FYI, I did an auto to manual swap on an older VW, used a $300 parts car for all the bits. It wasn't too bad. Only ***** was those funky axle bolts. I'm sure folks have done it on your year and sorted out the computer crap. Sure, not everyone can, but if you can then definately consider it.
skewbe, my livelihood is tied to my car, so it's not an option for me right now.
Besides, seeing what kind of numbers I can pull out of a 2.0L automatic (with the top down! ) is enjoyable and a good learning experience. Plus getting on the "most efficient auto car" leaderboard isn't out of the question if I keep at it!
P.S. By the way brucepick, when I was quoting you and said "you guys with stick shifts," that was a generic "you" -- I do know you have an automatic.
I think there's a significant difference between the fuel needed to overcome engine braking and the fuel needed to rev the engine to speed in neutral - because if you're going to coast in gear you'd be providing that fuel continuously during the coast - assuming you could find the exact correct pedal position to accomplish it. If you're coasting in neutral and need to spin the engine up before going back in gear you only need to do it once at the end of the coast. A huge difference, as long as you're coasting more than ten feet.
I wasn't saying you bump the throttle once at the end of the coast to match revs so you can put the car in gear. I was saying you would burn the same amount of gas if you kept the rpms higher the entire way down the hill with the car in neutral as you would coasting in gear and giving the car light throttle the way Rick was describing. It doesn't matter though because Rick wasn't saying that he could match the efficiency of coasting in neutral by coasting in gear with light throttle which was my initial interpretation of his post. And we all agree it would be impossible to get the throttle position exactly correct anyway but I'm curious to see what his testing turns up.
I think you guys are starting to make a believer out of me with the P&G stuff. My new route has lots of rolling, hilly, lonely country roads to glide on.
I have been hovering around 55 by accelerating gently in 1st, 2nd, 3rd gears and WOT in 4th and 5th, up to 60. Then I let it glide down to 50, then back up to 60 with WOT in 5th. The WOT hypothesis is based on someone else's comment about high gear full throttle being efficient...perhaps because there is less of a contriction for incoming air?
Anyhow, it *seems* to be working, but I am going purely off of trip odo + approximate fuel gauge needle position for the past two days. Believe it or not, those long commutes to Johnson Controls were at least good for getting me used to the fuel gauge.
Someone else alluded to my long commutes, which were often 1.25 hr +. Well, I got a new job so it's only 20-25 minutes now! The sad part is in the winter my MPG may take a royal dive because the car will just be getting completely warmed up and my trip will be over. But hey, I'll be using less fuel overall (an important thing to remember when being obsessed with fuel consumption -- overall amount used is more important than efficiency, usually.)
I might buy a drainpan magnet heater from JC Whitney's with my "allowance" next month. Heh!
P&G definitely works. I don't understand it on a physics level yet, but I've seen all the proof I need to accept it... the "how" part will seep into my head eventually.
I've seen arguments for WOT, 1/2 to 2/3rds throttle, staying below 2000 RPM, accelerating at a certain load (the SG gives you percent engine load), etc. You'll possibly want to experiment and find out what works best for your route and your car. Without immediate feedback it'll take longer to tell what you're doing, but it's still possible.
If nothing else you could commit to doing P&G a certain way for a while and calculate your FE, then try doing it a different way for a while, etc. until you find what gives you the best numbers. (Then go back and recheck the other methods, because you've probably gotten more skilled over time!)
P.S. Johnson Controls, eh? I used to be an MTS IV at the Robertshaw Controls Corporate R&D Center before they were bought out by Siebe PLC and the R&D operation was shut down. One of the best and most enjoyable jobs I ever had (and I could bicycle to work!)
Rick, yes I shift at 2000 RPM...so the WOT in 4th and 5th is not burning a ton of fuel...just allowing the engine full access to fresh air so it can accelerate "at its own pace".
Johnson Controls was not fun for me...I worked for Optima Batteries, not the Building Efficiency division. I signed on for a nice paycheck and 40% travel annually...little did I know that 40% would occur mostly in one lump, to start up a plant in Mexico!
Also the battery plants are filled with respirable lead dust, concentrated sulfuric acid, and glass fibers which are strikingly similar to asbestos -- NOT FUN! So I bailed, because even though I'm young I feel I've seen enough of the insides of plants, and plus we have a 6-month-old at home to play with!
Re. WOT - I know that at least some engine management systems enrich the mixture at WOT to provide some additional cooling for the combustion chamber. I know mine does that. So I really avoid WOT but I do go to 3/4 or 7/8 sometimes. Since mine is an automatic I can feel the tension point when the kickdown cable is ready to activate.
Currently getting +/- 50 mpg in fall weather. EPA is 31/39 so not too shabby. WAI, fuel cutoff switch, full belly pan, smooth wheel covers.
Re. WOT - I know that at least some engine management systems enrich the mixture at WOT to provide some additional cooling for the combustion chamber. I know mine does that. So I really avoid WOT but I do go to 3/4 or 7/8 sometimes.
I can't safely EOC with my automatic. I've watched my transmission temperature climb unnervingly high during NICE-ON experiments, I sometimes think I hear disturbing sounds bouncing off of reflective surfaces when I drop it back in "D," and I don't have a definitive answer to whether NICE-ON coasting is safe for my vehicle. And my engine doesn't appear to cut fuel during in-gear idle coasts, so I can't trade off zero fuel use against engine braking. Rick
YIPE! I wouldn't ever do that again. An automatic's fluid pump is driven off the input shaft from the engine. When coasting with the engine off, fluid is not being pumped which means various bearing inside the trans are not being lubed. When they aren't being lubed, they are running metal on metal, and burning off. That is what is causing your high temps, and is greatly increased your tranny wear. It is such a problem that if a tow truck tows an automatic 20 miles on the drive wheels with the engine off, that transmission is toast. Tow truck drivers that are pulling RWD cars will either tow them backwards, or disconnect the driveshaft before towing.
I guess I need to change my posting style; with two posts misunderstood in the same thread, I'm obviously doing something wrong (and that's sincere, not sarcastic). Apologies to all; I'll work on cleaning up my act.
Telco, not only would I never do that again, I would never do it in the first place: I know better. That wasn't several sentences talking about EOC, it was a list of my non-options:
I can't EOC.
I'm uncomfortable P&Ging with the engine idling and the tranny in neutral.
Without fuel cutoff, P&Ging in gear just equals engine braking.
Which leaves "Goldilocks gas" as something to try, even though it won't ever be as effective as some other techniques. I was just clarifying why I'm even bothering with it.
The sentence after "I can't... EOC..." (that talks about rising tranny temps) mentions NICE-ON, but I guess it gets lost in the blur. Like I said, I need to change my posting style.
Sorry all, I'll try to do better.
P.S. For the record, I do coast with the engine off sometimes: Ten feet into a parking space after keying off or out of a potential-energy parking space before cranking the engine, etc. Trivial stuff roughly equivalent to pushing a stalled car out of traffic and which -- as far as I know -- don't risk damage. (If anyone knows differently please speak up!)