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Old 05-28-2008, 02:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Can people not do math anymore?

It kills me hearing about what people are doing to "save money" on gas. There are constant new posts on other forums I visit (dirt bike and Jeep related) with people buying a second car with better mileage to save on gas.

Some primo examples
  • One guy "couldn't afford to fill his truck anymore", so he bought a brand new Tacoma 4x4 for a daily driver, keeping the 1 ton for towing duties. How many miles will it take for a $28,000 20mpg truck to pay for itself vs a 12 mpg truck?
  • One of my riding buddies works at a car dealership. A few weeks ago a guy came in saying he couldn't afford to keep gas in his truck. His truck was brand new (under 3000 miles) and cost him ~$34K. He got $18K for trade in. I can't imagine the number of miles he'll have to drive to make up for eating $16,000 in one month!
  • And there are the endless threads that go like this - "I put a header/highflow cat/cat back, cold air intake, magic spark plugs, and a flux capacitor on my 6" lifted Jeep with 37" Swampers and 1,100 lbs worth of skid plates and bumpers and lights. Now I get 13mpg instead of 11mpg, and it only cost $2K." Or something along those lines.
  • I know some people back in Michigan that will drive 40+ miles round trip to Walmart to save 10 cents a gallon on gas. And in doing so they probably burn 1.5-2 gallons. I caught some grief at home, because I won't do a 15 mile round trip to go where gas is a dime cheaper. Let see, burn a gallon of gas to save $1.40 on a fillup......hmmmmm

I just don't get people. Do they need to borrow a calculator? I don't care if people modify or swap cars, but do some math before claiming you did it to save money.

Heck, when I got my Jeep I had a paid-off 98 S-10 that rarely saw anything outside of the 28-30 mpg range. I sat down and punched the numbers. If I never ever drove my new Jeep the S-10 would save me almost enough money to cover the insurance on itself, not to mention maintanace, licensing, etc. So for sale it went. (Now, 3 years later, I am sure the S10 would have earned it's keep).

I just needed to vent. I can't go 5 minutes anywhere without hearing someone complain about gas prices, whether at work, on the internet, watching TV, or standing in line at the hardware store.

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Old 05-28-2008, 02:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The short answer ............................ No they can not do the math.
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Old 05-28-2008, 04:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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adam728 -

I have come a long way since 1989. I have owned 2 new cars in my lifetime, a black 1989 CRX DX and a white 1997 Saturn SC2 coupe. Back then I could *afford* to make the payments. Today, I could take on a new car payment on a compact car if I really had to, but every fiber in my body screams NOOOOOO, DON'T DOOOO EEEEET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In the "old daze" my Dad was used to getting a new car every 3 years. That was the American way. I think the instinct prevails even though the "disposable income" ain't there anymore.

PS - I think the "flux capacitor" dude (back to the future) might be pulling your leg.

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Old 05-28-2008, 04:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I bought an additional car that was under $1000. I drive my own vehicles for a living. My story I would say is very different. The roads out here (potholes, constant construction new housing) destroy modified suspensions. My other car is lowered on high spring rate coilovers. I added another car for 50/50 mileage and saving wear on the car i still am making payments on. You got it tho, you can spend 8.00 a gallon on gas keeping a truck stock and still save money compared to the people who dropped 5 grand at the 4x4 speed shop. There is more to life than gas mileage, so if you choose to "live" dont ***** about the price of the fuel. I complain too, but i finish the sentence with "but this is what im trying to do about it."
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Old 05-28-2008, 04:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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No, they can't do the math. I've said it repeatedly that the cost of fuel for most people is emotional more than anything else. People have no problem spending insane amounts of money on coffee, lunch and designer crap, but gas freaks them out.

My cousin tools around in a Toyota 4Runner and is the first to whine about gas prices. I asked him why he needs such a big vehicle when he tows nothing and rarely has passengers, and he says because he likes trucks, and to sit up high. I told him to buy a smaller car and his response was "Why should I have to? This isn't a 3rd world country, this is America!" Well in America, you can have whatever you want as long as you can pay for it. Cheap gas is not a right! He was even toying with the idea of buying a moped to get around, and keeping the 4Runner! I told him he wouldn't save a dime unless he got rid of the 4Runner. He insists he would, despite still having to make payments on the Toyota, keeping it insured and serviced etc. Since motorcycles aren't practical as a person's only means of transportation, he would never be able to use one to save money, not to mention that the safety risk isn't worth it for most people. I think he needs a calculator too!

Despite the fact that my four banger is EPA rated 21/30 (new ratings), it doesn't make sense for me to sell it for another car. I'm constantly considering which car will be my next (right now I'm interested in the 00+ 5spd Civic HX), but I'm not going to buy anything until either my Chevy suffers a catastrophic failure, is involved in a serious collision or gas hits two digits. To me, green is the stuff in my wallet. Payback period is king.

I think the OP threw in the flux capacitor thing for comedic effect. I'm pretty sure he knows what it is.
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Old 05-28-2008, 05:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyGrey View Post
I think the OP threw in the flux capacitor thing for comedic effect. I'm pretty sure he knows what it is.
Yea, I just threw that in there. It wasn't actually supposed to quote someone, just a generic idea of what gets posted on a nearly daily basis about how to save money on gas on Jeep forums. Yup, plunk down 4 digit numbers of cash to save a few dollars a month. When someone asks about improving Jeep mpg they either get "It's a Jeep, who cares?!", or suggestions on everything from a $500 exhaust system to full engine swaps.
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Old 05-28-2008, 06:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I haven't heard too much of people trading in their trucks for new vehicles. But, I have heard of some buying beaters that get good FE such as a Civic and then making up the money they paid for it in savings of gas bills.

As for an exhaust system, it could be more of an enthusiast thing with the extra benefit of good FE. "Hey, I've wanted a nice throaty exhaust system for a while now. I know it will eventually pay for itself (in about 2-3 years of driving*) and I get to add something to my mod list." This is especially worth it if the stock exhaust is not doing its job anymore and needs replacement anyways.

Although, I do agree that buying a new car or tons of money into the existing car just for FE is not a good investment.

*12,000 miles/year
previous FE: 22 MPG
after exaust: 24 MPG
$4.00/gallon of fuel
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Old 05-28-2008, 06:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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My next favorite one is; "41mpg eh, not bad, but i'm happy getting 36 mpg now in my 300 and I drive 80mph on the hwy."

Now you know their freakin lying, I've started to call them out and ask them how many miules they get to a tank, to which they respond, I don't know. So how do you know you're getting 36mpg? Because I am ...

I don't worry, because in the end I will have the disposable income to do whatever I want while those around *****, moan & eat noodles to keep their SUV's idling in their front yard for 20 minutes while they finish a cell phone conversation.
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Old 05-28-2008, 06:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Funny, "41mpg eh, not bad" is almost the exact response I got talking to another Matrix owner at work when I told him I got 43 over the weekend and he got 32 (we both went on road trips).
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Old 05-28-2008, 07:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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This is just the latest version of that old joke...

Everyone is at a faculty meeting. The proposed department budget of 42 Million dollars passes unanimously with no comment, even though most of the people there have no idea what it contains.

The attendees then argue for 45 minutes about whether or not the department should be paying for a box of doughnuts for the meeting.

For some people, the price of gas is like the doughnuts, and the car(s) they buy are the department budget.

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