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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Labbett Family View Post
    BillyK,
    Just wondering what part of PA you are from. I am in Pittsburgh and it would be nice to know a fellow hybrdi owner in the area. I have a Mercury Mariner Hybrid (MMH). We can share our hilly western PA stories!
    Happy Driving!
    If you don't mind a long post...

    I live in Butler. The terrain in Pa will make it difficult to achieve the "high" mileage that "flat-landers" achieve. The colder weather months will also take a hit on our mileage and our AWD versions will also cause a decrease of 1-2mpg incomparison to the FWD versions. Yet, we have to be thrilled to have a vehicle that has the ability to be a member of the "30-30" club--30 mpg or better city and highway. Furthermore, we have some "protection" against possible future legislation that would impose "carbon taxes" on vehicles.

    I drove my first Escape hybrid in January 2007. I visited my local Ford Dealership who had just sold their only Escape Hybrid model several week earlier. The dealership was not planning on obtaining another hybrid for quite some time as Ford as in the process of redoing their Escape factory and converting to the MY2008. I then visited anther dealership where a 2007 "plain" white Escape hybrid sat on the lot. I was surprised by the engine drone under accleration and unxpected for the rapid increase and decrease of engine RPMs with the continous variable transmission. I needed to do some more homework (reviewing of various websites) prior to purchasing. I have to admit I also was comparing the Escape Hybrid to models from Subaru and Volvo.

    Well, as I researched the web, gasoline prices continued to increase and I decided drop Volvo and Subaru from consideration. I learned from my research (employee from the Escape plant in Missouri) that vehicle were subject to decontenting- including the sound insulation mat under the engine hood. Sure enough, I found a new 2005 Hybrid that had a engine hood mat. My 2005 seems a lot quieter under accleration than the 2007 model I drove.

    Learning to drive a hybrid "requires" experience. It takes practice to learn how far your foot should move/press when you acclerate in an attempt to keep the vehicle in electric mode. It is fairly easy to understand the concept increasing tire pressure and of keeping the RPMS under 2000 in an attempt to maximize fuel efficiency. It is more difficult to learn and properly apply some of the advance hybrid driving techniques that we read about from the experienced posters. I'm referring to "fake shifting", "pulse and glide", "shifting into and out of D on the fly" and what other techniques they use.

    I appreciate all the information the experience posters provide for us and then let us decide which one(s) we will try and utilize. This is something one can not get from the sales staff at dealerships. I sometimes wonder if these experience posters should publish a manual (would it be cost effective as an on-line downloadable version?) for the less experienced users to help speed up their learning curve.

    I have a scan guage in my 2005 Escape Hybrid. I recommend this especially if you do not have the hybrid featured display system (the navigation system is junk). I have a short commute to work---as short as 4 miles so I may not get daily commute MPG readings as others do. That said, I got 48 MPG today on the way home! Well, I have to tell you, at least half of the drive home is "down hill!" and I can keep the Hybrid in electric mode for maybe 2/3 of the journey. Sometimes my hybrid jumps out of electric mode when it is ascending a hill even if my speed is less than 20mph. I have gone in electric mode as fast as 39 mph downhill and almost 30 mph on the level. On interstate 79/70 I have achieved a mileage reading as high as 35 mpg going slightly over 60mph. Two times I have achieved an instant mpg reading of over 100--that is when I had a downhill run and kept the vehicle in electric mode.

    My major dislikes of the vehicle include the hard driver's side armrest, lack of overhead dash console as the existing dome light creates shadows, lack of temperature monitor and lack of sunroof/moonroof option. I am currently searching for solutions for all but the last concern.

    I'm done for now. I won't post this long again.

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  3. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by billyk24 View Post
    I live in Butler. The terrain in Pa will make it difficult to achieve the "high" mileage that "flat-landers" achieve.

    Learning to drive a hybrid "requires" experience. It takes practice to learn how far your foot should move/press when you acclerate in an attempt to keep the vehicle in electric mode. It is fairly easy to understand the concept increasing tire pressure and of keeping the RPMS under 2000 in an attempt to maximize fuel efficiency. It is more difficult to learn and properly apply some of the advance hybrid driving techniques that we read about from the experienced posters. I'm referring to "fake shifting", "pulse and glide", "shifting into and out of D on the fly" and what other techniques they use.

    I appreciate all the information the experience posters provide for us and then let us decide which one(s) we will try and utilize. This is something one can not get from the sales staff at dealerships. I sometimes wonder if these experience posters should publish a manual (would it be cost effective as an on-line downloadable version?) for the less experienced users to help speed up their learning curve.

    I have a scan guage in my 2005 Escape Hybrid. I recommend this especially if you do not have the hybrid featured display system (the navigation system is junk). I have a short commute to work---as short as 4 miles so I may not get daily commute MPG readings as others do. That said, I got 48 MPG today on the way home! Well, I have to tell you, at least half of the drive home is "down hill!" and I can keep the Hybrid in electric mode for maybe 2/3 of the journey. Sometimes my hybrid jumps out of electric mode when it is ascending a hill even if my speed is less than 20mph. I have gone in electric mode as fast as 39 mph downhill and almost 30 mph on the level. On interstate 79/70 I have achieved a mileage reading as high as 35 mpg going slightly over 60mph. Two times I have achieved an instant mpg reading of over 100--that is when I had a downhill run and kept the vehicle in electric mode.

    My major dislikes of the vehicle include the hard driver's side armrest, lack of overhead dash console as the existing dome light creates shadows, lack of temperature monitor and lack of sunroof/moonroof option. I am currently searching for solutions for all but the last concern.
    Billy it's good you point out you should choose the techniques you want and feel good about using. Not all the techniques I use are for everyone. Over inflating tires was something I was against up to a year ago. Today I maintain 50psi that has not only increased my mileage, but it appears it has slowed down tire wear especially on the inside rear tires where I was having a problem. In fact, it looks like the tires quit wearing completely, but we know that's not possible.

    I'm a flat lander here in Florida, but a high bridge seems to give my mileage a boost. The key is keeping the RPMs down going up in a good part of the torque curve and getting regen in "L" and in EV on the way down and coasting in "N" at 40mph for a long EV glide. Above 40mph on the downhills, Key-Off FAS would be my choice.

    Those short trips have improved for me with the use of key-off FAS also. This is an advanced technique not for everyone though. This was another technique that took me sometime to try. I need everything I can get to maintain mid 40's tanks with the requirement to run the A/C for battery cooling during these hot summer days. Most hypermilers maintain their mileage during the cold winters this way also. My next project is to bypass the heater core with shutoff valves to keep the cabin cooler longer during recir A/C.

    One other trick I've learned is to drive with a right barefoot. Shoes cause a big decrease in control of the accelerator pedal. It's now a part of my pre-start pocedure and a habit.

    BTW, I have the wireless Wayfinder V2020 inside and outside temperature sensors which work good. It also is a compass with a 1 1/2" x 2" screen. Picked it up new on Ebay for about $69. The inside sensor was separate for about $30. These retail for over $200.

    GaryG

  4. #43
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    under the seat Ford hybrid unit attachment

    Quote Originally Posted by GaryG View Post

    BTW, I have the wireless Wayfinder V2020 inside and outside temperature sensors which work good. It also is a compass with a 1 1/2" x 2" screen. Picked it up new on Ebay for about $69. The inside sensor was separate for about $30. These retail for over $200.

    GaryG

    Thanks for the input on the wireless Wayfinder V2020 temperature sensor. Will have to check on e-bay and elsehere for pricing. This seems to be the way to go and not to worry about any wiring hookups. But...where did you place the outdoor temperature sensor on your vehicle?


    Do most of the advanced hybrid techniques require visual feedback from the hybrid/radio/navigation display unit? Or can use of the ScanGauge II unit be utilized for this purpose? For example, I basically understand the pulse-and-glide method of driving but without a hybrid display unit in my vehicle, how do I obtain visual feedback that my efforts are correct? Something to consider next month at the gathering in Dane County, Wisconsin.

    We all realize Ford Motor Company should have included the hybrid display as a standard feature as Toyota does with its Prius model. Has anyone "hacked" the hybrid/radio unit as if it could be stationed under the seat with a wired connection (USB?) to a smaller display unit on the dashboard? This way one could install an aftermarket (kenwood/elcipsce DVD/GPS unit) in the center console dashboard area as the Ford GPS unit is not worth the money they charge for it.

  5. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by billyk24 View Post
    Thanks for the input on the wireless Wayfinder V2020 temperature sensor. Will have to check on e-bay and elsehere for pricing. This seems to be the way to go and not to worry about any wiring hookups. But...where did you place the outdoor temperature sensor on your vehicle?


    Do most of the advanced hybrid techniques require visual feedback from the hybrid/radio/navigation display unit? Or can use of the ScanGauge II unit be utilized for this purpose? For example, I basically understand the pulse-and-glide method of driving but without a hybrid display unit in my vehicle, how do I obtain visual feedback that my efforts are correct? Something to consider next month at the gathering in Dane County, Wisconsin.

    We all realize Ford Motor Company should have included the hybrid display as a standard feature as Toyota does with its Prius model. Has anyone "hacked" the hybrid/radio unit as if it could be stationed under the seat with a wired connection (USB?) to a smaller display unit on the dashboard? This way one could install an aftermarket (kenwood/elcipsce DVD/GPS unit) in the center console dashboard area as the Ford GPS unit is not worth the money they charge for it.
    The outside temperature sensor is hard to locate to avoid road heat and engine heat when your not moving. I put mine in the lower front grill area to shield it from wind, road and engine compartment heat. I'm sure there are better places, but the manual says to avoid the rear of the vehicle because of exhaust heat.

    The most important gauge to me on the energy screen is the battery level. I always know about when the engine is going to start to charge the battery. This also allows me to know when to fake shift in "L" to build the battery before a stop which prevents restarts and gives me juice to get moving in EV again. Also, the small generator only charges to 53%, so you need 7% from regen to top off the battery at 60%. This keeps the ICE from kicking on the small generator and burning extra fuel more often during highway driving where the battery stays on the high SoC level. You can get enough regen at highway speeds by just coasting a little in "D". If you had the energy screen you would know all this.

    When I bought my FEH, I didn't consider the nav sys as a option, I considered it a bonus with the need of the hybrid display. In other words, why pay that kind of money for a hybrid with no hybrid gauges. Personally, I would give up the AWD to save money for the hybrid gauges, which I'm glad I did.

    Many people have added a GPS where the radio or navi goes, but no one I know of got the hybrid information added to any other unit than the factory unit. Some have also taken out the factory navi and replaced it with a better GPS. That was not a smart thing to do IMHO to give up how to learn how to drive the FEH/MMH for better mileage. The SG will improve your mileage, but most of the FEH/MMH hypermilers have the navi. However, some are now hypermilers that don't have the navi so don't give up.

    GaryG

  6. #45
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    Scangauge III unit?

    Gary, if I am correct, you were previously in contact with the Scangauge company during their efforts to improve on the first version of this item. Does this company have the ability/skills to produce a third generation of their unit-one that would include some graphical hybrid displays? This could be a next logical step.

  7. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by billyk24 View Post
    Gary, if I am correct, you were previously in contact with the Scangauge company during their efforts to improve on the first version of this item. Does this company have the ability/skills to produce a third generation of their unit-one that would include some graphical hybrid displays? This could be a next logical step.
    I've talked to a number of people at Scangauge including the designer. We talked about them developing a battery gauge after they modified the first SG to work with hybrids. I knew the value of people not spending $1750 - $2500 to get just the hybrid information from the FEH/MMH could open doors for SG. Ron Delong told me that the SG had to be a generic gauge to work on most all vehicles, and a design change just for the FEH/MMH would be impossible. Even if all the hybrid manufactures had the same design, it would still be unlikely for a long time.

    The reason SG was designed was the government made it a requirement to standardize the OBD11 connection to give emissions data so all vehicles sold in the US could be tested by any of these generic gauges. Who knows, the law could change to require additional data for hybrids, but I wouldn't hold your breath for that.

    GaryG

  8. #47
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    GaryG,

    Do you know of a source for CAN commands (and what the replies mean) for the FEH? I don't as yet have the PC/ED manual, could they be in there? The battery info is certainly on the CAN bus, so you should be able to use the SC's custom commands to retrieve it. So far I have been unable to locate anything on the web that lists them.

    Carl

  9. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by DesertDog View Post
    GaryG,

    Do you know of a source for CAN commands (and what the replies mean) for the FEH? I don't as yet have the PC/ED manual, could they be in there? The battery info is certainly on the CAN bus, so you should be able to use the SC's custom commands to retrieve it. So far I have been unable to locate anything on the web that lists them.

    Carl
    Carl, you are not going to get that kind of info from the PC/ED manual. I'm not even sure my Son could help us with Fords design and he just graduated from MIT in computer science and electrical engineering with a 4.8 gpa. He told me it could be done, but he you know he has better things to do. The last company he work with developed SiteAdvisor . A company called McAfee bought that program for 80 million dollars. Poor old dad can't afford his 22 year old son anymore.

    GaryG

  10. #49

    Highway Driving

    Quote Originally Posted by billyk24 View Post
    If you don't mind a long post...

    I live in Butler. The terrain in Pa will make it difficult to achieve the "high" mileage that "flat-landers" achieve. The colder weather months will also take a hit on our mileage and our AWD versions will also cause a decrease of 1-2mpg incomparison to the FWD versions. Yet, we have to be thrilled to have a vehicle that has the ability to be a member of the "30-30" club--30 mpg or better city and highway. Furthermore, we have some "protection" against possible future legislation that would impose "carbon taxes" on vehicles.

    I drove my first Escape hybrid in January 2007. I visited my local Ford Dealership who had just sold their only Escape Hybrid model several week earlier. The dealership was not planning on obtaining another hybrid for quite some time as Ford as in the process of redoing their Escape factory and converting to the MY2008. I then visited anther dealership where a 2007 "plain" white Escape hybrid sat on the lot. I was surprised by the engine drone under accleration and unxpected for the rapid increase and decrease of engine RPMs with the continous variable transmission. I needed to do some more homework (reviewing of various websites) prior to purchasing. I have to admit I also was comparing the Escape Hybrid to models from Subaru and Volvo.

    Well, as I researched the web, gasoline prices continued to increase and I decided drop Volvo and Subaru from consideration. I learned from my research (employee from the Escape plant in Missouri) that vehicle were subject to decontenting- including the sound insulation mat under the engine hood. Sure enough, I found a new 2005 Hybrid that had a engine hood mat. My 2005 seems a lot quieter under accleration than the 2007 model I drove.

    Learning to drive a hybrid "requires" experience. It takes practice to learn how far your foot should move/press when you acclerate in an attempt to keep the vehicle in electric mode. It is fairly easy to understand the concept increasing tire pressure and of keeping the RPMS under 2000 in an attempt to maximize fuel efficiency. It is more difficult to learn and properly apply some of the advance hybrid driving techniques that we read about from the experienced posters. I'm referring to "fake shifting", "pulse and glide", "shifting into and out of D on the fly" and what other techniques they use.

    I appreciate all the information the experience posters provide for us and then let us decide which one(s) we will try and utilize. This is something one can not get from the sales staff at dealerships. I sometimes wonder if these experience posters should publish a manual (would it be cost effective as an on-line downloadable version?) for the less experienced users to help speed up their learning curve.

    I have a scan guage in my 2005 Escape Hybrid. I recommend this especially if you do not have the hybrid featured display system (the navigation system is junk). I have a short commute to work---as short as 4 miles so I may not get daily commute MPG readings as others do. That said, I got 48 MPG today on the way home! Well, I have to tell you, at least half of the drive home is "down hill!" and I can keep the Hybrid in electric mode for maybe 2/3 of the journey. Sometimes my hybrid jumps out of electric mode when it is ascending a hill even if my speed is less than 20mph. I have gone in electric mode as fast as 39 mph downhill and almost 30 mph on the level. On interstate 79/70 I have achieved a mileage reading as high as 35 mpg going slightly over 60mph. Two times I have achieved an instant mpg reading of over 100--that is when I had a downhill run and kept the vehicle in electric mode.

    My major dislikes of the vehicle include the hard driver's side armrest, lack of overhead dash console as the existing dome light creates shadows, lack of temperature monitor and lack of sunroof/moonroof option. I am currently searching for solutions for all but the last concern.

    I'm done for now. I won't post this long again.
    Great to hear from you fellow "burgher"! One tip regarding highway driving, at least form what i have found, stay around 50-55 MPH and you will get better mileage. This is hard when you are in a 70 zone, but when in a 55 or 60 zone just stay a little slower. It was so hard for me to do thid because i am a competitive driver meaning i hate when people pass me. But I did yield about 35-37 MPG when on about an hour trip on the highway so i thought it was worth people flying by me.

    Happy driving!

  11. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Labbett Family View Post
    Great to hear from you fellow "burgher"! But I did yield about 35-37 MPG when on about an hour trip on the highway so i thought it was worth people flying by me.

    Happy driving!
    Did you achieve this value (35-37mpg) with the cruise control on? If you had the cruise control on, did the RPM's exceed 3000 on the uphills?

    My experience with highway driving with and without the cruise control indicates I do not have to worry too much about a difference in fuel efficiency. However, I have not gone "over" the six mile long uphill on the Pa Turnpike between the New Stanton and Somerset exits. I may this weekend (Saturday) as I would like to attend a historical CCC presentation at Laurel Hill Park which is just east and below Seven Springs Ski Area.

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