Oh, how life changes!

Joined
Sep 8, 2005
Messages
15,261
Location
Canada
I used to live in a larger city, and worked in the city. Wife worked in one part, I worked in another, and we had one car. With driving us both to work, and general running around, we did a fair amount of driving - 20-22k miles a year. I like driving, so it never bothered me, and being an oil fanatic, gave me a chance to do many UOA's on my vehicles to see how different oils held up.

2 years ago, we moved to the small city that my wife's family lived in, bc we were both getting tired of how crowded and busy the city had become, and we wanted a house. Houses in the city were simply beyond our means, so we bought a nice little bungalow with a yard, and I got a job in the city that was 3 miles from home. Went from 22k a year to less than 10k! At first I was kinda 'bummed' bc I liked putting miles on my vehicles, seeing how they held up, doing more OC's...yeah, I know, its an addiction.

Then...I started getting used to doing less driving, and enjoying it. 10-15 mins to anywhere I needed to be, spending less on gas, not feeling like I was just always on the road...this is okay! Who cares about miles on a vehicle, do life stuff!

Then...an opportunity came up to advance my career - a management position for the chain I work for in a smaller store in a smaller town 37.5 miles away (about half-way back up the highway to the city I used to live in). I applied, not actually expecting much, and got the job! I believe it is definitely worth the commute - a lot more money (25% higher pay), and management experience, which obviously can open other doors.

So now I have to get used to being a road warrior again...75 highway miles a day, about 21-22k miles a year when you factor in other driving. Don't know how long I will do this, will depend on a lot - how the job goes, where my wife ends up working (finishing school now), what happens with family. For probably the next couple of years, though, this is where I'll be. I will be trying to do it in the hand-me-down 2009 Pontiac G5 I drive...will get decent mileage, and is reasonably comfortable, but who knows how long it will hold up!

I will update on how this goes, and may get back to doing long-mile UOA's (search my user name in that section, you will find them!) Wish me luck!
 
Joined
Mar 30, 2014
Messages
6,031
Location
NJ
My wife does 110 miles a day commute and mine is 120 miles when I went into the office. You'll get used to it. A few people I work with do 150+ miles a day.
 

JTK

Joined
Aug 14, 2003
Messages
13,900
Location
Buffalo, NY
Sounds like a good move for you!

I've been doing an 80 mile round trip work commute since 2004. It's mostly interstate and traffic isn't usually bad, so it rarely takes more than 45min each way.
 
Joined
Mar 3, 2019
Messages
728
Location
New Jersey
Wow Leo. The most I ever did was 72 miles each way. You’re talking round trip right? They should have named a rest area on the Garden State Parkway in my honor!
 
Joined
Jun 25, 2020
Messages
48
Location
Texas
Do it. 37 miles each way is not much in so cal, and add in a traffic/gridlock factor. Double check things like suspension, bushings, wheel bearings, etc. have a great time.
 
Joined
Mar 3, 2019
Messages
728
Location
New Jersey
I agree. 60 or so each way for a better job while living in the burbs isn’t bad. Not fun but you get used to it. You definitely become one with your car. It lasts longer even if you don’t.
 
Joined
Aug 8, 2008
Messages
4,965
Location
Cali
Lived in the bay area and san diego when I was in the service, hated the traffic and commute, 30 miles from home to base, retired and came back to my hometown and got a job a mile and half away from my home. What a difference, 5 min drive back and forth, don't know how you guys do it. ;)
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2015
Messages
588
Location
TX
I do about 40 each way and never leave the city I live in.

Highway miles cause very little engine wear.
 
Joined
Jul 18, 2010
Messages
485
Location
Colorado
highway miles are easy on a car.
just be gentle with it and keep up the maintenance and it should be fine.
I drove a 2006 Sentra 42 miles a day round trip on the highway for over 10 years.
finally got rid of it at 206K miles due to it needing pads,rotors.struts all around and the driver door was stuck shut.
It ran great up until the day I got rid of it.
I just didn't want to put the money into it.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2019
Messages
123
Location
MA
Going home to small town/rural living after working in the “busier“ part of the state I live in is something i appreciate more and more. 37 miles commute on the highway is not bad. Keep in mind that many have much longer, more tedious commutes. Back 15 or so years ago, I used to regularly fly from Providence, RI to Baltimore, MD (Roughly 3-4 times per month). After doing this for a few years, I noticed this one guy that was always on the early morning flight and i would see him on the late evening flights...this guy must have commuted every day by plane! Now that’s a commute!

Best to the OP. Hope all works out for you.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Messages
47,048
Location
New Jersey
Then...I started getting used to doing less driving, and enjoying it. 10-15 mins to anywhere I needed to be, spending less on gas, not feeling like I was just always on the road...this is okay! Who cares about miles on a vehicle, do life stuff!

There’s a ton to be said about living in the right kind of suburban lifestyle, where everything is close and convenient,minutes it’s not urbanized. Key on convenient. And nice.

And there’s a lot more to be said about having a short, convenient commute, for all kinds of flexibility reasons, stress, etc.

but what your drive is like will be a very telling aspect. If 37.5 miles is half way back to the city, you’re still pretty far out. Short of CA, I dont know of all that many places where it doesn’t get somewhat easier to exist 37.5 miles outside of the city... and I’ve lived in the NYC-DC corridor my entire life. So if you have the better, lower stress 37.5 miles, and an easy enough trip, there’s probably. It much to it, just enjoy the drive. If it’s a lousy drive, that’s harder...
 
Joined
Jul 21, 2002
Messages
6,421
Location
KY
I currently drive 12 miles to work on a rural two lane 3 days per week; from 2008 to 2014 I was on the road up to 2000 miles per month. Even with all the driving I liked the job. My current gig is more enjoyable, but it’s in no way due to the length of the commute.
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2008
Messages
18,740
Location
NH
For 18 years I commuted about 50 miles / 50 minutes to work, each way. Add in other trips and I was about 32k/year. Having grown up like this, I've never had a problem getting into a car and sitting for an hour to get someplace.

Then COVID hit and I've been home for 6 months. At times I miss the drive, but I suspect I will not like going back to 5 days of it! It will be very odd. I have this fear that I'll "need" to get a new car, 'cuz the old one is suddenly uncomfortable or something.

I'm lucky if I hit 50 miles per week now... my driving skills are getting rusty, now that I rarely hit the highway. So weird.
 
Joined
Apr 6, 2017
Messages
156
Location
Ontario, Canada
I used to do 50km each way a day when I lived in a small town outside the city. Sometimes more if you need to hit a store or a friend's place on the way home. Moved back downtown and commute was 12km round trip before covid forced us to WFH. Debating moving back out to the country, since I won't need to commute, but if your drive is mostly highway I say go for it. It gives you time to decompress on the way home for sure.
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2009
Messages
581
Location
Southeastern, PA
My commute to work is 25 miles each way, from the rural 'burbs to the outskirts of the "main line". It is 1 hour each way during the school year (buses and school zones) and 45 minutes during the summer. If there is snow or heavy storm debris, it can turn in to 2 hours each way. The past 6 months of work from home have been great for the car and the fuel savings. While I am not looking forward to eventually getting back to twice daily rush hour traffic, and spending 2 hours total each day in the car it will be nice to be back in an office setting with friends and co-workers.

I had also planned on getting a new car this year. The shut down pretty much put that on hold and will let me possibly push the new car off to next summer. I wasn't about to go buy a new car and then just have it sit in the driveway for 6 days out of the week, and then only drive it to run errands for 1-2 hours every weekend.
 
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
735
Location
Minnesota
My commute before the pandemic was only about 13 miles each way but because of traffic, that was about 35 minutes in the summer and over an hour in the winter if weather is bad.

I've transitioned to work from home and don't miss that commute one bit, i'm looking forward to not having it this winter too! Less stress, lots of saved money on fuel/ wear and tear. I do love to drive, road trips etc are awesome. I just don't the business of a commute.
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2008
Messages
18,740
Location
NH
Yeah, I am hoping the "new normal" can have me working from home part of the time, if not majority.

Downside would be having to rethink my vehicle plans. Doing >30k/year meant that I didn't have to do much for car maintenance and upkeep outside of the obvious mechanical stuff. I mean, why wash & wax, and go to the nth degree with oil undercoating? After 10 years it'd be coated in pits, some parking lot dings, saggy seat and who knows what--and have over 300k. Why care? Total appliance, use until worn out, with the least expenditure of my time and effort--no sense in keeping it looking nice, since it would have no value.

Now if I drop to 10k/year (less?)... Vehicle should last indefinitely, but I have to now be religious about washing, waxing, oil undercoating. Otherwise it'll still be worn out in 10 years!
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2014
Messages
1,601
For the past seven years I’ve had an 80 mile round trip commute, usually ended up putting 26,000 miles a year on my car when I factored in the weekend stuff. Those miles and maintenance add up fast...you burn through tires, you end up changing the oil every couple months or so. Tire rotations, alignments..the occasional “thing that broke”...a wheel bearing here, a belt, a tie rod or ball joint. I usually spent $600 bucks a year on unexpected stuff. Once hit a turkey on the highway, that was a lot of fun. Thing came running across four lanes and tried to jump/fly over my car. Didn’t make it, but it did take out my $600 dollar heated mirror and scratched the heck out of my door. Picked feathers out of my car for a week. Then you had the usual cracked windshield stuff (from the highway rock show).

Ive since moved 10 mikes closer, but it’s still a 62 mile round trip commute. It’s only 40 minutes now - 40 minutes is doable compared to an hour - for some reason anything over 40 minutes really wears on me. But I do like the drive..seeing how much a car can take if it’s maintained and driven reasonably.
 
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