Car was with mechanic - let idle for a while - how to handle?
Hi all - had my car with the mechanic for inspection. I had him warm it up for a long while before testing emissions and so over the course of a couple days it idled and run around short distances for about 1/4 tank. I basically want to disqualify the entire time it was with the mechanic as it obviously was not "ordinary" driving. What would be the best approach? Thanks!
Dude, no reason to leave out a bad tank MPG due to maintenance.
I have had a couple of sessions such as these, I just made a note about it, and left it as is. Tracking your fuel mileage isn't like sorting good from bad fill ups.
Just because someone gets a bad mpg one tank (in my case, the van) does that mean I should not report it, so it doesn't throw my numbers? No. All those are considered part of your real life usage. So don't throw it out, just add it in, it will be fine. The average will swallow the difference and months, years from now, the impact of that will be nothing on your average.
My van has over 160 fill ups. Nearly 45 thousand miles. The fiance is driving it for in-town use right now. The MPG has gone from an average of over 21 to 11 with her driving. I still count them, even though they are actually dragging my average down. You only have one that will affect it only slightly. Don't worry about it! Winter for me also brings my averages down, but I still count them.
You can can check "missed a fuel-up" and Fuelly will skip an individual tank calculation there. And you can use Fuelly however you want but I sort of feel the same way DTMAce does. Stuff happens over the life of your car so why not record it so you can go back and see what happened when?
While I agree, this is not ordinary use. I would never let my car idle for 1 - 1.5 hours. Since I only have 1 or 2 fuel ups it's going to WRECK my average. Sure, it'll come back over the life of the car, but given I drive maybe 70 miles a week, that would be quite some time before I get a real handle on what the overall average is.
I consider idling for that long and driving hard to get the catalytics warmed up for emissions testing to be an extraneous event that shouldn't be considered in my MPG calculation.
Idling for 1.5hrs miiiiight have burned a half gallon of gas at the most. Most cars burn less than .3 gal/hr at idle. So even in a 10gal. fillup, at 22mpg, that would be a loss of less than 1mpg. Hardly going to wreck anything. How bad is the calc average for this tank that your mechanic ruined anyways? And how much harder did he drive it than you might if you had a wild hair or a favorable onramp? I hope you enjoy your beautiful old BMWs more than your mech...
I've never discounted a tank for any reason, just left notes for this kind of thing.
FWIW I dropped the car off with about a full tank and picked it up with just under 3/4 and only a couple miles on the odometer. It was definitely more than 1 gallon, or maybe it was longer than 1.5 hours. Either way - it doesn't represent my driving at all so I skipped it.
My inspection mechanic is a friend - considering the odo didn't move more than a few miles I know he didn't drive the car much at all. The emissions station is like a mile or two away so there's no way he did any thing "bad". The car just idled a tooooon.