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Old 08-01-2009, 10:31 AM   #1
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Tips for really hilly areas?

I'm driving very frequently in this kind of route :

That's a 150mile-long really hilly (a lot of 6-7% long hills) road and it's look likes like a rural road (not large, etc). But the problem on this road is I canno't drive like a real hypermiler, because at each hill, i'll slow down, that will make impatient the other drivers behind me. That's the kind of road is not divised (like a rural road) and the zones for vehicles passing are only 1km long, and there are zones at each 50 miles or something like that. Some crazy and impatient drivers use this route, so if I try like an hypermiler to hold constant throttle, I'll climb hills at about 40mph, so some crazy drivers will pass me. At each trip on this route, I see several stupid drivers, when a truck slow down on a hill, for example, passing the truck, even if there's a curve and they don't see if a car coming, front, or something like that. But sometimes, maybe 50% of the route is flat ground; but it's like... 1/2mile flat, 1/2 mile hill, 1/2 mile flat, etc.

I may consider security first in that kind of route, so do you have tips for me to have the best fuel economy as possible, without dropping below 60-65MPH?

I have several ideas :

1-Driving at 70 MPH on flat (Maybe 2600RPM), then the engine RPM will go higher (less fuel economy on flat), but when I'll climb hills, the engine torque will be more effiency that at lower RPM, so I'll don't have to downshift to don't go below 60MPH. Then when climbing up hills, I'll apply a bit more throttle pressure than on flat ground BEFORE climbing the hill, then I'll keep a constant throttle to arrive uphill at about 60MPH. For downhills, depending of the hills, I'll release the throttle completely or I'll apply the same throttle pressure that I apply when I'm driving on flat ground, speed will raise a bit, but It will give me a swing to drive faster on flat ground at the same % throttle. All this will be down staying on 5TH gear.

2-Driving at 65MPH on flat (Maybe 2200-2400 RPM), then, before climbing the hill, I'll apply a bit more throttle pressure, but more throttle then at the 1ST exemple, because I don't want to go below 60MPH, so I'll have to apply more pressure to arrive uphill at 60MPH because I go at 65 instead of 70 before climbing the hill. On downhill, I'll do the same thing than on the first example. So this example will give me more fuel economy on flat ground, but less fuel economy when climbing hills.

3-Driving at a steady 60MPH all the time (flat ground or on hills). On flat ground, drive at 60 on 5th gear then, when climbing hills, downshift in 4TH gear to stay to 60MPH.

What will be the best, according to you? Oh, I'll try this 3 methods and compare with scangauge, but your ideas will be appreciate before too. I don't know if the hills/flat ground ratio are more than 50/50, because it's really hard to say.

But IF the ratio is 50/50, did it will take more gas to do a cycle like that :
1: 1/2 mile of flat ground, then 1/2 mile of 4% hill, flat ground at steady 70, then climbing the hill beginning at 70 and ending at 60 (steady throttle set before the hill) To stay to 70 on flat ground, I need 17%TPS to keep 70, then 20%TPS on hill climbing, decreasing speed from 70 to 60.

2: 1/2 mile of flat ground, then 1/2 mile of 4% hill, flat ground steady 65MPH, then climbing the hill beginning at 65 and ending at 60. To stay to 65 on flat ground, I need 15% TPS to keep 65, then 24%TPS on hill climbing, decreasing speed from 65 to 60.

3- 1/2 mile of flat ground, then 1/2 mile of 4% hill, flat ground at steady 60MPH, then climbing the hill downshifting in 4TH gear and maintening 60mph.
I need 13% TPS to keep 60 on flat ground. I don't tested the % of throttle I need to maintain 60mph in 4TH, but i think I'll have to apply more on the accelerator than the 2 examples before.

ACCORDING TO YOU, which example will use less gas?
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Old 08-01-2009, 04:53 PM   #2
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Constant throttle is one hypermiling technique, but it's not the only choice. In your case it won't work because of the conditions you described.

I drive in similar conditions. I accelerate WOT in 5th gear going uphill, then coast in neutral (engine on or off) downhill. It keeps my speed somewhat steady and helps with the issue of traffic behind me.

I wish people would pass me the way they pass you. Instead, they just tailgate me endlessly. If they make a dangerous/illegal pass, it's not my problem!
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Old 08-03-2009, 07:54 PM   #3
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I tried the scanguage for the first time in the hills today.

I have done a 500mile trip :

150mile of road with a lot of hills
350mile of highway

With a 2500lbs car and a 2.2 engine (sunfire ecotec), for this tank, that mixed the 150 mile of hills and the 350 miles highway, i had an average of 41MPG! That's good. I done 500 mile with a 14 gallons tank, and I had some fuel left after the trip (1/10 tank). I have this car since 3 years and NEVER had a high mileage tank like that. The tank could be better if I do only highway driving at 55MPH tailgating a truck.

Before buying the scanguage, my average fuel economy on highway driving was 37.5MPG, and the EPA ratings for this car on highway driving is 35MPG.
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Old 08-04-2009, 05:42 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EconomyDriver View Post
The tank could be better if I do only highway driving at 55MPH tailgating a truck.
Don't do that. It's rude, dangerous, illegal, and reduces your fuel economy. Drafting a full-length (53') box trailer for fuel economy is done at a 2 to 3 second following distance; any closer and there's too much turbulence.
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Old 08-04-2009, 05:28 PM   #5
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"Tailgating" a truck was an expression. It don't mean I was following it at 10 feets from the back of the trailer. I was following at 3-4 seconds, because I know that sometimes, recap tires explodes and could do damages to my front bumper :P
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Old 08-16-2009, 01:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theholycow View Post
Constant throttle is one hypermiling technique, but it's not the only choice. In your case it won't work because of the conditions you described.

I drive in similar conditions. I accelerate WOT in 5th gear going uphill, then coast in neutral (engine on or off) downhill. It keeps my speed somewhat steady and helps with the issue of traffic behind me.

I wish people would pass me the way they pass you. Instead, they just tailgate me endlessly. If they make a dangerous/illegal pass, it's not my problem!
wouldn't it be better to shift down to 4th, rather than going WOT in 5th up a hill?
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Old 08-16-2009, 03:38 PM   #7
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In my car, as long as WOT is accelerating it's more efficient than downshifting. If it's just holding the current speed then it might be more efficient to downshift, depending on grade and RPM. If it's losing speed then it's more efficient to downshift.

I think most normally aspirated cars would fit that description if "WOT" in that description was changed to "80%" or so.
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