzilla » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:59 pm

by robzilla » Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:08 pm

The gas in MO and KS may have had a lot of ethanol in it, and ethanol produces worse gas mileage than "pure" gas. In Iowa one day, I fell for the "Plus" advertised at 89 octane but cheaper than the 85. It was only after fueling up that I noticed it had high ethanol content. Got about 18 mpg on that tank. I didn't make the same mistake again.

When I drove through Kansas in 2005, I did get a little lower heading west across the state, but I attributed that to the more or less steady uphill grade across the state. Mileage was much better heading east across the state.

Here in Missouri we don't have ethanol unless advertised as such. (E85, etc.) I think the same goes for KS, but Iowa I think does mix it in. One thing that might be making a slight difference is humidity levels. Midwest air can contain a lot of water. Could be the computer is just really leaning it out when the air gets thinner and you're experiencing a decrease in horsepower but just not noticing any difference in performance other than the reduced fuel use. The tires would be at a higher relative pressure in a thinner atmosphere. I don't know, could be a lot of things. When I've noticed mine it's been during days with steep ups and downs, haven't really considered what could be doing it on longer more flat days, but I have noticed the difference fuel wise.


Driving Head-On Into Weight Gain - Recipes

by Bob Sihler » Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:20 pm

Okay, this is related to climbing because I drove to Wyoming this summer and did a lot of climbing there.

I own a 2005 Nissan Xterra, rated for 15/21 mpg. In the city, I get 15-17. Highway, up to 22, sometimes 23. But when I was on my recent trip, I noticed that I was routinely getting 24-26, even when driving off-road (though not when using 4wd).

As I got back into the Eastern states, highway mpg went back to that 22-23 range even though the speed limits are lower there.

When I drove out to Colorado and Utah back in 2005 in the same car, I noticed the same thing. And when I rent an SUV in the West, I always get much better mpg than the rating. When I rented an Outback a few years ago, I was getting 33-35 in a model rated for 27.

So what gives? Is it something to do with the altitude? Is it something to do with the octane? In the East, the lowest you can get is 87, but you can find 85 almost anywhere in the mountain states.

I'm certainly not complaining-- I saved almost $150 from my fuel estimate even though I drove a few hundred more miles than I planned to-- but I am curious.

by Byran » Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:48 pm

by MarkDidier » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:01 pm

I had a somewhat opposite experience last summer driving from Indiana to Colorado. My gas mileage was the best in Indiana and Illinois and continued to drop as I headed across Missouri and was at its lowest in Kansas and then MPG seemed to improve while we were in Colorado. On the drive home I saw the same results - about 22 MPG in Indiana/Illinois and 15 MPG in Kansas.

The winds were terrible in Kansas which partially explains the drop there - but a 1/3rd drop still seemed rather severe just from wind. For a while I thought it might be related to octane but I can't confirm.

Fortuntaley I get to try this experiement again in a couple of weeks. I'll let you know if I see a difference this year.

by Bob Sihler » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:38 pm

The gas in MO and KS may have had a lot of ethanol in it, and ethanol produces worse gas mileage than "pure" gas. In Iowa one day, I fell for the "Plus" advertised at 89 octane but cheaper than the 85. It was only after fueling up that I noticed it had high ethanol content. Got about 18 mpg on that tank. I didn't make the same mistake again.

When I drove through Kansas in 2005, I did get a little lower heading west across the state, but I attributed that to the more or less steady uphill grade across the state. Mileage was much better heading east across the state.

by Bob Sihler » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:41 pm

Catamount wrote: My guess is that is has to do with stop and go traffic. Even if you're not in a traffic jam in the east, you are frequently slowing down, speeding up etc. On and off the gas constantly. In the wide open west, the speed of the vehicle is likely to be far more consistent on average. Could easily account for a couple of miles per gallon difference.

I also own a 2005 X-Terra. Good vehicle.

Good points and worth considering. However, this is even true for stop-free driving on interstates and open highways over a few hundred miles. The best I've ever gotten in the East on a tank is 24. It was easy driving over mostly flat terrain in the Tidewater area.

by MoapaPk » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:29 pm

Flat roads give better mileage than hilly roads, especially in 4-cyl cars. If you have to climb 5000' in 15 miles, you won't get the greatest mileage, and it isn't made up when you go back down (partly, if you have a hybrid). If you can hear the automatic transmission downshifting to 2nd a lot on hills, mileage will suffer. Often cruise control exacerbates the problem.

I've never gotten better than 26 mpg in my 2003 outback, which was rated for 28 highway. The old epa ratings were based on a "highway" speed averaging less than 50 mph. Above about 55 mph, the efficiency of the 4-cyl goes down from air drag.

Legally, speedometers can be up to 10% off on the overestimation side, and 1% off on the underestimation often the odometer has the reverse error. I've seen many odometers overestimate miles driven by 10%. A friend's car got great gas mileage until she put on the correct size (larger) tires.

by robzilla » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:59 pm

by robzilla » Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:08 pm

The gas in MO and KS may have had a lot of ethanol in it, and ethanol produces worse gas mileage than "pure" gas. In Iowa one day, I fell for the "Plus" advertised at 89 octane but cheaper than the 85. It was only after fueling up that I noticed it had high ethanol content. Got about 18 mpg on that tank. I didn't make the same mistake again.

When I drove through Kansas in 2005, I did get a little lower heading west across the state, but I attributed that to the more or less steady uphill grade across the state. Mileage was much better heading east across the state.

Here in Missouri we don't have ethanol unless advertised as such. (E85, etc.) I think the same goes for KS, but Iowa I think does mix it in. One thing that might be making a slight difference is humidity levels. Midwest air can contain a lot of water. Could be the computer is just really leaning it out when the air gets thinner and you're experiencing a decrease in horsepower but just not noticing any difference in performance other than the reduced fuel use. The tires would be at a higher relative pressure in a thinner atmosphere. I don't know, could be a lot of things. When I've noticed mine it's been during days with steep ups and downs, haven't really considered what could be doing it on longer more flat days, but I have noticed the difference fuel wise.


Driving Head-On Into Weight Gain - Recipes

by Bob Sihler » Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:20 pm

Okay, this is related to climbing because I drove to Wyoming this summer and did a lot of climbing there.

I own a 2005 Nissan Xterra, rated for 15/21 mpg. In the city, I get 15-17. Highway, up to 22, sometimes 23. But when I was on my recent trip, I noticed that I was routinely getting 24-26, even when driving off-road (though not when using 4wd).

As I got back into the Eastern states, highway mpg went back to that 22-23 range even though the speed limits are lower there.

When I drove out to Colorado and Utah back in 2005 in the same car, I noticed the same thing. And when I rent an SUV in the West, I always get much better mpg than the rating. When I rented an Outback a few years ago, I was getting 33-35 in a model rated for 27.

So what gives? Is it something to do with the altitude? Is it something to do with the octane? In the East, the lowest you can get is 87, but you can find 85 almost anywhere in the mountain states.

I'm certainly not complaining-- I saved almost $150 from my fuel estimate even though I drove a few hundred more miles than I planned to-- but I am curious.

by Byran » Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:48 pm

by MarkDidier » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:01 pm

I had a somewhat opposite experience last summer driving from Indiana to Colorado. My gas mileage was the best in Indiana and Illinois and continued to drop as I headed across Missouri and was at its lowest in Kansas and then MPG seemed to improve while we were in Colorado. On the drive home I saw the same results - about 22 MPG in Indiana/Illinois and 15 MPG in Kansas.

The winds were terrible in Kansas which partially explains the drop there - but a 1/3rd drop still seemed rather severe just from wind. For a while I thought it might be related to octane but I can't confirm.

Fortuntaley I get to try this experiement again in a couple of weeks. I'll let you know if I see a difference this year.

by Bob Sihler » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:38 pm

The gas in MO and KS may have had a lot of ethanol in it, and ethanol produces worse gas mileage than "pure" gas. In Iowa one day, I fell for the "Plus" advertised at 89 octane but cheaper than the 85. It was only after fueling up that I noticed it had high ethanol content. Got about 18 mpg on that tank. I didn't make the same mistake again.

When I drove through Kansas in 2005, I did get a little lower heading west across the state, but I attributed that to the more or less steady uphill grade across the state. Mileage was much better heading east across the state.

by Bob Sihler » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:41 pm

Catamount wrote: My guess is that is has to do with stop and go traffic. Even if you're not in a traffic jam in the east, you are frequently slowing down, speeding up etc. On and off the gas constantly. In the wide open west, the speed of the vehicle is likely to be far more consistent on average. Could easily account for a couple of miles per gallon difference.

I also own a 2005 X-Terra. Good vehicle.

Good points and worth considering. However, this is even true for stop-free driving on interstates and open highways over a few hundred miles. The best I've ever gotten in the East on a tank is 24. It was easy driving over mostly flat terrain in the Tidewater area.

by MoapaPk » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:29 pm

Flat roads give better mileage than hilly roads, especially in 4-cyl cars. If you have to climb 5000' in 15 miles, you won't get the greatest mileage, and it isn't made up when you go back down (partly, if you have a hybrid). If you can hear the automatic transmission downshifting to 2nd a lot on hills, mileage will suffer. Often cruise control exacerbates the problem.

I've never gotten better than 26 mpg in my 2003 outback, which was rated for 28 highway. The old epa ratings were based on a "highway" speed averaging less than 50 mph. Above about 55 mph, the efficiency of the 4-cyl goes down from air drag.

Legally, speedometers can be up to 10% off on the overestimation side, and 1% off on the underestimation often the odometer has the reverse error. I've seen many odometers overestimate miles driven by 10%. A friend's car got great gas mileage until she put on the correct size (larger) tires.

by robzilla » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:59 pm

by robzilla » Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:08 pm

The gas in MO and KS may have had a lot of ethanol in it, and ethanol produces worse gas mileage than "pure" gas. In Iowa one day, I fell for the "Plus" advertised at 89 octane but cheaper than the 85. It was only after fueling up that I noticed it had high ethanol content. Got about 18 mpg on that tank. I didn't make the same mistake again.

When I drove through Kansas in 2005, I did get a little lower heading west across the state, but I attributed that to the more or less steady uphill grade across the state. Mileage was much better heading east across the state.

Here in Missouri we don't have ethanol unless advertised as such. (E85, etc.) I think the same goes for KS, but Iowa I think does mix it in. One thing that might be making a slight difference is humidity levels. Midwest air can contain a lot of water. Could be the computer is just really leaning it out when the air gets thinner and you're experiencing a decrease in horsepower but just not noticing any difference in performance other than the reduced fuel use. The tires would be at a higher relative pressure in a thinner atmosphere. I don't know, could be a lot of things. When I've noticed mine it's been during days with steep ups and downs, haven't really considered what could be doing it on longer more flat days, but I have noticed the difference fuel wise.


Driving Head-On Into Weight Gain - Recipes

by Bob Sihler » Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:20 pm

Okay, this is related to climbing because I drove to Wyoming this summer and did a lot of climbing there.

I own a 2005 Nissan Xterra, rated for 15/21 mpg. In the city, I get 15-17. Highway, up to 22, sometimes 23. But when I was on my recent trip, I noticed that I was routinely getting 24-26, even when driving off-road (though not when using 4wd).

As I got back into the Eastern states, highway mpg went back to that 22-23 range even though the speed limits are lower there.

When I drove out to Colorado and Utah back in 2005 in the same car, I noticed the same thing. And when I rent an SUV in the West, I always get much better mpg than the rating. When I rented an Outback a few years ago, I was getting 33-35 in a model rated for 27.

So what gives? Is it something to do with the altitude? Is it something to do with the octane? In the East, the lowest you can get is 87, but you can find 85 almost anywhere in the mountain states.

I'm certainly not complaining-- I saved almost $150 from my fuel estimate even though I drove a few hundred more miles than I planned to-- but I am curious.

by Byran » Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:48 pm

by MarkDidier » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:01 pm

I had a somewhat opposite experience last summer driving from Indiana to Colorado. My gas mileage was the best in Indiana and Illinois and continued to drop as I headed across Missouri and was at its lowest in Kansas and then MPG seemed to improve while we were in Colorado. On the drive home I saw the same results - about 22 MPG in Indiana/Illinois and 15 MPG in Kansas.

The winds were terrible in Kansas which partially explains the drop there - but a 1/3rd drop still seemed rather severe just from wind. For a while I thought it might be related to octane but I can't confirm.

Fortuntaley I get to try this experiement again in a couple of weeks. I'll let you know if I see a difference this year.

by Bob Sihler » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:38 pm

The gas in MO and KS may have had a lot of ethanol in it, and ethanol produces worse gas mileage than "pure" gas. In Iowa one day, I fell for the "Plus" advertised at 89 octane but cheaper than the 85. It was only after fueling up that I noticed it had high ethanol content. Got about 18 mpg on that tank. I didn't make the same mistake again.

When I drove through Kansas in 2005, I did get a little lower heading west across the state, but I attributed that to the more or less steady uphill grade across the state. Mileage was much better heading east across the state.

by Bob Sihler » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:41 pm

Catamount wrote: My guess is that is has to do with stop and go traffic. Even if you're not in a traffic jam in the east, you are frequently slowing down, speeding up etc. On and off the gas constantly. In the wide open west, the speed of the vehicle is likely to be far more consistent on average. Could easily account for a couple of miles per gallon difference.

I also own a 2005 X-Terra. Good vehicle.

Good points and worth considering. However, this is even true for stop-free driving on interstates and open highways over a few hundred miles. The best I've ever gotten in the East on a tank is 24. It was easy driving over mostly flat terrain in the Tidewater area.

by MoapaPk » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:29 pm

Flat roads give better mileage than hilly roads, especially in 4-cyl cars. If you have to climb 5000' in 15 miles, you won't get the greatest mileage, and it isn't made up when you go back down (partly, if you have a hybrid). If you can hear the automatic transmission downshifting to 2nd a lot on hills, mileage will suffer. Often cruise control exacerbates the problem.

I've never gotten better than 26 mpg in my 2003 outback, which was rated for 28 highway. The old epa ratings were based on a "highway" speed averaging less than 50 mph. Above about 55 mph, the efficiency of the 4-cyl goes down from air drag.

Legally, speedometers can be up to 10% off on the overestimation side, and 1% off on the underestimation often the odometer has the reverse error. I've seen many odometers overestimate miles driven by 10%. A friend's car got great gas mileage until she put on the correct size (larger) tires.

by robzilla » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:59 pm

by robzilla » Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:08 pm

The gas in MO and KS may have had a lot of ethanol in it, and ethanol produces worse gas mileage than "pure" gas. In Iowa one day, I fell for the "Plus" advertised at 89 octane but cheaper than the 85. It was only after fueling up that I noticed it had high ethanol content. Got about 18 mpg on that tank. I didn't make the same mistake again.

When I drove through Kansas in 2005, I did get a little lower heading west across the state, but I attributed that to the more or less steady uphill grade across the state. Mileage was much better heading east across the state.

Here in Missouri we don't have ethanol unless advertised as such. (E85, etc.) I think the same goes for KS, but Iowa I think does mix it in. One thing that might be making a slight difference is humidity levels. Midwest air can contain a lot of water. Could be the computer is just really leaning it out when the air gets thinner and you're experiencing a decrease in horsepower but just not noticing any difference in performance other than the reduced fuel use. The tires would be at a higher relative pressure in a thinner atmosphere. I don't know, could be a lot of things. When I've noticed mine it's been during days with steep ups and downs, haven't really considered what could be doing it on longer more flat days, but I have noticed the difference fuel wise.


Driving Head-On Into Weight Gain - Recipes

by Bob Sihler » Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:20 pm

Okay, this is related to climbing because I drove to Wyoming this summer and did a lot of climbing there.

I own a 2005 Nissan Xterra, rated for 15/21 mpg. In the city, I get 15-17. Highway, up to 22, sometimes 23. But when I was on my recent trip, I noticed that I was routinely getting 24-26, even when driving off-road (though not when using 4wd).

As I got back into the Eastern states, highway mpg went back to that 22-23 range even though the speed limits are lower there.

When I drove out to Colorado and Utah back in 2005 in the same car, I noticed the same thing. And when I rent an SUV in the West, I always get much better mpg than the rating. When I rented an Outback a few years ago, I was getting 33-35 in a model rated for 27.

So what gives? Is it something to do with the altitude? Is it something to do with the octane? In the East, the lowest you can get is 87, but you can find 85 almost anywhere in the mountain states.

I'm certainly not complaining-- I saved almost $150 from my fuel estimate even though I drove a few hundred more miles than I planned to-- but I am curious.

by Byran » Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:48 pm

by MarkDidier » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:01 pm

I had a somewhat opposite experience last summer driving from Indiana to Colorado. My gas mileage was the best in Indiana and Illinois and continued to drop as I headed across Missouri and was at its lowest in Kansas and then MPG seemed to improve while we were in Colorado. On the drive home I saw the same results - about 22 MPG in Indiana/Illinois and 15 MPG in Kansas.

The winds were terrible in Kansas which partially explains the drop there - but a 1/3rd drop still seemed rather severe just from wind. For a while I thought it might be related to octane but I can't confirm.

Fortuntaley I get to try this experiement again in a couple of weeks. I'll let you know if I see a difference this year.

by Bob Sihler » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:38 pm

The gas in MO and KS may have had a lot of ethanol in it, and ethanol produces worse gas mileage than "pure" gas. In Iowa one day, I fell for the "Plus" advertised at 89 octane but cheaper than the 85. It was only after fueling up that I noticed it had high ethanol content. Got about 18 mpg on that tank. I didn't make the same mistake again.

When I drove through Kansas in 2005, I did get a little lower heading west across the state, but I attributed that to the more or less steady uphill grade across the state. Mileage was much better heading east across the state.

by Bob Sihler » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:41 pm

Catamount wrote: My guess is that is has to do with stop and go traffic. Even if you're not in a traffic jam in the east, you are frequently slowing down, speeding up etc. On and off the gas constantly. In the wide open west, the speed of the vehicle is likely to be far more consistent on average. Could easily account for a couple of miles per gallon difference.

I also own a 2005 X-Terra. Good vehicle.

Good points and worth considering. However, this is even true for stop-free driving on interstates and open highways over a few hundred miles. The best I've ever gotten in the East on a tank is 24. It was easy driving over mostly flat terrain in the Tidewater area.

by MoapaPk » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:29 pm

Flat roads give better mileage than hilly roads, especially in 4-cyl cars. If you have to climb 5000' in 15 miles, you won't get the greatest mileage, and it isn't made up when you go back down (partly, if you have a hybrid). If you can hear the automatic transmission downshifting to 2nd a lot on hills, mileage will suffer. Often cruise control exacerbates the problem.

I've never gotten better than 26 mpg in my 2003 outback, which was rated for 28 highway. The old epa ratings were based on a "highway" speed averaging less than 50 mph. Above about 55 mph, the efficiency of the 4-cyl goes down from air drag.

Legally, speedometers can be up to 10% off on the overestimation side, and 1% off on the underestimation often the odometer has the reverse error. I've seen many odometers overestimate miles driven by 10%. A friend's car got great gas mileage until she put on the correct size (larger) tires.

by robzilla » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:59 pm

by robzilla » Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:08 pm

The gas in MO and KS may have had a lot of ethanol in it, and ethanol produces worse gas mileage than "pure" gas. In Iowa one day, I fell for the "Plus" advertised at 89 octane but cheaper than the 85. It was only after fueling up that I noticed it had high ethanol content. Got about 18 mpg on that tank. I didn't make the same mistake again.

When I drove through Kansas in 2005, I did get a little lower heading west across the state, but I attributed that to the more or less steady uphill grade across the state. Mileage was much better heading east across the state.

Here in Missouri we don't have ethanol unless advertised as such. (E85, etc.) I think the same goes for KS, but Iowa I think does mix it in. One thing that might be making a slight difference is humidity levels. Midwest air can contain a lot of water. Could be the computer is just really leaning it out when the air gets thinner and you're experiencing a decrease in horsepower but just not noticing any difference in performance other than the reduced fuel use. The tires would be at a higher relative pressure in a thinner atmosphere. I don't know, could be a lot of things. When I've noticed mine it's been during days with steep ups and downs, haven't really considered what could be doing it on longer more flat days, but I have noticed the difference fuel wise.


Driving Head-On Into Weight Gain - Recipes

by Bob Sihler » Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:20 pm

Okay, this is related to climbing because I drove to Wyoming this summer and did a lot of climbing there.

I own a 2005 Nissan Xterra, rated for 15/21 mpg. In the city, I get 15-17. Highway, up to 22, sometimes 23. But when I was on my recent trip, I noticed that I was routinely getting 24-26, even when driving off-road (though not when using 4wd).

As I got back into the Eastern states, highway mpg went back to that 22-23 range even though the speed limits are lower there.

When I drove out to Colorado and Utah back in 2005 in the same car, I noticed the same thing. And when I rent an SUV in the West, I always get much better mpg than the rating. When I rented an Outback a few years ago, I was getting 33-35 in a model rated for 27.

So what gives? Is it something to do with the altitude? Is it something to do with the octane? In the East, the lowest you can get is 87, but you can find 85 almost anywhere in the mountain states.

I'm certainly not complaining-- I saved almost $150 from my fuel estimate even though I drove a few hundred more miles than I planned to-- but I am curious.

by Byran » Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:48 pm

by MarkDidier » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:01 pm

I had a somewhat opposite experience last summer driving from Indiana to Colorado. My gas mileage was the best in Indiana and Illinois and continued to drop as I headed across Missouri and was at its lowest in Kansas and then MPG seemed to improve while we were in Colorado. On the drive home I saw the same results - about 22 MPG in Indiana/Illinois and 15 MPG in Kansas.

The winds were terrible in Kansas which partially explains the drop there - but a 1/3rd drop still seemed rather severe just from wind. For a while I thought it might be related to octane but I can't confirm.

Fortuntaley I get to try this experiement again in a couple of weeks. I'll let you know if I see a difference this year.

by Bob Sihler » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:38 pm

The gas in MO and KS may have had a lot of ethanol in it, and ethanol produces worse gas mileage than "pure" gas. In Iowa one day, I fell for the "Plus" advertised at 89 octane but cheaper than the 85. It was only after fueling up that I noticed it had high ethanol content. Got about 18 mpg on that tank. I didn't make the same mistake again.

When I drove through Kansas in 2005, I did get a little lower heading west across the state, but I attributed that to the more or less steady uphill grade across the state. Mileage was much better heading east across the state.

by Bob Sihler » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:41 pm

Catamount wrote: My guess is that is has to do with stop and go traffic. Even if you're not in a traffic jam in the east, you are frequently slowing down, speeding up etc. On and off the gas constantly. In the wide open west, the speed of the vehicle is likely to be far more consistent on average. Could easily account for a couple of miles per gallon difference.

I also own a 2005 X-Terra. Good vehicle.

Good points and worth considering. However, this is even true for stop-free driving on interstates and open highways over a few hundred miles. The best I've ever gotten in the East on a tank is 24. It was easy driving over mostly flat terrain in the Tidewater area.

by MoapaPk » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:29 pm

Flat roads give better mileage than hilly roads, especially in 4-cyl cars. If you have to climb 5000' in 15 miles, you won't get the greatest mileage, and it isn't made up when you go back down (partly, if you have a hybrid). If you can hear the automatic transmission downshifting to 2nd a lot on hills, mileage will suffer. Often cruise control exacerbates the problem.

I've never gotten better than 26 mpg in my 2003 outback, which was rated for 28 highway. The old epa ratings were based on a "highway" speed averaging less than 50 mph. Above about 55 mph, the efficiency of the 4-cyl goes down from air drag.

Legally, speedometers can be up to 10% off on the overestimation side, and 1% off on the underestimation often the odometer has the reverse error. I've seen many odometers overestimate miles driven by 10%. A friend's car got great gas mileage until she put on the correct size (larger) tires.

by robzilla » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:59 pm

by robzilla » Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:08 pm

The gas in MO and KS may have had a lot of ethanol in it, and ethanol produces worse gas mileage than "pure" gas. In Iowa one day, I fell for the "Plus" advertised at 89 octane but cheaper than the 85. It was only after fueling up that I noticed it had high ethanol content. Got about 18 mpg on that tank. I didn't make the same mistake again.

When I drove through Kansas in 2005, I did get a little lower heading west across the state, but I attributed that to the more or less steady uphill grade across the state. Mileage was much better heading east across the state.

Here in Missouri we don't have ethanol unless advertised as such. (E85, etc.) I think the same goes for KS, but Iowa I think does mix it in. One thing that might be making a slight difference is humidity levels. Midwest air can contain a lot of water. Could be the computer is just really leaning it out when the air gets thinner and you're experiencing a decrease in horsepower but just not noticing any difference in performance other than the reduced fuel use. The tires would be at a higher relative pressure in a thinner atmosphere. I don't know, could be a lot of things. When I've noticed mine it's been during days with steep ups and downs, haven't really considered what could be doing it on longer more flat days, but I have noticed the difference fuel wise.


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