Thursday, January 27, 2011


Not very good numbers so far this winter.

179.6 miles / 11.381 gallons = 15.78 mpg

I take a lot of short trips, but 15.8 mpg? What the bleep is this about? Maybe I lost a bit of gas when the fuel pump and hoses (line and injector) were replaced. I don't know. Time to check the tire pressure again.

Caravan odometer = 175,873 miles

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Fuel Pump

On Monday night after work, the caravan would not start. It was somewhat cold that night at 2°F, but not cold enough to be considered excusable behavior. Surely, it wasn't a bad battery (new - 2007.06.01) or starter (rebuilt - 2007.06.13). I went inside for a few minutes and then tried it again. Same thing. So I hitched a ride from a local and went home for the night.

The next day at work I tried starting the caravan again. Boo! Luckily for me, my mechanic's shop is less than half a mile, downhill, from where I collect my employment checks. With the transmission in neutral, Vern (one of the 2 mechanics) pushed the van with his truck that has a wooden push bumper on the front to get the van through the intersection. It was all downhill past the intersection, thanks gravity.

The reason the van wasn't starting was because it was not getting any fuel. The fuel pump needed to be replaced forthwith. Along with the new fuel pump unit, I needed one foot of fuel injector hose, one foot of fuel line hose, and five hose clamps.

The other mechanic (I don't recall his name) said I will likely need to replace the serpentine belt sometime this year. I believe the last time it was replaced was 2006.01.09, when the transmission was rebuilt (158,589 miles).

Caravan odometer = 175,707 miles

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Update for late November, December

The last 45 days have been unpleasant, weather-wise. There was a night of freezing rain, which annihilated my gas mileage. The ice was too thick for my scraper, so it took about 20 minutes to defrost. It was still raining when the ice melted, and I ended up having the caravan run for 30-35 minutes while driving only 2 miles.

Due to various reasons (cold weather, limited income, high gas prices), the caravan only takes short trips, which doesn't allow the engine to warm up for efficient mileage. The South Dakota winters make for cold starts. I have been thinking about installing an engine block heater to rectify this problem.

December 30:
194.3 miles / 12.14 gallons = 16 mpg.