Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Second Tank Blues

With no freeway driving, the 2nd tank of gas on the RED Versa got a dismal 22 mpg. So, nothing changed there. Our '97 Saturn station wagon consistently beats that with a large oil burning/leaking problem and a clutch computer bug that shifts hard at weird times. Needless to say, I am not impressed. Good thing I gots my bikes and I workses at home.

18 comments:

Dave said...

There is a new hybrid in the works. Its a Hummer 3. I call it the O'bummer.

Pandabonium said...

It seems there is a wide range of mpg being experienced by Versa owners. Check out Edmund's CarSpace: Nissan Versa Real World MPG - loads of comments from both ends of the mpg spectrum.

Don Snabulus said...

Interesting feedback there. It looks like there are a number of factors possibly involved. This is the first car I've had that couldn't approach the EPA, so I doubt it is solely my driving behavior, but some comments about CVT might indicate a need to watch the RPMs closely while accelerating.

Dave said...

Actually, it might be that the CVT simply isn't as efficiant, or that your motor is not a high gpm motor.

Arkonbey said...

Dang it, Snab, take the e-brake off!

Pandabonium said...

Edmunds did a long term test on the Versa, they got an average of 28 mpg, their best was 38 mpg. Usually cars do better with a CVT and you shouldn't have to watch RPMs since the computer controls the whole process. Something is definitely wrong with your car though.

WV- whabi: a streamlined version of the religion practiced in Saudi Arabia

Don Snabulus said...

Ark,

That actually would not surprise me if that happened.

PB,

Maybe I will just ask them about it next time.

le bulette said...

man, i'm reluctant to share, but i recently bought a dodge durango v8 that i think gets about 14mpg. i bought it for $1 from a family member that couldn't afford to fix the rear differential, brakes, and put new tires on it. it's a deal even considering the expense of all of those things, but i never thought we'd own an SUV... it will be used for commuting less than 10 miles a day and replace a minivan that is about to utterly die, but what a headcase it's giving me. i've considered using my index card skills (see my olde blog) to put some kind of ownership disclaimer in the window. i thought i'd read that the environmental cost of producing a new hybrid means that keeping older (and possibly even gas guzzling) vehicles on the road saves total environmental cost of ownership, but i've seen conflicting evidence. signed, confusacat in Eugene...

Don Snabulus said...

bul,

If you have the $$$, maybe you can use that Durango to get a higher mileage car using the Cash for Clunkers law. If you could qualify for the $4500 credit, you could possibly buy a low end new car for under $10K and get the price down around $5k. Just a thought.

Don Snabulus said...

However, maybe it does what you need. I don't think you need to feel guilt for getting transport for $1. People shouldn't oversimplify (but almost everyone does) and assume what you are afraid they might. If I could get a $1 Durango, I would.

Of course, if the daily commute is less than 10 miles and a fatty like me can do 13 on a bike (though my area is flatter than your town), then splitting the between 2 and 4 wheels might put your mind at ease.

Pandabonium said...

le bulette - no need to feel guilty. I would have never bought my wife a hybrid or other car (I don't drive, I use a bicycle) save for the fact that her old car was ready to die.

You are quite right that the cost of building a new car (not just in money, but in energy) is very high, so hanging on to an older car, even a less efficient one, actually may save fossil fuel and CO2 vs a new one.

Good point. We just need to be mindful of the true implications of what we do and not get sidetracked by popular perceptions.

le bulette said...

thanks for the Cash for Clunkers info... I just looked into it but we don't really have the money to make up the difference, esp. since my own vehicle is reaching the end of its lifespan (and I have to travel every day to different job sites, some near by, some a couple of hours off). She used to bicycle commute, she may yet again when she sees how much the gas costs! In the end, we might just trade this in towards a newer used vehicle that gets better mpg.

ElTigrez said...

later in my life I will convert my vehicles to burning E100 and dispense with the dirty energy intensive fuel of gasoline altogether and cut the leash to the oil companies. At least the leash, since the hand cuffs of subsidies, tax breaks, and exemptions I can do nothing about. The engines will double there lifespan, and hopefully even start a local co-op to build a local support structure.

Go local.

Dave said...

ElTigrez

Expect a shorter engine life with ethanol because the unburnt fuel in the cylinder mixes with the oil and creates a caustic acid that eats away at your engine.

The Moody Minstrel said...

So we start using ceramic engines instead! HIGHER OPERATING TEMPERATURE!!!

Don Snabulus said...

When energy scarcity takes stronger hold (and it will), we will be eating whatever we might otherwise make into ethanol. It is already straining poor countries as grain prices skyrocketed after farmers started going after ethanol subsidies.

(Let alone the fact that as petroleum gets more expensive, ethanol production that depends on cheap petroleum to maintain lower prices will rise at a commensurate rate).

ElTigrez said...

Funny that. Since I would using fully synthetic oil. Chemically there is no way to make acids from ethanol inside the combustion chamber. Its always been a fun discussion to have with chemists I work with on the "corrosive" properties of E100, and all the anti corrosives that are added to gasoline to make it viable.

I see that every time I look at my carburetor and the crap that keeps building up that I have to remove. According to David Blume - engine life doubles since there are no fouling carbon deposits. Any lubrication problems are dealt with the addition of very small trace amounts of biodiesel.
Hummers are junk, beginning with the H2. It will be more entertaining now since they will be made solely by a Chinese company.

ElTigrez said...

Nyah Snabbie. Ethanol production is in its infancy. The new technologies won't have to depend on much petroleum whatsoever (algae ethanol). Ethanol production rise in grain prices would be about 5% the rest is inflated by market speculators, and the nice way how subsidized grain wipes out local markets and the steep price hikes afterward in the name of lovely lord love a buck above anything else capitolism.