Posts Tagged ‘gas mileage’


Break Transit Summary: Car

November 17, 2007

Although I successfully drove 6 hours and change from college to home, there were a few missteps along the way. I realized I should evaluate my trips this week based on my earlier advice in posts here and here. Here is the first installment of that summary:

Yesterday I drove myself from my school in the rural mid-Atlantic to my home in central Ohio, a journey of about 360 miles over the Appalachian Mountains and rolling hills of southern Ohio. Although I did post on a rideboard, I failed to gain any passengers for the trip. Ohioans do not form a large percentage of the student body, nor was my early morning departure conducive to the schedules of most students.

At the first gas station I checked the air in my tires against the ratings printed along the rim. Finding them vastly under-inflated, splurged 75 cents for the air pump along with my tank of gas and a candy bar. BAD IDEA. It was only after driving about 200 miles that I spoke with my mother who informed me that the psi rating on the tire is the maximum limit, and that tires should only be inflated to the amount listed on the edge of the driver’s side door. As my tires were somewhat overinflated I was lucky to not have suffered a blowout.

Contrary to my own advice, I found it very difficult to resist going at least a few miles over the speed limit. On a 6 hour journey each extra mph equals about 5-6 minutes saved travel time. This coupled with the high speed limits on interstate freeways meant I was certainly not optimizing my gas mileage. However, I calculated that my miles per gallon for the trip was 28.7, which is higher than the highway rating for my ’98 Chevy, so it’s hard to feel horrible about that time saved.

Although my driving habits may not be perfect, I do feel pretty good about the condition in which I left my room. I brought my valuables home to avoid theft, which was easy given that I don’t own many expensive things. I also turned off my power strips to avoid phantom drain during the next week. The only item left on was the mini-fridge, but we needed to keep the butter and a few other items cold during our absence.

Today I travel by bus to Chicago. It’s my first trip using a commercial bus line, so I’m curious to see how it fares in terms of comfort and convenience.