Good Old Uncle Sam,

Discussion in 'General Conversation' started by AwShucks, May 9, 2006.

  1. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Guthrie, Oklaho
    Now, who would have ever thought it... tsk, tsk, tsk.

    Pain At The Pump: Government Gas Secrets

    Government Gas Secrets Mon May 8, 1:42 PM ET

    The government has been keeping a secret about automobiles under wraps for the past 30 years.

    Reporter Michelle Meredith teamed up with Consumer Reports to explain why your car probably does not get the mileage advertised.

    The Consumer Reports' auto test track in Connecticut looks like it could be a new theme park in Orlando.

    And when it comes to testing cars, Consumer Reports leaves no stone unturned, no lug nut loose. And here's the question Consumer Reports set out to answer -- does your car get the gas mileage promised on the showroom sticker.

    It's the mileage you probably used to decide if the car fit your monthly budget.

    First, Meredith took a look at how carmakers come up with these numbers because you could be in for a big surprise. The guidelines for the tests were set by the federal government decades ago, in the late 1970s. Gerald Ford was president and disco was king.

    And under these guidelines by the Environmental Protection Agency, carmakers are allowed to test miles per gallon by running the vehicle not on the road, but on what's essentially a treadmill for cars.

    During an EPA spot check, the car ran with no air conditioning, no inclines or hills, no wind resistance and at speeds no greater than 60 mph.

    There's hardly anything real world about it, but it gives carmakers what they want -- the highest possible miles per gallon to put on that sticker.

    "People are going into showrooms, they're looking at that sticker that says miles per gallon and they're saying, 'Oh it get goods miles per gallon,'" said Consumer Reports' David Champion. "In reality, they're being cheated."

    Consumer Reports conducts their test on a track and in the real world.

    First, they put them through a simulated city course. Next the highway -- a real highway. For the third test, they take the car out on a 150-mile day trip throughout Connecticut.

    All the while, a special miles per gallon meter is ticking away. Their results? Many numbers you see on those stickers are off way off -- one as much as 50 percent.

    For example, Chrysler says the four-wheel drive diesel version of the Jeep Liberty gets 22 mpg in the city. Consumer Reports tested it and found it got more like 11 mpg.

    Honda claims its hybrid Civic sedan gets 48 mpg in the city. Consumer Reports found it only gets 26 mpg -- a 46 percent difference.

    Chevy's Trailblazer EXT four-wheel drive is supposed to get 15 mpg in the city. For Consumer Reports, it was 9 mpg.

    "It's an unrealistic sales and marketing tool that they are actually using. They are saying you're going to get 35 mpg, and you're really only going to get 21," Champion said.

    Why is this allowed? Meredith asked the EPA's director of transportation.

    "We cannot have a perfect test," said Margo Oge.

    Oge said for so long, nobody really complained. Meanwhile, everything has changed.

    "All the cars today have air conditioning, which was not the case in the mid-80s, and we drive at higher speeds because we are allowed to drive a higher speeds. And technology has changed," Oge said.

    Carmakers know their number is up. Several have been to Consumer Reports' test track to see how they test real world conditions.

    "I think it's desperately time for a change," Champion said.

    The EPA has said a change is coming in time for the 2008 models, but is that soon enough? Consumers need real world tests with real world numbers now because with the price of gas constantly climbing, the real world has become a very ugly place.

    The EPA said even though the new test will reflect more real-world conditions, there is no perfect test.

    For more information and for a list of the most fuel efficient cars and SUVs, check out Consumer Reports' special report A Guide To Stretching Your Fuel Dollars.
  2. Gator

    Gator New Member

    Ludowici GA
    Very sad but OH so true. Thanks

  3. Nobody Special

    Nobody Special New Member

    Maybe it's the way I drive, but my 2002 Explorer V-6 is rated 16 city and 21 hwy. I put a little extra air in the tires and got 24.8 mpg running the interstate between Clarksville and Sevierville Tennessee. Driving mostly between 65 and 70 mph.
    I average about 18 mpg just everyday driving.

    My 2003 Toyota Tacoma four door 4 cyl. is rated 19 and 21. I got 24.9 on a trip to Louisville Ky. and back last week. That included several miles of city driving.
  4. Phil Washburn

    Phil Washburn New Member

    Shawnee OK
    i used to be shop foreman for a toyota dealer in the mid-eighties. i would deal with about 15 to 20 serious gas mileage complaints a year, on new and used cars. i would take each vehicle out and drive it for 100 miles at no more than 60mph, with the windows up and A/C off. under those conditions, not one car failed to get the advertised mileage. i have known for years, as should anyone that has driven a car for years, that you have to baby it to get mileage. anyone that hammers the throttle is not going to get mileage.
  5. Cattledogz

    Cattledogz Active Member

    Yet another turn of the screw that the big, rich, money making businesses scew into the hard-working American. So sad, but true.
  6. explayer

    explayer New Member

    Tucson AZ
    thanks for info very helpful
  7. shortshank

    shortshank New Member

    In late 1973 I was in Phoenix, Arizona working for Texaco gas company. If you remember the "great gas shortage" was taking place. When the gas shortage was full on, the company sent us a letter advising us to use this as a "scare" tactic to sell more gas and keep the customers tanks filled. Hide the truth? Anyone got a magic bullet laying around? Great read, facts are always hard to come by.
  8. dwreel

    dwreel New Member

    Southern Pines, NC
    Detroit is light years behind in engine/transmission technology. No wonder they are loosing business. They hung with 3 speed auto transmissions for decades while the imports were selling 5 speed manual's. My 86 Honda got 41 mpg.

    Detroit is nuts about adding all those really-nice extras to bump up the price. Do we really need a thermometer on the rear view mirror ???
  9. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Guthrie, Oklaho
    Sure, we need the therometer on the rear view mirror. You realize how many foreign factory workers depend upon us buying vehicles with those fancy do-dads. Gosh, I remember in the 50's when cars didn't have air conditioners. Its funny, they ran just the same. Didn't have all those speakers to give you headaches, and you could raise the hood, crawl into the engine compartment and set on the fender while you worked on the car. Yes sir, those foreigh nationals sure think a lot of us americans... except the mid east which didn't get into the business of manufacturing add ons - they don't like us at all. lol
  10. olefin

    olefin New Member

    As far as the sticker gas mileage for the last 20 years the vehicles we've purchased all got pretty what the sticker said. In fact our last one, the Avalanche is getting better than sticker. Our other car, a Lincoln gets sticker mileage or better.
  11. IL Hunter

    IL Hunter New Member

    Normal, IL
    I've got an 05 Tacoma and I slightly better on gas then the sticker said I would. On the other hand my old car was a 2000 Mercury Cougar with a 5 speed and in the city that care did absolutely horrible, even with me driving conservatively.
  12. SilverCross

    SilverCross New Member

    Fairbury, Illin
    They could make the cars run 100 miles to the gallon if they wanted to, but then ther gas companies wouldn't make as much. There was a young man at UCLA back in the 70's that made a carburater for a 327 that got 75 miles to the gallon. The next day he was given 60,000 bucks and told it wasn't his it belonged to them. He was not given a choice on who it belonged to. I also had a friend out there that was getting 39 miles out of his 327, and eventually ended up getting better than 70 miles to the gallon, but never tried to get a patton on it, just used it for himeself and family members.
  13. IL Hunter

    IL Hunter New Member

    Normal, IL
    That would be a good idea...Better for the enviroment too.
  14. FS Driver

    FS Driver New Member

    phil has a great point and i believe it to be true
    its all in how you drive accelerate and so on.
    if you keep your foot outta the gas and let it build up momentum
    you will definently save gas.
    i see it in my work truck
    all it takes is a couple of hurried trips to the store for a part so i can get a job done quicker and the old gas needle drops quicker.
    if i baby it a little i fill it up less frequently.

    i hope our civic sedan (not a hybrid)aint misquoted we are supposed to get 39 hiway 29 city

    good post phil:smile2: