Monday, May 21, 2012

Gassy Matters

So, I am sure that the best way to start driving a new car is to start off on a 1,500 km trip three days after you've bought it.  I would recommend it to anyone!  Just a few pointers though...

1. You should probably read your manual and be sure you know how to do all the things you will need to do, like turn on the windshield wipers, or the high beams, before you are trying to figure this out while going 110k/h on windy roads.

2. Figure out if everything works properly.  Finding out how to work the windshield washer fluid sprayers at 100k/h is exciting, but it would be more of a triumph if the fluid actually hit the driver's side of the windshield.  And even better if you had tried this when the first or second bug hit, and not after the 300th when you really can't see much.

3. Remember that you are now the sole owner/driver for the car and are therefore responsible for all its fueling needs.  This is the most important point.  A 1,500 km trip through Northern Ontario is not the time to play free and easy with the gas gauge =cough, cough=

So, here are a few fueling related stories from my trip to the TBay (which I made it to safely yesterday evening):

- The Fuel Door:
First time I stop for gas, press the fuel door opener and walk around the car to discover the door still closed.  Repeat 4 times. Try to stick fingers in to pry it open. Try to stick keys in to pry it open.  Nothing.  Figure, well I should have enough to make it to my cousin's house, I was just stopping to fill up at a good price.  Keep driving.  Make it to cousin's house and then have a good look at the problem.  The fuel door was wedged up under the opening in the side panel.  I pushed it down until there was room for a key to go in then pried it open the rest of the way and bent the hinge so it would open again.  Has been working fine since!  You can stop cringing now!

- Parry Sound to Wawa:
Now, I had been planning on stopping for the night in Sault Ste Marie, but when I got there, it was only 3pm, and I knew it was only about 3 more hours to Wawa, so why stop now?  On my way out the other side of town, I vaguely thought, maybe I should get gas?  But I had just one tick less than half a tank, and that had gotten me this far, and I didn't have the same distance to go, so I should be fine.  Let it be known, ALWAYS GET GAS IN SAULT STE MARIE!!!!  There is a Provincial Park between the Sault and Wawa, and therefore no gas stations.  While discovering how your car warns you about low fuel is kind of neat, it is not so cool when you are passing a sign that says "Wawa 40 kms".  So, do you want to know how far my new car can go on 1 tank of gas at approx 100k/h?  Googlemaps tells me it was 686kms, the last 15-10kms I am sure was just on fumes.

-Husky Gas Stations:
Today, I headed out to another cousin's camp about an hour away and realized I would need gas in order to get back home again (see, I am learning fuel forethought!).  So I stopped in the village near their camp for gas at the Husky station.  Forgive my ignorance, for we have no Husky stations in my part of Ontario, but apparently, they are sneaky buggers and I will not go there again unless absolutely forced.  There was one price for "Regular" gas on the sign, but when I got to the pump, I discovered there was actually only one choice for gas, "Premium".  They didn't even have buttons for the other grades on their pumps!  So when I thought I was going to pay "140.1", I was actually paying "149.9!!!!!!"  I only got $35 worth which brought me back up to half a tank.

So, see?  I am learning my fuel savvy!  Slowly but surely.  Nothing like jumping in at the deep end of car ownership!