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Guess My Mileage Contest! Answered

In about two weeks, I will be embarking on a nearly 2000 mile road trip from the "right" coast to the "left" coast of the United States. I will send the person that guesses my fuel economy over the entire trip a $10 (USD) bill and 1 instructables patch.

1. Thou Shall Not Exceed My Mileage
2. Thou Shall Guess a Number Ending in the Thousandths (xx.xxx)
3. Thou Shall not guess a previously guessed number
4. Thou Shall guess MPG (please no l/100km et. al. - just to keep the rules more simple)
a. If no one guesses exactly, the guess closest, but not exceeding the real number wins.
b. If two people guess the same number - see rule 3. The first person's guess is valid
c. You can change your guess by replying to your original guess - once your guess is changed, it can be taken by someone else.
d. Guesses that do not accurate to the thousandth will be ignored

Here's some clues to assist your guessing.
2000 Volkswagen Jetta
2.0L Naturally Aspirated Gasoline Engine ~110hp rated
Currently 102,xxx Miles on the Odometer
5 Speed Manual Gearbox
Oil change ~1500 miles ago (it will not be changed for another 9-10K miles)
Tires inflated to 50/55 HOT - these are all seasons
Grille Blocked Off
Passenger Mirror Folded in (possibly will be removed)
Scanguage2 to monitor coolant temperature, trip mpg, TPS etc.

Possibly 1 mini fridge >100lbs
Me: ~130lbs
Passenger ~150lbs
Two suitcases (one will not exceed 50lbs)
Possibly a third suitcase (not exceeding 50lbs)
Lets tack on an additional 200lbs for things I'm not seeing now

EPA Estimates
24mpg City
31mpg Highway
27mpg Combined

I use hypermile driving techniques... That is:
1. Accelerate based on Brake Mean Fuel Consumption Charts (~2500-3000 RPM - 50% throttle = most efficiency)
2. Coast and Burn with 3+++:1 coast-burn ratio (engine either off or idle)
3. Engine Off at stoplights and approach
4. Windows UP - AC OFF (this may change, but that's currently how I'm riding | AC will trump windows)
5. I will not exceed the speed limit - I may travel below for optimal fuel economy
6. Bump Start where applicable (following the same method the Prius uses to start its ICE)

Currently being discussed and looked over. I20 is looking promising, but it's up in the air.

Please take this with a grain of salt. I only just recently started hypermiling (beginning of April lets say). So only the last tank (which was 100% city) reflects that.

My Gaslog

Calculation will be based off the sum of the miles (accurate to the tenth) divided by the sum of the fuel pumped (accurate to the thousandth). Everything will be based on receipt, not scangauge2 data.

This is the section that I post changes to my car, cargo etc.. A change can be as basic as a bit more anticipated weight or as drastic as major aerodynamic modification or mechanical. A possible change may be a hot air intake.

Finally, a note about my oil changes.... I send an oil sample to Blackstone Labs for oil analysis. My last oil change interval was a tad over 10K miles -- and the lab report indicated my oil was still good - everything was good except a slightly high Cu level. Not in the danger zone, but something to watch. My point is... Don't give me any crap about 3K miles - I like my oil films established and don't need constant oil changes screwing that up -- that's why I pay for oil analysis (besides, it comes out cheaper in the end anyway).


About 35.23 or so


9 years ago

who won this?


11 years ago

Having made the trip from NY to CA last spring in my old 1994 Honda Accord and being surprised by my own mileage I am betting that you will get better gas mileage than your expecting - there is nothing like the open road to let your car really show what it can do!

If you really want to improve gas mileage just drive straight through the nights. That means less stops, less ideling, less traffic and more efficiciency! Of course, no sleep = fatigue, and that means a higher likelihood of something going wrong, and if that happens, then gas mileage really isn't something you will be concerned with. So with that in mind, take some sunflower seeds for the road and put the pedal to the metal during the day time.

My guess is 28.790 mpg.

I'll be waiting on the "left" coast for my 10 dollars when you get here.

Traffic is a big concern.. I'm getting construction information from AAA and have been posting route requests in a bunch of forums... I'd prefer driving during the day because barring traffic, daytime is more efficient due to hotter air temps :) No pedal to the metal - at least not permanently... Coast and Burn -- Pedal to the 50% throttle - then 0% :D


11 years ago

Lol. Picked a fine time to do this, with the high gas prices and all. Well good luck anyways.

Here's my guess anyways, kind of weird quick average of everybody elses guess because I don't know how to calculate it.

37 MPG

I have a whole spreadsheet setup.... To fly over - it would have cost me more, unless fuel exceeded ~$3.50 which it very well may, but at the same time - airline tickets would go up.


11 years ago

36.838 mpg!

You can get from one coast to the other in under 2,000 miles? that is hypermiling.

Is your Google the same as my Google? Looks like you're starting from Orlando and the shortest route to the Pacific that I found was ~2,400 miles.

Google trip

Hah! I take it this is your first trip across the country then? Get ready to see a whole lot of Texas.

Yep :) And from other forums and such, I've got the location of some awesome jerky :)

I guess there should have been an additional rule such as, "Thou shalt not guess more than once" or "Thou shalt not change thy mind." :)

27.837 mpg

Alright then... Change mine to 36.837. That should give you quite a savings on gas!

Wow, you guys are really low balling me on my miles :p Is it because you don't want to go over? (perhaps I should modify that rule slightly -- something like "can't go over and the winner must be within 5mpg").... We'll see, I really want someone to get close :)

I figure a seven year old VW and a route intended to visit populated areas. If you were going direct and avoiding population, I'd guess closer to 30mpg.

I figure a seven year old VW and a route intended to visit populated areas.

Not necessarily... we will make a few stops to break up the trip, but the idea is to get from here to there... Oh yeah, my passenger has a flight to catch in LA :p That is, we're not going to be taking surface roads the whole way... I'd say 97% of the miles will be highway, the other 3% being stops for food, sleep, entertainment and fuel (so we're talking less than 100 miles of city driving). I've also been posting around in forums for info about traffic in certain cities etc. So I can make an attempt to avoid :)

I guess another hint... I've been doing 100% city driving on my current tank (used about 1/4 of it thus far)... The scangauge says I'm getting 33mpg and the fuel gauge/odometer seem to agree :p My highway economy has ALWAYS been higher than my city ;) On my last tank, I had a quick trip on the highway (about 5 miles) -- while cruising (basically cruise control), the scangauge read 45mpg @ 65mph... And that was at night, when fuel economy will be lower :)

28.426 mpg 105.2 gallons 2990.4 miles L

What! If I win, you'll send me a bill for $10?!?!?! Gotta love language differences. Good luck with the challenge.

Ten dollar bill. As in "note of legal currency with a value equal to a set amount of gold standard." As in this.

Thanks mate. I got what he means, just making a small joke to point out that things can sound different depending on where you come from.

My favorite difference in the languages is that Americans go to college, where Brits go to university. :)

Not just the British! Australians go to Uni too. Here college has a vareity of meanings, one is kind of like a fraternity in the US, where students live in dorms on campus. Another use is a department or faculty of a university, especially if they are located away from the main campus, eg. college of health studies, college of graduate management.

Yeah... technically, I go to a university -- well formally, that is what is said... And I go to the college of engineering :p

Technically, the US has been off of the Gold standard for over 70 years. "Legal Tender" is sufficient.

I search for a used TDI for months and months to no avail. So I bought a new one. The thing was, the value did not fall much on the used cars and the 1.9% financing I got from VW pretty much made up for the price difference between a new and used car. Mine is a 2003 Golf. Yes, I did have a glow plug go on me but it was still under warranty. But I do love the sound, smell, and feel of a diesel. Man, can that car climb hills! Last summer, my brother and I drove the car from Pittsburgh to Vancouver -- we took the northern route over Superior. We got great mileage except across the prairies with the A/C on. Took on the Canadian Rockies without a hint of effort on her part.

maybe u have notused the car! "00.000"


My TDI would do almost twice that. A little less on biodiesel.

This is true -- plus your diesel prices go down in the summer (or at least don't go up) when heating oil isn't in demand :p My only problem is/was -- tee dee eye owners don't like selling there cars :p But, I don't regret my decision -- I don't have the 1.8T/VR6 coil pack troubles nor do I have any glow plug controller malfunction :D But the cat was replaced under warranty :)

No, I'm allowing it ;) Mostly because there's likely to be changes in my setup, so to be fair, I'm cool with it :)

i'm just gonna average all ur answers at the last minute X-D

My Guess will be: 26.961 MPG


11 years ago

28.317 MPG