News:

The AARoads Wiki is live! Come check it out!

Main Menu

"Do you/we have enough gas?"

Started by ZLoth, November 19, 2023, 08:55:04 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

ZLoth

The current fingernails-on-chalkboard phrase for me is "Do you have enough gas?" with the variant "Do we have enough gas?"

This phrase is driving me up the wall at the moment thanks to my mother. Mind you, both vehicles have an idiot light that comes on as well as a screen message that tells me "Low Fuel" where the estimated fuel range is about 40-45 miles. In addition, the fuel gauge on both vehicles do not go down at a consistent rate, so a half-tank isn't really a half-tank. Yet, my mother keeps asking me "Do you have enough gas?"

Now, this isn't driving eastbound I-70 near Salina, Utah where they have this sign stating "No Service For The Next 110 Miles":

https://www.google.com/maps/@38.9166436,-111.8810321,3a,75y,47.34h,100.82t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sn6Cw67YWI5hpTpPBzGKWYg!2e0!7i16384!8i8192?entry=ttu (Replaced Sign)
https://www.google.com/maps/@38.9307705,-111.8656125,3a,75y,45.01h,97.86t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sN9BnmZJX86sO3p0K2RukFA!2e0!7i16384!8i8192?entry=ttu

Yeah, I'll be topping off there no matter what since the next services stop is at Green River, Utah. This is the Dallas-Fort Worth, where there is practically a service station at almost every corner. On a Texas Interstate outside a metro area, there is a service once every few miles. She starts driving me up the wall even when the tank is half-full. Her reasoning goes back about fourty years ago when we took a drive up to Yosemite, the pickup was running on fumes, and we happen to catch a gas station just as they were locking their doors. Uh, mom, I'm not dad, and I have this app called GasBuddy which tells me where the nearest stations are and the pricing. Also, it is very unlikely we are driving at 10 PM at night anymore.
I'm an Engineer. That means I solve problems. Not problems like "What is beauty?", because that would fall within the purview of your conundrums of philosophy. I solve practical problems and call them "paychecks".


Big John


CtrlAltDel

I think I've been criticized here before for never letting the tank get less than half full, but I never let the tank get less than half full, since my plan in any sort of emergency is to get in the car and drive away.
Interstates clinched: 4, 57, 275 (IN-KY-OH), 465 (IN), 640 (TN), 985
State Interstates clinched: I-26 (TN), I-75 (GA), I-75 (KY), I-75 (TN), I-81 (WV), I-95 (NH)

Max Rockatansky

Gas Buddy isn't going to help anyone in Yosemite.  There is two stations in the park and not many anywhere near the exterior of the park boundary.  The station in Wawona (the one I'm certain is being referenced) is often among the highest priced in the country because it is intended to be a last resort

Bruce

GasBuddy is useless in the rural Northwest since there's no one going around updating stations on a regular basis (and the owners don't bother). Prices are usually days out of date, if present at all, and hours don't often line up with real-world operations.

My rule of thumb is to not cross the mountains with anything less than 2/3rds of my tank. Never know when something could go terribly wrong.

ZLoth

#5
Quote from: Max Rockatansky on November 19, 2023, 10:00:26 PMGas Buddy isn't going to help anyone in Yosemite.  There is two stations in the park and not many anywhere near the exterior of the park boundary.  The station in Wawona (the one I'm certain is being referenced) is often among the highest priced in the country because it is intended to be a last resort.

Well, if I was going to Yosemite from where I was living, the first stop I would do is at a Costco/Sam's Club near my (old) home in Sacramento and top off, then travel. There are several station on CA-120 leading up to the west side of the park. That station in Yosemite probably can't get utility power, so it has to use it's own generator.

Now, if you want extreme gas desolation, try Death Valley. There are only two stations in that park: Stovepipe Wells and Furnace Creek. (There was a third at Scotty's Castle, but that has long been closed). There is hardly any stations surrounding the park compared to Yosemite, and you are told not to rely on cellular service.

Having said that... again, we are talking about major metropolitan areas and travel along Interstate routes, not some areas where you have to keep a close eye on the gas guage. I have traveled on US-95 both between Las Vegas and Reno as well as the ION Highway portion of US-95, plus several areas where there is major distances between service stations plus spotty cell coverage. Go on either Interstate 15 or Interstate 40 east of Barstow, and if you don't have a full tank, you are in for a wallet-emptying experience until you hit either the Nevada or the Arizona state lines respectively. But, DFW isn't a fuel desert. Interstate 20 between Dallas and Shreveport isn't a fuel desert.

Quote from: Bruce on November 19, 2023, 10:49:05 PMGasBuddy is useless in the rural Northwest since there's no one going around updating stations on a regular basis (and the owners don't bother). Prices are usually days out of date, if present at all, and hours don't often line up with real-world operations.

My rule of thumb is to not cross the mountains with anything less than ⅔rds of my tank. Never know when something could go terribly wrong.

You still know the location of the fuel station, and if you are traveling in the daytime, the station is probably open, even if you don't know the price. If I was planning a long distance road trip, I plan on traveling about 300 miles in a day because that's a fill-up and about 5 hours of travel at 60 mph. Because mpgs tend to be higher on highway travel verses stop-and-go metro travel, I'm fairly certain I can get over 400 miles on a tankful. I understand your philosophy as the western half of the United States has only 20% of the United States population, thus low population density as compared to the eastern half of the United States.
I'm an Engineer. That means I solve problems. Not problems like "What is beauty?", because that would fall within the purview of your conundrums of philosophy. I solve practical problems and call them "paychecks".

gonealookin

Quote from: CtrlAltDel on November 19, 2023, 09:26:08 PM
I think I've been criticized here before for never letting the tank get less than half full, but I never let the tank get less than half full, since my plan in any sort of emergency is to get in the car and drive away.

That was always my philosophy when I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Catastrophic earthquake?  As long as there's one road open somewhere out to the Central Valley I could get out there without first having to wait in panic-induced gas station lines hoping the station doesn't run out before I get to the pump.

It's not quite the same living at Tahoe as the catastrophe would be a massive wildfire which would not (immediately) affect Carson City 25 miles away.  I still don't usually let it get down to where the idiot light comes on; at some point before that I have a few minutes, see a station where the price is reasonable and deal with it.

Sometimes even Mom needs to be told to STFU.  If you do ever run out, you can be in one of those insurance company commercials where she drops the red challenge flag and you check the replay.

Max Rockatansky

Yosemite definitely rivals Death Valley in terms of isolation.  Mariposa isn't exactly super close to the park boundary but at least you got a station in El Portal on CA 140.  There isn't any stations north of Oakhurst on CA 41 to the park boundary.  Western CA 120 has a fair amount of stations in the Big Oak Flat-Groveland area.  Above Yosemite Valley heading east over Tioga Pass the only station is at Crane Flat.  There is a whole lot of park, National Forest and mountains from Crane Flat east to Lee Vining on US 395.

jeffandnicole

Here's the other extreme:  I'm in a carpool with 3 others. Our commute is 82 miles round trip.  One of the guys will fill up before he drives up, no matter how much is in the tank.  He confirmed my suspicions that his take never gets below 3/4 full one day:  He never spends more than $10 for gas because he's never putting more than 3 gallons in.

He could easily take 3 round trips and safely be between 1/4 & 1/2 full.  And if, for some really odd reason he needed gas - of the 20 some exits along our commute, only 2 or 3 of them won't have a gas station nearby.

Road Hog

There's a 33-mile stretch on I-30 in Northeast Texas between Mt. Pleasant and New Boston with no gas stations at all in between and so signs to that effect. As I once learned (a cheap lesson; I somehow made it through on fumes).

1995hoo

Gas Buddy's value is questionable in my mind anyway because of the unreliability of people posting prices. A gas station near my house closed. People kept posting prices anyway, presumably to get points for posting them, until the station was removed about two months later.
"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"
—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

SectorZ

Quote from: 1995hoo on November 20, 2023, 07:42:15 AM
Gas Buddy's value is questionable in my mind anyway because of the unreliability of people posting prices. A gas station near my house closed. People kept posting prices anyway, presumably to get points for posting them, until the station was removed about two months later.

GasBuddy was much better as well when established members could update the master gas station list, long ago when they had a functioning website and weren't just reduced to an app (that enjoys tracking the ever-loving crap out of you if you don't change the default settings). When that went away, erroneous station data could stay in there for months, and I used to see the same updates for closed stations because of their ridiculous point system.

Newer people to that app will never know how fully-functional their old website was.

GaryV

The only place I consistently top up my tank is in St Ignace when we are headed for the western UP. Yes there will be gas, but you never know for how much.

Exception: If I didn't have a full tank when leaving home and I fill up in Gaylord or Indian River before crossing the Bridge.

roadman65

Quote from: Big John on November 19, 2023, 09:17:08 PM
Waiting for Bandit's response.  :popcorn:

Junior: Daddy I have to go pee pee.
Justice: Swallow it. Can't you see I'm busy.
Junior: Daddy I really have to go.
Justice: You're just like your mama. She can't go no more than two miles from home without having to take a squirt.
Every day is a winding road, you just got to get used to it.

Sheryl Crowe

Big John

Quote from: roadman65 on November 20, 2023, 09:26:01 AM
Quote from: Big John on November 19, 2023, 09:17:08 PM
Waiting for Bandit's response.  :popcorn:

Junior: Daddy I have to go pee pee.
Justice: Swallow it. Can't you see I'm busy.
Junior: Daddy I really have to go.
Justice: You're just like your mama. She can't go no more than two miles from home without having to take a squirt.
I was thinking more of the bunker blast.

vdeane

I usually fill up around half a tank, not because I'm worried about running out, but because I don't want to worry about things like condensation in the gas tank.  Plus on roadtrips it's convenient to fill up before I leave, when I stop for lunch, and then at my destination, without making special stops just for gas.
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position of NYSDOT or its affiliates.

mgk920

Twentyish female excitedly tells her friend in the C-store that "I got gas!"  An anonymous nearby customer kind of quietly says "Oh dear".  First female customer completely cracks up.

:-P

Mike

Rothman

Quote from: vdeane on November 20, 2023, 12:48:31 PM
I usually fill up around half a tank, not because I'm worried about running out, but because I don't want to worry about things like condensation in the gas tank.  Plus on roadtrips it's convenient to fill up before I leave, when I stop for lunch, and then at my destination, without making special stops just for gas.
Why would one need to worry about condensation in the gas tank?
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position(s) of NYSDOT.

Henry

Sounds like something the wife and/or kids would've asked in the National Lampoon Vacation movies...usually Clark would be questioned, but in the last one it would be Rusty doing the exact same thing he, his parents and annoying sister did thirty years before.
Go Cubs Go! Go Cubs Go! Hey Chicago, what do you say? The Cubs are gonna win today!

vdeane

Quote from: Rothman on November 20, 2023, 06:41:37 PM
Quote from: vdeane on November 20, 2023, 12:48:31 PM
I usually fill up around half a tank, not because I'm worried about running out, but because I don't want to worry about things like condensation in the gas tank.  Plus on roadtrips it's convenient to fill up before I leave, when I stop for lunch, and then at my destination, without making special stops just for gas.
Why would one need to worry about condensation in the gas tank?
https://www.bemac.ca/blog/do-you-need-to-keep-your-gas-tank-full-in-winter/
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position of NYSDOT or its affiliates.

DriverDave

I usually refill when I am down to about 1/10th of a tank, or about 45 miles left. But I really should do it once it's down to a 5th or 6th because when it's lower than that there's a risk of gunk being sucked up from the bottom of the tank.

Rothman

Quote from: vdeane on November 20, 2023, 09:26:40 PM
Quote from: Rothman on November 20, 2023, 06:41:37 PM
Quote from: vdeane on November 20, 2023, 12:48:31 PM
I usually fill up around half a tank, not because I'm worried about running out, but because I don't want to worry about things like condensation in the gas tank.  Plus on roadtrips it's convenient to fill up before I leave, when I stop for lunch, and then at my destination, without making special stops just for gas.
Why would one need to worry about condensation in the gas tank?
https://www.bemac.ca/blog/do-you-need-to-keep-your-gas-tank-full-in-winter/
*shrug*

Lived in the north and even the far north where long stretches in the double negatives in the winter were commonplace.  My old father-in-law drove around northern WI with his tank nearly on empty and never had a problem...but he did have a block heater. :D
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position(s) of NYSDOT.

doorknob60

I usually get gas around 1/4 tank when I'm just driving around town. I might fill it up earlier if there's a good opportunity (eg. if I make a Costco trip and have 1/3 tank I might fill up the tank as well). There's no reason I couldn't push it lower, but I have no real need to, so I just use the 1/4 line as a convenient "time to get gas soon" line.

On road trips, I usually play it a little more safe, filling up around 1/3 tank. I might fill up sooner if I'm in a more desolate area and am passing through a town with good services (eg. I'd definitely fill up in Ontario, OR before heading west on I-84 or US-20, if I'm below half a tank or so). This is extra true if I'm not on an interstate, as services can be more sparse on US/state highways.

But I might stretch it a little farther if I know I can make it to a larger town/more desirable stop. For example driving west on I-82, I pushed the tank farther than normal (probably somewhere around 1/5) to make it to Yakima, WA, so I could fill up at Costco for much cheaper than the stations in the smaller towns along the way. I also knew that if something went wrong and I couldn't make it to Yakima, I'd never be more than 5-10 miles away from a station so it wouldn't be a problem.

thspfc

Being unable to mentally recover from almost running out of gas one time 40 years ago. A true classic.

kalvado

Thwse are all cool stories... But can you check if we have enough gas?



Opinions expressed here on belong solely to the poster and do not represent or reflect the opinions or beliefs of AARoads, its creators and/or associates.