I’m not a math whiz but I think I understand this

Done with the spring semester of school, I feel I can put something logical together.

Writing papers for Latin American history every other week left me tapped in terms of motivation to gather my thoughts and output something that would be some what entertaining or thought provoking. I certainly had a few topics that I considered writing about. Some I may write about here, others might marinate some more until I think they are ready.

I sold my motorcycle. This left me kinda sorta sad but lets be real, I didn’t ride it that often. Certainly not often enough to justify it’s place at our home. I did enjoy riding that thing. What I didn’t like was muttering to myself “Don’t kill me” while navigating the traffic around the Twin Cities. It’s gone and the lien is paid although I have been waiting for that freaking card for nearly 3 weeks. Seriously the bank can process my payment in 3 days yet it’s their policy that the lien card will be sent out within 10 “business” days. Every day is a disappointment when I check the mailbox. Now that I’m down my parts running vehicle for my Jeep, I have been looking at possibly replacing it.

The WJ is a nice ride. Sure the suspension squeaks and the engine is getting long in the tooth (175,000 miles). Little more about that number later. The main thing I do not like about the WJ is putting gas in it. Granted as busy as my life is, it’s gonna take gas to get around. If I pay at the pump, normally I can fill up before the previous transaction has hit my account. I really started to look at getting another vehicle. I’m not completely sold on selling the Jeep. I’m still working on gathering the financial data on fuel costs per month and mileage to see accurately how much I spend per month. Ball park is $500 a month but if I am in fact going to get something with better fuel economy, I want the data to back it up. I started thinking about that odometer number, 175,000.

That’s 175,000 on the computer and instrument cluster. 2 years ago I put on that 4″ lift kit and bigger tires followed. The computer reporting gas mileage went down, added weight from the suspension and larger tires, I was not surprised. I knew when putting on larger tires that the speedometer would be off. Thus using those side of the road police signs that display how fast you are going I found helpful. Thinking that the speedometer is off, then surely the gas mileage is not accurate as well. If I am basing my thought for a new vehicle around that, a little math/information mining needs to be done.

The original tires were P235/65R17, the current tires are P265/70R17. Fully harnessing the power of the internet, I was able to find the circumference for the original tires were 91.2 inches. The current ones are 99. inches. Since I didn’t want to work with huge numbers, I looked up the revolutions per mile. Original 694, current 638. This might be worth the effort, I believe. Drove from the gas station and reset the trip meter near the house and ended up at work. 16.8 miles. What I knew from that is that it was off. Having recently needed to calculate my round trip from home to work for that trip to Las Vegas, I knew from home to work is 20.7 miles each way. Google puts the route I took at 18.5 miles. I’m willing to admit this isn’t the most accurate way to work the numbers but I’m using what I have.

If on the original tires it would have taken 18.5 yet it’s reporting 16.8, there is a certain disparity. Did more digging and found a web site that calculated that for every 10,000 miles traveled, it would show up on the odometer as 9,184. Using this I ran the difference from the trip to work. 18.5 miles * .9184 = 16.99 miles. Close enough for me, although I did this: (638 revs per mile * 10000)/695 = 9179/10000 = .9179. This is good enough for me.  This also means that my odometer is not really reporting the true miles driven. I will need to save some data on miles driven and gallons of gas to determine the actual fuel consumption. Then and only then can I make a judgment on if a new vehicle will be cost effective as I expect.

So, a slightly boring post about how the math that my daughter is learning can actually apply to financial decisions. Having gone through some frustrating times with lifting, essentially challenging myself to run a 5K in 18 minutes next Mother’s Day and my trip to EMC World in Las Vegas, there will be something entertaining soon.