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Welcome the newest member of our family-The experiment begins!!
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Trumpetman
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I am worthless beyond hope.
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2008-06-10, 08:51

After a few weeks of watching the gas pump read this each time I filled up.




I decided to try an experiment and get this....



I paid $2500 for a 2002 Ford Escort with around 95k miles on it. CR recommends the Escort as a decent vehicle. If it goes a year at the current prices, it becomes a free car thanks to the difference in use between my 3/4 ton pickup and what this vehicle will use.

If you want to do the math, I fill up once a week so that means the amount I was spending on fuel was hitting around $400 a month.

Now on to the question of fuel prices influencing behavior. Would I have done this if the price of gas were lower? Not at all. At the current prices though the money is spent in my mind and the costs sunk so I might as well see what I can get for that money other than gasoline.

I wouldn't have purchased a new car even if it was fuel efficient because it would take me a dozen years to somehow make that money back. This bet though, I am willing to take.

For those that care about car spec stuff, it is automatic with power windows, locks, etc. I have no idea what the rims are and if you tell me or have me say the name to you, I still won't know what it means.

But hey.... possible free car... if the prices stay high, the calculations are right and if there isn't too much maintenance.
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atomicbartbeans
reticulating your mom
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
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2008-06-10, 09:35

Kewl!

The Escort isn't particularly known for its efficiency (nor is automatic transmission), but you'll certainly at least double your fuel economy.
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Fahrenheit
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2008-06-10, 09:38

This is behaviour that all Americans should follow.
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Dorian Gray
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Paris, France
 
2008-06-10, 12:34

Welcome!

What engine does it have? One of Ford's SOHC efforts, perhaps? I doubt it'll get great economy, though obviously it'll beat a truck.

BTW, the fact that you didn't mention the engine in a post about fuel consumption, yet described the electric windows, etc., goes a little way towards explaining why manufacturers make such a fuss about minor spec details like that. People care a lot about them! I find it hilarious that big companies like Fiat are now listing "iPod connector", a $5 functionality, beside things like the engine type (a billion-dollar R&D expense).
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Bryson
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Join Date: Feb 2005
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2008-06-10, 12:39

Quote:
Originally Posted by Farenheit View Post
This is behaviour that all most Americans should follow.

There you go. All good now.
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chucker
 
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2008-06-10, 12:41

Actually…

Quote:
Originally Posted by Farenheit View Post
This is behaviour that all Americansself-respecting human beings should follow.
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Bryson
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Join Date: Feb 2005
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2008-06-10, 12:41

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorian Gray View Post

I find it hilarious that big companies like Fiat are now listing "iPod connector", a $5 functionality, beside things like the engine type (a billion-dollar R&D expense).
While you're kind of right, comparing the material cost of one item to the full R&D budget of another is a little unfair and doesn't help your argument any... They could equally claim the iPod R&D budget in response.
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Dorian Gray
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2008-06-10, 12:52

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryson View Post
...comparing the material cost of one item to the full R&D budget of another is a little unfair and doesn't help your argument any...
True. Engines still cost a lot more than $5! Though with modern mass-production techniques, the common ones are astonishingly cheap. Cars in fact are astonishingly cheap. A small aeroplane costs 10x more for a similar degree of complexity.

Anyway, I'm more interested in the engine than electric windows, particularly in a thread about fuel consumption.

Looking forward to seeing how much your fuel bills are reduced, Trumpetman.
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Windswept
On Pacific time
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2008-06-10, 14:39

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trumpetman View Post
For those that care about car spec stuff, it is automatic with power windows, locks, etc.
Is it a four-cylinder car, and what gas mileage are you expecting to get from it?

Also, I'm curious about the horsepower, if you know what that is for this Escort.
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PB PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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2008-06-10, 15:08

The rims look really funny/out of place on that car! The Escort isn't a bad car, I guess. Never seen it listed as doing well on gas, but then anything is better than a truck or SUV.

Then again, I've always lived by the saying that "friends don't let friends buy Fords."
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Trumpetman
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2008-06-10, 15:16

Quote:
Originally Posted by atomicbartbeans View Post
Kewl!

The Escort isn't particularly known for its efficiency (nor is automatic transmission), but you'll certainly at least double your fuel economy.
I understand that and had actually looked at a few cars that were subcompacts with manual transmissions and got better gas mileage. However I considered the car most likely to alter our habits as a family as opposed to just my habits as a commuter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorian Gray View Post
Welcome!

What engine does it have? One of Ford's SOHC efforts, perhaps? I doubt it'll get great economy, though obviously it'll beat a truck.

BTW, the fact that you didn't mention the engine in a post about fuel consumption, yet described the electric windows, etc., goes a little way towards explaining why manufacturers make such a fuss about minor spec details like that. People care a lot about them! I find it hilarious that big companies like Fiat are now listing "iPod connector", a $5 functionality, beside things like the engine type (a billion-dollar R&D expense).
According to the website powers that be it is as follows...

1,983 cc 2 liters 4 in-line front engine with 84.8 mm bore, 87.9 mm stroke, 9.6 compression ratio, double overhead cam, variable valve timing/camshaft and four valves per cylinder

Also for Windswept...

Power: SAE and 97 kW , 130 HP @ 5,750 rpm; 127 ft lb , 172 Nm @ 4,250 rpm

It is interesting as you noted. I bought it because it would double my fuel mileage and for the experiment as I mentioned. I can tell you everything about every other engine in the family fleet as it were, but that is because I have to consider what it will tow. This one is strictly for driving so I guess I didn't ponder all the variables. Now I know though and so do you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorian Gray View Post
True. Engines still cost a lot more than $5! Though with modern mass-production techniques, the common ones are astonishingly cheap. Cars in fact are astonishingly cheap. A small aeroplane costs 10x more for a similar degree of complexity.

Anyway, I'm more interested in the engine than electric windows, particularly in a thread about fuel consumption.

Looking forward to seeing how much your fuel bills are reduced, Trumpetman.
I'm aiming for a savings of two hundred per month. I'll post some pics of the subsequent fill-ups. I already know that the first fill-up topped off at 10 gallons whereas my pick-up has a 25 gallon tank.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Windswept View Post
Is it a four-cylinder car, and what gas mileage are you expecting to get from it?

Also, I'm curious about the horsepower, if you know what that is for this Escort.
I'm hoping to get double what my pick-up gets which is 14 mpg when adding freeway and city driving. If I can get 28 mpg on average with this car I will be happy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
The rims look really funny/out of place on that car! The Escort isn't a bad car, I guess. Never seen it listed as doing well on gas, but then anything is better than a truck or SUV.

Then again, I've always lived by the saying that "friends don't let friends buy Fords."
If you recognize them, tell me a bit about them. Maybe I'll sell them off for some stock tires and try to recoupe the experiment costs even faster.
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PB PM
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2008-06-10, 15:21

Don't know anything about those rims, but I know they aren't stock.
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Dorian Gray
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2008-06-10, 15:57

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trumpetman View Post
According to the website powers that be it is as follows...

1,983 cc 2 liters 4 in-line front engine with 84.8 mm bore, 87.9 mm stroke, 9.6 compression ratio, double overhead cam, variable valve timing/camshaft and four valves per cylinder
Thanks. Better than I expected. Sounds like one of the Zetec engines, which are pretty good to drive, though not famous for their frugality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trumpetman View Post
I'm hoping to get double what my pick-up gets which is 14 mpg when adding freeway and city driving. If I can get 28 mpg on average with this car I will be happy.
I don't think you'll quite get 28 mpg, which is 34 miles per Imperial gallon. You might get close though, with reasonably sensible driving. The auto box and those fat tyres will work against you a bit. But the summer weather will help.
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thegelding
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2008-06-10, 16:35

mmmm, i wonder what pseudo-psychological study this is really about...history has shown us this isn't really about a car or about gas mileage...

eh, time will tell

just, as with all trumps threads, post cautiously and don't be surprised when it turns to something else all together

g

crazy is not a rare human condition

everything is food if you chew hard enough
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Yonzie
Mac Mini Maniac
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
 
2008-06-10, 16:43

http://www.spritmonitor.de/en/

You need a set of lowering springs to make those rims look decent.
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Naderfan
Queen of Confrontation
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Ohio
 
2008-06-10, 18:40

For what it's worth, my old Escort got around 28 mpg.

I think I would cry if it cost me nearly $100 to fill up.
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bassplayinMacFiend
Banging the Bottom End
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
 
2008-06-10, 19:14

Quote:
Originally Posted by Farenheit View Post
This is behaviour that all Americans should follow.
I take the bus. $22.50 / month to get to/from work. Certainly beats blowing $2.5K on an American car closing in on 100K miles.
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kieran
@kk@pennytucker.social
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
 
2008-06-10, 19:15

$22.50 a month to take a bus for a month is cheap as all hell.

In Philly, the passes are very expensive. It would almost $22.50 for a week here.

No more Twitter. It's Mastodon now.
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Bryson
Rocket Surgeon
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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2008-06-10, 19:55

Indeed! My last bus pass was $73 for the month.
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crazychester
Dick in the Abstentia, The
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2008-06-10, 20:18

Quote:
Originally Posted by thegelding View Post
mmmm, i wonder what pseudo-psychological study this is really about...history has shown us this isn't really about a car or about gas mileage...

eh, time will tell

just, as with all trumps threads, post cautiously and don't be surprised when it turns to something else all together

g
Mmmmm, my thoughts exactly. He's really pushing the experiment thing.

Of course, it isn't a free car at all. It cost $2500. It's a bullshit argument. Maybe that's going to be part of the sting.

*shrugs*

Wanders off.........
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murbot
Hoonigan
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Canada
 
2008-06-11, 12:20

I wouldn't mind a car either. This is my sickening gas station pic from this morning.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg gas.jpg (65.3 KB, 2 views)
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Trumpetman
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2008-06-11, 12:36

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazychester View Post
Mmmmm, my thoughts exactly. He's really pushing the experiment thing.

Of course, it isn't a free car at all. It cost $2500. It's a bullshit argument. Maybe that's going to be part of the sting.

*shrugs*

Wanders off.........
Sunk costs

I have no choice about driving to work. I cannot change the price of fuel. The experiment is to see if I can minimize variable costs enough to justify purchasing the car instead of simply having more money come out of my pocket forever. I figure that the car can pay for itself in a year to 15 months if there are no major repairs. Oil changes and other ongoing costs would have occurred with the truck adding mileage as well so I consider those neutral. Of course I might be deluding myself into believing the gas and vehicle purchase price are truly variable. They might simply be sunk and I might be tossing good money after bad. Hence, the experiment.

The first fill-up will be Friday. I'll post it here. I hope you'll have had your morning coffee by then.
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psmith2.0
Mr. Vieira
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
 
2008-06-11, 12:45

Quote:
Originally Posted by thegelding View Post
mmmm, i wonder what pseudo-psychological study this is really about...history has shown us this isn't really about a car or about gas mileage...

eh, time will tell

just, as with all trumps threads, post cautiously and don't be surprised when it turns to something else all together

g
Cynic.
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Trumpetman
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2008-06-17, 11:07

So we have had the car for... 10 days. The wife is taking it to work this week since she commutes and I am at home with the kids.









A total of 466 miles, in part due to family graduations, swim meets, that sort of thing. We are using the car as a family vehicle to save gas and hopefully recoup costs that much quicker.

It used 18.9 gallons of gas. Which represent one complete fill-up and another 80% fill up.

My truck would have used 33.3 gallons to travel the same distance instead of 18.9.

That is a "savings" of 14.4 gallons at an average of around $4.55 for a total of $65.52 in gas savings for ten days.

I multiply that by three and I am at $196.56 which is close to what I am hoping for in terms of savings.

The Ford so far is averaging a bit under 25 mpg which is less than the new "conservative" fueleconomy.gov claims. I'm going to see if I can work on improving my lead foot a bit to help that.
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Moogs
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Join Date: May 2004
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2008-06-17, 11:16

You could be like those guys that glide into stoplights while in neutral, do rolling starts, etc.
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Wyatt
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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2008-06-17, 11:16

Good luck with that. I really miss my 1988.5 (yeah, .5) Escort these days. I'm replacing my aging 1994 Buick Century with a Toyota Yaris soon, and I can't wait. As soon as I get moved into the new house, I'm starting a gas experiment of my own.
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