Author Topic: Do I need an "auto log"? Is there an app for that?  (Read 2816 times)

jengod

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1220
  • Location: Near LAX
Do I need an "auto log"? Is there an app for that?
« on: March 04, 2016, 07:46:26 PM »
Reading the "101 Sure-Fire Ways to Save Money" in the first edition (1992) of Your Money or Your Life. They suggest keeping an "auto log" of gas mileage and maintenance. I think I remember my grandpa doing this back in the 1980s. Is this still a good idea or is it a relic of the 1970s oil shock? If it's a good idea, is this something I can do on phone instead on paper? App recommendations?

lbmustache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 930
Re: Do I need an "auto log"? Is there an app for that?
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2016, 07:58:37 PM »
MileIQ is a good app.

kudy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 945
  • Age: 37
  • Location: RV Traveling the U.S.
Re: Do I need an "auto log"? Is there an app for that?
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2016, 08:14:32 PM »
I use fuelly - I like having this data available.

RetiredAt63

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 11411
  • Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
Re: Do I need an "auto log"? Is there an app for that?
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2016, 05:20:38 AM »
Or you could be old-fashioned and keep a small spiral notebook and pencil (pens don't work as well in winter) in your glove compartment.  I do, and it works just fine.

My headings are:
Date    Mileage   Price/litre     Paid      Volume       Full Y/N           Location

I can track prices and where I was finding the best prices, how much I drove over any time period, etc.  I have to do basic arithmetic to calculate efficiency, which is good for keeping the brain active. 

jengod

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1220
  • Location: Near LAX
Re: Do I need an "auto log"? Is there an app for that?
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2016, 09:15:16 AM »
Thanks guys. I downloaded fuelly, which seems like the best match for me since I don't need to submit mileage for work. I'm a SAHM. Went for the digital option over paper to reduce clutter and because my kids are prone to destroying Very Important Grownup Documents, although of course their every toilet-paper-roll construction is precious. :)

Tjat

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 562
Re: Do I need an "auto log"? Is there an app for that?
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2016, 10:01:22 AM »
Short of just knowing your mpg, which can be done using the odometer each fillip, I fail to see any advantage to tracking this data. And I love metrics

RetiredAt63

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 11411
  • Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
Re: Do I need an "auto log"? Is there an app for that?
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2016, 05:52:53 PM »
Short of just knowing your mpg, which can be done using the odometer each fillip, I fail to see any advantage to tracking this data. And I love metrics
I guess part of it for me is that I started when cars were mechanically simpler. We realized the butterfly valve was shot when our mileage suddenly dropped. 

When DD was tiny I was driving for a diaper service and had to split mileage and expenses between personal and business for taxes.  That was very interesting, when I sat down at tax time and looked at my total driving costs for the year.  That only lasted a year, but it did reinforce the habit.

I think it is still worth tracking mileage, I saw how much difference there was in fuel efficiency when I did the exact same drive at 100 and 118 (kph, not mph).  I have been driving at 100 ever since, there was not much difference between 90 and 100, but a huge one between 100 and 120.

In the larger picture, I can see how my amount of driving has changed since I retired, how much I drive in each season, what gas prices have been (and I am usually recording the lowest prices available to me, since I check before I buy).  If my insurance company wants to know annual mileage, I have it.  Sort of like Mint for the car.

Nothlit

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 396
Re: Do I need an "auto log"? Is there an app for that?
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2016, 06:20:00 PM »
I use gasbuddy.com's fuel logbook, mostly out of statistical interest.

I keep a separate Google spreadsheet listing of maintenance performed, from things as basic as changing my air filters and windshield wipers (which I do myself) to oil changes, tire rotations, etc., which I have performed by a mechanic.

jacksonvasey

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 134
Re: Do I need an "auto log"? Is there an app for that?
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2016, 02:21:54 PM »
If you're willing to spend a bit of money ($99 I think), there are bluetooth-enabled devices that plug into the OBDII port on your car and tell your phone what's going on in the car.  I use the Automatic app/device, but I think there are a couple options available now.

So the app tracks each trip you take, from when the ignition starts to when it stops, tracking location via GPS, and gas mileage.  You can also configure it to bug you when you go over a certain speed (defaults to 70 mph) and when you punch the gas or hit the brakes hard (chimes to tell you not to be wasteful).  I think the app lets you put notes into each trip, but I don't know at this point.

Anyways, so I took mine a step further, to trigger an IFTTT recipe when my ignition turns off, to chime my phone to check for DD in the back seat.  She rarely stops talking now, so it's less of a risk, but it was a bit of peace of mind at the time.

Retire-Canada

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6728
Re: Do I need an "auto log"? Is there an app for that?
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2016, 04:52:08 PM »
Is this still a good idea or is it a relic of the 1970s oil shock?

Seems like a total waste of time and money. What exactly will you do with the data you collect and how does this help you?

Until you can answer that I don't see any point in going forward.

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5634
Re: Do I need an "auto log"? Is there an app for that?
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2016, 05:17:40 PM »
Is this still a good idea or is it a relic of the 1970s oil shock?

Seems like a total waste of time and money. What exactly will you do with the data you collect and how does this help you?

Until you can answer that I don't see any point in going forward.

It's helpful to have date/mileage for maintenance.  I also track fuel economy just because I want to.

I use Google Sheets -- I used to use a specific app, then my phone died and I hadn't backed up the data from that app so everything I had tracked (maintenance records, fuel mileage, etc) was gone.  I switched to Google Sheets so I can access/update it anywhere.