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Old 09-30-2016, 03:04 AM   #1
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Heavy traffic driving techniques

Where I live there's one really important road (called Via Emilia) which I've to go through most of the week. However important it's, there is only one lane per direction of travel with endless intersections, and as you'd expect hundreds of people use it.
This translates into one colossal queue (kilometers long) where you haven't many
options if not doing 5 meters and then stop again. My car loves to hypermile but in this circumstances is almost impossible.

Are there any useful driving tips and techniques to minimize fuel consumption in
heavy traffic?
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Old 09-30-2016, 04:53 AM   #2
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A hybrid works well - engine off when stopped, and electric for the shuffling along.
Depending on your range, maybe an electric even.
Alternatively, many cars now come with ISG - the engine cuts out when stationary, engages seamlessly when the clutch is next depressed.
For your improving figures with your existing car, people who use engine off coasting here may be able to share their tips with you.
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Old 09-30-2016, 07:57 AM   #3
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Couple of things you could try:

Try not to use the accelerator when starting off, just lift the clutch gently and let the car roll at idle, in my car I can then get into second gear and still not touch any pedals.

Try and anticipate how the cars are moving, so you are not constantly having to stop again, maybe go a little slower than the car in front, so he stops and starts again, while you just keep rolling along at a slow speed.

If you keep rolling, even at very low speeds, that is generally a lot better than stop/start.

If you will be stopped for a long time, turn the engine off (not my favourite technique!)

Apart from that, there is not much else that you can do.
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Old 09-30-2016, 02:15 PM   #4
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I can average 15 mph on my bike for an hour. Any possibility of an electric bike, motorcycle, or just pedal power. Average speeds sound pitiful. Bike paths or other alternatives. Public transportation?
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Old 10-01-2016, 01:09 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by R.I.D.E. View Post
I can average 15 mph on my bike for an hour. Any possibility of an electric bike, motorcycle, or just pedal power. Average speeds sound pitiful. Bike paths or other alternatives. Public transportation?
Too far away to even consider the bike; we're talking a 30 kilometers trip. Unfortunately the university isn't easily reachable, I need two separate pass (train and bus) to go there, which easily go above the fuel cost.
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Old 10-23-2016, 08:56 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by EnryFan90 View Post
Where I live there's one really important road (called Via Emilia) which I've to go through most of the week. However important it's, there is only one lane per direction of travel with endless intersections, and as you'd expect hundreds of people use it.
This translates into one colossal queue (kilometers long) where you haven't many options if not doing 5 meters and then stop again. My car loves to hypermile but in this circumstances is almost impossible.

Are there any useful driving tips and techniques to minimize fuel consumption in
heavy traffic?
At speeds under 25 mph - most of the energy use to move the car is due to overcoming rolling resistance - so getting low rolling resistant tires is a good thing, increasing the tire pressure +7psi more than recommended on the driver's door jam - will help with MPG if the road surface is smooth flat and dry.

All bets are off in when the road is rough to due repaving and construction or if the road is wet or icy due to rain sleet or snow - then road slippage makes the tire inefficient and mpg will suffer. moral - MPG performance is a fair weather friend. so when the weather is good - get while the going is good.

The majority of the energy lost in driving is when you apply the brakes and do a full stop. if there is a time when the traffic lights are turned off and there are almost no vehicles on the road - time shifting your trip during this time while avoiding stop signs so you can avoid stopping during your trip will maximize the vehicle's fuel efficiency. So the question is whether time shifting your commute is possible.

HTH Walter
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Old 12-06-2016, 05:10 PM   #7
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At this point you have to ask yourself, is there a way to use the road in Off-peak times? I go to and leave work two hours earlier to avoid peak times. Thankfully my workplace is flexible that way.

But at the end of the day, the tips above are your best bet. I try and keep my speed low even when the traffic moves on, ecause inevitably I will catch them again and cruising is the best way to get great numbers.
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Old 01-11-2017, 05:21 PM   #8
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I just completed a 200 mile trip in very heavy highway traffic. In such conditions, my mileage usually is as good as I can get. I think it is because of the fact that the long line of cars is effectively like drafting, i.e, it creates lower wind resistance.

I will say that I usually hang out in the right lane with trucks and other slower traffic, which allows for better fuel mileage at the slower speed.

Of course, if the heavy traffic implies a lot of stop-and-go, then the advantage of the lower wind resistance is not realized. During my trip today there was some of this stop-and-go as the result of a wreck involving a couple of 18-wheelers and several cars (including one police car) on the I-10 bridge over the Mississippi River at Baton Rouge. That was fun.
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Old 01-12-2017, 10:16 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Airstreamer67 View Post
I just completed a 200 mile trip in very heavy highway traffic. In such conditions, my mileage usually is as good as I can get. I think it is because of the fact that the long line of cars is effectively like drafting, i.e, it creates lower wind resistance.

I will say that I usually hang out in the right lane with trucks and other slower traffic, which allows for better fuel mileage at the slower speed.

Of course, if the heavy traffic implies a lot of stop-and-go, then the advantage of the lower wind resistance is not realized. During my trip today there was some of this stop-and-go as the result of a wreck involving a couple of 18-wheelers and several cars (including one police car) on the I-10 bridge over the Mississippi River at Baton Rouge. That was fun.
I see most of your mileage is highway. but nice digits nonetheless!
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Old 03-16-2017, 02:41 PM   #10
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Quote: "I see most of your mileage is highway. but nice digits nonetheless!"

Thanks for that. Yeah, my "secret" is reasonable driving mostly on the highway.

I bought my 2015 Mazda3 automatic with the 2.0L engine because it was cheap to buy, fun to drive, and among the leaders in its class relative to safety and economy. I drive it 90% on four-lane highways which have speed limits from 55 to 75 mph except for the towns and cities I drive through. My average speed (miles driven divided by elapsed time) is about 56 to 58 mph over my routine run of about 410 miles round trip. My cost per mile is at 4.4 cents according to my Fuelly data, which I find very good.

My main economy effort is speed control. I do not let traffic force me into driving faster than the speed limit, and often I'm a bit below it when traffic is not so heavy as to create a roadblock, especially if there are a lot of slower trucks in the right lane I can drive among; but I never, ever tailgate. I've never gotten a speeding ticket in my life, and the only way I'll get one is by not paying attention.
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