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  1. #81
    Guest

    Driving strategy for better gas mileage

    The fact is that people here are getting poor, good, great and fantastic mileage.

    If some here doesn't like the fact that I'm doing so well....I can't help that.
    900-941 miles to a tank speaks for itself.

    Here are a few driving tips:

    Create a "Work" Space
    Leave plenty of room to the vehicle in front of you. If the traffic ahead slows, you will have a buffer to maintain momentum and conserve energy, allowing you to plan ahead. I use a buffer of 500-1,000 feet or more. As an added bonus, the vehicle in front of you won't be spraying gravel on your car.

    Alternative Routes
    Try different routs for common trips. I could use the freeway for 99% of my daily commute. I have learned instead to take the first 20 miles of my 44 mile trip using a parallel highway. I travel an extra mile but this way I avoid freeway speeds and traffic while gaining 10 MPG or more.
    It's also helpful to memorize common routes.
    If your vehicle is not equipped with a good, accurate real-time MPG meter it will help to keep a log between fills to determine which way saves you more.
    Be familiar with your route- know where a little gas is required and where you can coast.

    Driving speed
    Wind resistance roughly doubles between 55 MPH and 70 MPH.
    For example if there is a constant 200lbs fuel-robbing wind pressure at 55, then there will be more than 400lbs fighting you going 70.
    As a rule of thumb, consider driving the speed limit or lower, if traffic conditions will allow.

    Quality of Gasoline
    I haven't noticed any performance changes from the most expensive gas to the cheapest. Use regular-unleaded if your car manufacturer suggests it.

    Air Conditioning & Windshield Defroster
    The A/C system decrease your mileage, especially in smaller cars.
    If you desire savings, wait to activate the A/C button until rolling down a hill or decelerating. Otherwise keep it off.
    This way the momentum of the car runs the A/C instead of the fuel.
    Lastly, be sure the Air conditioning or defroster is off while climbing a hill.

    Windshield Defroster
    The A/C compressor is automatically turned on when the heater is set to defrost and the fan is set to ON. This way the moisture that has condensed on the windows will evaporate faster.
    Normally, you don’t need to just keep your defroster running and it wastes fuel.
    If you set the knob to defrost but keep the fan set to OFF the AC compressor will not run.
    With this setting, there will be a steady flow of air over the window to help keep it clear. If they begin to fog up you can briefly switch the fan to a middle-high setting until they clear, then switch the fan back to OFF.

    Tire pressure
    Low tire pressure will rob you of your MPG. Every car has a door sticker in the driver side door jam, and these pressures should be considered MINIMUM.
    Higher pressures will give you greater savings, but at the expense of a harder ride.
    Every tire has a maximum cold pressure rating imprinted on the side of the tire.
    You can go as high as that rating while the tire is cold (Not driven for an hour) but
    do not exceed that maximum rating.

    Beginning from a Stop
    This is where you kill your mileage numbers.
    Accelerate as gradually as practical, gradually backing off the accelerator as you increase speed. Accelerate slower if there is no traffic behind you.

    Climbing a Hill
    Bigger hills are the second main MPG killer.
    If this is a familiar route, perhaps you can find a different road going around the hill. Pick a route that doesn’t add significant distance to your trip.
    Learn to drive with the load.
    That is, don’t maintain speed climbing hills.
    If you know a hill is ahead, gradually increase your speed on your approach.
    Try to guess the time it will take to reach the top. Also decide the minimum speed required at the top.
    As you climb the hill, gradually slow down and attempt to time it so the minimum speed is reached near the top. If the traffic is extremely light with nobody behind, then you can let your speed really sag.
    If you reach the top of a tall hill and find a short flat area that leads to another big hill you are at a disadvantage because of your minimum speed. Accelerate as gradually as you can on the flat area and time the next crest as you did for the first hill.

    Rolling Down a Hill
    Always plan ahead.
    If I know the decline is immediately followed by a steep uphill I will usually begin my decent coasting (Or switching to N..more on this later), then as I near the bottom I'll add enough acceleration to gain momentum for the onslaught of the incoming hill. If the hill flows down to a long, flat road at the bottom then keep your built momentum.

    Traffic
    Don't drive only by how it "feels". If it seems like you are slowing down don't just blindly push the accelerator down. I find that it is a difficult habit to break. Only use enough fuel for the task required. Don’t just “Gas it”, no matter how much or how little. Have a reason.
    Listen to traffic reports on the radio. If you hear of a backup go around if possible.

    Miscellaneous Tips
    *If waiting in a line (fast food, etc.) set your parking brake and put the shifter into neutral. Turn the key one click to turn the engine off (provided that you do not need A/C, defroster, etc.).
    If you need the fan, radio, etc then click once to on again but do not restart the engine until the line you are waiting in has moved at least a cars length. Don’t just let it idle while stopped.
    However, the stopping-restarting, stopping-restarting again is not recommended while in traffic due to starter wear.
    *If waiting at a light and the car ahead of you "creeps" ahead a few feet, do not follow. Stay where you are.
    *If your route uses a toll booth, get a cruising pass. That way you don't have to stop and fight traffic.
    *Keep your car's momentum, even around corners if it can be done safely.
    *Try to time traffic lights so you can cross without stopping. Approach the light more slowly to help be more successful in timing.
    *When you get into the car and start it, don't waste time. Don't just stay parked to let it warm up. Buckle up, get in gear and get going.
    *Allow extra time to accelerate when the engine is still warming up. Your engine is a fuel PIG for the first 5-20 minutes.
    *Some people are putting Mobil 1 Trisync oil into their cars and gaining MPG.
    *Keep the oil level on the full mark, not above or below. Keep it changed.
    *Keep the alignment maintained. Have a clean air filter.
    *Keep in mind that on a flat, level road a vehicle gets its best MPG while just maintaining a constant speed between 40-50MPH.
    (More tips continued)
    *For a quick boost in MPG while coasting down a long hill, you can back off the accelerator and put the transmission into neutral and let the engine idle. The longer distance you roll while in N the more dramatic your savings will be. This is a good time to switch on the A/C if you are working the button to conserve fuel.
    Especially good judgment must be used in this case. You can crash so extreme caution must me made.
    Maximum speed while rolling should not exceed 40MPH, and on familiar roads where it can be done safely.
    (Not mountain passes while traveling on your family vacation)
    Note: Be sure to raise the engine's RPM by stepping on the gas a little to about 1.5-2K RPM before re-engaging the transmission. That is called "Rev-Matching" and will prevent transmission strain.
    If your shifter is located on the steering column (Not in a console) I'd avoid this procedure. Column shifters can be difficult to move accurately.

    Final important notes:
    You can implement these tips a little and see minimum if any result.
    Or, you can work them to the extreme maximum and see amazing results.

    Remember you MUST be consistent.

    For example;
    You can drive carefully using these tips for great results, but then one day you're late and drive hard get there fast.
    You can blow a whole weeks hard earned MPG in just one trip....just like some blow their whole savings in Vegas.



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  3. #82
    Guest

    Driving strategy for better gas mileage

    Thank you Hot Georgia.
    Now that infor really helps.

  4. #83
    Guest

    Driving strategy for better gas mileage

    Excellent tips Hot Georgia!

    Thanks.

  5. #84
    Guest

    Driving strategy for better gas mileage

    Dear Steve,

    After reading your tips for driving a Hybird car I have a few observations and questions. But first lets talk about how the Hybird car works. Being a design engineer for the automotive industry before I bought my Hybird I checked out the systems and how they work. There are basically two philosophies that are used. The Toyota system that I will describe first then the Honda system. The Toyota system is designed for in-town driving efficiency because the electric motor assist is used to start the car rolling to overcome the initial use of fuel then brings in the gas engine to continue the horsepower. Another version of this is larger cars is to use the electric motor assist all the time to give a four cylinder care the horse power and acceleration of a V6. This system also adds horsepower when climbing hills with the electric motor. The Honda system is slightly different as it does not use the electric motor to assist in starting the car rolling but adds the electric motor assist to add horsepower to the gas engine. That is why the Toyota system gets better in-town mileage. The Honda system however does not run the electric motor all the time as in most Toyota systems. The motor assist only engages when needed for climbing hills and added acceleration. There is one thing on the Honda system that I drive I understand is not on the Toyota. When you run the car with the economy button on the dash engaged the engine stops when you come to a complete stop for example at a stop sign or when in line somewhere. That is how Honda helped their in-town mileage. There is one area that is common to both of the Hybirds however. That is in recovering energy. Both cars use the inertial force of the weight of the car being forced to roll down hill to power the same electric motor assist to recharge the Lithium Ion battery. In other words when rolling down a hill the force of the moving car is used to recharge this battery. But, because this system is connected to the driving system of the car (the transmission) if the car is placed in neutral or N as you call it this system will not be engaged and the battery will not be charged. With this information in had lets look at some of your statements.

    You stated “If I know the decline is immediately followed by a steep uphill I will usually begin my decent coasting (Or switching to N..more on this later), then as I near the bottom I'll add enough acceleration to gain momentum for the onslaught of the incoming hill. If the hill flows down to a long, flat road at the bottom then keep your built momentum.”
    If I follow your advice I would not be charging my Lithium Ion battery. I have done some research on LI batteries and know that they don’t like to by completely drained. In fact draining on just a few times will shorten the life of the battery by over one third. Since this battery will cost somewhere between $3000 to $5000 dollars to replace I do not think this is a good idea.

    You stated, “If waiting in a line (fast food, etc.) set your parking brake and put the shifter into neutral. Turn the key one click to turn the engine off.”
    As stated before in the case of the Honda this is not necessary if you are using the economy button on your car. While the Toyota does not work like the Honda Toyota does not recommend stopping and starting the engine as this causes the greatest engine wear.

    You stated, “Allow extra time to accelerate when the engine is still warming up. Your engine is a fuel PIG for the first 5-20 minutes.”
    While this is possibly a good idea for my Honda (I will have to try it) this makes no difference to the Toyota because it uses the electric motor assist to get the car rolling.

    Once again you stated, “For a quick boost in MPG while coasting down a long hill, you can back off the accelerator and put the transmission into neutral and let the engine idle. The longer distance you roll while in N the more dramatic your savings will be. This is a good time to switch on the A/C if you are working the button to conserve fuel.”
    First this is not a good idea for the reasons stated before concerning battery life and recharging. Also, however, you encourage turning on the A/C. Any time you turn on the A/C your engine will use more fuel than when the A/C is off. Why would you encourage this if you were trying to conserve fuel? There is an additional concern here with turning on the A/C. Most automotive manufactures caution people not to turn on the A/C if the RPMs of the engine are in excess of 2000 as doing so will cause damage to the A/C compressor. If you were in neutral then your RPMs would be low, however, if the person is simply coasting in gear with the RPMs high this could seriously damage the compressor and cost several hundred dollars to replace.

    If we look at all of your statements they do make sense for a strictly fuel powered car, however they do not tell us anything new that most of the public should not already know with a little thought prior to driving. However, they do not work for the Hybird systems. In fact several of your recommendations are potentially dangerous to the system.

    Looking at some of your statements I question if you really own a Hybird car, because if you did you would have known these things. If you do own a Hybird car, then I can say you have not studied how the system actually works and how you should drive it. I would also expect that your LI battery is on its last legs as you have depleted it so many times it is now permanently damaged and you are looking at several thousand dollars of cost to yourself very soon.

    I wish you luck if you are truly driving a Hybird car, however I really doubt it.

  6. #85
    Guest

    Driving strategy for better gas mileage

    Larry, Hot G and I disagree on BUSH and I agree, He does not own a "HYBIRD". Do YOU OWN A HYBIRD? You were doing a great job with your opinion till you confused a Hybrid with a "HYBIRD".

    You almost did a good job slamming the guy!

    Funny Though

  7. #86
    Guest

    Driving strategy for better gas mileage

    Sorry folks I call it a Hybird it is actually a Hybrid (I had to check the back of my Honda Hybrid just to be sure of the spelling) Thanks for that correction.

  8. #87
    Guest

    Driving strategy for better gas mileage

    For the record, I was not trying to slam the guy. I was just pointing out that most of what he was saying is dangerous for our types of vehicles. I checked with the Honda dealer where I am and he had just sold a new LI battery to a customer due to a failure which I believe was caused by what I described. The battery was complete depleted and recharged a few times. The owned came back to the dealership and wanted a warranty replacement. Unfortunately he was past the 80,000 mile warranty and the new battery cost him $3000. I don't want that happening to anyone for no good reason.

  9. #88
    Guest

    Driving strategy for better gas mileage

    I just wanted to drop this little note in among the others, even though it's not quite on topic.
    I'm a poor college kid (freshmen, College of Wooster) and the car that I have is the car I'm gonna be stuck with for quite a few years, for financial reasons. It's a 1991 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera, 3.3 Liter V6, with 329,000 miles on it. Until now, i've been getting an average 19 MPG highway driving on a 15.7 gallon tank, with the OEM tire's pressure at factory default. But after reading all of these posts, I was inspired to try some different driving. I've pretty much employed all of the driving techniques mentioned here, as well as over-inflating my tires by 3 PSI all around. I'm quite happy to announce a highway MPG improvment from that 19 to a pleasant 31.5 mpg. Wow!

    Thanks guys

    PS, I think the EPA rating for the car was around 26 mpg highway. Just in case you were wondering.

  10. #89
    Guest

    Driving strategy for better gas mileage

    I should add to my post above that the car was never built with A/C, so that is not a consideration in my driving.

  11. #90
    Guest

    Driving strategy for better gas mileage

    You were the person I was talking about. Someone who has a standard Gas powered car. Everything that is stated in the ways to improve gas miliage works for you, and I am glad you are doing so well! These ideas just don't work for "HYBRID" (for those who must have it spelled correctly) cars. By the way those of us from down south may not always spell things correctly so watch out Y'all.

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