Letter to the editor: Even big engines can be efficient

There are 23 comments on the Public Opinion story from Aug 9, 2008, titled Letter to the editor: Even big engines can be efficient. In it, Public Opinion reports that:

By using 87 octane gas at $3.99 a gallon and without cruise control on, for our two cars, we average 19.5 miles per gallon.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Public Opinion.

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Fireman

Powhatan, VA

#1 Aug 10, 2008
This assumes a couple of things
1) that your engine can run at the higher temperature from the 93 octane, which is stated in your manufacturers book. My truck recommends using 87 therefore I would possible voided the warrenty using higher octane fuel if something were to happen.

2) That the driving that you are doing you have the ability to use your cruise control. If you are doing mostly city driving you can't use the cruise control.

“ONE LOVE...ONE HORSE”

Since: Dec 07

Location hidden

#2 Aug 10, 2008
Sounds pretty average for open road cruise control driving.(which I doubt represents most of our driving)

My 1994 5.7L Buick does at least that good...

Your 2005 vehicles should be out-performing my older model.
george

Philadelphia, PA

#3 Aug 10, 2008
19.5 mpg?! That's pretty awesome gas milage!! Weren't cars getting that gas milage in the 1950s?

The car companies in this country need to do a much better job of providing more efficient cars for us to drive!
Tom

Carlisle, PA

#4 Aug 10, 2008
If it works for you go for it! As mentioned by one, some should not use higher octane for various reasons. Cruise is OK on highways but not city driving.
Patty Wac

Vandergrift, PA

#5 Aug 10, 2008
Don't use cruise control in the rain or during winter conditions such as when it is snowing or icy which can lead to hydroplaning.
glock

Bloomsburg, PA

#6 Aug 10, 2008
Patty Wac wrote:
Don't use cruise control in the rain or during winter conditions such as when it is snowing or icy which can lead to hydroplaning.
Same thing will happen if we follow Obama's energy plan and try to inflate our way out of high gas prices
Teddy

Colonia, NJ

#7 Aug 10, 2008
Doesn't matter what candidates energy plan you follow. The currents administrations plan for oil independence was to use oil from Iraq to increase US supplies. Don't look like it's gonna happen boys. Guess they were wrong all around.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080810/ap_on_re_...
Sick-Tired

Bensalem, PA

#8 Aug 10, 2008
Yea let's not get rid our unnecessary V8's and just brag about the crappy (but good for a V8) gas mileage we get out of them instead!

Since: Feb 08

Franklin County, PA

#9 Aug 10, 2008
Teddy wrote:
Doesn't matter what candidates energy plan you follow. The currents administrations plan for oil independence was to use oil from Iraq to increase US supplies. Don't look like it's gonna happen boys. Guess they were wrong all around.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080810/ap_on_re_...
Will be interesting if that China contract is allowed to be honored, then again, Iraq is a sovereign nation, eh? ;-)

And in other news, the US (with UK/France) have additional Carrier Groups, fresh from Operation Brimstone, and CG from Japan, heading to perform a blockade of Iran. MAJOR military muscle moving in, likely to also attempt to keep Russia/China out by being so heavy. Kuwait has finalized its emergency precautions.

Russia moving to blockade Georgia, now, and the ~1000 US trainers/advisors/soldiers in Georgia, are being, or will soon be, augmented and/or replaced by our mercenaries, unknown if Blackwater. That B-T-C pipeline their protecting is now shut down, but in Turkey by PKK. Azerbaijan has halted oil exports via the Georgian ports.

The wars for Oil have escalated greatly.

"19"mpg Caddies? Hope you can hypermile those. Didn't look up the models the letter-writer has, perhaps not like most Caddies I think of, but, when I see a Hummer or big SUV, I like to ask if they had considered a small Peterbilt or Kenworth, they do hold their value quite well, and could be fun for the whole family. Shame on me, free country, their money, my bad...
Just Wondering

Wilmington, DE

#10 Aug 10, 2008
haha, I like the peterbilt and kenworth comment. actually you can by a non CDL International 26 000 GVW truck cheaper than the new Escalade hybrid.(probably in crew cab also) And the international has had a hybrid option for almost 2 years.

I'll just stick to my jetta where I can get 30 mpg and burn 87 octane. The writer is probably seeing an increase in mileage due to the fact that the compression ratio is higher on the caddy, and by running 87 octane, the fuel/air mixture is igniting while the piston is still headed up to top dead center.

best thing is to run the octane level you're supposed to, unless you like to put the pedal to the metal when the light turns green, if you drive hard like that you might have to bump up. still the cheapest way to drive is slow and at the correct octane level.

Since: Feb 08

Franklin County, PA

#11 Aug 10, 2008
Just Wondering wrote:
haha, I like the peterbilt and kenworth comment. actually you can by a non CDL International 26 000 GVW truck cheaper than the new Escalade hybrid.(probably in crew cab also) And the international has had a hybrid option for almost 2 years.
That is too cool. I've been away from trucks/manufacturing for many years, so I HAD to go google that! Even the "minimum" 30%-40% fuel savings would be quite significant. Hope new fleet purchases by Utilities/Garbage/etc are getting those quoted.

Couple a (hybrid) "large car" (Class 8) with multiple (3 or more) trailers ala Australia (16 plus through the outback!), and maybe that's one teeny way US could start to lower the costs for long-haul interstate truck freight.(Need to have a super-license, make it an elite group.(low caffeine users))
Well OK

Landisburg, PA

#12 Aug 10, 2008
The MFG list 17 City and 24 HWY for a V-8 2005 Coupe Deville on 91 octane. Consumer reports test was average 16 MPG city/highway combined. The write must have gotten a good one or is cruising at 50 MPH on the highway.
worldinspector

Mount Holly, NJ

#13 Aug 10, 2008
A: Cruise Control assumes that you're not driving; that something else is instead. I'll stick to my 5-speed, thanks, and drive it myself.
B. 19 mpg is horrible mileage; meanwhile if you're getting near 30 -- w. 93 or 87 octane in a Cadillac, you're probably a menace to yourself and others, driving 50 mph in 65 zones when everyone else is doing 75. Or, more likely(hopefully!), there's something wrong with your calculations.
MEANWHILE, with a proper modern, clean diesel, such as VW offered for a few years and is now coming back with ... and which power over half the cars in Europe, you'd get nearly double the mileage on any comparably equipped gas engine car, and better performance!
So while your letter and experience have some minimal merit, it pales against what could be!
Thenvsnow

Newville, PA

#14 Aug 10, 2008
george wrote:
19.5 mpg?! That's pretty awesome gas milage!! Weren't cars getting that gas milage in the 1950s?
The car companies in this country need to do a much better job of providing more efficient cars for us to drive!
I had a 1964 Impala SS 327 4 Barrel carb and got 22 mpg on the highway. That car didn't have all the smog stuff on it that today's cars do. Gas was 30 cents a gallon also. Actually it was cheaper before jfk got in and raised min wage and all our taxes.
Thenvsnow

Newville, PA

#15 Aug 10, 2008
worldinspector wrote:
A: Cruise Control assumes that you're not driving; that something else is instead. I'll stick to my 5-speed, thanks, and drive it myself.
B. 19 mpg is horrible mileage; meanwhile if you're getting near 30 -- w. 93 or 87 octane in a Cadillac, you're probably a menace to yourself and others, driving 50 mph in 65 zones when everyone else is doing 75. Or, more likely(hopefully!), there's something wrong with your calculations.
MEANWHILE, with a proper modern, clean diesel, such as VW offered for a few years and is now coming back with ... and which power over half the cars in Europe, you'd get nearly double the mileage on any comparably equipped gas engine car, and better performance!
So while your letter and experience have some minimal merit, it pales against what could be!
Go diesel and pay an extra dollar a gallon.
Something interesting

Carlisle, PA

#16 Aug 10, 2008
The E85 cars fuel for less like almost $1 per gallon but I found it interesting that they get about 2 MPG less.
grumpy old sea hag

United States

#17 Aug 10, 2008
My 1984 Mercedes 190 D gets 40 mpg around town.
Sick-Tired

Bensalem, PA

#18 Aug 10, 2008
Yep, I keep my '86 VW well-tuned and INFLATED (ahem) and I'm pulling 40 mpg hwy, and it's gasoline not diesel. It has no problem keeping up at highway speeds and seats enough people with plenty of room for cargo. Good little car, although it's seen as more of a novelty in Chambersburg.

“Divine Hag”

Since: Jun 08

Briar Patch

#19 Aug 10, 2008
Vegetable oil conversion is easier with diesels though.
I can't understand why more people haven't thrown a kit into their diesels. You get to keep your dually (I know, I'm generalizing.) but you still save money.
Granted, you still have to buy diesel fuel, but you use a heck of a lot less and your exhaust could make people hungry!

Older VW's RAWK, BTW, but I'll keep my 'Baru.
from cali

San Diego, CA

#20 Aug 11, 2008
so.......... what does your owners manual recommend for fuel for your vehical??? im betting that it calls for the 93 octane.......... that could be a reason for you finding your diffrences like that if it calls for it then it needs it to run properly other if u dont then its gonna run poorly and get worse gas mileage.......... are you the owner of a gas station and just trying to get everyone to buy the most expencive stuff so u get more money in ur pocket????

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