Hooniverse Asks – What are Your Plans For When Gas Hits $5 a Gallon?

I have to drive a lot. That routine, coupled with an average of about 22-mpg means I frequent the neighborhood filling stations a hell of a lot more often than I’d like. It used to be that I could get away from the pumps only about $40 poorer, but these days, it’s getting to the point that I can’t use my bank card to pay for gas because it has a $70 limit or something. It sucks!
Now I know that for those of you living in, oh say, Europe where gas has been equitable to caviar in pricing for years, you’re probably saying DIE AMERICAN, DIE! it’s about time you felt our pain. But to tell the truth, I don’t want to be that ‘Continental.” And so I’m trying to figure out how to keep on waving the flag, and paying as little as possible for liquid dead dinosaur.
And I would imagine that – resident of the Untied States, or elsewhere – so are you. They say that there are certain thresholds that need to be met in order for consumers to change their habits. In the case of gas prices, it seems that $4.00 a gallon is just such a threshold. Of course, it’s very likely that the price for regular will stop in on $4, has a quick drink and then head over to $5 an gallon’s house, because that’s where the ladies are.  In that case, what are you prepared to do to keep from having to eat cat food and switch. . . . . . . back. . . . . . to. . . . . . . dial. . . . . . up. . . . . . . for. . . . . . Internet. . . . . . . . porn, just to pay for gas? How are you planning to deal with $5 a gallon gas?
Image source: [rall.com]

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122 responses to “Hooniverse Asks – What are Your Plans For When Gas Hits $5 a Gallon?”

  1. muthalovin Avatar

    I recently inherited a Ducati Monster M600. It get 40+ MPGees with aggressive riding. That is my plan. That, and stop eating food.
    <img src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_ervUcqKHvtk/TPKrBTZVCxI/AAAAAAAAE8I/0p_WQUHWeow/s720/DSC_0210.jpg&quot; width=500>

    1. Alff Avatar

      Nice pic. Is that your workplace in the background?

  2. Alff Avatar

    Despite 40 degree temps, I drove the Alfa to work the other day because it gets the best mileage of the fleet and runs on mid-grade. Gas prices may force me to start putting the top up and fix the blower motor so I can drive it in inclement weather.
    I've also started cruising CL for a UJM.

    1. Maxichamp Avatar

      What's UJM?

      1. Alff Avatar

        Universal Japanese Motorcycle.
        Actually, this is a bit of a red herring… I just want a motorcycle. Gas prices are the excuse I'm using to try to justify it around the house. As Tanshanomi points out, it's not likely a good economical argument. Math is not my wife's strong suit, however.

        1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
          Peter Tanshanomi

          Tanshanomi always endorses motorcycle purchases*.
          *as long as immediate family members are cool with the risk involved.

          1. dead_elvis Avatar

            But don't forget… it's easier to ask forgiveness than permission.

          2. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
            Peter Tanshanomi

            The parent/spouse/SO/child buy-in is critical to me:
            Loved one falls out of second-story window while at drunken party: "Well, it was just an unfortunate accident."
            Loved one contracts lung cancer after a lifetime of smoking: "Oh, what a brave fighter."
            Loved one slams into beach while para-sailing and shatters femur: "Oh, what an awful tragedy."
            …Loved one gets hit while riding motorcycle: "Well, what the hell did that idiot expect?"
            That reaction is not just bad for families, it's bad for motorcycling. Once an enemy of the sport, always an enemy.
            (And yes, those are actual instances, of which I have heard all four of those statements spoken in real life.)

          3. Alff Avatar

            Yeah, that's the part that's been holding me back. It's not that I don't feel I CAN proceed without her blessing, it's that I don't feel I SHOULD.
            It's a partnership, and usually it works pretty well.

          4. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
            Peter Tanshanomi

            Have her take the MSF new riders course with you. It de-mystifies things a lot, while also making sure both of you have a clear picture of the risks involved.
            Plus, it's two days of couple time, doing something new together.

          5. dead_elvis Avatar

            Point taken.
            Although I have to say I'm glad that's how my father approached motorcycling (forgiveness over permission); after he'd been riding for a while, he bought a used Suzuki Cavalcade & my mother absolutely loves it.

  3. acarr260 Avatar

    I've been looking into unloading one of my trucks lately in order to pick up a small commuter car (FR with a manual if possible). It's turning out difficult to find something dependable and fun for under $3k. A rattle can '89 Supra (targa) is in the lead right now.

    1. texan_idiot25 Avatar


      1. acarr260 Avatar

        Second on my list right now is a '99 MX-5 Miata 5sp.
        The best ad that I've found didn't reply to my email inquiry, but it was an '83 Celica GT that I believe to be a GT-S from the images.

      2. Adem Avatar

        Bad decision of you want to save on fuel. I rarely top 27mpg in mine (2001, 5spd). Maybe this isn't a bad number for you, but it compares pretty badly with 40mpg out of my '90 Camry

        1. Joe Btfsplk Avatar
          Joe Btfsplk

          I get 34 mpg with my '99 miata.

        2. TexanIdiot25 Avatar

          I was getting 27 mpg with the top down, cruising at 80 mph on my ’90.

    2. P161911 Avatar

      If you are looking for a gas saver find a BMW 325e E30. The eta is important, they are much more fuel efficient than the i models. Also, if gas prices improve they are only a rear end swap away from being fun. The e models are down on HP compared to the i, but have more torque.

      1. acarr260 Avatar

        I haven't seen many BMW's for sale for my price point that didn't scare the hell out of me.

  4. buzzboy7 Avatar

    I will change nothing. I'm driving my parent's car which gets about 30mpg highway and I am okay with paying more for gas. I have a good job and few expenses. If I wasn't so afraid of motorcycles I'd be cruising my 280 mile journey home atop two wheels but for now the price of gas doesn't scare me away from my 4 wheeled "safety".

  5. texan_idiot25 Avatar

    Start highjacking tanker trucks in deserts. With a GNX.

    1. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

      Do you need lieutenants?

    2. Smells_Homeless Avatar

      I'll ride interference on a 'Busa powered…'Busa.

      1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
        Jeff Glucker

        that sentence made ma laugh… well done

  6. OA5599 Avatar

    I'll look for a Viper or something else fun to drive that gets really terrible mileage. Gas guzzler prices ought to be dirt cheap by then. I'll park it until the pendulum swings the other way, then hoon the crap out of it when $2 gas returns.
    I have a friend who has a numbers-matching 426 Hemi car. He has a binder full of documentation on the car. In 1974 when gas spiked up to 45 cents or whatever, somebody sold it for a $500 down payment for an economy car.

    1. P161911 Avatar

      My folks picked up a really nice Olds 98 in a late 1970s gas spike for real cheap. It was between the Olds or a Toyota Cressida or some such, the Olds was cheaper and it would have taken a couple of years to make up the difference in gas.

  7. P161911 Avatar

    I just purchased a gas guzzling full size truck. The one thing I might do is stop going out for lunch, that can easily add 50-100% more miles than my commute. At $5/gal I MIGHT consider a sub 50cc scooter or see if I can find a car that gets 25-30+mpg in "city" driving for less than $1000. Maybe find another BMW 325e and NOT swap out the gas saver 2.79 axle ratio. These measures would only be required if gas looks like it is going to stay above $5 long term. I only live about 8 miles from work and only 3 or 4 miles of the commute is on roads with a speed limit over 35mph and half of that is usually backed up/slowed down with school traffic. The scooter idea would offer the quickest return on investment, but is also rather dangerous in an area filled with big pick-up trucks and soccer moms driving Suburbans and Expeditions.

  8. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    Even at $5/gal, fuel costs less than a new car payment, so I am going to continue driving my 17 MPG Town Cow for as long as possible — though I might mitigate that by commuting on my 40 MPG motorcycle when necessary, even though I previously swore off riding in rush hour traffic.

  9. Maxichamp Avatar

    The price for FULL service PREMIUM down the street is $4.599. When it hits $5 (it is likely to be the first place in the country since who else has full service?), I'll take a picture and post it here.

    1.  Avatar
  10. 94 Octanes Avatar
    94 Octanes

    So apropos, this story. Yesterday I had to listen to a couple urbanite lawyers bitch about the cost to fill their LR3 and Ford Excursion lately. Oh the travails of the urban jungle!
    I'll keep the wagon on the road for now, it gets good mileage on the highway and replacing it would cost more than what I'll lose in gas money. I'll also plan to vote for candidates who want to bring me comfortable rapid transit, come next they are on the hustings.

  11. Syrax Avatar

    I guess I'll celebrate. 1 US gallon is about 3.78L. Gas here is R$2.50/L, making it about R$9.25/gal or US$5.62/gal.

    1. Alff Avatar

      Prices might go down if your country stopped running cars on Rum.

      1. Syrax Avatar

        The Rum based fuel is pretty cheap but we have no rum powered cars in the house. And they have awful mileage so it balances out.

        1. Alff Avatar

          Several of my Iowegian relatives run their trucks on corn liqour. Not coincidentally, several of my Iowegian relatives have run out of gas on lonely highways.

      2. BЯдΖǐL-ЯЄРΘЯΤЄЯ Avatar

        Yo Ho Yo Ho my Rum fueled truck does 12 MPG (a S10 crew cab 2,4 liter four banger) at $ 3.60 / gallon for the Rum, as you can see driving is not the cheapest way to get arround in Brazil. That's why most of the time I use my bike, a Hornet 600, which sips only so little it can do 47 MPG on dead dinosaur juice.

    2. JeepyJayhawk Avatar
    1. Smells_Homeless Avatar

      Thanks. I'm reading through this and it seems to say that it's really up to the state in question. If that's the case, there's actually a chance of it happening because while Indiana is really screwy with some legislative issues, it seems to be at least semi-sane when it comes to vehicles.

  12. Mechanically Inept Avatar
    Mechanically Inept

    Move somewhere where car ownership is not mandatory (I'm looking at you, Ann Arbor). I enjoy walking and bicycling, but my commute is 9 miles each way, and getting on a road bike at 11 PM, after working 10 hours, is not an appealing thought.
    Otherwise, I want to get into a car that's more economical and more fun to drive. I'm okay paying for fun, and if I'm paying $5/gallon, I'm going to enjoy the drive, damn it.

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      I commuted by bicycle for about 2 months when I first had my current job (12 miles each way, mostly back roads). I won't do it anymore. One too many rednecks in pickup trucks had fun seeing how close they could get their passenger-side mirror to my left ear.

    2. facelvega Avatar

      Yeah, the old method of living wherever prices and housing are good and driving to work, wherever that is, was dumb in the first place, and creates huge sprawl and congestion, neither all that fun for people who love cars. I don't want my car time to be a monotonous, distracted experience in heavy traffic. I live a few blocks from my work, so my cars are for when I'm actually going somewhere (buick) or when I just want to take a drive (datsun).

  13. Feds_II Avatar

    I'm in the thick of this, as the Pathfinder is really due for a replacement, and I am expecting to keep said replacement for 10 years.
    With 2 kids, and parents nearing the end of their 60's, I am definitely going to need 3 rows of seats over the next 10 years. Adding fuel efficiency into the mix leaves me with 2 options:
    Easy Way: Mazda5. I like the early styling better, but you can't get a 5-speed with leather. You can in a 2012, but I'm not ready to spend $30k on a car (list price in Ontario). Plus, I do enough truck stuff (camping, hauling, crummy weather) that I don't know if I am ready to give up on the 4×4 SUV.
    Hard Way: Grey Market Pajero: 4×4, low mileage, great condition. Should get 25 MPG out of the box, and I would do a veg-oil/biodiesel conversion to take the cost of gas down close to 0. Difficulties would be sourcing parts and expertise for a vehicle never sold in this country as it ages from 15 years old to 25 years old.
    Harder Way: diesel swap on an Expedition, though that is turning out to be not straightforward.

    1. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

      If you can find an Excursion, they came in Diesel flavor. Chip them and you're good for 25+ MPG.

      1. Feds_II Avatar

        Thought about it, but they go above my price/quality threshold. Prices here are 20k-ish for one with 125,000 miles.

        1. skitter Avatar

          E350 Diesels are cheaper still.
          They're rare in passenger form, but a month of Craigslist stalking resulted in a screaming deal.
          Edit: I haven't driven it enough to give you a solid mileage report, but the people I bought it from said it will do 20mpg. Forum and chipping numbers are all over the place.

    2. Robert Emslie Avatar
      Robert Emslie

      Wasn't there a diesel version of the Sprinter van? If you could find a short wheelbase window version, that might be a cool – and efficient – ride.

      1. Tomsk Avatar

        The first generation of Sprinters that were brought here were all diesels (a 2.7L straight-5), while the current ones were briefly available with a gas V6 (IIRC the only engine offered now is a detuned version of the 3.0L V6 found in the E-Class and SUVs). The 5-pots have their problems, and the current gen ones aren't particularly cheap yet. Couple that with a significant premium for diesel over gas (about $0.50/gallon here in the L.A. area) and I'd be wary, though the only way to be sure is to run the numbers.

        1. Feds_II Avatar

          We're reversed up here in Canada. Diesel runs a few cents per litre cheaper.
          Of course, gas this morning was 1.21/L, which is 4.58 volumetricly and 4.73 when you factor in exchange.
          If Mrs. Feds_II were not involved in the decision, I'd be rocking a pre-'98 Ram Van with the big single door in the back, and some form of turbodiesel 4-cylinder. Sadly, she's just not that into it.

          1. Alff Avatar

            I'm in the same club. When shopping for a minvan, I tried to convince Mrs. Alff that a Dodge conversion van would a better choice. She said, "Too big. If you want one, buy it for yourself." Since my DD at the time was a half ton pickup, I had distinctly different plans for my next ride.

  14. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

    Since the Jeep has been broken for about half of our little gas spike, I haven't felt it too bad yet. To echo Tash, it gets 15mpg, but it is still cheaper to pay that that in fuel than a new car payment plus fuel. Hopefully the transmission rebuild will help the fuel economy (no excessive slipping) and my taller tires with reasonable gearing 31's on top of 3.75s will help a bit in the fuel economy department. Cruising to work will probably also be in the slow lane at 65 to 70 mph. Takes another five minutes to get there but can get the econ up into the 17-18 area with the brick. Now could be a good time to buy a ScanGaugeII to help me keep an eye on the skinny pedal too. Picking up the carpool again, with a codriver in a 2010 Fiesta, and cruising Cl for Geo Metro or Miatas. Incidentally, unmodified and stripped of all excess weight, what can you get MPG wise out of a Miata?
    Cruising around my little town for chips and beer may be done on the back of my bicycle for a while though.

    1. Alff Avatar

      If you want to find a local Miata, join the MoKanMotorsports.com board. I know several local auto-xers keep a rotating fleet of them. When it's time to sell, that's one place they tend to post.
      In fact I work with a guy who is offering a decent one for somewhere between $3.5 and $4K. May already be gone though – he was negotiating with a buyer on Monday.

      1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
        Peter Tanshanomi

        Thanks for the heads-up about MoKanMotorsports.com. I wasn't aware of it; looks like a good resource.

    2. mr. mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
      mr. mzs zsm msz esq

      Showing up to half price pitchers margarita special night on bicycle is doing it right.

  15. Maymar Avatar

    Gas is around the equivalent of $4.65/gal right now. I'm not a big fan (130kms commute, round trip), but I've been averaging between 31-35mpg in my current car, so it's not brutal. I'm a student, I expect to be sort of poor one way or another.

  16. west_coaster Avatar

    I'll celebrate the fact that we'd planned for this all along.
    1. We purposely bought a house close to our jobs. We could have gotten a larger house farther away, but long commutes suck, and spending a fortune on gas to get to work and back sucks more. We also live walking and bicycling distance to stores, restaurants, etc.
    2. Even though we own a couple of classics (glug, glug, glug), our daily drivers are fuel efficient cars by design. I have a VW and my wife has a Mini. Both easily get in excess of 30 mpg, though both also ask for premium fuel. (Although if you think about it, percentage-wise the premium isn't as much of an extra cost as it used to be.)
    3. I have a motorcycle that's for Sunday fun, but can work as a commuter too.
    I came of driving age during the second "gas shortage" of the late 1970s, and I had to wait in line to buy gas when I was in high school. That has always stuck in the back of my mind.

    1. mr. mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
      mr. mzs zsm msz esq

      I'm in the same boat, you did well. A bonus is that by living so close to work you save all the time in your life you could have been stuck in traffic. My kids usually walk or bike to/from school. I usually ride my bicycle. In fact except for a rainy day I've been biking all of March already. That's way cheaper than a car and also good for my health. It even takes less time since I can cut through a field and park in my office, but it's so fun and relaxing that I take the round about way, and it still only takes 15 minutes if I get caught at the red light. With this situation we sold the second car and bought a '67 fun car to replace it. That second car I had for 7 years and it had just under 30500 miles on it. That's another way it saves money to move so close to work.
      Now we got lucky. It took me a year and a half to find a job (I had another job during that time) that was located in a community where there were good schools nearby and hosing that was just out of reach. So we moved (from CA back to IL) and had a house built half an hour away from where I worked. That makes the mileage figure on that car even more impressive to me since I put the vast majority of it on during that time commuting. That house we were able to afford and we made it as energy efficient as we could too. Then right before my oldest kid had to go to kindergarten, we moved close to the school and work. We were lucky that banks were still lending then though. My wife did want a more fancy house farther away, but I convinced her that we should stick with the plan.
      The only thing I miss about the old house is how efficient it was. This one I have been slowly improving, for example new windows made a great difference.

  17. engineerd Avatar

    When gas topped $4/gal a few years ago, and the pumps started clicking off at $75 before the tank in my F-150 was full I changed. I turned in the F-150 a couple months early and bought a V6 Mustang (5MT, 19 city/26 hwy). Going from the 17mpg hwy truck to the Mustang was awesome for the pocketbook.
    Now that we are facing $5 gas in the near future (it may not actually make it there this year some are saying) I've been having an internal debate. Do I go for better fuel economy in my next car or get something I want? I'm already planning on selling the Mustang in the next few months due to other circumstances (the wife's lease car is over miles with 9 months left on the lease, I need something I can carry Mrs engineerd and the dog in, and AWD will be fantastic considering the road commissions seem to be in no hurry to clear roads) so I could try to get something with better fuel economy. I've been looking at Audi A4 Avant quattros, which tend to get a bit better fuel economy.

    1. muthalovin Avatar

      If you are going new, the word on the street is that they are bringing the RS3 stateside if the TTRS does well.
      <img src="http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c214/DanR32/Photoshop/3drRS3orange2.jpg&quot; width=500>
      And from that picture, it looks like they are already in LA.

      1. mad_science Avatar

        That's probably the roof of the USC parking structure.
        They did all kinds of shoots up there when I was in grad school.

        1. Alff Avatar

          Fight on!

    2. muthalovin Avatar

      Also, here is a link to the First Drive review I just read. It really made me sad I work at a dead-end job, and cannot afford such things.

  18. LTDScott Avatar

    Not much I can do. My commute is 8 miles along a busy suburban street. Too far to walk, too dangerous to bike. You'd think my 4-cylinder compact car would get good mileage, but unfortunately it's an SVT Focus which requires 91 octane and only gets around 20 MPG around town. It's also a salvage title with horrible paint, so it doesn't hold much value and selling it wouldn't get me enough to buy something in the same age range that gets good mileage. So the only choice would be to have a car payment, and that defeats the purpose of saving money.
    I don't drive much at all during the week, and I'm certainly not going out and driving hundreds of miles for fun like I used to on the weekends. The higher gas prices will definitely influence what LeMons races I'd want to participate in as well.

    1. Robert Emslie Avatar
      Robert Emslie

      'My commute is 8 miles'
      And now I'm picturing you in a hoodie, rapping Lose Yourself.

      1. LTDScott Avatar

        That is … odd.

        1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
          Jeff Glucker

          I would imagine the San Diego version of that song to be much more cheerful…

          1. muthalovin Avatar

            And with more homeless dudes.

  19. topdeadcentre Avatar

    I may get off my lazy butt and fix up the 25-year-old Suzuki GS1100 motorcycle. It gets 35-40 mpg and warmer riding season is coming up. Old UJM's are fun to ride, easy to work on, it's just some of the more obscure parts are getting hard to find.
    I can also ride the bus to the subway to get to work. Less fun than the motorcycle, but better for rainy days. Even if it's possible to get good raingear and waterproof gloves and boots, riding in the rain still kinda sucks.

    1. LTDScott Avatar

      Ha, just today a friend of mine who is a motorcycle mechanic was complaining about the high gas prices because of your exact situation His quote:
      "all the POS bikes come out of the woodwork.
      "hey man can you rebuild the carbs on my bike thats been sitting for 10 years?"
      then you find out it has a host of other problems, and they don't want to fork out 1K for a bike that cost the same. "

      1. topdeadcentre Avatar

        Yep, ancient POS bikes are why free estimates are a bad idea for moto mechanics.

        1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
          Peter Tanshanomi

          That's why most dealerships won't work on anything over 10 years old.
          On a related note, I had to take a tour of my local Harley dealership as a required part of the "Rider's Edge" training course I went through with my wife when she learned to ride. The sales manager tried to make a selling point about how parts and service are never a problem with Harley, unlike other brands. Ten minutes later, the service manager was telling us that they won't service any Harley over a decade old. I had to chuckle.

          1. mdharrell Avatar

            "…they won't service any Harley over a decade old."
            How can they tell?

          2. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
            Peter Tanshanomi

            Thank you folks! He'll be here all week! Tip your waitress!

          3. P161911 Avatar

            Credit check of the owner?
            Rich = new bike
            poor = old bike

          4. muthalovin Avatar

            Thank you for that. Grin Engaged!

          5. Alff Avatar

            Have you ever toured the plant by KCI? Regardless of your opinion of Harleys (Hardly Ableson – that made me laugh), it's definitely worth the visit.

          6. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
            Peter Tanshanomi

            My employer is a first-tier supplier to Harley. I have a massive amount of respect for their manufacturing abilities.

  20. dukeisduke Avatar

    My commute is around 30 miles a day, so I'm not sure what I'll do. My '95 F-150 gets 13mpg in the city, and I already paid $95 to fill up the other day, which I do three times a month. The biggest issue I had with $4.00/gal gas was that pumps tend to automatically shut off at $100 even with a gas card, and one time during the $4.00/gal stretch it took me two tries to fill up, as the total was $105.
    I will say I'm not crazy about the cartoon, since Ted Rall is an evil man that hates our troops.

  21. n1tr08urner Avatar

    Would trade my 25mpg hwy 02 CLK55 for a 30+ mpg hwy C6 corvette. Not kidding…

  22. tonyola Avatar

    Since I work a lot at home and don't commute much, $5 gas won't have a huge effect on me. My Buick gets 18-20 in the city and up to 30 on the highway, and it was free and it costs not much to run or insure, so I don't see a big advantage in a car swap. I have a bus stop right in front of my house and easy access to Miami-Dade Metrorail, so I would use that more.

  23. njhoon Avatar

    When it hits 5.00 a gallon, I'll kick myself even harder for not buying that prism/corolla on craigslist a few weeks back for 900 bucks. Since my truck gets about 13 mpg per tank, cry a liitle every other week and less road trips to the shore.

  24. highmileage_v1 Avatar

    If fuel prices jump significantly I'll be out of a job (aviation). But for now the Subie gets good mileage and if I have to stop buying coffee from Starbucks or whoever, so be it.

  25. IronBallsMcG Avatar

    It makes me happy to see no one is saying that they'll sell the Escalade at a $20k loss and buy the Metro they found on eBay for $5000. Seeing the number games people were playing last time around hurt my maths-lovin' head.
    I've got 9 miles of highway commute each way, my wife drives a Fit, and most of the summer will be spent on the motorcycle and bicycle. Sounds like it may be time to take advantage of soon falling used SUV prices.

    1. Smells_Homeless Avatar

      That's exactly what I was thinking. I'm definitely in the market for a dump-runner pickup and I can feel my moment approaching.

  26. Seth_L Avatar

    I'll throw in with the lot that will be looking for a cheap large-comfy-thing that someone is trying to unload.
    I've already got a mini.

  27. SSurfer321 Avatar

    Lifted trucks look great and help with ground clearance around construction sites. They also get dismal fuel mileage. As I still have two years of payments left on it, trading it in for something more fuel efficient is on my radar. I've spotted a 2011 WRX at a dealership with 1.9% financing. Yes my payment would go up but so would my fuel economy.
    Unfortunately Mrs. Ssurfer321 enjoys the utility a truck provides and has vetoed any trade-in aspirations. So I will just switch driving my F150 for her base Impreza; as I have the longer commute (30+ miles one way).

    1. muthalovin Avatar

      I saw a quad-cab Raptor headed into downtown Austin this morning on my commute. I thought to myself, if I had a Raptor, I would be taking dirt roads to work, and not the freeway.

  28. Slow Joe Crow Avatar
    Slow Joe Crow

    Start riding my wife's 83 Honda CM250C to work, 60mpg, $50/year insurance, bought for $400 in 1991. Alternatively, accept an increase in commute time and multimode with a train and bike.

  29. Jim-bob Avatar

    I own 2 3 cylinder Geo Metros so my plan is to sell off one of them for $5,000 to a desperate SUV owner when gas goes that high. I have been holding the second one since gas was $2.91 and I figured out that it would go much higher due to the effects of quantitative easing on the value of the dollar. Some people hold gold and silver as a hedge against inflation, I hold Geo Metros.

  30. Cretony38 Avatar

    Can I hear a $10 gallon? Not if, when. I'll be on the empty streets with my 49mpg motorcycle.

  31. GTXEliminator Avatar

    Thank god that I live in a place that generaly is in the running for the lowest national gas prices, because we all know that a Bronco is the most fuel efficent vehicle out there.

  32. mdharrell Avatar

    <img src="http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5133/5512867456_cfc3733b03.jpg&quot; width="400">
    I have a three-point plan:
    (1) Drive the blue one less often.
    (2) Drive the yellow one (or, for local trips, the green one) more often.
    (3) Help the neighbor with that rotting fence again.
    I'm not altogether sure what that last point has to do with gasoline reaching $5.00, but I figure that'll be as good a time as any.

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      My three-point plan:
      1) Find Mike's house
      2) Steal the yellow one in the middle of the night
      3) Build a privacy fence around it so it can't be seen parked in my yard.

  33. Bret Avatar

    Gas at $5 won't really impact me much as I live close to work and carpool with my wife. I might slow down a little bit cruising on the freeway. We'll probably switch from the 19mpg Saab to the 27mpg Miata now that it's not so freaking cold, but we'd do that anyway. We certainly aren't going to spend money on a car to save money on fuel. I've never understood the folks who run out and buy a $20k car to save money on fuel.
    Maybe a Cayenne GTS with a manual transmission will come up for sale and taunt use with its awesomeness. That would make a great Saab replacing road trip car.

  34. dwegmull Avatar

    OK, I'll be the smug one: drive my electric car. Plus I carpool, so I only drive every other day.

  35. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    I've seriously considered showing up at an autocross with it.

    1. Alff Avatar

      I've seen some odd stuff run at the course in Independence. My favorites were an early '60s full size Ford Wagon (it's very nice – I know I've seen a picture of it here) and a retired police Crown Vic. The latter is totally appropriate, as the course is a police pursuit training facility.

  36. smokyburnout Avatar

    Depends. Will diesel be $5.25 when gas hits $5 a gallon? If so, I may… starting looking harder for a job? Start looking for parts for a 5-speed swap (not auto->5-speed manual, 4-speed manual->5-speed manual)? Start losing my hair?

  37. P161911 Avatar

    Not around where I live. For most of these folks, even at $5/gal., gas is a rather insignificant part of the family budget. I'm sure their golf and country club dues are much more than the cost of most of my cars.

  38. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    $8.15 per US Gallon here in little old England today.
    I'll just carry on with the Audi. I can't afford to change my car, I still need to drive 25 miles to work every day. Life goes on.
    And there doesn't seem to be jack shit any of us can do about it.

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      $8.15 per US Gallon
      >cough! cough!<

  39. ZomBee Racer Avatar

    Sit around the house playing on Hooniverse and Atomic Toasters all day, and only drive to the bars or when I have to tow my crap-can to the Lemons races.
    Oh, you meant AFTER…

    1. muthalovin Avatar

      This is the best plan of action. Of all time. Ever.

        1. muthalovin Avatar

          Oh! Man!

  40. CBQ_241 Avatar

    My wife is commuting 90 miles a day so I converted her beater city car to dual fuel, gas in the winter, Propane in the summer. Propane around here is about $2.70 a gallon equivalent right now and will keep going down as demand drops in the summer.
    If gas hits $5/gal. I will do the same conversion to a old honda I have and drive that. Or mabye I will finally finish the mercedes 240d powered willys project I have been screwing with.

    1. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

      I think we need to hear more about this 240D Willys…

  41. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

    Stick shift in the 244 and a light foot: 21-23 MPG could become 26 with little effort. It'd solve my insatiable lust for stick, too.

  42. Black Steelies Avatar

    Just keep driving. I have a 34 mile roundtrip commute everyday to work. I'll probably have to nix some trips I was planning on taking this summer, including the roadtrip to CA I was looking forward to. Then again, the Regal still gets roughly 25 mpg and most of my commute is highway. I will be making almost $15 an hour at the co-op and the parents insist on paying rent. Maybe this trip will pan out.
    I was also thinking of buying a decent road bike this summer for some pleasure rides and whenever I go home the Ascot will rack up over 40 miles to the gallon. Sadly, Rosemary the hearse is going to have to stay where she sits and shade the grass this summer. She was better suited to the 5 mile commute last summer.

  43. ChuckyShamrok Avatar

    Tune up my Peugeot, Sadly a road bike and not a car
    Make my friend drive more, He has a 2010 Carolla, I have a 2K Dakota R/T
    Ride my bike to work, it's only 5 miles

  44. BrianTheHoon Avatar

    We just bought a house that's a spit and a stride from the kid's school, most of their after-school activities and my wife's 2 day/week job. This doubled my previously 10-minute commute that I make in my 4-pot Fusion. While my car CAN make 31mpg, it's a hell of a lot more fun to drive when it's getting 24mpg, IYKWIMAITYD.
    I will change nothing.

  45. ptschett Avatar

    For one, I'm not getting rid of the Dakota. So what if it gets 13-18 MPG, depending on which way the wind is blowing… it's paid for, there isn't anything out there that could conceivably do what it does for me and get significantly better gas mileage, and now that I have the Challenger I'm not nearly as anxious to drive the Dakota just to enjoy the amenities it has and the T-bird doesn't; I generally won't be using the pickup during road construction seasonsummer.
    For that matter, the Challenger stays too. When I took it out for its biweekly hoon this past weekend I got 20 MPG, in temperatures cold enough to freeze diesel exhaust fluid, without any effort to conserve; merely driving like a normal person and in human-habitable weather can get me 25 MPG highway.
    That leaves the KLR650, which at 50,000 miles is getting due for retirement anyway. Probably I'll ride it this season yet and then see what my choices are. My commute is only 5 miles so I'll still use a car for that (that's too short to make much difference) and even though I love the Challenger I'll still be itching to go the places that my KLR is best suited to explore.

  46. alewifecove Avatar

    Mutha's drive is about 7 one way. Mostly sub to urban after the first 2 miles or so. She drive's the Subaru at 27 mpg or so. Mine is 6 one way. Mostly rural. I drive the Ranger at 18 mpg or so. They are both paid for. We are certainly in the car payment = $2 or $3 a gallon club. We will drive them 'into the ground' as they say

  47. toebitus Avatar

    if i stay under 3500 hundred on the tach,the 93 mx5 will get 31 mpg. i do not look at the speedometer (80 mile round trip)

    1. smokyburnout Avatar

      That's dentist drill territory…

      1. mr. mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
        mr. mzs zsm msz esq

        Mazda makes you go hmmm.

  48. mad_science Avatar

    Interesting question….
    I'm in the middle of a transition right now…one that'll give me the opportunity to change how close to work I live. Hopefully I can be closer than the 41miles each way commute that I'm rocking now. It's reverse, so I do the whole thing as fast (or slow) as I'd like.
    Gotta say, I love our commenters, as you guys (and gals) recognize that selling your 15mpg beater and buying a new(ish) 15-30k ride to get an extra 15+mpg doesn't really make sense.
    I'll probably keep rocking the Falcon, probably back off the throttle a bit, though. Also, I'll expedite a round of upgrades (4 barrel carb, ignition, etc) that should help a little bit with economy. Probably won't swap out the 2.80:1 rearend, sadly.

    1. west_coaster Avatar

      You kind of just negated your own argument about spending money to get better mpg. How much would those "upgrades" cost and how much of an increase are you going to realize?
      When I was younger I used to fall for every claim of performance parts makers, and spent a good part of my then-meager income on them. Headers promised "better mileage" but I never saw it. A Mallory ignition…same story. A carb and manifold upgrade (even a "street/towing" setup) did nothing except tempt me to step on the throttle more often to test out all that extra horsepower I was getting.
      I was going to do them all anyway, and the thought of better fuel economy helped my justify the stuff to myself and my friends, but it just never played out.

      1. Tim Odell Avatar
        Tim Odell

        You're mostly right…I'm mostly doing a bit of a rationalization stretch.
        Though, at least my current commute is 40 miles of highway cruising. Anything that can reduce inefficiencies on at that steady state would be great.
        …but I realize it's gonna take a lot of miles with a delta of 3-4mpg (best case) to earn back a few hundred bucks worth of upgrades.

  49. Jim-Bob Avatar

    Geo Metro owners are about the only people who are more smug than Toyota Prius owners ( many of us like to look down our noses at them ). It's because we get the same fuel economy for less than the cost of one new car payment that the Prius owner makes. It may not be as nice a car as a Prius, but it is about the cheapest way to get around there is. For example, my daily driver Metro cost me $250, or about 1/100 the price of a Prius. Am I smug? You bet I am!

  50. problemaddict Avatar

    I plan to race on Sunday (at the track)
    And WIN on Monday (at the pumps)
    <img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/problemaddict/Scooter%20-%20FeiYing%20Xtreme/Scooter%20Racing/SandyHook092511.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="masrc scooter racing sandyhook speedway">
    <img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/problemaddict/Scooter%20-%20FeiYing%20Xtreme/Scooter%20Racing/SandyHook092524.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="masrc scooter racing sandyhook speedway">