Adding it all up

When I got my new (to me) 2003 Golf TDI in April, I decided that it was high time to actually keep a fuel mileage log to keep track of how things were going. Having tried all sorts of electronic versions in the past, I decided to go old school and got a notepad and pen to keep in the car for each fill up. Unsurprisingly, I’ve been keeping up very well and only drove off once without getting all the details, most of which were recoverable from the receipt and reseting the trip counter immediately when I realized my mistake just a few blocks down the road.

Not too long after I got started with the mileage journal, Google released their Spreadsheets beta and I have been using that to calculate actual mpg and all sorts of other neat statistics from data provided by the journal. For example, as of today my Averages section reads as follows:

Averages

Gallons Price $pg Trip Mpg Mi Per Day Days $pMi
11.92 $35.01 $2.93 522 44 77 11 $0.07

As I was reading through the morning haul in my feed reader I ran across a link to a new wiki called WikiCars and ran across their list of the top high mileage cars and noticed that they didn’t have the VW TDI vehicles listed, and went ahead and did what any good wiki browser should do and added them after creating an account.

That site howerver led me on to http://fueleconomy.gov site, which I seem to end up browsing through an awful lot where I found something I hadn’t seen before: a pretty decent online mileage tracking application! My only complaint with it so far is that it doesn’t allow nearly as much customization as my spreadsheet, but the big advantage is that you can share your data with other users on the site so that on the next update cycle, you should see a “MN” in the current shared mileage info for 2003 VW Golf TDI (manual trans) on the site.

Ideally I think it would be interesting to share mileage information with friends directly but I think the biggest problem is that I just don’t know how many people keep detailed information and would be willing and fastidious about entering it online.

Author: Cavorter

Recently divorced SWM seeks, um, stuff. (Formerly used the handle: Glyph)

5 thoughts on “Adding it all up”

  1. We’ve kept a milage log since the begning. I learned it from my parents who kept one thanks to the 70’s gas crunch. They’ve since discontinued theirs, which I can’t understand. But we have fill-up data for every car we’ve had since 1996. Doing the data-entry should give a nice graph for gas-prices, and miles-per-day driven for each car.
  2. I’m not particularly surprised that you keep that sort of data. I know LT keeps some set of data as well, at least occasionally, but she was the only one that I could think of off the top of my head who did.

    My dad keeps a record of all of his car expenses, including mileage, for tax reasons as part of his day job. It’s one of those things that I’ve tried to pick up from him, but as I mentioned before this all of my “improvements” on his basic system just meant I never kept it up.

    BTW – Send me email if you want to see my mileage spreadsheet. The sharing functions for Google Spreadsheet are fairly nice. I’m fairly happy with the derived data I’m getting from it, even if some of it doesn’t actually mean very much.

  3. Oh, and if you don’t mind me asking: What reason did your parents give for lapsing on the data gathering after so long?
  4. I didn’t ask them why. It happened sometime between when I moved out and fairly recently. I went to fill one of their cars while I was visitng and the notebook that had always been there was no longer there.

    Asher’s parents did the same thing, so we both came to the marriage with the same habits. But they too have lapsed. One of ’em, can’t remember which, put gas in one of our cars and didn’t update the log.

  5. Ooo. I bet that was a bit frustrating.

    I swapped cars with my dad back at the beginning of July and even though he had it for 6 days he never needed to fill it up. I really love 600+ miles on a tank. :-) There was the added advantage that I got to fill up with biodiesel back in the cities too instead of whatever was available around him.

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