Wednesday, September 17, 2008

from the dept. of...i did not know that!

with apologies to johnny for stealing his line, here's food for, make that fuel for thought...

when i was picking up the new truck, the sales guy took it to fill up the tank as i was signing the papers...there's a big new racetrack discount gas/c-store right across from the dodge dealership, and when i saw the salesman pull out and pass it up to go to a station further up the road, i wondered why, since racetrack gas is usually the cheapest around.

when he and i did the delivery checkout on the truck, i asked him why...turns out his boss is willing to pay an extra buck or so per tankful to get bp gas, and that's because (and this is the part i did not know), bp is the only gas in our area that has no ethanol mixed in.

well, i vaguely remembered reading that some outboard motor owners had claimed the 10% watered down fuel damaged their engines, and that others said their mileage suffered when using it, but i didn't give that much thought or credence.

but here's why the dealership owner specified new-vehicle fillups with bp only...because it vastly reduced the complaints of lower-than-expected gas mileage from new owners, and therefore lowered his cost of time spent explaining and improving the overall experience...well, beyond the surprise of a business owner actually giving a ratsazz about customer service and satisfaction after the sale, could the bp gas really make that much difference? well, i like most others had always avoided the local bp stations because their gas is always a nickel or so higher...why piss away money when the stations next door were cheaper?

but i was able to answer that question for myself on this trip from central fla to north ga...starting out in sebring with a full tank of my usual chevron, we always fill up in valdosta because it's just about exactly halfway...but when i went to our regular racetrack station right next to i-75 exit 18, they were out of gas (day after ike hit), but a bp was right across the street and not wanting to waste time finding another place, i filled up there.

when i zeroed out my odometer and onboard mileage meter, i saw that i had gotten 15 mpg on the first tank; a little less than the 16 that i expected but not too bad for a hemi 4x4 truck cruising at 75-80.

but here's the surprise; when i got to my northern terminus and decided to gas up right away in case the stations up here ran short also, the mileage for that leg of the trip was 17! well, not only did that bring my trip average to the expected 16, it also really shocked me to see such a difference in mileage just because of the non-diluted fuel, but it was true.

for a truck that holds twenty five gallons, an extra 2 mpg means an extra 50 miles per tankfull which in turn equates to three less gallons used! now i'm no math whiz but that looks like a savings of 12 bucks per tank to me, in exchange for paying a buck or so extra at fillup.

nothing scientific about my little 'speriment; striotly anecdotal and experiential, but it sure convinced me...guess where i'm going to be buying my gas from now on every chance i get?

and that's not even counting the great little side benefit of a more pure fuel for my rides, and a big fat slap in the face to the "environmentalist" airheads who advance the notion of an additive that costs more than it saves, reduces mileage therefore increasing usage, and is bad for the engines it's made for, is actually somehow a good thing...



Anonymous said...

I get better mileage with E-10 because the increased octane allows more timing advance. E-85, however, nets me about a 20% decrease in mileage. I assume every model is different in this.

the pawnbroker said...

there's an exception to everything i guess...but it looks like the general rule is lower mileage with the diluted fuel...even ethanol producers admit to that...and my experience and that of several people i have talked to lately, are seeing 5-10% reduction.

Unknown said...

You sold me on BP. I've got a supercharged V6 Xterra that loves to drink petrol on the highway.