What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

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TLC1957
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What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by TLC1957 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:52 am

What app do you use to track your mpg on your vehicle? Looking for something that can track the mpg, is free and does NOT track my location. Many I have reviewed track where you travel. Too big brother for me not to mention killing my iPhone battery and monthly internet usage. Currently just recording the data in my iPhone notes app.

Thanks

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tuningfork
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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by tuningfork » Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:56 am

I'm old school. I write it in a paper notebook I keep in the car, and transcribe it to a spreadsheet when I get home.

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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by tibbitts » Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:04 am

TLC1957 wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:52 am
What app do you use to track your mpg on your vehicle? Looking for something that can track the mpg, is free and does NOT track my location. Many I have reviewed track where you travel. Too big brother for me not to mention killing my iPhone battery and monthly internet usage. Currently just recording the data in my iPhone notes app.

Thanks
I don't use an app to track mpg. What is the point of knowing the mpg that precisely? Are you trying to use topography to evaluate changes in mpg? Are you accounting for weight and temperature and seasonal fuel mix variations? My car's mpg measurement is consistently inaccurate enough such that just subtracting a percentage arrives at an accurate enough mpg for me. Is your car really so inconsistent that you need more precise measurements? I guess one reason for measuring mpg is to know if something like a sensor has gone bad, possibly in a way that might not show via diagnostic codes, but realistically I'm guessing that a drop that's significant and consistent enough to suggest that would show using just the vehicle's own measurements.

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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by livesoft » Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:11 am

My car tells me MPG since reset (or maybe since battery removed) as well as MPG since the last fill-up. That's all I need to know.

Since family members drive my car and sometimes fill it up, I can tell that my spouse has a heavy foot and that my son must be trying to compete with me on hypermiling.
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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by jhfenton » Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:16 am

I'm with livesoft. I rely on my car's data. It's adequate.

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AAA
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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by AAA » Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:37 am

jhfenton wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:16 am
I'm with livesoft. I rely on my car's data. It's adequate.
My car has that but I always wondered about a couple of things. The maximum instantaneous mpg displayed is 99, such as when I'm just coasting to a red light with my foot off the gas pedal. That seems like an arbitrary number. Also, when I am not moving it switches to a different readout - from memory it's something like gallons per hour. Do those times not contribute to the mpg calculation, because a lot of stop and go driving would lower mpg?

That said, at fill-ups, when I compare the mpg readout to my calculation based on miles driven and gallons used since the last fill-up, the results are usually within 1-2 units of each other. So whatever it's doing, I agree that it's adequate.

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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by stan1 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:39 am

I've used Fuelly in the past. Right now I don't track fuel economy.

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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by Mike Scott » Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:47 am

I don't track mpg. I bought a car eight years ago that is expected to get reasonably good mpg and I maintain it with that goal in mind. I probably checked mpg for the first tank or two. I'm not going to make any decisions about this car or even driving that require knowing the exact mpg.

My wife religiously tracks mpg in her car. She cannot explain why but then it doesn't really matter.

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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by lazydavid » Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:50 am

I use the fuelly mobile website, they didn't have an app the last time I looked. Obviously they don't track your location on a continuous basis, but I do use the "set location" button when entering a fuel-up to track the station I filled up at. The On-board Computer isn't even close to accurate in my experience.

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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by Mike Scott » Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:53 am

I think many of the "instant" mpg meters are based on engine rpm. My wife's car can switch from "99" to near "0" over a few seconds of driving. It's an example of precise information which has very little meaning.

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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by emoore » Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:03 am

I don't really track mine either. I know that the computer in my car is about 1 mpg optimistic and that's good enough for me. Every once in a while I check it using the trip odometer but I don't record it.

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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by TravelGeek » Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:11 am

Spreadsheet. I just write the odometer reading on the receipt and add it to the spreadsheet when I get home and empty out the receipts from my wallet.

I have a Prius and use it to track the long term trend to see if (potentially) battery deterioration contributes to reduced MPG.

I also use it to track roughly how much we drive per year and how much we spend on gas (and other vehicle expenses).

One of these days I will write my own app (need to retire from my day job first), just for fun.

The Prius’ built-in reporting varies generally by 1-3 MPG from what I calculate.

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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by bottlecap » Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:12 am

jhfenton wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:16 am
I'm with livesoft. I rely on my car's data. It's adequate.
But not accurate. It's an interesting question as to why we track it. But many do, myself included. Actually, I just type it in.

I use whats now called Fuelly.

JT

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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by Mr.Mosfet » Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:16 am

I was disappointed with the apps available, most are loaded with ads and have limited functionality. I use a simple Google Drive spreadsheet to track vehicle maintenance and mileage. If you have a family with multiple vehicles you can share the file and everyone can make updates. For maintenance tracking I've found this very useful, no more guessing when the last oil change or brake job was done. Also have a sheet to keep track of VIN numbers, license plates, fluid type/capacity, and tire sizes.

The spreadsheet can auto calculate MPG, cost-per-mile,...with a few inputs. On the daily driver I've been tracking MPG for several years and have yet to obtain any actionable information from the data.

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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by jhfenton » Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:46 am

bottlecap wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:12 am
jhfenton wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:16 am
I'm with livesoft. I rely on my car's data. It's adequate.
But not accurate. It's an interesting question as to why we track it. But many do, myself included. Actually, I just type it in.

I use whats now called Fuelly.

JT
The accuracy on mine is more than adequate. I've checked it 3 or 4 times in 7 years, and it has always been within 1 mpg. It's at least as accurate as my speedometer, which shows a speed 3-4% higher than actual.

Years ago, I kept track of mileage and fuel usage in a small spiral notebook in the glove box. I never found anything actionable in that data either.

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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by TLC1957 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:27 pm

Thanks for the replies. I just downloaded Fuelly and I think it will work well. For 36 years I drove a company car and could care less about MPG. I retired in 2015 and finally got around to buying my first new car for me! So I am interested in how my 2017 Honda CRV with a 4 cylinder turbo will get on MPG , hey what else do retired folks have to do...lol.

The CRV like most new cars have a trip computer which calculates MPG. So far what it shows for the first 900 miles and what I am getting via gallons per mile is as follows 27.1/24.8, 29.0/26.7 and 32.1/30.4, the 1st number is the computer the 2nd is actually gallons per mile. Planning a cross country trip in a few months from cold PA to sunny AZ should be interesting comparing how the CRV operates at highway speeds in both temperatures.

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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by seychellois_lib » Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:46 pm

I drive an electric and don't track mileage in the normal sense. I do track mileage or, at least, the cost of mileage, which I think is the whole point.

I am not happy with the Govt. MPGe metric. I really want to know how I am doing vs my fellow ICE drivers here in California. I first determine the average price of electricity at my home (where I do all my charging). As of now the number is 12 cents per KWH. I then take a look at average gasoline prices to get a sense for how many KWH equals one gallon of gas in terms of cost. If gas is at $3.00 per gallon, I calculate I am buying 25 KWH for the same money. So how far do I go on that 25KWH? In my Spark EV, the answer is about 100 miles. So I assert I am getting about 100 miles per gallon cost equivalent. Although not bad, this is 20% less than the advertised MPGe. As gasoline prices go down so does my "mileage" so long as electricity prices do not also go down, of course the reverse is also true.

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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by thangngo » Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:55 pm

TLC1957 wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:52 am
What app do you use to track your mpg on your vehicle? Looking for something that can track the mpg, is free and does NOT track my location. Many I have reviewed track where you travel. Too big brother for me not to mention killing my iPhone battery and monthly internet usage. Currently just recording the data in my iPhone notes app.

Thanks
I care more about the performance of the car rather than the mpg. There many devices that utilize OBD-II and track all-things in your car and transit it to your app via WIFI or bluetooth.
https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/a-br ... echnology/

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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by Cycle » Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:06 pm

I just used a google sheets spreadsheet for a handful of tanks, but after I knew the general economy for highway vs standard commute the general mileage was known and I stopped. That process simply involved resetting the trip meter between tanks.

What is the point? Gas is pretty much free. Prior to selling my car, I was spending ~5k per year on commutting/road trips. Now I spend ~$1k, including pre-tax bus pass and bike expenditures. If you want to reduce your travel spending dramatically, cut the car. We still spend $5k/yr on my wife's suv, but she is looking for a job downtown, and if that goes through we may just rent cars as needed.

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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by jadd806 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:35 pm

I've been using Fuelly. Interesting to see that New England winters account for a 15% MPG reduction.

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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by squirm » Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:42 pm

My primary car tells me. My other cars don't, but what would I do with it anyway.

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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by jadd806 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:43 pm

Cycle wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:06 pm
What is the point? Gas is pretty much free.
Mostly people just think it's neat or like playing the efficiency game. It doesn't really cost me any time, since I add my data to the Fuelly app while I'm pumping.

I spend about $2000/year on gas, so it's certainly not "free."
Cycle wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:06 pm
If you want to reduce your travel spending dramatically, cut the car.
This simply isn't practical for most Americans.

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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by Afty » Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:50 pm

Fuelly for me as well. I just like having the data. Aside from MPG, you can track fuel costs, differences in how much you use your car, etc. The mileage readout in my car is ~2 MPG too high in my experience.

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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by tomd37 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:36 pm

For the past thirty years I have kept an "At-a-Glance" Auto Record in each of my two cars. I record the information each time I purchase gasoline (only once a month now) in each car and keep a separate Excel spreadsheet on all other expenses. As an interesting matter, to me at least, we purchased a new car earlier this year amd traded in a 2001 Lexus ES300 with 76,000 miles on it. I had kept a record of all maintenance, repairs, insurance, and gas purchases on the car and it turned out to be $0.33 per mile excluding the purchase cost of the vehicle in 2001. Pretty reasonable cost in my opinion for sixteen years. MPG on that car was 21.3 over all those years.
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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by Cycle » Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:47 pm

jadd806 wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:43 pm
How do you know if somebody is a cyclist? Don't worry - they'll tell you.
I put it in my handle and avatar as well.

In the same spreadsheet I use to track MPG, I have all the vehicle maintenence/expenses and a couple of comparative scenarios. Those scenarios are for 2 cars, 2 expensive cars, and our current 1 car scenario.

Driving can be really expensive, and a lot of that cost is not in the gas. Expensive vehicles have high registration tax and insurance rates. Shaving MPG is fun, but the savings are minimal.

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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by jasc15 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:51 pm

I use a Google docs spreadsheet formatted the same way as submissions to the fueleconomy.gov site are (and I occasionally upload my data there). I have a shortcut on my phone's home screen, and I enter the date, gallons pumped, odometer and total price paid while I wait for the pump. My wife messages me a picture of the odometer and the receipt when she fills up. I can't get her to use the spreadsheet on her phone. I can later play with the data and make plots on my computer at my leisure.

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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by Atilla » Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:10 pm

Every time I fill my tank I do a quick calculation on my cell phone . Seems to run a good 1MPG less than what the car puter tells me my mileage is.

Mileage app? WT@?
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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by 123 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:16 pm

I also have a little notebook kept in the glove compartment where I religiously log gas purchase price quantity and mileage. I annotate the entries when I change or add oil or check tire pressure. With trip odometer reset each fill-up I know how far I've traveled on the fuel utilized. Been doing it this way over 25 years so I'm unlikely to change.
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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by meebers » Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:56 pm

I made a simple spread sheet. Tabs are for present and previous cars. I take the receipt from the gas pump and enter it. Date, #gal, present mileage & cost. Graphs show average mpg since the beginning, total cost, cost per mile. Another graph shows time since last oil change in miles and days. Once it was set up, only takes 2-3 minutes to add new data.

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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by jlawrence01 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:30 pm

EXCEL Spreadsheet

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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by lazydavid » Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:47 pm

jadd806 wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:35 pm
I've been using Fuelly. Interesting to see that New England winters account for a 15% MPG reduction.
That just means you need a turbocharger. I get 27 in the spring and summer, 28-29 in the fall, and 30 in the winter. :)

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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by Slacker » Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:50 pm

I use to track it in Excel by recording miles just traveled and gallons filled up off the receipt. Now I just reference the car's reading.

The Prius tells us daily/weekly/monthly MPG logs, MPG over lifetime of the vehicle, MPG on current trip (since last starting the vehicle), MPG over the typical A/B trip and also we get Miles / kWhr on daily/weekly/monthly logs. More than enough information for me and I don't have to download an App to my phone.

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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by triceratop » Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:06 pm

I use a .txt file and a custom awk script to compute the MPG and cost per mile (I also track the cost per gallon) of my transport.
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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by aj76er » Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:15 am

I use a simple google sheets spreadsheet and I track the mileage with the car's trip odometer (which I reset after each fill up).
I can access google drive on my phone, so I'll take a few minutes after each fill up and add the entry (date, miles driven, gallons used).
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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by Raymond » Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:35 am

+1 for Fuelly.

What I find even more useful is keeping a maintenance log - date, work performed (oil/brake fluid/transmission/coolant fluid changes, tire rotations, cabin and engine air filter changes, battery replacement, etc.), cost, and odometer reading.
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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by LadyGeek » Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:27 pm

Cycle wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:47 pm
jadd806 wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:43 pm
How do you know if somebody is a cyclist? Don't worry - they'll tell you.
I put it in my handle and avatar as well.

In the same spreadsheet I use to track MPG, I have all the vehicle maintenence/expenses and a couple of comparative scenarios. Those scenarios are for 2 cars, 2 expensive cars, and our current 1 car scenario.

Driving can be really expensive, and a lot of that cost is not in the gas. Expensive vehicles have high registration tax and insurance rates. Shaving MPG is fun, but the savings are minimal.
As for the total cost of ownership, I would agree. Insurance premiums far exceed fuel costs, even for an inexpensive car.

Tracking mileage is also an indicator for car maintenance. When the MPG drops, something needs attention.
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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by Chip » Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:18 pm

LadyGeek wrote:
Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:27 pm
As for the total cost of ownership, I would agree. Insurance premiums far exceed fuel costs, even for an inexpensive car.
As with everything else, it depends. My fuel expenses were >5x my insurance costs on my '98 Camry. 243k miles, 16.8k in fuel costs, 3.1k in insurance costs. The average fuel cost was $2.14/gal.

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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by Nate79 » Sun Dec 10, 2017 5:00 pm

Fuelly.

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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by baconavocado » Sun Dec 10, 2017 5:22 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:11 am
Spreadsheet. I just write the odometer reading on the receipt and add it to the spreadsheet when I get home and empty out the receipts from my wallet.
This is what I do.

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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by Fletch » Sun Dec 10, 2017 5:34 pm

I used to use paper and pencil, then a phone app. Then I realized “what am I doing with this information?” I bought a car, drive sensibly, and maintain it at least as good as the manufacturer recommends. I have what I have until it becomes unreliable. It is so freeing to give up a tiny fraction of my anal behavior. :oops: :D :sharebeer
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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by avenger » Sun Dec 10, 2017 6:30 pm

jadd806 wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:43 pm

How do you know if somebody is a cyclist? Don't worry - they'll tell you.
This is the funniest thing I’ve read today. :P
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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by CABob » Sun Dec 10, 2017 6:46 pm

tuningfork wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:56 am
I'm old school. I write it in a paper notebook I keep in the car, and transcribe it to a spreadsheet when I get home.
+1
I have done this religiously for many years, but I sometimes wonder why. I don't do anything with the data and it doesn't change any habits of mine. I used to think that it would warn me that perhaps my engine needed a tuneup but I don't think that is true with current vehicles.
As I look back on the data I can see that I paid about $1.20/gallon in 1963 and I am now paying about $3.00. Interesting but not of any specific use.
Bob

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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by 22twain » Sun Dec 10, 2017 6:59 pm

tuningfork wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:56 am
I'm old school. I write it in a paper notebook I keep in the car, and transcribe it to a spreadsheet when I get home.
Instead of a paper notebook, I write the odometer reading on the credit card receipt whenever I fill up the tank. When I get home I use the information on the receipt to create another line in my spreadsheet.

I used a notebook for many years, then stopped when I switched to spreadsheets.
CABob wrote:
Sun Dec 10, 2017 6:46 pm
I paid about $1.20/gallon in 1963
What kind of gas was that? :shock:

The first time I saw gas over $1.00 was in the late 1970s.
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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by Fletch » Sun Dec 10, 2017 7:11 pm

Lowest price I ever saw was in Houston circa 1969 - Texgas regular at 18.9 cents/gal during one of the frequent gas wars. Those were the days my friend, I thought they’d never end ....
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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by CABob » Sun Dec 10, 2017 7:32 pm

22twain wrote:
Sun Dec 10, 2017 6:59 pm
CABob wrote:
Sun Dec 10, 2017 6:46 pm
I paid about $1.20/gallon in 1963
What kind of gas was that? :shock:

The first time I saw gas over $1.00 was in the late 1970s.
That was California gas but I did misquote the date. It was in 1993. We have always paid more than the rest of the world. I would have to go to my pencil and paper files for earlier data since that was before spreadsheet.
Bob

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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by tetractys » Sun Dec 10, 2017 10:35 pm

I use a spreadsheet that’s part of a workbook for my car—the first ever bought new from a dealer. Have owned the car for 6 years and a month now. All costs included, my average cost per mile (low mileage) is $0.85. Fuel averages: 14.994 gals/fill, $46.27/tank, $3.092/gal, $0.133/mile, 347 miles/tank, 23.17 miles/gal.

I get much better mileage in the summer than in the winter, and on longer trips than on shorter. — Tet

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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by lazydavid » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:38 am

LadyGeek wrote:
Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:27 pm
As for the total cost of ownership, I would agree. Insurance premiums far exceed fuel costs, even for an inexpensive car.
Not even close. Insurance on my 2011 BMW costs me a hair over $38/mo, with the legal limits for everything, but no rental coverage. It costs about $10 more to fill the tank once.

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Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:57 am

And this is why the economy would crash tomorrow if everyone did things like me. I write it down the gas purchases in a spiral notebook in the center console, calculate mileage every 10th fill-up or so or if something seems off, and otherwise ignore it. And even that seems like overkill, but old habits are hard to break. And that same technology has worked for almost 40 years now.

feh
Posts: 1224
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:39 am

Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by feh » Mon Dec 11, 2017 1:34 pm

stan1 wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:39 am
I've used Fuelly in the past. Right now I don't track fuel economy.
+1 for fuelly

We have 2 cars that calculate MPG themselves, and they are both off by 5-10% (on the optimistic side).

oxothuk
Posts: 332
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:35 pm

Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Post by oxothuk » Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:00 pm

CABob wrote:
Sun Dec 10, 2017 7:32 pm
That was California gas ..... We have always paid more than the rest of the world.
More than the rest of the Continental US perhaps. But much cheaper than the rest of the world.

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