Hi there, so I’ve been transporting my aunt around this summer. She’s not doing well and I’ve graciously agreed to help manage her care and finances. I’ve also been binging on catchy titles for the summer season challenge like the one that led you here. So without further ado…
Last weekend I drove from North Carolina to Maryland for my cousins’ graduation ceremony. The trip is about 300 miles. I used to do this trip once or twice a month when I was in graduate school amassing my mountainous student debt.
Generally it was a game of chicken about 40 to 60 miles from my destination in Maryland. My gas light would come on and I would try to figure out if I could make it that last few dozen miles without stopping Inevitably, I would have to stop as I tended to drive in the late evening to avoid traffic. It is my long-standing wish not be snatched in some backwoods. You get it.
In the past, I drove with the windows down jamming to various tunes or playing audiobooks courtesy of my favorite oldie. I guess I should just call her Aunty MERJ at this point since she seems to be featured a lot in my posts these days. I rolled the windows down because I was always told running the air wastes gas, so I thought I was being fuel efficient. Boy was I wrong!
Never quite making the 300 mile drive on one tank, I was still pretty impressed with my fuel efficient 2007 Honda Fit (no affiliate).
However, in my last trip from NC to MD, we made it! The gas light did not come on until after we reached our destination! What the? We ran the air the entire time to keep Aunty MERJ comfortable. So, I had a passenger (approx 150 lbs) and about 100 pounds of luggage and goods. I know the luggage was about 90 pounds because it had to be weighed and paid for when we flew Allegiant (no affiliate) from Tampa to NC. There was also a 24 pack of Diet Mountain Dew and a 36 pack of bottled water.
I couldn’t believe my eyes! Wow, I said. Maybe I could have pushed my journey to that last drop of gasoline all these years after all. But wait…
Even more amazing was the return trip. I made it home and still had what looked to be about 1/4 tank left! I couldn’t figure it out. It was so hot and I have developed some funky seasonal allergies, so I left the windows up and ran the air most of the time- I was driving in the early evening, so the sun was going down; it was raining a bit, so the air was circulating between a/c and just whatever the air is when the dial is on blue but the a/c light is off. Nothing was blowing in from outdoors.
|Mileage and gas on the way to work after trip|
That was proof enough for me!
I even made it to work twice before needing to fill up. When I did fill up, I had gone 350 miles and I only needed 8.7 gallons of gas.
By my calculations I got 40.2 miles/ gallon!
Per Honda, their estimated mpg for an automatic 2007 Honda Fit is is “up to 31 city/ 38 highway.”
And my return trip included 2 hours of “city” traffic to drive 40 miles trying to leave suburban DC.
How did I get so much fuel efficiency? And even more on the way back?
The greatest common factor: Running the a/c (air conditioner)!
Other honorable mentions:
- Less drag from keeping the windows rolled up.
- Less cargo by 250 pounds on the return trip.
- Estimated average speed: 73 mph
- Unidentified topography NC to MD vs MD to NC (to explain why the return trip had even better gas mileage).