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  1. #11

    Driving strategy for better gas milage

    All I know is pumped up my tires to 36 even all round and the handling became looser. Some TDI fuel mileage nuts even go for 40 psi all around. Of course, balance between the front and rear might be just as important. Generally, on a FWD car you want a little more air in the front than the back, maybe 10 percent more. With a fuly loaded vehicle with alot of stuff in the trunk, the vehicle might have other needs (more air in the back).

    Some vehicle manufacturers, in the name of a smooth ride, DO use too little air in the recommended pressure. That's what happened with the Firestone tires and the Ford Explorer- the tires were inflated so low they exploded at freeway speeds. And the faster you drive, the more air you will need in the tires. Some tires are also not rated for high speeds.

    So there is some experimentation involved. I might try upping the PSI slightly in my tires over the specs, but I don't think going to extreme measures is prudent. There's alot that one could do in the name of gas mileage, but it might render the vehicle unsafe .

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  3. #12

    Driving strategy for better gas milage

    I'm convinced the answer is cruise control and watching how you drive hills. Big hills and hard acceleration off lights burn fuel. If you can coast and get your foot off the gas - let the electric motor pick up some slack - and accelerate on down slopes to coast up hills - good things happen.

    Cruise control also is key. I just did a trip out and back - part hills part highway (set at 62mph) - out bound was 52mpg - then return gave overall 49.6mpg. And its still cold here - 45'F high for the day.

  4. #13

    Driving strategy for better gas milage

    I'm a new HCH owner/driver. just got back from my first highway trip (most of my driving is local)
    about 60 miles each way, driving 60ish, temps in the low to mid 30s. best I could do is 46.3-46.9 on the way there. put it in cruise on the way back (first time I've tried cruise)and the computer managed to work that up to 47.9 by the time I exited the highway. it was like watching a video game on my dashboard - hard to look at the road. harder acceleration on the hills to maintain speed ( I usually slowed down trying to keep the fuel consumption to a minimum of 40) and the machine backed off more often to coast & charge for very short periods. (rather than trying to gather speed down hill - which I had been doing a little)
    anyway, managed to get it up to 48 by the time I coasted into the driveway - best I've done so-far, so I'm excited!
    (I have the OEM bridgestones at 40psi- recommended 44 sidewall)

  5. #14

    Driving strategy for better gas milage

    Just a caveat but the sidewall pressure is the MAX not the recommended. Don't run your tires at the sidewall pressure. You have little safety margin at that inflation. Also, overinflating your tires to a large degree will wear out your shocks sooner.

    At the very least, use the recommended tire pressure for your car in the manual or on the gas cap or in the door, use it as a starting point and don't go lower than that, and don't go too much higher.

    My Jetta's manual has the pressure as being 29/26 (front/rear), but I'm running at 33/30 right now . I like a stiffer ride anyways, and it does help the fuel economy a little (last tank was 35 miles per gallon, all urban driving- worst tank was 32 mpg with default pressure).

    I suspect the Prius you are going to want slighly more pressure in the front than the rears, too. Otherwise the car is going to feel floaty and not as responsive- not good.

  6. #15

    Driving strategy for better gas milage

    "Don't run your tires at the sidewall pressure. You have little safety margin at that inflation."

    This isn't accurate. Can you elaborate on this statement?

  7. #16

    Driving strategy for better gas milage

    OK, on the side of my tire it has a 44 on it, and the manual lists 44 psi as the maximum sidewall pressure. Running the tires at 44 psi would be asking for a blowout, not to mention during alot of damage to the suspension.

  8. #17

    Driving strategy for better gas milage

    I have the Dunlops, which the cold pressure safety rating is 51PSI, well below burst rating of around 100PSI.

    I've never read any articles or technical bulletins that claim a harder tire will wear suspension parts prematurely.

  9. #18

    Driving strategy for better gas milage

    The recommendation to avoid overinflation was from Volkswagen. A harder (more pressure) tire will transmit more forces to the suspension and the car. Especially on American roads suspensions are going to wear out faster, so its something to consider.

    At around 80,000-100,000 miles I plan to replace the springs with some sport shocks. The US Jettas all have slightly softer springs than the European counterparts.

    Another important thing to consider is handling. Pumping up the air pressure to equal pressure all around probably is not a good idea because it will alter the handling from what the manufacturer intended. If you do inflate more, you have to experiment to find something that is comfortable in handling- but usually on a frontwheel drive car you want more air in the front tires.

  10. #19

    Driving strategy for better gas milage

    It's going to depend a lot on the roads in your area. In Phoenix we get no weather of any kind, and every road was built within the last 20 years, and probably resurfaced within the last 10. I can run whatever tire pressure I want and there's almost no road that will cause any problems in doing so.

    For most everywhere else, I would agree that there's some discretion needed. Also keep in mind that an overinflated tire will wear out the center of the tire before the shoulders, resulting in a slightly shorter tire life. Having said that however, I have also taken my car bombing across dirt roads at 30mph with the tires still at 42psi. You can definitely feel the difference where the tires aren't absorbing the bumps nearly as much as at the suggested 30psi. In theory that would translate into faster wear of the shocks and bushings.

  11. #20

    Driving strategy for better gas milage

    In the slim chance that anyone might be interested,
    last night I jotted down some trip statistics on my way home.
    These figures are pretty typical to what I usually see.

    1 Mile, 45MPG, Getting onto the freeway, speed limit is 55.
    2 Miles, 45.4MPG, 55MPH
    3 Miles, 46.5MPG, 58MPH
    4 Miles, 47.6MPG, 56MPH
    5 Miles, 48.8MPG, 57MPG
    6 Miles, 48.8MPG, 56-52MPH, Pulling a 2 mile hill
    10 Miles, 52.2MPG, 58MPG
    15 Miles, 53.7MPG, 58MPH
    20 Miles, 56.3MPG, 62-52MPH, Pulling a steep 3 mile hill.
    25 Miles, 56.3MPG, Exiting freeway, speed limit is 45.
    30 Miles, 56.7MPG
    35 Miles, 58.6MPG
    39.2 Miles, 60.5MPG, Begin reboot.
    40 Miles, 61.3MPG, end of reboot.
    41 Miles, 61.6MPG, Begin reboot.
    41.9 Miles, 62.8MPG, End reboot.
    42 Miles, 62.8MPG, Begin Reboot.
    43 Miles, 63.5MPG, End Reboot. Begin pulling 1.9 miles of horrendous hills.
    45 Miles, 62.8MPG, Begin reboot.
    46 Miles, 64MPG, End reboot.
    46.4 Miles, 64.3MPG, Arrive at 2:00AM.

    Miles driven 55-60MPH: 25
    Miles driven 45MPH: 21.3
    Average speed: 50 MPH
    Fastest speed: 64
    Slowest speed: 28 (35MPH Limit at end of reboot)
    Miles driven in reboot: 2.7
    Total number of possible stops (lights, stop signs etc): 18
    Total number of roll stops on this trip: 9
    Total number of complete stops on this trip: 4
    Final MPG: 64.3

    I better make a note so this is not misleading:
    Most folks will get 46-47MPG from thier HCH.

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