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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25973 Posts

Posted - 06/27/2008 :  12:50:58  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The most important change you can make
to your car to get better gas mileage
is to adjust the nut behind the wheel.

— Hypermiler’s mantra
I drive a plain-vanilla 1998 Saturn SL1 four-door sedan. About a year ago I made a couple of 300-mile, long-stretches-of-highway business trips in the car, and was impressed that I was getting over 35 MPG in the poor old thing. Last month, I decided to check to see if my mileage was still that high during my normal, day-to-day commuting.

Going to work and back for me is a 79.7-mile round trip, which normally takes about 57 minutes in the morning and 53 minutes in the afternoon (slightly different routes due to traffic patterns). I fill the gas tank every three days, at the same Shell station (using my 5%-rebate Shell gas card), when I've got about a quarter-tank left.

Early in May, I reset my trip odometer to zero as I got a fill-up. I figured three fill-ups (nine work days, I tend to drive the wife's car on weekends) would be a good test, so every fill-up, I'd get a receipt and write down the odometer reading on it, right above where the number of gallons I'd just purchased was printed. I even tried to use the same pump at the Shell station every time, to try to ensure that there'd be no miscalcuations due to one pump sensing "full" at a different level than another (I wasn't always successful in using the same pump, but to much worrying about accuracy would have been a waste).

Just before the third (and final) fill-up, I heard a guy on the radio talking about how just driving slower can increase milage. I knew that already, but had always thought the difference would be negligible, but this guy was saying that slowing from 75 to 65 can add five miles to the gallon (for the average driver), and that slowing from 65 to 55 can add another five. Wow! Considering how far I drive, that would be a pretty significant savings.

So I decided to extend my test. After the third fill-up, I reset my odometer again and started to drive the speed limit everywhere, for another three fill-ups. Now, on the highways while doing this, I stuck in the right-hand lane and despaired as cars whizzed past on the left looking for all the world like Formula-1 racers compared to my pokey speed. In at least a couple of situations, my doing the speed limit felt extraordinarily dangerous, and I'm surprised that no cop stopped me suspecting that I was drunk. While I don't normally drive at speeds that would be considered reckless or felonious, my wife has suggested to me a few times that my last name should probably have been "Andretti."

And once again while plodding along, just after my second fill-up, I hear a story on the radio about Hypermilers. These are folks who're looking to extend their cars' mileage out to incredible lengths, some even managing to double the mileage figures calculated during the standard Federal tests (the numbers they put on the sticker at the dealership and in the ads on TV). These folks drive with their right shoe off to get a better feel on the gas pedal, coast or even turn the engine off while going downhill, always drive the limit, etc. Most of the Hypermilers' advice is simple common sense if you think about it (see the "mantra" above), but some of their "techniques" can be rather extreme (I've seen one guy on the Web advocating the use of the lowest-viscosity motor oil possible and leaving a quart of oil out of the engine in order to reduce friction in there as much as possible).

I wasn't going to go that far, but I did decide to run a third test. And so after the third fill-up, I went back to driving at "normal" speeds, but started putting my car (an automatic) in neutral and coasting as much as possible. (Experienced Hypermilers reading this are already shaking their heads.) The idea being that any gas I waste by going fast would be "reclaimed" by not using much gas going down hills and while coming up to stoplights (times at which the car would be in neutral).

To try to avoid biasing my results, I didn't do any mileage calculations during all of this. I'd just write down odometer readings on gasoline receipts, and store those receipts away until the end. Unfortunately, just the raw number of gallons I was buying gave me a hint as to which way any particular three-day period had gone. And the temptation to change my driving style as soon as I heard about or thought of something new to save fuel was very, very strong (but I managed to avoid it). I also picked the worst time of year for doing these sorts of tests, as in the middle of the drive-the-limit era, I began to need air conditioning (but the guy who I'd heard first had also said that A/C only saps about one mile-per-gallon on average), so I started to keep track of which trips had A/C on, too.

The results:

Overall, my car got 35.65 MPG during my original checks, 36.48 MPG while driving the limit (adjusted for A/C use), and 34.76 MPG using neutral a lot (again, adjusted).

An extra 0.83 MPG isn't much. It represents a 2.33% boost in gas mileage over what I had been getting.

Now, my commute starts in my residential neighborhood (through which I don't speed), and ends in an area where the local law enforcement people are rather strict about speed limits, so I don't speed there, either. It's also hard to speed around red lights, especially when other traffic is present. When I calculate it all out, there's about 15 minutes each way (or about 27% of my trip) in which driving the speed limit was my normal method, so all gains in fuel economy from driving the limit came from the other 73% of my commute. Generously, then, driving the limit really netted me an extra 1.14 MPG (3.2%).

Still not much. My normal driving style saves me about nine-and-a-half minutes of commuting time, round trip, compared to driving the limit. Driving normally, I'd use about 2.236 gallons of gas per trip, while driving the limit had me using only 2.166 gallons. 0.07 gallons at four bucks a gallon is about 28 cents, which means that driving the limit was paying me back at a rate of just $1.75 per hour spent doing it. (Minimum wage is $5.85 per hour.) $1.60 saved each way during my main commute is nowhere close to enough to begin to compensate me for (A) the time lost, or (B) the massively heightened risk on the highways (and it certainly doesn't compensate for both). Gasoline would have to cost $13.38 per gallon (335% more) before driving the limit would pay me back at minimum wage, but I don't value my own time at that low a rate, anyway.

(Looked at another way, if gas were to stay at $4.00/Gal, I'd need to improve my gas mileage by 4.12 MPG - a big 11.56% increase - for whatever fuel-saving tricks to be worth just $5.85 per hour. It'd take an increase of 7.67 MPG - nearly 22% - to get back ten bucks an hour.)

I emphasize that this is about me because, of course, your mileage may vary.

Neutral, obviously, didn't work. In fact, it worsened my mileage by nearly the same amount as driving the limit improved it.

I did finally get around to looking up some Hypermiler Web sites, two days before the third fill-up was coming, and the important thing I learned is that cars built after 1996 will shut off the fuel if the engine's not under load but the transmission is in gear and the RPMs are above a certain value. At which point, if you shift into neutral, you force the engine control unit to start feeding in fuel again to keep the engine spinning (at a very high idle, to boot). In other words, when you're going downhill at a decent speed in a late-model car, you can get effectively infinite miles to the gallon by leaving the transmission in gear.

I also found out that being in neutral while the car is in motion is a moving violation in many states, and paying for tickets is the exact opposite of saving money.

So what to do? There's a lot more to Hypermiling than just the neutral trick or driving the limit, of course. I'm going to continue experimenting with different techniques, and hope I find some combination that saves significant gas while not costing me significant time. If I figure out anything more, I'll post it here.

There is a list of 100+ tips for Hypermilers on the ecomodder Web site.

By the way, I really, really want to buy myself a ScanGuage II, but so far, at my best mileage, it'd take over ten weeks to pay for one. Heck, I'd probably be so busy staring at the numbers on it that I'd crash my car.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.

Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4954 Posts

Posted - 06/27/2008 :  13:53:55   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've been trying to do this for years with my manual 97 Honda Civic. When cars aren't behind me, I do lots of coasting-- particularly when I know that the light 3 blocks ahead is going to be red by the time I get there. There's no point to have your foot on the pedal going at 35 only to hit the brake at a light when you can coast along at 15... 14... 13 and then naturally come to a stop at the same light.

I also keep my tired inflated and the trunk empty except for some jumper cables and a tiny tool set. (Usually.)

My highway driving is worse-- I'm a bit too aggressive-- but when I used to do the Baltimore-Ithaca trip a lot last year, I still often got 400+ miles on a tank of ca. 10 gallons.

I have recorded the date, cost of gas, gallons filled, and odometer reading of every fill up since I bought my car new over 10 years ago. I've noticed a slow decline over time (I need new spark plugs, I think) but it's fun to gauge such things. In Oklahoma in '97, I used to pay less than a buck a gallon!
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Paulos23
Skeptic Friend

USA
446 Posts

Posted - 06/27/2008 :  14:08:17   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Paulos23's Homepage Send Paulos23 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks Dave! I scaned those tips and the first one is the one I try to apply as much as possible, don't drive. I take the bus/train/monorail when I can and leave my much loved new car at home. Of course it helps that my work provides a multi-system bus pass.

And dang you for introducing a new gadget for my car. Though the price it a bit much for just mpg, it would be a great help in figuring it out at the moment I am driving. :D

I imagine many of the tips also depend on the car as to effectiveness, as you found out. I imagine the less streamlined the car, the more mpg your going to get for going the speed limit. Your car should be fairly streamlined already, being a 98 sedan, which may explain why you didn't see that much difference. I do have a question though, did you use cruse control while on the freeways? Supposedly you get better gas mileage if you use that to keep your speed constant.

You can go wrong by being too skeptical as readily as by being too trusting. -- Robert A. Heinlein

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
Edited by - Paulos23 on 06/27/2008 14:20:53
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25973 Posts

Posted - 06/27/2008 :  14:20:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Cuneiformist

...and the trunk empty except for some jumper cables and a tiny tool set. (Usually.)
Reducing weight is, of course, important, but someplace I read it'll average about 2% increase in MPG for every hundred pounds, so that's not much, either.

But then I started thinking. My car is ten years old, so the resale value is pretty damn low. The headliner is starting to come down on its own, so there's probably ten pounds of fabric I can live without. The back seat hasn't been used since before the dog died last fall, and it's probably 50 pounds. Upholstery in the trunk is just silly. There's a user's manual in the glove box that I haven't ever looked at. The center console from the cupholder on back is useless. The door panels keep some road noise down, but that'd just mean I turn the radio louder.

(Actually, without a back seat my car would fail inspection, 'cause it was built with seatbelts back there. Guess I'll have to keep it in, unless it's easy to get in and out.)

Gotta keep these things in mind. My car is due for a good cleaning, anyway.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25973 Posts

Posted - 06/27/2008 :  14:35:57   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Paulos23

I imagine many of the tips also depend on the car as to effectiveness, as you found out.
Heck, a bunch of those tips are for hybrid owners. A type of vehicle I'll never own 'cause the gas engine in them keeps running at highway speeds, so I'm not going to fork over an extra ten grand in return for no real MPG improvement.
I imagine the less streamlined the car, the more mpg your going to get for going the speed limit. Your car should be fairly streamlined already, being a 98 sedan, which may explain why you didn't see that much difference.
Well, it's not shaped like a VW van, but it's no Ferrari, either. My car looks almost exactly like this, except mine is dark blue and the one in the photo doesn't have the little dents from a hailstorm (I call 'em "speed dimples" ).
I do have a question though, did you use cruse control while on the freeways? Supposedly you get better gas mileage if you use that to keep your speed constant.
I don't have cruise control. The only "extras" I've got are power steering, power brakes, automatic transmission and air conditioning. I've still got the stock AM/FM radio and speakers.

But here's the thing about cruise control: while it'd be great for long, flat highways (because you're right, a constant throttle position improves mileage), I traverse lots of hills. Cruise control backs off the gas going downhill and adds gas going uphill to maintain the constant speed. From what I've read from the Hypermilers, it's more efficient to power down the hills (with a gravity assist) and then use the extra momentum to coast up the next one, so cruise control on hilly roads is a bad idea, anyway.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Paulos23
Skeptic Friend

USA
446 Posts

Posted - 06/27/2008 :  15:25:42   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Paulos23's Homepage Send Paulos23 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

Heck, a bunch of those tips are for hybrid owners. A type of vehicle I'll never own 'cause the gas engine in them keeps running at highway speeds, so I'm not going to fork over an extra ten grand in return for no real MPG improvement.


Ah, I didn't get that far down the list. But I agree with your assessment of the current batch of hybrids and freeway gas mileage. Which is why I ended up with a Honda Fit in March.

Well, it's not shaped like a VW van, but it's no Ferrari, either. My car looks almost exactly like this, except mine is dark blue and the one in the photo doesn't have the little dents from a hailstorm (I call 'em "speed dimples" ).


I think most cars from the late 90's are more or less aerodynamic compared to the cars from the 80's and before, it is not like you have a big fat grill like a trucks up fount pushing air out of the way.

Heck, my Fit is more aerodynamic then my first car from the 80's (A VW Rabbit) and my Fit is really no more then an aerodynamic box.

I don't have cruise control. The only "extras" I've got are power steering, power brakes, automatic transmission and air conditioning. I've still got the stock AM/FM radio and speakers.

But here's the thing about cruise control: while it'd be great for long, flat highways (because you're right, a constant throttle position improves mileage), I traverse lots of hills. Cruise control backs off the gas going downhill and adds gas going uphill to maintain the constant speed. From what I've read from the Hypermilers, it's more efficient to power down the hills (with a gravity assist) and then use the extra momentum to coast up the next one, so cruise control on hilly roads is a bad idea, anyway.


Ah, I will keep that in mind. That does explain why everyone is speeding up on the down side of the hills lately. I have been doing it just to keep with the flow of traffic.

You can go wrong by being too skeptical as readily as by being too trusting. -- Robert A. Heinlein

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
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Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4954 Posts

Posted - 06/27/2008 :  17:32:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmmm. Well, according to the list, I do the following:

4) Clean junk from your trunk
8) Check tire inflation regularly
9) Track your fuel consumption
11) Take the road less traveled
17) Avoid drive-thrus
25) Conserve momentum: stop sign 'stop and crawl'
26) Conserve momentum: take a shortcut
27) Combining errands: do the longest leg first
30) Combine errands
31) Traffic light timing - red lights with sensors
32) Traffic light timing - 'stale' green
40) Constant throttle position cruising
43) The most efficient way to slow down [2) coasting in neutral, engine idling;]
44) Conserve momentum: avoid stopping
49) Make fuel economy a game/challenge
61) Parking tactics: orbit to bleed momentum
65) Parking tactics: pick the periphery
95) Look well ahead & anticipate
There are a few others I haven't been doing [like 85) Avoid 'warm up' idling] that I'll keep in mind and try to start incorperating. And as Dave noted, there are some that don't apply because they're talking about a) hybrids; b) automatics; or c) cars with accessories-- my Civic has power nothing, including windows or steering, to say nothing of heated seats or mirrors!
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25973 Posts

Posted - 06/27/2008 :  19:12:46   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Number 61, "Parking tactics: orbit to bleed momentum," only makes sense if, along with being a Hypermiler, you're also a Hypobraker. In other words, the only reason to slowly bleed your momentum when the goal is zero momentum is to save wear-and-tear on your brake system. However, by doing so, you're adding wear-and-tear to your axles, differential (if any), bearings, transmission and tires. And by spending more time floating around in a parking lot than you absolutely have to, you're giving pedestrians that many more chances to pop out in front of you from between the parked cars. It's one tip that I wouldn't have put on the list.

So, Cune, you haven't gone hard-core by turning the engine off while coasting?

Originally posted by Paulos23

Which is why I ended up with a Honda Fit in March.
When my Saturn finally kicks the bucket, I think I'm going to go with a Toyota Yaris. Base price is just $11,550 and some reviewers have claimed 42 MPG. According to Toyota, a Yaris gets slightly better mileage than a comparably equipped Fit (probably because it weighs 200 pounds less - perhaps due to all those airbags in the Fit), and has an MSRP of $2,000 less.

I was looking at the SmartCar for a while, but the Yaris gets about the same mileage for about the same price, and has room for a spare tire (the SmartCar comes with a tire patch kit because they put two different sized tires on it, the front are smaller than the rear).

Edited to say "whooops! My mistake." The SmartCar is listed as getting 41 MPG highway (compared to Yaris' 35 and Fit's 34), but it looks like a deal-killer for me would be its very short 24/24000 powertrain warranty. (And still no spare tire.) Uck.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4954 Posts

Posted - 06/27/2008 :  21:38:50   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

Number 61, "Parking tactics: orbit to bleed momentum," only makes sense if, along with being a Hypermiler, you're also a Hypobraker. In other words, the only reason to slowly bleed your momentum when the goal is zero momentum is to save wear-and-tear on your brake system. However, by doing so, you're adding wear-and-tear to your axles, differential (if any), bearings, transmission and tires. And by spending more time floating around in a parking lot than you absolutely have to, you're giving pedestrians that many more chances to pop out in front of you from between the parked cars. It's one tip that I wouldn't have put on the list.
No, that's true. So when I go to the big box stores or the mall, I've done it enough to know how soon to let off the gas to coast to a spot. Ideally, I do so without using the brake (or doing so go to from 1 MPH to 0), but I don't try to coast for the sake of coasting. For instance, when I go to Wal-Mart, here's the map:

Where the red line starts is where I let of the gas. I then just coast along eventually moving into the parking lot, and finding a spot. I almost always have to eventually brake, but I usually don't have to brake much. And sometimes-- sometimes I do manage to come to a stop without braking at all.

All of this is possible because I don't live in an urban environment, and because I try to go during low-traffic times (e.g. weekday mornings). If people were behind me, I'd not be that dick going 8 MPH holding up all the traffic.

So, Cune, you haven't gone hard-core by turning the engine off while coasting?
No! And the thought hadn't occurred to me until I read up on some of these links. That seems super unsafe to me.
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@tomic
Administrator

USA
4607 Posts

Posted - 06/27/2008 :  22:30:47   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit @tomic's Homepage Send @tomic a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have been trying some of these techniques, too. I've found that it's really tough to see any savings if you live in the city where it's stop and go a lot. Even so, I have managed to squeak out about 2mpg extra if I accelerate slowly, try not to stop at lights by coasting(as long as no one's behind me), and being patient while going up hills. Freeway mileage is another story.

I just got back from a 2000 mile trip with lots of opportunities to see what the terrain and driving style would do. Through Oregon, where it was flat, I managed to go from 30mpg to 38mpg by not exceeding 65mpg. It was amazing what happened when you left the freeway for any reason. I could see the fuel guage needle fall while getting back up to freeway speed. We managed to go for one tank without stopping once and that was the one that gave us 38mpg in a 1996 Hona del Sol. We even had the top off which must have altered the aerodynamics.

I tried coasting down the hill I live on for a while but once I accidently moved it to reverse and the grinding noise and rattle I heard in my tranny after that convinced me never to do it again. Some things just aren't worth the risk.

I do think it's worth it to do whatever it takes to improve your gas mileage 2-3 mpg. If we all did it, we'd save a tremendous amount of gas overall. I'd love to see the speed limit taken down to 55 again. But I hardly ever have to hit the freeway since my biggest commute is less than 10 miles and that's once a week. Hypermiling's a great idea but living close to work, school etc. beats it by a mile.

@

Gravity, not just a good idea...it's the law!

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Paulos23
Skeptic Friend

USA
446 Posts

Posted - 06/27/2008 :  22:48:04   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Paulos23's Homepage Send Paulos23 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.


Originally posted by Paulos23

Which is why I ended up with a Honda Fit in March.
When my Saturn finally kicks the bucket, I think I'm going to go with a Toyota Yaris. Base price is just $11,550 and some reviewers have claimed 42 MPG. According to Toyota, a Yaris gets slightly better mileage than a comparably equipped Fit (probably because it weighs 200 pounds less - perhaps due to all those airbags in the Fit), and has an MSRP of $2,000 less.


Ya, I looked at the Yaris, but it was to small for my needs. Besides the last long trip (180 miles one way) I did with two adults, one kid and a weekend of luggage I got 38.6 mpg. I think the new EPA ratings are way to low.


I was looking at the SmartCar for a while, but the Yaris gets about the same mileage for about the same price, and has room for a spare tire (the SmartCar comes with a tire patch kit because they put two different sized tires on it, the front are smaller than the rear).

Edited to say "whooops! My mistake." The SmartCar is listed as getting 41 MPG highway (compared to Yaris' 35 and Fit's 34), but it looks like a deal-killer for me would be its very short 24/24000 powertrain warranty. (And still no spare tire.) Uck.


As much as I like the concept of the smart car, they could have executed it way better. I didn't like the size (though there are some cool safety engineering in it) and the lack of cargo space. Plus it felt shaky during the test drive. It may be fine for the city, but I wouldn't take it on the freeway.

You can go wrong by being too skeptical as readily as by being too trusting. -- Robert A. Heinlein

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
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@tomic
Administrator

USA
4607 Posts

Posted - 06/27/2008 :  22:58:23   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit @tomic's Homepage Send @tomic a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The only reason I could imagine getting a SmartCar would be if parking was at an EXTREME premium and I could park 2 in one space or garage. You can get so much more for your money. If the SmartCar got 50 mpg it might be worth looking at. Why did they bother putting so much engine in it? I'd never take it on the freeway either. They should have given it a 3 cylinder engine that might make it to 45mph which is as fast as I'd ever take one.

@

Gravity, not just a good idea...it's the law!

Sportsbettingacumen.com: The science of sports betting
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25973 Posts

Posted - 06/28/2008 :  00:06:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by @tomic

I tried coasting down the hill I live on for a while but once I accidently moved it to reverse and the grinding noise and rattle I heard in my tranny after that convinced me never to do it again. Some things just aren't worth the risk.
Okay, your transmission was broken before you did that. Cars later than 1970 or so (probably earlier) have fail-safes in the transmission that prevent people from shifting from drive to reverse (or vice versa) if you're moving more than a few miles an hour. And if you're moving under that very-slow speed, the car will simply come to a stop, quickly.

And for those interested in (probably illegal) coasting-in-neutral who have automatic transmissions: don't press the button. You should be able to shift from drive to neutral and back without pressing the button on the shifter, thus preventing you even further from accidentally shifting into reverse (not that you should be able to, anyway).

And for those with manual transmissions: the clutch throw-out mechanism is expensive. You should step on the clutch, shift to neutral, and then release the clutch. Don't stand on the clutch pedal for miles and miles of coasting.
I do think it's worth it to do whatever it takes to improve your gas mileage 2-3 mpg. If we all did it, we'd save a tremendous amount of gas overall.
Well, as I said, at best guess I can improve by just over one MPG - short of buying a new car (which I can't afford until it's necessary, which may be Monday for all I know).

However, now that I've got a very good idea of my fuel efficiency, I can now go buy the appropriate amount of carbon credits to offset the worst case. After that, any efficiency improvements I manage to make to satisfy my pocketbook will do nothing more than green the environment.
Originally posted by Paulos23

I think the new EPA ratings are way to low.
I don't know whether they are "too" low, but I do know they're lower than they were just a couple years ago.

My own car was listed at something like 28 MPG highway when it was new. I'm getting 35, so the old estimates were perhaps seven MPG on the low side compared with actual driving. But when I get my car serviced, I've got little better to do than go look at the stickers on new Saturns, and the best I can find is 26 MPG. If the "7 MPG rule" holds for me for all cars, then a Yaris should get me 42 MPG, and the (poorly warranteed) SmartCar should get me 48 MPG. Either one would be a massive improvement over what I've got, but the whole economic situation tells me I should stick with my old car until I can't anymore, because I'm going to wind up with an extra $200/month charge (or so) when I switch (no matter when I switch) for five years (or so).

Or maybe it doesn't tell me that at all. Given inflation and crappy interest rates, am I actually saving money long-term by driving an old car? I'll have to look into that question, soon.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 06/28/2008 :  07:17:38   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Want to save gas? Get yourself one of these. Guaranteed to slash your fuel bill when used.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Paulos23
Skeptic Friend

USA
446 Posts

Posted - 06/28/2008 :  08:13:54   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Paulos23's Homepage Send Paulos23 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Heh, nice one Dude. Though for a second I thought a motorcycle was going to come up, which is probably the best class of gas powered vehicle for mpg.

You can go wrong by being too skeptical as readily as by being too trusting. -- Robert A. Heinlein

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
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Valiant Dancer
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Posted - 06/30/2008 :  18:44:51   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Valiant Dancer's Homepage Send Valiant Dancer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Paulos23

Heh, nice one Dude. Though for a second I thought a motorcycle was going to come up, which is probably the best class of gas powered vehicle for mpg.


Sort of.

The 1991 Geo Metro (if you can still find one) 5 speed manual.

Most fuel efficient car I ever owned. Had to take it out once every 6 mos on the highway at high speed for an hour. (No, wise-ass the manuals could actually go faster than 60 MPH and approached triple digit land)

I bought the car new and drove it for 5 years with a round trip of 100 miles per day to work. I started off at 65 MPG. Ended up 5 years later 145,000 miles on the car and 45 MPG.

The car was a stock 3 cyl, 1 L. 2-55 air (both windows rolled down at 55 MPH) I changed the oil every 3,500 miles like clockwork and replaced the plugs every 45,000 miles. Most work having to be done to the car was the clutch plate failed at 98,000 miles and had to be replaced.

It was 1,400 lbs GVW but had nice pick up and could travel well. I had a tendency to tailgate back then with cars that cut me off. (ah, the idiocy of youth) So, I'm sure that drafting did play a part of it as well.

The high speed runs every 6 months was to clean the fuel injectors by getting them up to temperature and burning off the carbon. City stop and go allows plug fouling, the high speed runs took care of them.

I miss the fuel mileage but don't miss the roller skate wrapped in tin foil feeling. It replaced a 1976 Monte Carlo 4 door 350.

Oh, and if anyone wants to get me a present for my 45th or so b-day, I'd like a new Toyota FCV Clarity with refueling unit.

Cthulhu/Asmodeus when you're tired of voting for the lesser of two evils

Brother Cutlass of Reasoned Discussion
Edited by - Valiant Dancer on 06/30/2008 18:46:09
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