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I have about a 15-minute commute. About a mile, mile and a half total of surface roads, and the rest of it is freeway. There's a pretty good difference in elevation, at least for my area. On any given day, I'll get about 40-42 mpg on the way to work, and 38-40mpg on the return trip, depending on traffic, weather, temperature, etc.

This morning, I was low on fuel, so I stopped by the station on the way to work. The gas station is right by the freeway entrance. I always use the 'last four starts' information display, and I saw that despite the short (<1mi) journey to the gas station, I still managed about 40mpg. Nice.

Filled, had a nice conversation at the pump, and went to work. To cut this rambling story short, by the time I pulled into our parking lot, I had managed a whopping 53.1 mpg!

I figured it might be the gas...I know I put in regular, did they accidentally fill the tank with premium? Did they finally stock their summer blend? But no, my return trip got about 42mpg (better mileage because I didn't go straight home, so spent more time on the freeway).

I wish I knew what I did differently...it was a somewhat slower trip than usual in the morning, but nothing exceptional. I was actually annoyed at the beginning of my freeway journey, because the traffic was all odd and unpredictable, and I ended up braking and accelerating more than I thought I should be, and was anticipating bad economy on the commute.

So...have you ever experienced something similar? Or, in the other way, just had an inexplicably bad trip?
 

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I have.. and when I can't find any environmental variables that could be making the difference, and think back on those trips a day or so later, I usually realize it was my mood. I don't realize I'm driving differently at the time but my mood can make an easy 5-10mpg difference.
 
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