Epiphany – …it can apply in any situation in which an enlightening realization allows a problem or situation to be understood from a new and deeper perspective. – Wikipedia

We bought a small car to save money on fuel instead of driving the truck everywhere we go. The best mileage our truck gets is about 17 mpg. We drove our car over 25,000 miles last year so, with the price of fuel, we did come out ahead.

As big as the truck is…the car is on the other side of the scale. It is a Scion XD. The size and ride represent a typical sub-compact car. It is an automatic so I didn’t expect to get great mileage but I have been a little disappointed that all it got was about 30 mpg overall. There are bigger cars that get that mileage so I haven’t been real happy with it.

I worked for an auto company for 13 years. I read all kinds of car magazines and feel I have an informed opinion about cars in general. I have driven all kinds of vehicles and feel that I could drive just about anything. I rarely read a manual.

I have more than once commented that the car needed an additional gear because it seemed to rev too much on expressways and when cruising at 70 mph the mileage dropped to about 28 mpg.

Imagine my surprise when I realized today the car actually has a 4th gear….that I have never used.

On the shift column I pull the shifter to the notch that has the number “3” as well as the letter “D”. I thought they were the same thing. Apparently when the shift stick is leaning toward the “3” it is in third gear. When it leans towards the “D” the automatic transmission selects the needed gear including the overdrive 4th gear. I was driving about 60 mph today and accidentally pushed the shifter toward the “D” and immediately the car shifted into 4th gear…the rpm’s dropped by about 1,000 and my gas mileage indicator went up about 5 more mpg.

Soooo I have driven the car in the wrong gear for the last year…..DUH