Hold on to your shorts, $5 a gallon gasoline coming soon

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
6,339
Everytime I watch US citizens in cars on TV, and I'm talking real people in documentaries etc not hollywood movies it looks like everyone drives a big guzzling SUV or pickup truck or large sedan, and almost always ONLY ONE person per car.

It's a bit hard to be sympathetic. If yo umust have a car buy a small car with a 1200cc 4 cyl engine and get DOUBLE the gas mileage. It still gets you to work and you just HALVED the cost of a gallon gas (comparitively).

Or sell the $40000 SUV and get a little $2000 motorcycle. It goes faster, uses LESS than half the gas, and you get $38000 worth of FREE GAS to use for the next 10 years!

People make really poor life decisions, then complain about how it's not working out real well for them...
I totally agree with this, but I offer a second perspective, my perspective:
The way people drive here in my city is absolutely frightening. I used to ride a motorcycle until I was ran off the highway into concrete barrier by cellphone-chatting, 20-something female SUV driver. I won't get back on another one.

The problem of everybody driving massive military tank-like vehicles is also the reason why some people drive these vehicles. People drive dually pickups and 5000lb suburbans around here like they're in the Indy 500. Personally, I'm not going to put my wife & daughters in a cute little death box to be ran over these maniacs. In order to give them the best fighting chance at survival, I would want them to also be behind the wheel of a vehicle of substantial mass.

My other perspective is this: I drive a '93 V8 chevy pickup. It gets 15mpg on a good day. Sure, I complain about the price of gas, but until it gets up over 15$/gal, It's still cost effective for me to continue driving it. It's already paid off, and it's already ugly so I don't pay full coverage. Despite it's gas-guzzling nature, my monthly payment is actually quite lower than it would be if I went out and bought a prius (already said I'm not buying a motorcycle).
 

Thread Starter

spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,830
My question for our European friends is what is you km / liter (please convert to miles / gallon for us metric impaired folks if you can :) ) for a midsize family automobile.

I have always heard that European automobiles get much better gas mileage. Just want to know if it is a myth or not. I do understand that some people have smaller cars. But my Italian friend drives a car not much smaller than mine. But I don't think I ever asked him his fuel mileage.

And what is the european term anyway for fuel consumption? Is it kilometerage? :)
 

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
6,339
Stop SUV production. Sell trucks only if it is for work.
That would be hard for the government to justify. It wouldn't be in keeping with with actions of a "free" country. But I guess if they can do it with incandescent bulbs they could do it with SUVs too. And maybe, like with incandescent bulbs, they could specify a replacement for SUVs which only comes from China.
 

Audioguru

Joined Dec 20, 2007
11,248
We don't want flimsy little European cars that can be smashed to pieces by all the huge trucks, vans and SUVs.

They have good fuel economy and are flimsy because the greedy European goverments raised the price of gasoline too high with taxes.

EDIT: Also maybe many European people are in poverty.
 

Audioguru

Joined Dec 20, 2007
11,248
Many people in North America have high incomes so they can afford to buy huge vehicles.
Even poor people starve then buy a huge vehicle.
It is how they show their neighbours that they are rich (and stupid).
 

THE_RB

Joined Feb 11, 2008
5,438
Strantor said:
I totally agree with this, but I offer a second perspective, my perspective:
...
The problem of everybody driving massive military tank-like vehicles is also the reason why some people drive these vehicles. People drive dually pickups and 5000lb suburbans around here like they're in the Indy 500. Personally, I'm not going to put my wife & daughters in a cute little death box to be ran over these maniacs. In order to give them the best fighting chance at survival, I would want them to also be behind the wheel of a vehicle of substantial mass.
...
Interesting point, very few people I know buy a vehicle for safety. It's an emotional issue for sure, being one of those very low risk but very high consequence life threatening things (car accidents).

A good driver will have practically zero accidents as they maintain defensive tactics and safety zones around them. I have arguments with my woman all the time when she drives right up behind another car, with very little room to manouver. I tell her "You are still doing EXACTLY the speed he is going anyway, so why not back off a few car lengths and OWN all the extra free road in front of you?" but again I think it's an emotional issue, she feels like she's going faster or "pushing" him to go faster or something silly like that. ;) There is no actual gain from being right up behind the car, just a massive loss of safety and control, that's why I say about people making really poor decisions (emotion).

As a motorcycle rider I have had many instances where I'm watching someone about to pull out right in front of me, and I'm already bringing on the brakes and changing lane position so they don't hit me. You have to ride like everybody is out to kill you! :D

Even in a small car most accidents are minor IF the small car driver is a good driver and is not the one at fault. Most people I know drive small cars, and those that need trucks etc drive something like a Toyota 4cyl diesel flatbed pickup truck that gets 35 MPG compared to your V8 Chevy pickup that gets 15 MPG.

Currently I have an old Harley well tuned that gets about 45 MPG, a 4cyl 1990 fuel injected Toyota sedan bought for $3k some years ago that is still worth $3k and gets 40ish MPG, and for small trips to town now I have a cheap 250cc motorcycle that is very old but working fine and gets 70-80MPG.

Pretty much everybody I know has a 4cyl car or small 4cyl diesel truck and they probably all get around the 35-40 MPG mark.

Now America is entering the next couple of decades with it's incredibly high debt and low and sliding lower income, some really hard times ahead and will no longer be the richest world power, maybe not even in the top 5, I think there will be a lot of people questioning whether they all need massive heavy V8s to drive to work. Where the countries with emerging economies like Australia and China etc are already used to small cars and bikes and making good financial choices and actually taking the bus etc... You're not in the post-war 1950's boom time anymore guys! :eek:
 
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strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
6,339
Again, agreed 100%. I don't live in fairy tale land where I think America is all-powerful and always will be. I'm a realist, I see what's happening. I hope my fellow Americans wake up too before it's too late. I also hope that when they do wake up, that they don't immediately assume that the only way to fix the problem is to go out and buy a bunch of crap from china under the label of efficiency. That's another reason I don't buy another car. Every car you buy, whether assembled in America or shipped here already made, majorly comes from China. When you buy used, the damage is already done. The money spend stays within the country's borders for a little while longer; that is, unless that person takes your check straight to the Chevy dealership and puts it down on a new Volt. Believe it or not, we do have fuel efficient vehicles here in America. We have for the past 30 years or more. People have them hauled off to the crusher in sickening numbers because they are crippled by the throw-away mentality & the "I've gotta have the newest & shiniest car on the street" mentality. we have so many cars here that second hand cars go for dirt cheap, but for some reason buying a used car carries some negative stigma, like only highschool kids & poor people do that.

No, we have alternatives to rushing to dealerships & buying battery powered chinamobiles. My friend is a Naval officer. He makes lots of money and spends it wisely. He has enough money sitting around to go buy a hummer for straight cash, no financing. Instead, he's converting his V8 gas-guzzling '99 explorer (which he's already been driving for 10 years) to CNG. He'll be done next week and when he is, he'll be paying less (talking cost of operation only, not financing & insurance) than a hybrid owner to drive it. America has massive reserves of natural gas, and it's all dirt cheap because no demand - everybody's interests are focused where the 'unbiased' media has focused them - on battery technology coming out of China.

And on the topic of defensive driving, I do drive defensively. I didn't before, as I was a hot-headed young male, but in the past 2 years I've become a husband & father of 2. When I'm out on the highway and I see people pulling stunts that I used to pull, it nearly sends me into full-blown rage. The liberties that people think they can take with the safety of my family are appalling. I maintain a safe following distance (10 car lengths or more) which means I am perpetually braking, backing off from the steady stream of cars who pour into the gap that I leave, as the people in the 10' high, 6000lb dually truck behind me are no more than 3' off my rear bumper. This weekend I was driving with my normal gap in front and someone with a minivan full of kids cut in front of me unneccissarily close, leaving no more than 5' between my front bumper and their rear; then as soon as they were there, they swerved out of the way of a tire in the road which I wasn't given the luxury of time to react to, and I luckily straddled it and did not incur any damage. They stole my reaction time and could have killed my kids. I do not take lightly to shenanigans like that. If I had been driving a mini cooper things would have panned out much differently.
 

THE_RB

Joined Feb 11, 2008
5,438
...When you buy used, the damage is already done. The money spend stays within the country's borders for a little while longer;
...
Absolutely! Buying used means buying American (the money you spent goes to a fellow American).

...
... we have so many cars here that second hand cars go for dirt cheap, but for some reason buying a used car carries some negative stigma, like only highschool kids & poor people do that.
Yep, there's that emotion thing again, but even worse as it has propagandised by the advertising media that all successful happy families etc all have shiny new cars.

When I was a boy in the 70's people had older cars, and it was even frowned upon when someone bought a new car! It was like; "What an idiot buying a new car! Doesn't he know it loses 1/3 of its value just in the first year?" etc. But media brainwashing has slowly turned the table on that good old common sense. I have a couple of relatives, who are not stupid but somehow are absolutely convinced it's best to buy a new car every couple of years, even with credit costs factored in! So not only do they lose 1/3 of the cars value or more (many thousands of dollars lost on each car), but they ALSO pay credit costs of many thousands of dollars again lost on each car! Like flushing cash down the toilet year after year.

I like that book "Millionaire next door" about self made millionaires in the USA, and their habits. None of them buy new cars, they buy good value good condition second hand cars with CASH. Often driving them for a couple of years then selling again for the same price they originally paid! I meant hey made millions buying/selling shares, real estate, businesses etc why be a loser at buying/selling their car?

...
... he's converting his V8 gas-guzzling '99 explorer (which he's already been driving for 10 years) to CNG. He'll be done next week and when he is, he'll be paying less (talking cost of operation only, not financing & insurance) than a hybrid owner to drive it. America has massive reserves of natural gas, and it's all dirt cheap because no demand - everybody's interests are focused where the 'unbiased' media has focused them - on battery technology coming out of China.
...
Yeah there's plenty of smart people out there, but unfortunately they are a small % of the consumer population. :)

I hear you on the hybrid cars (Prius) etc. There are some small savings per fuel costs but again these could be easily equalled by a motorcycle, small efficient gasoline engine car, man/wife car sharing (instead of 2 cars) and so many other options.

The silly part (which I'm sure you know) is the very high purchase cost of the new trendy Hybrid, equalling many many years worth of fuel. And the high production costs of the hybrid including high materials costs and high energy costs. Buying a used car has no production costs, no energy costs.

They talk about car recycling but it's a trendy crock! They use energy to crush a used car, energy to transport the iron to Asia, energy to make it into a new car and then we have to buy it from Asia VALUE ADDED so a huge chunk of our economy goes directly to Asia! Here's a thought... Instead of "recycling" used cars just DRIVE THEM! ;)
 

Sparky49

Joined Jul 16, 2011
833
What American car manufacturers are there? I can only think of European and Japanese cars. The Japanese make a reliable car. And outboards too.
 

chrisw1990

Joined Oct 22, 2011
551
us poor brits.. love that americans are per gallon, its £1.40 per litre over here.. thats...£5.31 per US Gallon.. $8.45!!!!! christ, its easier just to get someone to send some over!!!
 

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
6,339
They talk about car recycling but it's a trendy crock! They use energy to crush a used car, energy to transport the iron to Asia, energy to make it into a new car and then we have to buy it from Asia VALUE ADDED so a huge chunk of our economy goes directly to Asia! Here's a thought... Instead of "recycling" used cars just DRIVE THEM! ;)
They had a program here called "cash for clunkers" - it made my blood boil. The US govt, in their all-knowing benevolence, decided to intervene in the natural order of the free market and use 3 billion tax dollars to encourage rampant consumerism and uncontrolled hemorraging of American wealth into China. You could drive up to a dealership in a used car and, should you decide to buy a brand new one that gets better gas mileage, the government would step in and pay a few thousand dollars towards the price of the new car, and they would take your used (running) car and fill the engine block full of silica and run it until it locked up. Then crush it (with all parts intact) and send it off to be recycled.

There was a slogan at one point, REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE. Meaning, try to get by with less, then whatever you are still using, use it again, and only after it's exhausted all potential use do you recycle it. There were plenty of good parts on those cars. The cars could have #1, continued to be used, #2, gone to the junk yard where their parts could have been reused, and #3, only after all that should they be melted down for scrap IN AMERICA.

The people are never going to reverse their ideas when the government promotes them.
 

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
6,339
us poor brits.. love that americans are per gallon, its £1.40 per litre over here.. thats...£5.31 per US Gallon.. $8.45!!!!! christ, its easier just to get someone to send some over!!!
Why? You guys have all kinds of drilling going on in the north sea. I understand you don't drill for all your oil, but neither do we. I assume your proportion of oil drilled for to oild purchased from unstable countries is similar to ours. So why do you pay over twice as much for it? Does your government put a 200% sin tax on it?
 
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