Flirting with a $50 Fill Up

http://www.motherearthnews.com/green-transportation/fifty-dollar-fill-up.aspx

I bought gas last night. Cost me $42.96. Ouch.

When I saw the low-fuel light come on in my 2001 Honda Civic, I feared I was going to get hit with a $50 fill-up. But thankfully it wasn’t quite that bad.

What I got was 11.017 gallons at $3.899 a gallon. The car before me at the pump took about 18 gallons for about $70. Although rare, I have seen $100-plus totals this summer at my neighborhood gas station.

As usual, I wrote down the numbers I would need to do my mpg math. I jot them down on my receipt, which already lists the amount of fuel I bought.

354.4 miles on my trip meter divided by 11.017 gallons comes to 32 mpg. Ouch.

I know it’s summer and I’m using the air conditioning often, but 32 mpg isn’t good enough for me, nor my car, which definitely can do better. Looking at my gas mileage spreadsheet  (yes, I’m an mpg nut) back at home, I can see that my green Civic’s fuel economy has been slowly moving in the wrong direction over the last several weeks. The car does have 130,000+ miles, but I ought to be able to get about 34 mpg in the summer and up to 38 mpg in cooler weather.

So it’s time to check my tire pressure and do more sleuthing. I’m probably overdue for a tune-up. Hopefully I’ll find something and can raise the mpg result next time. But if gas prices continue upward, I might face that $50 fill-up after all.

How much have you paid at the pump? Share you pain by posting a comment below.