This topic has been discussed since ford made the first car.

A lot of time we get consumed with gas mileage and the cost to get it better. New cars get much better gas mileage than vintage or classic cars get, but what price do we pay? Try getting one fixed or making repairs yourself.

Just as a point of conversation:

Lets say we buy an old car or truck as we hot rodders do. Lets say for a truck it gets 12 mpg. Lets say we fix it to get it reliable total cost of truck, any repairs and upgrades, 10,000 dollars. Cost of a new truck 50,000 dollars, difference 40,000 dollars.

New truck gets 18 mpg (my son just bought a new F250 and got a little over 15 mpg on a trip), difference is 6 mpg. Is the additional cost for the fuel make up for the 40,000 dollars you did not spend on the new truck. 40,000 dollars in a money market account at 5% interest is 2,000 dollars. Will the 2,000 dollars cover the cost of the additional fuel required?

Let's say you drive 14,000 miles a year.

14,000 divided by 12 = 1167 gallons.

14,000 divided by 18 = 778 gallons

difference = 389 gallons, round up to 400 gallons.

cost of gas per gallon = 4.00 dollars.

cost for additional gas = 400 times 4 = 1,600 dollars, less than 2,000 dollars and you still have the 40,000 dollars in the bank.

Lets add to this the difference in insurance. If the truck is new you will want collision, old truck none. I have no idea what the cost would be so I am guessing say 1,000 dollars a year for the collision rider that you do not have to spend. The cost of the collision would pay for the insurance on the beater if you get one.

If you buy on credit and make a monthly payment for a new car take that amount and put it in a bank account every month for yourself.

If you want good gas mileage buy a cheap beater car for commuting. Honda civic, Hyundai accent, etc. I have a 2003 hyundai that I paid 3,000 dollars for maybe 7-8 years ago with 70,000 miles and it now has 182,000

miles. No problems, I get 32-35 mpg and it doesn't burn any oil. It has the original injectors and exhaust system

Getting back to the point on improving gas mileage, use the same logic for the cost. Now we are talking maybe 2-3 mpg for moderate changes or maybe 5 mpg depending on how much money you want to spend. Also we have to consider if it is an efi motor which makes improvements more complicated and costly. My point being, is the cost to make the improvements less that the money saved on gas. If this a daily driver it may be worth it. If we are just talking about basic maintenance items like, spark plugs, wires, cap and rotor, new injectors or carb rebuild, yes do it and start with cheapest first. The trap is replacing parts thinking they will improve mpg and find out when done there is no change. We should also not expect a large gain and be disappointed.

My advise is always have a second beater car. It is so stress relieving to know that if one breaks you have the other. Just keep the beater reliable and do the right maintenance on it.

BTW my wife has the new car (masda). I do not drive it or maintain it. She takes it to the dealer for all maintenance and so far no repairs but is out of warranty.

Enough rambling!