An Experiment in Gas Mileage

John Neff, from AutoBlog, suggested an experiment: Drive normally for a tank of gas, and record the number of miles you get on the tank. Then follow standard gas-mileage reducing tips from places like the US Government and, and see if you're able to do any better. I volunteered.

My car: A 2001 Honda Civic, 4 doors, 2 carseats, manual transmission
My gas: 7-11 regular
My normal driving: I live in Fredericksburg, VA, a sort of suburban sleeper town to Washington, D.C. My normal driving is around town--running the kids and myself back and forth to school, going to the grocery store, heading out to dinner. I work at home, so I don't commute. 
What I'll do differently: The standard driving advice to reduce your gas mileage includes keeping your car maintained and empty, driving more slowly and in higher gears, planning ahead in places like stoplights to avoid using the gas when you're about to stop, avoiding aggressive driving, and using the air conditioner at highway speeds and rolling the windows down when you're in stop and go traffic. I'm about 2,000 miles overdue for my Honda scheduled maintenence, so I'll have that done after I record the miles from the first tank but before I fill up for the second tank. I'll also have them check my tire pressure and change the air filter, if they're not part of the 70K package.

My gas gauge right now shows that I've driven 130 miles and have a little less than 2/3 of a tank left. I'll post when I've finished this tank and give you the stats. Please join me in this experiment!

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