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Less Junk in the Trunk* (Gas Mileage Update)

I’d wondered idly in a previous entry if my weight loss had improved my gas mileage. Being the somewhat anal person I am, I save all my receipts for anything I buy, even a pack of gum at Walgreens. Hey, you never know when you’ll need to confirm an alibi!

I reset my odometer every time I fill up and record the mileage on the receipt. So I dug through my blue manila file folder and unearthed two gas receipts from February of 2005 and two receipts from November of 2005, both being times right after I got my fuel filter changed, which improves my gas mileage all on its own.

My conclusion, dear readers? Yes, my gas mileage has improved! During the middle of February I was getting between 20.3-20.5 miles per gallon. I lost about 100 pounds between then and now and my mileage has increased to 22.2-22.7 miles per gallon – about two miles per gallon difference. I didn’t have any major car repairs in that time, just some radiator work. So I think we can safely attribute this change to my weight loss.

Gas prices killing you? Try losing some weight. Of course, it helps if you have a lot of weight to lose. Most people would have to chop off an arm and a leg to lose as much weight as I have. But gas costs an arm and a leg anyway, so what are you really losing?

* Thanks to Hopeful Loser for the title of this entry which I totally stole from one of her comments.

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Mark • November 22, 2005 at 11:00 am

A 10 percent increase in gas mileage? The Olds has a curb weight of, oh, 3,000 pounds. Wouldn’t that mean you’d have to have lost 300 pounds? Maybe that’s not quite how it works. But still … I find it hard to believe your weight loss was the only factor. But who knows.


PastaQueen • November 22, 2005 at 11:05 am

I was kind of surprised by the numbers too, but I looked at two different receipts from each time period and the same number range came up. I looked through my car maintenance receipts and the radiator fix and a water pump replacement were the only big things that happened in between that time besides oil changes. Would that affect the mileage? I don’t know enough about cars to know.


PastaQueen • November 22, 2005 at 11:06 am

I suppose if I really wanted to know, I could find 100 pounds of stuff, throw it in my trunk, fill up the gas tank and see how it affects my mileage. But I don’t care that much :)


kimberly • November 22, 2005 at 1:13 pm

At these gas prices! Are you crazy? ;)


kathryn • November 23, 2005 at 6:01 am

Damn, way to save $$$. It wouldn’t work for me because I carry half my wardrobe plus a lot of other junk in my car. You’ve inspired me to clean it out anyway :)


hopefulloser • November 23, 2005 at 3:29 pm

yay that’s cool, i’m so flattered to be mentioned in your post!!!

and that’s awesome that you had your receipts to compare. I think it’s true. Less weight in the car does make a difference.


Peter Audrain • August 1, 2006 at 2:22 pm

Holy cow! That’s amazing.


cars exotic for sports • April 9, 2007 at 7:47 pm

for cars exotic sports http://exoticsportscars.iphorum.com >cars exotic for sports


sportmom • May 27, 2008 at 9:32 pm

Could also be related to the formulation of gas. Most places use a different gas in the winter months than in the summer months because they have to for epa standards (hot months affect the release of gas vapors into the air and so they reformulate the gas). Try doing it again using the same months of the year and see what you get.


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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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