Thursday, September 11, 2008

My crappy hours are good for something.

I may well get up at 2 in the morning for work. And I might well have to go to bed shortly after all my friends get off work. But these hours are good for something. You see, I drive in to work at 3:30. And over the last few months, I have been driving in at exactly 90 km/h, the entire trip. And until Monday, when I picked up my new car, I was keeping track of my gas mileage. And here's what I found. When I drove in at a regular speed, (which, at 3:30 in the morning with no cars on the road, I admit was often around 120), I was filling up my tank about once every four days. Now that I have been making absolutely certain that I drive at 90, it adds about seven minutes to my drive. And I have been filling up my car, on average, every five days. If it costs me (and of course it does) at least 50 bucks every time I fill up my tank, over the course of the year I will save about 900 bucks by going slow. Now of course, I have the luxury of taking a long Queensway route when there is no traffic at all.

Now that I have a new car, though, I've decided to take it one step further. I have decided, now, to stop braking. My last car, it was the brakes that cost me the most (next to the gas). You see, my brakes weren't calibrated properly (a design flaw in the car itself), such that they wear down incredibly fast if you apply those brakes while going more than 80 km/h. So now, I have made it a point never to do so with my new car. And since there is no one on the roads when I drive in, I can coast for blocks when I see a red light ahead of me, timing it right so that it's green when I get there. I'm still getting around at the exact same speed, but I'm using less gas and less brakes. I tried this for the first time this morning. There are three stop signs, and one red light where I have to turn right on my way into work. So, this morning, I applied my brakes four times, only when I had to come to a full and complete stop. I am now monitoring the difference this makes overall. I will present my findings in a few weeks.

I wouldn't recommend doing this during rush hour. Although everyone would still get where they were going at the same time they otherwise would, they would not understand this, they would not understand you, and someone might try to hit you with a tire iron. As I said, I have a certain luxury in that I drive with no other cars on the road. Except Doc. And if I ever get ahead of him, I'll be taking my foot off the accelerator and coasting the length of St. Laurent until we get to work. Not that I specifically have it in for Doc. It's just that I find he does his best shows when he arrives at work furious.

1 comment:

  1. Eric, is good you have the time to think about this kind of things. Like saving gas and breaks. I am always doing math calc, I do it as a hobby and because I also bought a new set of wheels I am very entertained this days. It came with a L/100Km meter. It tells me the avg I am making, so I keep my eyes stuck to that meter and believe me I have been close to rear end a few cars. But keeping the thing under 10L/100Km improves your driving a lot. I've tried different routes to work and I have an optimal schedule per day of the week and everything. Well I am saving a few bucks on gas and as I said it is my hobby to calculate things. Cheers and good luck with your new car.

    Peter Katz