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August 8th, 2008

Fuelly and theCarLog

Matt Haughey of MetaFilter fame launched Fuelly, which allows you to track your car’s MPG and compare it with other folks… lots of fun stuff. Looks good. My first thought when I saw it was, “Hey! That was a part of theCarLog! Now it’s real! Great!”

theCarLog, it can now be told, is an aborted project of mine. It started from humble origins. I keep track of all of my car’s maintenance in a Pages (formerly Word) document. That’s it. I thought, “Huh. It’d be nice to keep this online… and compare mechanics… and compare prices for maintenance.” That way I could not only enter my info and keep track of it (very useful) but also see if Joe up the street is paying more for maintenance than I am.

I started building the site and had a working version of it at one point; it logged your maintenance, oil changes, etc. The site would also remind you when your next oil change was due (via email, based on history) and all sorts of good stuff. But that’s the part where I started to fumble the code, and began to lose interest.

Some of it came back when I envisioned also comparing gas prices and MPG. The concept was pretty much the same as Fuelly; I could see how other people with Honda Elements were doing, for instance. This was based on my then-standard practice of analyzing each tank of gas for MPG… I religiously wrote down the tripometer reading at every fill-up.

But looking back, theCarLog was trying to do too much at any one time. That’s why Fuelly is great – not just because it’s a finished site and someone else did the hard work (hah!) but because it’s very focused. I’m honestly happy that it’s out there and it’s not some crappy thing by a crappy corporation.

Now I need to sign up.

Posted in Technology

Steve A August 9, 2008, 1:05 am

That’s a cool little site.

Working as I do now as a service advisor for a car dealership, here’s a few no-brainer tips for better efficiency.

1. Change out that dirty air filter. Most filters run about $25-30 and you can do it easily yourself.
2. Use your cruise control when practical.
3. Avoid excessive idling.

Here’s a couple links.
http://www.edmunds.com/advice/fueleconomy/articles/106842/article.html
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/FEG/maintain.shtml
http://www.howtoadvice.com/savinggas
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/cars/features/2008/gas-saving-tips/

I did notice several sites have contridictary statements.

Ciao,

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