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Old 06-10-2008, 10:02 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by RollerCoasterofLuv View Post
So far, using mild hypermiling techniques (coasting in neutral, driving slower, and being smart about acceleration/braking) I've managed to get my '96 VW Golf GL to consistently pull 35-40 mpg in mostly highway commuting. That's roughly 50% over the revised EPA estimates of 22 city/28 hwy.

However, I'm just plain sick of the car. It runs fine, but it's showing its age and needs some maintenance I don't want to invest in it, and, shallow as it is, I'd like to get something a little less "dorky," but still consistently get 30mpg+ without doing anything fancy or stupid.

I'm thinking of maybe a larger vehicle like a Jeep Wrangler or Cherokee, a full size pickup truck, or maybe even a rear wheel drive muscle/sports car like a Mustang GT (I would go V6, but Ford 4.0s have serious design flaws) or maybe even a Nissan 350Z. These are very different types of vehicles, I know, and all I really need is basic transportation, but I've always had my eye on them and I'm getting sick of driving cheap nerdmobiles with no style or power.

My question is if I were to get a car that's a bit of a guzzler, would I likely still be able to get the same 50% over EPA in it? I know a bigger engine would use more fuel in idling, but it also wouldn't need the 3000+ rpms my painfully low geared Golf needs to achieve interstate speeds.
I can't guarantee you 50% over EPA in whatever you get, but if you are careful you can get a substantial increase over EPA by driving carefully. (See Below)
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Old 06-10-2008, 11:03 PM   #22
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[QUOTE=fumesucker;105187]Which would make the more powerful car for $7,000 a wash compared to the more efficient car at $14,000.

The total money invested in the transportation over 10 years would be fairly similar. QUOTE]

And that's assuming you keep the car 10 years. Even though most modern cars will easily last double that if maintained, there are always car accidents, lifestyle changes, etc. How often do people actually buy a new car and drive it daily for 10 years? I think most people are lucky to find one they can hold onto for 5.

Part of the reason for looking at these vehicles is that I've always liked them and for the 10 years I've had a license I've only driven cheap beaters. This was back when we were griping about $1.25 per gallon being astronomical. Just once I'd like to have something I'm proud to own, but I don't want to send myself to the poorhouse to do it. I actually do care about the environmental impact as well, though in my state we have don't have inspections so it's not a practical issue for me.

I hear that, at highway speeds (which is probably 80% of my driving) the difference between a 4 cylinder and a larger engine doesn't matter as much because the 4 bangers need so many more RPMs to produce the power necessary. I've never owned anything but a 4 cylinder, so I have no frame of reference here. I'd greatly appreciate feedback from the group. Is it mostly a wash, or not?

Regardless of what I buy, I don't plan to have this thing forever. I'm only a few years shy of 30 and I do plan to get married and start a family in the not to distant future, so the sporty coupe I'd like to drive now would have to go. It's also possible I may be taking a job in New York after grad school, in which case this all becomes a moot point because owning a car inside the city is pointless.

I would actually really like to have a little Civic, but I just can't see paying $12K for one that's 5 years old and already has almost 100K on it. Or $5000 for one that's 10 years old and has 200K+. All the other cars with high fuel economy either don't appeal to me much or are out of my price range. By opening myself to buying a cheaper car with lower fuel economy, then driving it smartly, I get a lot more options.

Really, I was just asking for opinions on those vehicles and hypermile potential before I buy. So far, the V6 mustang or an old C5 Corvette seem appealing, but I'm going to take a look at Chevy Cobalts and Hyundai Tiburons too. Or maybe I'll be boring and invest in keeping the VW on the road for another year or two.

Or maybe I'll hypermile a Hummer H2 just to mess with everyone on here
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Old 06-10-2008, 11:14 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Glacial View Post
I'm running a 4.0 Mustang and love it -- I'm right now only averaging 31-33mpg on the highway, but should pick up a few more with the lowering and UDP next month. ~20mpg in-town with me driving immaturely A LOT. Perils of free-flowing exhaust -- better efficiency, but you just HAVE to stomp on it!

I'm not sure what you mean by design flaws, however, unless you're referring to SuperSix Motorsport's laughable evaluation?

Edit: Oh, and an old C5 Corvette will return those figures easily A couple gentlemen over at LS1tech.com are averaging 35mpg highway.
The C5s sound more and more appealing the more I look into them. They're a little out my price range, though. I'm going to research the C4s more and see what they're like on the highway.

As for the V6 Mustangs, I'm not sure what SuperSix Motorsports said about them, but I do know that Ford 4.0 engines have long suffered from lubrication problems around the valves and rocker arms that cause them to wear out faster than they should. You'd think in the 20 years Ford's built them they would have sorted this out, but they never did.
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Old 06-11-2008, 04:20 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by RollerCoasterofLuv View Post
Really, I was just asking for opinions on those vehicles and hypermile potential before I buy. So far, the V6 mustang or an old C5 Corvette seem appealing, but I'm going to take a look at Chevy Cobalts and Hyundai Tiburons too. Or maybe I'll be boring and invest in keeping the VW on the road for another year or two.
I would look for an older Mustang 5.0 with a stick.. Avoid the GT because they usually get beat on pretty hard, plus they are heavier and attract law enforcement attention. The Highway Patrol here used to have Mustang pursuit cars and they were some powerful machines.

Quote:
Or maybe I'll hypermile a Hummer H2 just to mess with everyone on here

I'm not one that gets bent out of shape about what other people drive.. *How* they drive is another story.. I freakin' hate slow drivers in the fast lane, they hurt overall fleet fuel mileage and safety while everyone else has to weave around them.
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Old 06-11-2008, 05:23 AM   #25
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OP, If you want something with a little ump in it's step you could look into a gto, well Pontiac gto anyways(or mitsubishi I guess LOL). They are extremely tall geared 2.73 rear end if I remember correctly and have a 6-speed tranny. So cruising at 70mph you still not even at 2k on the tach. We took one on a trip to Kentucky last year with three people in it and loaded with all our camping gear while driving 70-80 most of the trip we returned 31 which I didn't consider bad at all. Considering they do make over 400 ponies. Just a thought.

Best wishes,
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Old 06-11-2008, 06:39 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MorningGaser View Post
I say get the muscle car you want for "fun" and forget abut hypermiling, be happy if that's what you think will make you happy....however to repeat my analogy from an earlier post, either smoke and enjoy it, or don't smoke and be worry free of lung cancer. ;-) But one cannot have both, usually.

It's a lot easier to get results hypermiling a small car then a big powerful one.
I'm still failing to understand this mindset. You can hypermile a big powerful inefficient car just as well as you can with a small efficient one, maybe even better. Including pre-hypermiling gaslog entries, my full size V8 truck is 21% above EPA; and if we count only tanks where I hypermiled, it's more like 30%.

The analogy is like saying if you're going to smoke three cigarettes per day, might as well just smoke three packs per day. Well, just because you want to have some fun on tap and look nice, doesn't mean you have no reason to hypermile and should just go ahead and burn through all the gas you can. You can have some fun on a regular basis and hypermile as a general rule, and still do well.
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Old 06-11-2008, 06:45 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RollerCoasterofLuv View Post
I hear that, at highway speeds (which is probably 80% of my driving) the difference between a 4 cylinder and a larger engine doesn't matter as much because the 4 bangers need so many more RPMs to produce the power necessary. I've never owned anything but a 4 cylinder, so I have no frame of reference here. I'd greatly appreciate feedback from the group. Is it mostly a wash, or not?
You're asking about engine fuel efficiency there, not car fuel efficiency. To directly answer the question, it is probably pretty much a wash. I recently asked here, as a thought experiment, about engine friction. I asked if you had a 2.5l I4 and a 5.0l V8 with the same size pistons, same stroke, etc, would the I4's friction at 3000rpm be the same as the V8's friction at 1500rpm. I was surprised when was told that engine friction increases exponentially by RPM rather than linearly, and the I4's friction would be significantly MORE.

So, given the same amount of aerodynamic drag and the same rolling resistance from tires, the bigger engine with taller gearing would probably be a wash. It's demonstrated by decent highway mileage from big V6 and V8 cars as describe here and in the hypermile sleepers thread.
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Old 06-11-2008, 07:30 AM   #28
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I found a reference for the engine friction...

http://www.ilot.edu.pl/Journal%20of%...3_4/3-4/19.pdf

Note that the power loss due to engine friction at 3500 rpm is more than three time that at 1500 rpm.

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Old 06-11-2008, 09:22 AM   #29
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I drove a Ford Fusion V6 from LA to Texas and it was almost brand new with only 2900 miles on the clock, it felt soft and sounded lumpy at first.

Well I didn't play footsies with the accelerator and averaged 115 all the way into Arizona, 110 in NM and 100 in Texas until I got pulled over by the Fuzz, the cars FE went from 28mpg in LA to 35 to 42mpg in Arizona, and in Texas it was showing 52mpg, it had a speed governor on it so there was no point in trying to go faster and I was making good time.

I believe I broken the engine in properly as it was silent and silky smooth after 2000+ miles in two days, it was a hire car from Herts and service light came on at 5000 miles

I had it for a week and took it to the Herts office in Houston to get the service light rest or the oil changed, well to cut a long story short, the foreman in their garage came back to me and said the car has a data logger and he knew how faster I was going, I nodded and said "OK..... and?" he said that this Fusion was the quietest one he had ever heard! I had no way of making a comparison as that was the first and last one a drove.


What is the point of this story? well I remember reading an Engine Builders handbook which stated, in order to break and engine in correctly you have to hammer it very quickly in order to match the bores and rings, conventional wisdoms and text books say gently gently for the first few thousand miles, who wants to find out in the real world with your own money and risk messing up an engine, not me, but the opportunity came up with this Ford Fusion and I have to say based on what I observed this made a huge difference
to the FE and the power because it was fast and snappy when before it was lumpy and soft, I would not even say this if it was not true.
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:24 AM   #30
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The issue of how to break an engine in properly, where it is suggested to beat on it, commonly comes up at the golfmkv.com forum. There's quite a few believers in that strategy who have convincing data and logic. I'm going to need to decide for myself in a couple years as I hope to buy a new car at that point.

One concern I've always had with break-in is that you really don't know how badly it's been thrashed or how long it's been idled before you got it. If you order it from the factory then it's pretty unlikely that it was loaded onto the truck badly...but most people buy cars that are on the lot and could have been test-driven.

The car I'm driving now is a lease, and I test drove it before buying it. During the test-drive I accidentally mis-shifted at high speed on the highway. I didn't get a chance to look at the tachometer, but I did see smoke behind the car; I probably overrevved it, right past redline. Since it's a lease, I also had the chance to take the risk as described in the rental story, so once I had it I just went ahead and enjoyed all the speed and power. It was not the most fuel-efficient way, but it did match that theory for break-in, and of course it was a fun way to get to know my brand new car. It runs smoothly and efficiently now.
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