Speed and gas mileage

On the St. Paul freeways some years ago, the Patrol actually backed off of enforcement during rush hours because they were causing too many accidents. Better to just let the flow of cars proceed.

Only $5, you haven’t been to a “Charbucks” lately ! ! :rofl:

Find a 60s era JC Whitney catalog, just about everything said it would improve performance, gas mileage, and longevity.


I pay more attention to the tachometer than the speedometer once I get to cruising speed. I find that if I keep RPMs at 2000 or less at highway speed I can get around 40 MPG if I drive for a half hour or longer. It seems to me that if I cruise at the same RPMs at different speeds the fastest one gets the best gas mileage.

how do you get 'telling others what to do out of my question?


Well it’s a short walk from “don’t people realize they could save money by slowing down” to “people should slow down” to people “must” slow down. Or don’t you remember the nation wide 55 interstate limit? One morning on the interstate everyone was driving 65-70 and a crusty old guy in the left lane was driving exactly 55. As I came up behind him he angrily flashed a double high fives as a lone traffic controller. Your life experiences may be different but we all must balance our expenditures versus the value received.

I argued with Mrs. Triedaq that we would save money if we had a Mazda Miata because of its good gas mileage. My doctor wrote out a prescription for me that for my mental health I should have a Mazda Miata. Mrs. Triedaq said she would take the prescription and have it filled. She came back home with a Toyota Sienna minivan. When I said that the Sienna wasn’t a Miata, she said she had the prescription filled generically. On a road trip this past week with the Sienna, I drove the interstate from eastern Indiana to St. Louis, MO. I drove 75-80 and the Sienna got 26.2 mpg for the trip. My 1965 bottom of the line Rambler with the manual transmission, no air conditioning did well to get 22 mpg
I was thinking about a 2022’Sienna that only comes as a hybrid. It gets 36 mpg according to Consumer Reports. However, CR reports that the 4:cylinder engine is noisy when it kicks in. I’ll keep my quiet running V6 and sacrifice 10 mpg.


My 59 vw never got better than 25. Pedal on the floor. Lost speed uphill but gained it downhill. But I could afford it at $1.65 an hour in the summer.

FWIW, I think that modern car design and engineering has made any MPG variation due to speed insignificant.

I’m getting about 30 MPG in a current mid-size sedan with a 6 cyl, 6 speed automatic.
In a 2005 with a much smaller 2005, 6 cyl, 6 speed manual I was getting about 25 MPG and in a similar 2004, 6 cyl,4 speed automatic the MPG was closer to 20.
The only differences seem to be improved aerodynamics, improved gearing and improved engine efficiency.

Back in 1974 when gas was cheap, plentiful and the only consideration was size of the engine and car, reducing the speed limit to 55 to save gas made some sense even though the estimated actual savings was only 0.5% to 1.0%. Today and assuming a reasonable speed, I’m not so sure.

On an individual level, I’m still seeing a lot of huge Urban Assault Vehicles and Heavy Duty Pickups used as single driver commuter vehicles and grocery haulers so maybe the “Market” will act as it had in the past when folks experienced the pain of paying $100+ for a fill up.

On a broader policy level, maybe we should also consider an annual Road Tax based on MPG with an exemption for vehicles used directly in Business. There’s a difference between needing a honking huge Pickup or SUV to transport your tools, materials or employees and a blinged out Escalade or Monster Truck just to haul your ego.

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My brother bought a Toyota Avalon Hybrid several months ago, and he reported that if he doesn’t look at the dashboard readout, neither he nor his wife can tell whether it is running on battery power or on the gas engine. He says that the switch from one power source to the other is so seamless that it is essentially imperceptible–unless he looks at the instrument panel. I was initially skeptical of his claim, but a ride in the Avalon confirmed what he had said.

Is it really likely that the technology and the sound proofing on the Avalon and the Sienna are that drastically different?

We already have that. It is the tax per gallon of fuel. Low MPG vehicles pay more, high MPG vehicles pay less.

Your other comment about business vehicle exemptions, already done within the income tax structure. Business expenditures are subtracted from income.


lol … great story! Ah, I remember them well, the compromises of married life … lol …

@VDCdriver I would certainly test drive a Sienna hybrid before plunking down the cash. I am basing my statement about the noise level on Consumer Reports analysis.
The idea of the hybrid minivan is appealing. I get 16-18 mpg on my present 2017 Sienna around town. I am certain a hybrid Sienna would do better. I need a minivan for transporting my musician friends and their instruments. However, I can’t justify the expense of a vehicle like a Nissan Leaf for intown driving.

The amount of speeding would be reduced by stricter enforcement of the speed limit and by fines high enough to cause violators to think twice about doing it again.

That didn’t work when we had the 55 mph speed limit. Especially didn’t in Ohio… known for strict enforcement of the 55… normal traffic was about 63 mph.

Then the fines were obviously not high enough. To change people’s behaviors, you need to make them terrified of the consequences of continuing their prior behaviors.

Is $175 in Indianapolis high enough? Changed my behavior. I avoid Indianapolis whenever possible.

Does anyone really want them to do that? I don’t.

I do, and I’d jail repeat offenders to really teach them a lesson. As my father would say to me when I was little and threw a tantrum and started crying " get over here and I’ll give you something to really cry about".

Locally, after numerous traffic fatalities, law enforcement has been targeting drivers traveling more than 100 mph, often in traffic on urban highways. There have been several crashes on city streets with speed in excess of 100 mph, police have been viewed as negligent in enforcing traffic laws.

When the speed limit was 55 mph, people were driving 63 mpg. This is a certain degree of disobedience. Today we are living in Grand Theft Auto society, drive as fast as you want and open fire whenever.

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