Fuel-up via SMS
February 18, 2010 2:19 PM   RSS feed for this thread Subscribe

If you're in the US, you can now add a fuel-up at Fuelly via text-message.

It does require a bit of setup first, here's what you need to do:

1.) Set your primary vehicle and your mobile number in your profile.

Make sure you're logged into Fuelly and then go here to edit your profile. Look for the "Primary Vehicle" option and select the vehicle you want to fuel-up via SMS. Then at the bottom of the page under "SMS Preferences", set your ten-digit mobile phone number.

2.) Learn the text message format.

To fuel-up via SMS you need to format your text message in a special way. The basic format is: Miles Price Gallons (MPG). So if you drove 300 miles, paid $2.00, and put in 10 gallons the text should be: 300 2.00 10. If you're using odometer tracking, swap out odometer for miles. If you're tracking with liters or kilometers, you can think of the format as [distance] [price] [fuel volume]. (Though that's not as catchy as MPG.)

Anything extra after the first three numbers will be added as the note for that fuel-up. So if you text 300 2.00 10 chevron off the freeway the last bit of text, "chevron off the freeway" will be the note for that fuel-up.

If you want to mark your fuel-up as partial, add a "p" to your fuel volume without a space. So 100 2.00 5p [notes] will tell Fuelly that this is a partial fuel-up.

3.) Send your fuel-up text message to 503-512-9929.

Fuelly will send back your MPG for that tank, your average MPG for the vehicle, and a link to your vehicle profile page at Fuelly. If the fuel-up didn't work for some reason, we'll let you know that too.

This service is only available to our members in the US, and your text message rates will apply.

Updated (2/19): Added info about fuel-up notes.

Updated (4/27): Added info about partial fuel-ups.

Updated (2/2/2011): Any changes to SMS will documented in the FAQ, here.
posted by pb at 2:19 PM (27 comments total)

Awesome! Thank you. I'd been hoping for this feature.
posted by tiffehr at 7:30 PM on February 18, 2010

SO AWESOME. This rocks.
posted by delfuego at 7:32 PM on February 18, 2010

Very cool. I'll try it if remainder of the SMS message goes into the "Notes" field.

I use m.fuelly.com on my Droid. It works well, but it's a pain to use web forms on a mobile device, so SMS would be easier. But I really like adding notes.
posted by sbw at 8:22 AM on February 19, 2010

Wow, it works great too! Super time saver, thanks guys!
posted by BDC at 9:27 AM on February 19, 2010

Thanks for the testing so far, everyone. And great idea sbw, I just added it and updated the post here.
posted by pb at 10:30 AM on February 19, 2010

Oh Canada....
posted by 19Fury69 at 12:56 PM on February 19, 2010

19Fury69, it might work in Canada if you can figure out the international SMS rates out (as long as it doesn't cost you a buck to send one to the US, you should try it).
posted by mathowie at 6:25 PM on February 19, 2010

working great so far. been hoping for a feature like this for a while.
posted by jell0w at 5:00 PM on February 23, 2010

Well how cool is this!!! sooooo much easier than a web form!!

y'all git a big "ATTABOY" for this feature!! Thanx!!
posted by Mediator at 9:27 AM on February 24, 2010

Oooh, awesome. I'd had a bookmark to the "add fuel-up" page on my homescreen on my Android while I longed for an actual app. This isn't quite what I had in mind, but should still be an improvement, assuming I can remember the format.
posted by phyxius at 10:46 AM on February 24, 2010

Is there a way using SMS to indicate a missed fuelup or a partial fuelup? Or is the only way to go back after the fact and edit those entries?
posted by dullgeek at 1:26 PM on February 25, 2010

No, there's no way to indicated a missed or partial. You'd have to go and edit the fuel-up on a computer or your phone to add that.
posted by pb at 1:46 PM on February 25, 2010

How about us folks in Canada? Would love to use this feature!
posted by ML550Fan at 9:22 AM on February 27, 2010

I can't wait to try this out, it will save me having to remember my numbers (mainly odometer mileage). SMS will be so much easier than trying to do it via the web on my Storm.

phyxius, Just remember - M P G - Miles, Price, Gallons! It's easy to remember!
posted by OnlySubarus4Me at 6:19 AM on March 2, 2010

I have all three of our cars under my account, so it'd be nice if I could also associate my wife's phone with her car without needing to put it under a separate account. Great feature though, especially nice for those of us without a smartphone/data plan.
posted by narwha at 7:04 AM on March 2, 2010

I agree natefoo, and we're looking at ways to do that. We haven't decided how to handle multiple cars, but we're thinking about sending an SMS back if you have more than one car enabled. That would mean more SMS fees all around though, so we're still thinking about it.
posted by pb at 10:34 AM on March 2, 2010

I am surprised you did not email us about this... this makes it such I can drop a competitors site!
posted by TurnerCOVA at 1:27 PM on March 2, 2010

Great feature! Only problem is the average MPG was off by 0.1 MPG, from the website and my own numbers (in Excel). Not a big deal just thought I'd fill you in!
posted by xpdishun at 6:56 PM on March 5, 2010

If all works well, are there plans to expand this to other countries? I'm in Australia and would love to be able to add the details 'at the pump', rather than having to take notes and entering at a later date.
posted by NotHisRealName at 9:03 PM on March 7, 2010

No plans to expand to Australia right now. We're using a US company to handle messaging, and they don't have any international numbers. It might be worth checking with your carrier to see how much a text message to the US costs. If it's not too expensive you might be able to use our current number.
posted by pb at 9:07 AM on March 8, 2010

Outstanding. I usually write things on the gas receipt, then enter it into my records when I get home. Alas, I often lose the receipt if I don't enter it in right away.

Being able to submit via SMS reduces the paper I need, as well as keeping me from losing information. So far, so good!

The only think that might make the service better would be using an SMS short code, such as "383559" ("fuelly"), though I would imagine this would be expensive. Nix that, then.
posted by heypete at 10:24 PM on March 9, 2010

A tip for SMS users: oftentimes, your phone will display the name of the recipient above the box where you compose your text message. At least it's done that on the last few phones I've had, including an LG enV3.

To avoid forgetting the required format, just change the contact name for Fuelly from whatever it currently is to "Fuelly Miles Price Gallons" or "Fuelly MPG", so you can easily remember it when you're filling up.
posted by heypete at 10:26 PM on March 9, 2010

The new SMS feature works great! I like this a lot. It's quicker than waiting for my phone browser to load, etc. Thanks!
posted by Gray06TDI at 4:33 AM on March 11, 2010

I tried this last night for the first time and it didn't work. I received the "confirmation" message but was never posted. I manually added it later.
posted by Charger2 at 7:07 AM on March 11, 2010

Oh, just a quick clarification: the "price" is the "price per gallon", not "total price paid". That kinda confused me a bit when I was submitting a new entry tonight.
posted by heypete at 11:13 PM on March 11, 2010

When I submitted via SMS, it went to my retired car. I didn't have a place on my profile to select active vehicle. It looks like if you have one car, and retire it, and then start a 2nd car, your retired vehicle becomes your permanent primary - unless you delete it altogether.
posted by Nevyn at 12:32 PM on March 15, 2010

Just wanted to say thanks for adding this feature.
posted by zencyl at 9:02 AM on March 16, 2010

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