Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Took a little Trip

  1. #1
    Senior Member Mase's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    840

    Took a little Trip

    A little ride from Iowa to L.A....
    Started out Saturday morning...

    The purpose of this trip was to retrieve my Aunt Shirl's 1998 Saturn. She is 83 going on 84 and her doc won't pass her to drive any more so she thought California would be a good new home for "Snowball." After 2300 miles behind the wheel in 4 days, I have come to know the car pretty well; it's a great little car. (Now) has only 41,000 miles on her, has been immaculately maintained and literally driven by the little-ole-lady in tennis shoes on Sundays. It looks like it is going to be a very economical car.
    Our route was going to be I-80 to Des Moines, then I-35 to Oke City, and I-40 all the way to California, picking up I-15 at Barstow and then home. I was having fun with the new Garmin GPS and learning all the functions on the way. It only tried to get us lost once, around Kansas City - for some strange reason it kept wanting to send me to the airport when we were looking for the I-35 interchange. I ended up missing the turnoff, but instead of trying to backtrack in city traffic we took a little side trip on I-70 toward Topeka and used I-335 to reconnect back onto I-35. A little after dark we started getting tired and decided to spend the night at Blackwell OK. It seems I don't enjoy driving at night much any more.

    Got a somewhat early start on Sunday and made it all the way to New Mexico. It looked like we might spend the night at Albuquerque, but I wanted less driving left for Monday so we pressed on in the dark to Grants. That left a little over 700 miles for our last day, Monday. Got a real early start Monday morning, about an hour before sunrise, as I wanted to arrive in the L.A. area before dark and get a good night sleep before we had to be on deck in the office on Tuesday. That timing all worked pretty well and even though we got to L.A during rush hour around 5pm most of the rush hour traffic was going in the other direction, so our 2 hours from Barstow to Long Beach on I-15 and route 91 wasn't as bad as it could have been. All in all a good trip.

    The Garmin was very useful. Even though I knew most of the route quite well from previous trips, it helped me plan fuel stops, overnights, and other stuff like that - used the database to find gas, hotels, and food, it's ETA's were very accurate and it is nice to see miles and time remaining to a checkpoint at a glance.

    There wasn't a lot of road construction - some, but nothing that slowed us down. Speed limits at 75 in OK, NM and AZ. California, what is wrong with you?? Your speed limit is only 70, your gas is 20-50 cents higher than everywhere else, and your roads suck eggs! The worst stretch we experienced was between Kingman AZ and Barstow on I-40. Rough, rough road.

    I didn't want to push the little 4-cylinder too hard so I set the cruise right at the speed limit. That way I also didn't care about radar or speed traps, either - and we did see some Smokies taking pictures in obscure places. Car ran nicely at 75, turning 3000rpm and sipping gas at 36mpg.

    I've made this trip 7 or 8 times over the years, once driving straight thru from San Diego to Milwaukee, switching drivers every so often and napping in the back seat. Must be getting old - had no desire to do that this time. Those Super 8's and Motel 6's are worth every penny when you get tired of the white lines flashing by, the steady hum of the engine and the wind whistling past with window. Even though our motels had free internet I didn't even have the steam to log on and the laptop stayed in the bag the whole way....must be getting old!

    On Monday I was able to get Rush on the radio from a station in Kingman...but there was a guest host. Oh well....

    Sunday night in Grants, the TV weather guy from Albuquerque was talking snow in northern NM and apparently there was a few inches at higher elevations and mountains....

    This would have been a perfect trip for a light aircraft, but of course, the whole reason for the trip was to get the car.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mase's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    840
    My 1998 Saturn owner's manual has a warning in the fuel section that the car is not designed to use Gasoline with Ethanol in it, and that such use can cause corrosion to metal parts and damage to rubber parts and other parts.

    Well, gee.

    As those of you with autogas STCs for your airplanes know, thanks to the ADM lobby and the Green Weenies, it is getting increasingly difficult to find ANY automotive fuel that does not have some ethanol in it, and here in California I think it might be impossible. Is this something I need to be concerned about?

  3. #3
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    23,012
    Quote Originally Posted by Mase View Post
    My 1998 Saturn owner's manual has a warning in the fuel section that the car is not designed to use Gasoline with Ethanol in it, and that such use can cause corrosion to metal parts and damage to rubber parts and other parts.

    Well, gee.

    As those of you with autogas STCs for your airplanes know, thanks to the ADM lobby and the Green Weenies, it is getting increasingly difficult to find ANY automotive fuel that does not have some ethanol in it, and here in California I think it might be impossible. Is this something I need to be concerned about?
    My understanding is not so much - so long as the concentration isn't over 10 percent.

    However, really old cars - circa early 1980s and before - may have issues with even 10 percent ethanol. Rubber parts in carburetors such as accelerator pump plungers, gaskets, etc. may not have been made to withstand alcohol-laced fuels and are thus potentially subject to deterioration.

  4. #4
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    23,012
    Sounds like a fun trip!

    The early Saturns were, in my opinion, neat little cars. As you've discovered, their mileage was excellent (check how much lighter your Saturn is as compared with a current one). Why they abandoned the flexible body panels (the Saturn's chief objective difference/merit) is beyond me....

  5. #5
    Staff
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    3,126
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    Sounds like a fun trip!

    The early Saturns were, in my opinion, neat little cars. As you've discovered, their mileage was excellent (check how much lighter your Saturn is as compared with a current one). Why they abandoned the flexible body panels (the Saturn's chief objective difference/merit) is beyond me....
    The old S-series were excellent cars. I got 34-35 mpg at 80 mph in one on a trip from High Point, NC to Alabama back in 1997. The cars offered an excellent view of the road and great high speed stability.

    That's why I bought my L-series. It is almost 9 years old with 174,000 miles and it runs like a new one. I see no reason that it can't go to 225,000 miles, maybe even 250,000. It has the plastic body panels, although it only gets 28-29 mpg at a steady 80.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Mase's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    840
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    Sounds like a fun trip!

    The early Saturns were, in my opinion, neat little cars. As you've discovered, their mileage was excellent (check how much lighter your Saturn is as compared with a current one). Why they abandoned the flexible body panels (the Saturn's chief objective difference/merit) is beyond me....
    Here's my gas log from our little trip.


  7. #7
    Senior Member Mase's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    840

Similar Threads

  1. Day six, backbone trip
    By Oldfrtbkr in forum On Two Wheels
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 05-01-2010, 12:14 PM
  2. Day five, Backbone trip
    By Oldfrtbkr in forum On Two Wheels
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-28-2010, 08:15 PM
  3. Day four, Backbone trip
    By Oldfrtbkr in forum On Two Wheels
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-28-2010, 08:13 PM
  4. Day three, Backbone trip
    By Oldfrtbkr in forum On Two Wheels
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-28-2010, 08:11 PM
  5. trip odometer
    By bikerlbf406 in forum Car Care & Repair
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 05-04-2007, 03:08 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •