By on June 8, 2012

TTAC reader LeMansteve writes:

Hi Sajeev,

It’s convenient you just posted your plea for emails because I have been letting one brew for a while now. I have been following TTAC for about a year now. I’ve been conflicted on a classic question for quite a while now and thought I would open it up to you and the TTAC readers. Here is my situation:

My daily driver is a 2004 330i sedan (6-speed stick, of course). My commute is long and the car is going to reach 110k soon. For my daily commute, I have 2 routes to choose from.

  • Route 1
    *54.3 miles one way, average mpg of 31, 1hr transit time, 90% highway.
    *40 of those highway miles are in light traffic where I can reliably hold cruise control at 65-70 without interruption.
    *A very low stress route against traffic AM and PM. Also very boring most days.
    *$291.94/mo @ $4/gal for premium gas
  • Route 2
    *44.5 miles one way, average mpg of 27.5, 1hr 10min transit time
    *Mixed urban, rural and 1 lane beautiful winding country roads with many lights and stop signs for the first 23 miles. Few opportunities for extended use of cruise control.
    *1 or 2 days a month I get light traffic and can really “enjoy” the country roads
    *$269.70/mo @ $4/gal for premium gas

In your opinion, which one of these routes is “best” for the car? More highway miles or fewer mixed miles? I am the 2nd owner and the car has been paid of since mid-2010. I’m not counting depreciation cost because I love this car and plan on keeping it until at least 200k. I do my own fluid changes on a regular basis. Outside of that, E46 maintenance seems like a wildcard. In the next 100k I could chew through any number of the following: window regulators, fuel pumps, oil separator, expansion tank, suspension bushings, drivetrain bushings, etc.


Sajeev answers:

Oh my! Lay off the ALL CAPS and ranting about other drivers: the B&B is gonna pigeonhole you as a stereotypical BMW owner who thinks their poop doesn’t stink!  While I enjoy stereotypes as much as anyone else (par for the course when your name’s as “challenging” as mine), sometimes it’s important to avoid adding fuel to the fire.

But for the record, my poop smells like a meadow full of flowers, as I am a Ford Ranger driver, Fox Body owner and Panther Love master. Go ahead and stereotype THAT, my friends! But I digress…

Route 1 is better for the car, and possibly for your somewhat angry demeanor. Both you and the car will live longer with this choice. But then again…who cares?  Route 2 sounds fun, takes full advantage of BMW ownership, and probably won’t matter to the car’s well being…unless you plan on keeping it for the rest of your life.

Even if this is a keeper Till Death Do Us Part, well, who cares.  Life is too damn short to not enjoy the highs and lows of putting a performance car through its paces. If you had a more casual machine, I’d opt for Route #1 and an aftermarket stereo with great sound quality.

Send your queries to [email protected]. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry.

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62 Comments on “Piston Slap: The Ultimate Commute?...”

  • avatar

    Mix it up. Take route 2 once a week. Enjoy your purchase. The main thing is that you’ll blow through the next 100 k miles quickly if you stick to route 1 saving on gas and repairs as highway miles are better for the car in the long run.

    Now that the car is paid off, then you have all that extra money for repairs so keep on driving until you see another shiny BMW with your name on it.

  • avatar

    Stick to the highway, relax, and listen to some Comedy Bang Bang podcasts. I used to frequently drive on similarly pretty but usually annoying two-lanes. Downshifting and booting it to 90mph so you can pass 3 cars at time in those 200 foot “zones” can’t be good for the car, and fuming while being stuck behind an 18-wheeler going 40 in a 55 can’t be good for YOU.

    I don’t miss those roads at all.

  • avatar

    Mix it up. It’s actually good for your mental health to change the routes you take to and from work everyday, it’s a little extra bit of neurostimulation to keep your brain active.

    • 0 avatar

      I have to agree with the monkey on this one. Years ago when I was in the Army I used to drive home in the evening the same way due the fact that there really wasnt another way that was even close to being as short (25 min.). After doing the same route for about a year five to six days a week one day I got in my car on the base and looked up and I was in my drive way. After doing this several times over a short period of time I realized that my brain was just focused on driving and nothing else. I literally tuned every thing out around me without knowing. I guess my brain kept me safe from crashing but not remembering due to to much repetitiveness can be mundane in life and driving. I love to drive but there was no love there.

  • avatar

    The longer highway route causes less vehicle wear.

    In a previous life I was a durability test engineer for GM. I’ll tell a bit about how durability testing works and it will, I think, justify my statement above.

    Durability testing is very, very expensive. It is also very, very important, partly due to concerns about customer satisfaction but also due to things like warranty costs and possible recalls. It also takes longer than any other testing , and that’s a huge factor in the cycle time needed to get a new vehicle to market.

    So, the company has a large interest in getting the testing done right, and getting it done as quickly as possible (note: don’t confuse getting the testing right with making the right product decisions based on the test results). When designing the tests, the company doesn’t guess; they go out and instrument customer vehicles to find out how people drive in the real world. Starts, stops, accels, decels, shifts, turns, suspension inputs, g-forces, rpms, idle time, weight loads, the lot.

    Now, obviously, the best way to “simulate” 100k miles of use would be to take the “worst” measured case of each of those categories and go out and do what they did for 100k miles. But that takes too long, even at 24x7x365, and it costs too much.

    Well, what they found was that time spent just driving down a smooth road at a constant speed puts essentially zero wear on the car. To compress 100k miles of “use” into, say, 15k miles what they do is take out all of the “driving down a smooth road at a constant speed” miles but leave in all the starts, stops, accels, decels, shifts, turns, suspension inputs, g-forces, etc. of 100k miles.

    Decades of doing these tests and then looking at the results (meaning, examining the parts and comparing the 15k mile tested part with a real 100k mile part) have shown that this method absolutely works and that the proper 15k mile test is valid for certifying that parts will last 100k miles plus. A caveat to avoid improper conclusions: not everything can be tested in a 15k mile “accelerated durability” test. Window regulators, for example. Corrosion. Paint. But for what most people are thinking of, driveline and suspension, accelerated durability is valid.

    The conclusion? It’s not the driving down the highway that kills your car, it’s everything else. To the questioner: take the low-stress route. Your car will last longer, and so will you. Go attack the two-lanes at the proper time and place.

    • 0 avatar

      Highway route for sure as it’s easiest on driver and car. Then consider a chip, intake, and exhaust to get that fuel economy up. Don’t forget about raising tire pressures.

    • 0 avatar

      If it was me, I’d take the nice relaxing highway…75 or 80% of the time. The other way now and then when I felt like it or thought there wouldn’t be much traffic. Variety is good.

  • avatar

    Lucky guy, u still have route to pick

    My daily commute from home to work is 12 km, time required is 45-50 min with a diesel manual SUV that weight near 2 tone and does 23.52mpg

    commute home from work taks 30 min to 1.5 hour depends on the traffic

    Live here for a bit u’ll be happy to take your route anyday

  • avatar

    Indeed, you should be thankful that you have a choice of seemingly pretty good route, better than many people had to contend with every day. What if your route to practically anywhere is basically stop and go traffic jam?

  • avatar

    You are also forgetting about one major component of your journey to work. The risk of driving in a world of texters, breakfast eating, newsday reading, make-up applying, distracted commuters. I for one have alot more to risk with a wife and kid at home and me being the sole breadwinner. In my opinion and as a firefighter for 12 years, there is alot more risk on the windy curvy road with lights vs. the standard highway commute. Rather than fuel consumption, and wear and tear, I look at life and which would potentially be the safer route. I will take flowing traffic vs stop and go with intersections all day long.

    • 0 avatar

      This. Life is short not to have fun while driving but it’s going to be alot shorter if you get destroyed in your Miata by a texting teenager. I constantly struggle with wanting to have a fun car again (I drive an auto 2.5L Outback *yyyyaaaawn*) but if you’re like me, and support a family, safety – even it’s only *perceived* – is paramount.

    • 0 avatar

      Newsday? Does anybody read that anymore? According to that paper, we are all Vicodin eating junkies!

  • avatar

    I have a couple of routes myself:

    35 miles @ faster speeds or 30 miles, more direct with well-timed lights every few miles @ slower traffic speeds.

    I’ve found my time on the faster route to be 5-10min faster, even though it’s FARTHER, but there is $1.80 in tolls/day + my gas mileage suffers 10-15% due to the higher speeds. (Also: Right now the faster route is under construction until November, so it’s not any faster).

    I’ve calculated my real costs as follows:

    Highway route:
    $1.80/day*20 + 32G of gas/month @ $4/gallon = $164/mo

    Non highway route (but well synched lights & almost no stopping…)
    $0/day * 20 + 25G of gas/month = $100/month

    This doesn’t include the incremental cost of driving + 10 miles/day.

    My curernt 4 month average for my car of REAL running costs is $0.64/mile minus gas is about $0.45/mile. That means it costs me an extra wear & tear of about $4.70/day going the longer route. Assuming the cost/mile is equal that is another $4.70/day * 20 = $94/month in car expense costs.

    $164+94= $258 (tolls, extra gas, extra mileage) vs $100/month.

    The choice is pretty clear unless your time is super valuable.

    On average the faster route (with no construction) probably saves me 10 minutes each way.

    20 min day * 20 = 400 minutes = 6 +2/3 hours or ~ $23.68/hour.

    It’s not worth paying $23.68/hour to save an extra 10 minutes coming & going…

    The only exceptions to my commute are:

    * Big storm that knocks out power. The non-highway commute can take 2.5 hours+ for 30 miles wheN i have to stop at every single light.

    * Accident on highway (quite rare believe it or not) can add an extra 30min-1 hr on my commute.

  • avatar

    I’M 61 YEARS OLD AND AN IMPALA OWNER AND PROUD OF IT! How stereotypical is that?

    There…caps off.

    My commute is around 100 miles a day, too, and there’s really only one way to go for me, which is the I-275 loop around Cincinnati into Northern Kentucky touching on Indiana to my place of work. I can take I-75 straight south, which is a couple of miles shorter, but the aggravation of the traffic makes that unrealistic, besides I did that before my company moved and to go only 21 miles one way took the same 50 minutes at times as my current commute does.

    Is your commute with or against the flow of traffic? Mine is against the flow once I get on the highway, all the way to the office.

    I and a few others were able to change our hours to make our long commutes work, too. I leave the house at 6:30 am, start my day by 7:30, cut lunch to a half-hour and leave at 4 pm. Works beautifully, as I get home around or before 5 pm, and on the highway, it’s also against the traffic flow, so I’m very fortunate in that. The road leading to/from the highway to/from home is with traffic, but not too bad.

    My car has the 3.4L, uses regular gas and I average over 30 mpg, lately 32 mpg. Not too bad, I suppose, but my car sure racks up the miles pretty quick. I have about 101K, up from 80K-something since August last year.

    This probably isn’t much help to you, as my drive isn’t much fun whether I drive the Impala or our 2007 MX5, so I might as well have a Cobalt if the seats were comfortable. Now if I had a supercar like yours or a Corvette…hmmm, the possiblities!

    As was said above, LeMansteve, mix it up and try to enjoy what you can, as you certainly have the car to do it with!

    • 0 avatar

      Also have changed my hours to reduce commute.

      I leave the house at 5, arrive @ work by 6 and leave at 3. Works much better than 8-5.

      Pros on new schedule: Less traffic. More time to play with my 6mo old son after work every day.

      Cons: Body doesn’t adjust for weekend. Don’t bother to go out with friends on a “Sat night” as they aren’t interested in going out at 4 or 5 and calling it a night at 8 or 8:30pm as I’m exhausted by then.

      • 0 avatar

        You know what’s even sadder than that? As we get ready to hit the sack about 9:30, our dog wants to go to bed earlier, and won’t, but paces around ’til the TV is turned off!

  • avatar

    Get some Vise-Grips. Apply them to your nose. Now it won’t matter which route you take to work (or anywhere else either).

  • avatar

    Dwight and stuntmonkey already nailed it. Be glad you have that kind of choice so you can switch things up once in a while. I wish I had an occasional scenic alternative for my long, dreary highway commute.

  • avatar

    I do something really strange… I live in the same city in which I work. Crazy, right? I ride my bike on nice days (20 min) and take the bus the rest of they year with a subsidized pass (30 min) for $10 a month.

    • 0 avatar

      Well, I had a very short commute for years (though in an exurban area where there’s no good alternative to driving), and was very happy about it. But life is what happens while you were making other plans, right? Having divorced some years ago, last year I met and fell in love with the woman who will soon be my 2nd wife. As fate would have it, she lives 60 miles from where I work, and for a long list of reasons it made by far the most sense for her to stay put and me to move. And my job is a specialized one that you can’t find just anywhere. It happens!

    • 0 avatar

      Wow that is pretty crazy.

      You must either make income proportionate to the housing cost next to where you work or perhaps there isn’t much difference in cost compared to living farther away.

      To have my land plot (not all that big) and house size in Chicago would be ~ 5x as much as I pay. Yeah I could have a smaller house but where do I put my wife’s family when they visit every year ? (3+ people at a time…) They don’t speak English…Dropping them in a decent hotel for a month every year is going to be SUPER expensive.

      • 0 avatar

        Houses in the city are generally cheaper than a garage mahal in the “suburbs” of my area.

        I would have had to do the same if I choose to stay living in a large urban area, I choose not to and I am much richer for it. Not trying to be condescending, just saying that no one forces anyone to live in the suburbs of large urban areas.

      • 0 avatar

        Unfortunately most of the white collar jobs are in the city. I do IT for large enterprise. Not much of that in rural places…

      • 0 avatar

        “I do IT for large enterprise.”

        So do I.

      • 0 avatar

        @Uber> Then you can understand why I live nearby but not in a large Urban area (Chicago). It is almost impossible in IT to stay at a job more than a few years max. Moving to a small area to do Enterprise IT is too risky for my taste, esp since it’s going be hard to relocate in the current economic climate. Better to chose something cheap(er) and near multiple urban areas if possible (which is what I did).

    • 0 avatar

      That’s great, but it doesn’t work for every person or every location.

      I have a relatively short commute in a relatively small city. No transit outside of the core downtown or college area, and I tried biking but damned near wound up in the ER trying to bike safely to work.

      I live closer to downtown than to work, guess I ought to just get a new job that is closer do I too can be a model citizen and then post in a condescending tone how my choices are preferable for all others.

    • 0 avatar

      I moved to be closer to work. I could walk to the office. I’d ride my bike if I needed to work on the weekends. It was great, but didn’t last very long. The company moved to larger space a little farther away (too far to ride), and then an even larger space even farther away. Then the economy tanked, and I was laid off. I was lucky to find a new job, but it’s on the other side of town. This would be a really bad time to sell my house. And, you know what, I like it here. I’m not sure I’d move even if I could.

      • 0 avatar

        This is a good reason why in the current economy “live close to work!” doesn’t work all that well for a vast majority of people unless you are an unfireable government employee or union worker.

        * If you rent near work & are laid-off, you are probably in a 1+ year contract and stuck.
        * If you buy near work & are laid-off, you better hope you aren’t upside down on your house.
        * Even if you aren’t fired, your company may desire to move & you are in the same situation.

        At least if you buy where you WANT to live vs “near work” you may enjoy it even after you change jobs, even if you don’t enjoy the commute.

      • 0 avatar

        ………This is a good reason why in the current economy “live close to work!” doesn’t work all that well for a vast majority of people unless you are an unfireable government employee or union worker………

        Don’t know where you live but in these parts, those “unfireable” people you talk about can’t afford to live in the city…travel is the only way. When studios start at 600K on up, only the fat cats gets the nice places in the city or they rent and pay 2500 or more a month for a plain, non-renovated one bedroom.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam P

      I live in a suburb with an easy bus commute to one major city (Seattle, WA) and one of that city’s main suburbs (Bellevue, WA). I do that most of the time too. I occasionally drive my E46 Bimmer sedan to work, maybe like 5 or 6 times a year. Riding the bus for free – subsidized transit pass from employer – beats paying gas and $300 per month for parking near where I work.

      • 0 avatar

        Sam, I’d make the same decision if I were in your shoes.

        Unfortunately the situation kind of reversed here.

        The local train line raised their monthly pass so that it is no longer covered by pre-tax “commuter” dollars (I think it’s $180/month now). Covered parking on the other-hand is $85 (all pre-tax) dollars/mo.

        On top of that I am currently working a 6am shift. First bus next to my house is 6:15am on weekdays….

        What really ticks me off is that I’ve taken several customer interest surveys by various public transit agencies on how to improve service (some of them requiring 1hr+ of my time) but nothing EVER changes. For me to use public transit regularly, I really need the buses to start about 4:00am or so and not end at 6:30pm

      • 0 avatar
        Sam P

        Buses around here for my commute start running regularly at 5:15 am (like every 15 minutes) until 9:30 am, when they go to a bus every half hour.

        Then from 3:30 – 7:30 pm they run every 15 minutes, and run every half hour until 1 in the morning.

        They’re good except when it snows and the public transportation infrastructure breaks down, with buses sliding down hills and crashing into things. Fortunately it doesn’t snow *that* often in greater Seattle.

  • avatar

    I recently installed a radio with an AUX jack in my Civic. Now, no matter where I’m driving or how lousy the traffic, I can ‘be’ elsewhere as I listen to my preferred podcasts. And no commercial radio creeps to torture me.

  • avatar

    Your problem is pretty simple, no torque. Trade your car for a turbo that’s quick at lower revs and take route 2. No more worries about short passing zones, stress lowered.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Mix it up as others have said.

    Go buy a used Corvette with a 6 speed manual and you won’t care how short the passing zones are, it will be a surmountable challenge.

    • 0 avatar

      I am seriously considering a late C4 or C5 manual as my next purchase simply because where can you find a used fun, lower mileage, reasonably priced, reasonably fuel efficient, reliable coupe, with balls-under-the-hood when you need them and some pizzazz.Civics and Camcords tend to only fit some of those prerequisites.

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        The only thing holding me back is “only seats 2”. But I should likely quit fooling around and just get one. I do want to be able to cross “Corvette Ownership” off my Bucket List. Hell my fiance (will be wife in about 6 weeks) literally goes “oooooooohhhhh” every time she sees a 1984 or newer ‘Vette.

      • 0 avatar


        At least give the WS6 or GTO/Monaro a shot.

        The C5 hardtop is pretty cool though…

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        @ajla, in my area the Corvette has finally ditched the gold chain disco image but the remaining GTOs have firmly slipped into “redneck/too angry for a Civic” territory. Rubber band tires, loud exhaust, cracked bumpers, baby seats, buzz cut young men with too many tattoos… that is the image the GTO now projects.

      • 0 avatar
        Sam P

        Infiniti. Get a G35 or G37 coupe.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Obviously, route 1 is easier on the car . . . and on you. When you feel that life is boring take route 2.

    Don’t know if your car is new enough for BMW to have fixed the stupidness of composite components in the cooling system (N54 engine and similar), but, if not, consider the water pump impeller, the expansion tank and the radiator tank suspect. If your car has over 60K miles, you should replace that stuff. Problem is, the plastic stuff (expansion tank, radiator tank) doesn’t just spring a leak, it explodes, causing an extremely rapid loss of coolant. If you don’t shut down quickly enough, you’re into major engine repairs. And, if the composite blades in the water pump disintegrate . . . well, you don’t want to think about that.

    The total cost of OEM or better parts for my ’01 Z3 3.0 (including all new hoses, thermostat and thermostat housing) was about $700. If you’re reasonably handy, you can do the job in an afternoon: the only special tools you will need is the fan immobilizer and the big wrench to loosen the fan bolt.

    My indy mechanic quoted me $2,000 for the job, all inclusive.

    • 0 avatar

      If that was necessary on a Malibu, GM would be (again) blasted…yet BMW gets a pass on these junk parts as part of the price for the Ultimate Driving Machine. I’ve never seen such a group of apologists than I have seen on Bimmerfest. It almost seems that this stuff, plus fixting the “trifecta” of TC, ABS, and brake lights is a right of passage….

    • 0 avatar
      Sam P

      The M54 engine still has those problems. I did the same on my ’04 330i as a preventative measure at 70k miles.

      BMW can’t make a cooling system worth a damn but their cars drive pretty nicely.

      As for GM’s luxury brand efforts? Read a Cadillac forum sometime. Used Cadillacs like the CTS and Seville/STS make the 3-series seem like a Camry in terms of reliability. Northstar V8 issues, anyone?

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    Cars almost always last longer on the highway. The one exception is the poor schmuck who presses on the accelerator, let’s go of it, and coasts, presses on the accelerator, let’s go of it, and coasts…

    that person should be shot and neutered. Nothing ticks me off than a driver ahead of me that constantly speeds up and slows down.

    With that being said, diversity is the key to long-term car ownership when it comes to sports car enthusiasts. Drive different places. See different things. Listen to different music. Beautify and upgrade your car as desired. Even stock up on premium parts for those rainy days when you can do your own maintenance.

    I used to travel over 1000 miles a week through three different states going to different auctions. Other than visiting local libraries during the in between times, I did my best to enjoy the road ahead.

    Do the same… and enjoy your ride.

  • avatar

    I agree with the mix it up crowd. But instead of doing so randomly, try to spot patterns, and consider changes in times of day. Do you avoid those chicken trucks on Monday mornings? Friday afternoons? If you leave 20 minutes earlier…what effect on route #2? Route #1 will always be there. Experiment and find the best times to take Route #2. Sometimes for me that is even weather based, so I can open the roof and windows a bit…or was anyway.

    My car killing commute in my 2007 E90 is this: 3.25 miles each way on a 40 MPG road with one light at the end near the office.

    • 0 avatar


      I let weather, time of day, and mood dictate my route choices. And as a bonus, it sounds like route 2 will most likely take you past that aforementioned meadow full of flowers. :)

  • avatar

    Great news! It looks like you can save $22.24 a month in gas, and all it costs you is extra wear and tear on your car, extra aggravation and a mere 3 1/2 more hours of your time (unless you’re talking one way times, then 7 hours). What a bargain! Unless your time is worth more than $6 an hour (or $3 if one way).

  • avatar

    Route 1 is better for your car, no question, even though it involves 10 additional miles of driving. Less engine heat buildup sitting at the light, less wear on the tires, clutch, and brakes.

    Route 2 will wear the car out sooner, but nothing is worse for a car tnan delivering pizzas.

    If you treat your Bimmer right, you should be able to get 300K out of it. Best of luck, and Long May You Run!

  • avatar

    When I drove tractor-trailers on 2-lane highways, I’d cringe when people would try to overtake in gutless Sentra and Escort types.

    I’d watch them in my mirror, bobbing back and forth for a look and rock’n 88 angry HP. Then they’d swing over as they punched it and I’d hear that auto tranny kick-down. Booooooh… Inevitably, they’d get a third of the way and have to retreat. Ugh. Humans.

    When I was commuting in the GF’s Sentra, (she had my 5.0 Mustang for her 2 block commute), I’d hang back about 100 ft and wait. Then I’d punch it at just the right moment and fly past the simis like they’re standing still.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree with this. I don’t think I ever passed anyone on a 1 lane (each-way) road in my neon. On my 600cc sport-bike, it’s a totally different world. Drop to 2nd & open it up…

  • avatar
    Chicago Dude

    I would either change my place of employment or change my place of residence and enjoy driving the car on the weekends. But that’s just me.

    At the current interest rates, you can buy about $65,000 more house for ~$300/mo. Is there anything $65,000 nicer that’s also closer to your job?

  • avatar

    I went from 62 miles a day round trip at the last job to about 6 at the current one. In my humble opinion LeMansteve’s conundrum is a bit of pay me now or pay me later. I would rather spend a little bit more time and (ultimately worthless) fiat currency on the stress free commute than save a little of both now, and pay later with health issues from the increased stress.

    I look at life this way, I would rather be paid well and have a better quality of life, than be paid double but have to work 60+ hours a week. I have a friend at a nuclear power company who makes a tad bit more than me to start but was involved in a nine-month project which was constantly behind schedule, ended up doing 6 days a week at roughly ten hours a day not including a lengthy highway commute on whatever days had to be in the office. Heck I hadn’t even seen this guy since last September prior to last week. He explained they paid him overtime for the extra hours and although it was nice making an extra 20K-30K for that period, it really took a physical toll on him.

    A wise man once said to me nobody lays on their deathbed and thinks gee I wish I had worked more overtime.

  • avatar

    It’s … a *car*. It’s there for your convenience and enjoyment.

    Instead of worrying about what commute your *car* prefers, please worry about what commute *you* prefer. You chose this car to please yourself; if you let the car override your preferred commute route, why did you choose it?

    You bought this car so you could enjoy the drive. Choose the commute that pleases you.


  • avatar

    My commute is similar except I can add a third of mostly dirt roads. When I drive the car I own that is older with high miles I take the highway, with my lease car I take the back roads and have some fun.

  • avatar

    Really? Have we sunk so low that we can’t make up our own minds about our commuting routes? We need advice on whether to take the highway or the winding road?

    Am I the only one who thinks this is ridiculous?

  • avatar

    I chose to live in one of Yahoo’s Top Ten Cheapest Cities to live in which put me 58 miles from work with 90% highway. I was thinking two wheeler as they get the best fuel ecomnomy. Scooters can see over 80 mpg. But wanted something that would be quicker than V6 Camcord and be highway legal. Suzuki SV650 used was less than $4,000 with 4,500 miles through that infamous auction site. It yields 68-70 mpg for the 600 mile weekly commute through 6 months of the year.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Houses are cheaper in the city? Not in DC my friend.

  • avatar

    Highway miles are always easier on a car over accelerating and decelerating cycles.

    enjoy your mind numbering commute and remember to stay awake for the 1 in 10 million chance that something bad happens.

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  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber