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Salt Lake City UT to Wendover NV in a GX

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  • Salt Lake City UT to Wendover NV in a GX

    A few days ago I had to make a quick trip to Wendover, to meet someone "halfway" from Elko to deliver a computer that was needed faster-than-fedex... I figured taking the GX would be great -- if it could make it...

    Google Maps shows 118 miles from the SLC Airport pumps to the McDonald's in Wendover. Hmm 236 miles? Everyone lists the range of a GX at 230... I'd never gone more than 180 around town...

    My unknown was just how many gallons you get at 3300 PSI, the target fill pressure at most Utah stations... Since my 2002 GX has an "8 gallon" tank, I figured maybe at 3300 it was only 7 gallons... Since I get an average of 34 MPG, and I surely would get better than that on a non-stop highway trip, even at 34 MPG I should be able to go 238 miles?

    I decided it would all come down to what PSI I got at the Airport. If it was low I'd just come back home and take our other 27 MPG gasoline powered car... I filled up on my way home from work at the Granite district pumps, figuring I would go to the airport to top off a few hours later, since that is supposed to let your tank hold the most possible (Fill, wait for temperature to settle, then fill again). When I got to the airport station, the fill was almost 3400 when it was pumping in, and over 3300 when it wasn't... Great, I figure, it doesn't get much better than that. I decided to go for it, after all the math worked out didn't it???

    Well my gas guage hit the half way mark at only about 109 miles. I chalked it up to inaccurate guage, but I probably ought to have just stopped and called the Elko folks to come meet me the 10 miles further down the road... I decided I'd just drive 65 all the way back and get better mileage... The other thing everyone says about the GX, is that when the Low Fuel light comes on, you only have about 20-25 miles left. Coming back, that light came on at 204 miles. Sheesh! I was going to be short by 7-12 miles? Well I called and arranged with father-in-law to come pull me the rest of the way if I ran out, and gritted my teeth and waited for my engine to die. When I got clear to the Bangerter exit, I thought just maybe if I can make it up this last hill at least I can coast far enough to be able to push it without having to call someone. When my engine was still running as stopped at the airport pump, I couldn't believe it. I'd just gone 32 miles after my Low Fuel light lit up.

    The pressure at the airport was only like 2200 PSI, someone must have really drained them hard recently. I didn't even care. The 4 gallons I was able to pump made me happier than any big fill I'd ever gotten! The next day I topped off at Granite again, and then added it all up and figured out that my tank at 3300 PSI actually holds only about 6.38 gallons. I had gotten over 37 MPG on the Wendover trip. Good thing, too, because that means I was pretty much on my last fumes.

    Long story short, don't try a Wendover run in a GX. If there'd been any less pressure, which is not uncommon, I never would have made it. If you actually went there to drive around to a few places and then tried to make it back, there's no way it would work. I don't know how to do the math to figure how much gallons you ought to have in an x gallon tank at only y pressure, but you can at least use my findings as a guide if you ever plan a trip where you may be pushing it between fills...

  • #2
    Re: Salt Lake City UT to Wendover NV in a GX

    You forgot about tempurature in all your calculations, this can make a huge difference. You can never tell how much fuel you get at any given pressure without the temp. I have been getting upto 2gge more in my tank (f-150) with the cooler temps.... Glad you made it, those are nail-biting miles there at the end eh?
    2000 Escalade (option 3 conversion) FOR SALE
    2004 F150 XLT (OEM conversion)
    2000 Camry (Awesome Car!!)


    • #3
      Re: Salt Lake City UT to Wendover NV in a GX

      That is quite true about temperature, as an example, Friday I filled (about 4gge) @3700psi @ 90 degrees, I drove 9 miles in the city, returned Monday morning and the pressure in my tank was 2100psi @70 degrees, got 1.7gge @3800psi.
      BLUE 09 GX


      • #4
        Re: Salt Lake City UT to Wendover NV in a GX

        2008 Honda Civic GX Wendover trip 11/1/08

        This weekend, my brother and I decided to make a Wendover run in my 2008 GX. After reading Zarniwoop’s post, we weren’t too sure this was a great idea. However we decided if we were going to go out to gamble, why not make it even more exciting by gambling with the fact we might not get home!

        We calculated that if we took the GX, rather than my diesel truck we would save $75 in fuel, and even if we had to pay $35 to be rescued, we would still have saved $40 (providing more funds to gamble with). We decided it would be a good idea to adjust our driving conditions to minimize fuel consumption by switching the circulation system to vent instead of air conditioning, making sure the tires were inflated to the recommended pressure (50 psi), scraping the car’s windshield clean of bugs to minimize wind resistance (maybe a bit overkill), and finally not using the radio (okay, so we were totally obsessed). We removed all items from the trunk to eliminate any unnecessary weight, as our combined body weight was over 400lbs. The temperature was approximately 71 degrees outside as we topped off the tank with 3400 psi at the Salt Lake City airport. We set the car’s trip odometer to zero at the pump and fired up the Garmin GPS. Our average speed was 72mph for the trip out, and we were happy to have one segment above a half tank when we arrived at Montego Bay’s parking lot.

        Due to the uncertainty of the accuracy of the gas gauge and the lack of knowledge if the tank drained proportionately over time, we decided to reduce our average speed to 65 mph on the return trip to conserve fuel. The temperature range was between 60-65 degrees during the return trip to Salt Lake City. When we arrived back at the airport pump, we were thrilled to have three segments left on the gauge! We calculated that the reduction in speed increased our driving range by 25 miles. The trip odometer read 231.4 miles round trip! When we re-filled the tank, we got the same 3400 psi fill, and had consumed a total of 5.663 gallons. During the entire trip, we determined that we had averaged 40.86 mpg! The cost of our round trip was only $4.95 (before taking into consideration gambling losses). Our GPS trip reading showed an overall average speed of 67mph. Based upon our calculations, we believe the absolute maximum range of a 2008 Honda GX traveling at an average speed of 65 mph with properly inflated tires, two adult passengers and no additional luggage to be 325 miles (231.4 miles/(5.663 gallons/8 gallon tank)). However, we wouldn’t recommend planning any trip in excess of 280 miles to account for wind, hills, detours and even bugs accumulating on the windshield. Hopefully this information (and the suggestion to bet with your head and not over it) is helpful for anyone else who ventures out to Wendover in their GX!


        • #5
          Re: Salt Lake City UT to Wendover NV in a GX

          Great job, you have inspired me to try it!


          • #6
            Mobile refueling

            Would not attempt this in a pre-2005 GX.
            You might also keep the following phone number in your glovebox in case you need to call for a mobile refuel somewhere west of Tooele?