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Old 01-12-2008, 11:12 PM   #1
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Hi, from Covington, KY

It's right across the river from Cincinnati, Ohio (just for reference).

I'm currently majoring in Economics (second year), and like most students, I'm broke as hell. In response...well, I'm trying to wring as many miles per gallon as possible out of the car because hey, $3 a gallon is expensive.

I currently drive a 2000 Toyota Echo, manual, everything's stock on the car. I have a ScanGauge coming in the mail and I'm going to inflate my tires to 45psi when I get around to it (Max says 44, and I'm afraid of going any further, a buddy of mine had a blowout when inflating a cheap tire to 50psi).

My driving habits include going no more than 60-65, drafting behind semi's, not taking off like a jackrabbit, driving as if I had no brakes, among others. I just had the oil changed from 10W-30 to 5W-30. I am thrashing the EPA sticker mileage, but that's nothing. If I could get 10,000 MPG, I'd do it.

The lion's share of my driving comes from going to class and back, daily, about 13 miles or so on this highway. (Ft. Mitchell to NKU, if any local guy wants to be specific)

Meet any gas saver's nemesis, I-275:





That's about 11 out of those 13 miles right there. The other two is spent driving in circles looking for parking. Doesn't take a genius to say that would put a dent in anyone's MPG, unfortunately.

How can I hypermile with that? FAS downhill when possible/safe, but uphill is a killer.
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Old 01-12-2008, 11:15 PM   #2
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A bit more about myself:

When I was a little kid, I'd always seen $1 a gallon of gas, and I figured, well, when I start driving, it's money I need to drive, but no big problem...right? Well, $1 became $3.15 and suddenly it's a big obstacle to driving places.

The bottom line basically became "No, it's Bad on Gas" whenever people wanted me to do something, drive somewhere, or...you get the idea.

Ever since I started paying for my gas, I started adopting these tactics:

Driving slower - I rarely go more than 60, usually to the sound of my buddies griping and saying "Pick up the pace"
Turning the car off downhill - with hills like , that's just begging me to get some unbelievable gas mileage. The only problem is when I have to drive back up that hill...that hurts.
I don't take off like a jackrabbit, I coast as long as possible (I hate braking), and I stick it in neutral whenever possible (I drive a five speed).
In the rain I'll drive on the right line to stay out of the grooves.
I don't turn the A/C on, run the fans, or burn headlights unless absolutely necessary. In fact I'm usually one of the last cars on the road to turn my headlights on... my night vision isn't bad, anyway.
I have a golf bag - but you can bet it's only in the trunk when I'm actually headed to/from the golf course. Same with all other junk. If it's not important, it's not in the car.
And, I regularly clean out the fuel injectors to maximize mileage.

I'm notorious among my friends for trying to find way to get better gas mileage, and I will deliberately avoid situations where I have to floor it.

Unfortunately, my daily commute is almost entirely driving on hills like the one I posted. The best I get is mid 30's (although driving on I-71 between Cincinnati and Columbus, I got 47 miles to the gallon...) because of those damn hills, and cold starts aren't helping either.
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Old 01-14-2008, 12:32 PM   #3
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Welcome! I just joined up about a month ago and I too, and from KY. I'm in Florence and battle Turfway road to/from work at the airport.

I guess you go to NKU which is where I'm transferring to from Gateway Comm. College sometime this summer/fall.

I thought the Echo was rated around 45mpg? Am I wrong, or am I missing something?
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Old 01-14-2008, 02:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Project84 View Post
Welcome! I just joined up about a month ago and I too, and from KY. I'm in Florence and battle Turfway road to/from work at the airport.

I guess you go to NKU which is where I'm transferring to from Gateway Comm. College sometime this summer/fall.

I thought the Echo was rated around 45mpg? Am I wrong, or am I missing something?
Yeah, I'm at NKU. I found out a long time ago it's useless to speed to class no matter how late you are. Because after making record breaking time, you spend probably twice as long looking for a parking spot (preferably within half a mile of class), so all that speeding, gas burning, and leaving old people in the dust was for naught.

The Echo was rated 34/41, revised down to 29/37. And it's supposed to get in the 40's. And it does on flat ground (Driving from Cincinnati to Philly, I went something like 47, 41, 44, 45) Only problem is well...that just tells you how much 275 kills my mileage by.
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Old 01-14-2008, 02:38 PM   #5
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lamebums -

Welcome to GS! Sorry to hear about that hill. I hate those. It's a killer on hypermiling. Is it as steep as it looks in the picture? After you get your ScanGauge, this is what I would do if I were you :

1 - Write down the MPG for the trip each way. The average will be your baseline commute. I think your goal will be to SAFELY increase the MPG on the downhill run.

2 - Find out if your Echo has built-in fuel cutoff going downhill when your car is in gear. That should show up on your instant MPG reading as either something close to 9999 MPG (9999 MPG is the ScanGauge equivalent of infinite MPG to avoid divide-by-zero calculation errors) or 10 times your current MPH. For instance, when I EOC at 35 MPH in my Saturn, I see 350 instant MPG. When I coast-in-gear, it's more like 3 times my current MPH. This means I don't have fuel-cutoff.

3 - Assuming you do NOT have fuel-cutoff, then you can setup a momentary fuel-cutoff switch. The idea is, you can keep the car in-gear going downhill while having the switch pressed. In this situation, you will be maintaining full power to your power-steering (if you have a belt-driven power steering like me) and to your power brakes, which are useful on the downhill, .

Installing a fuel-cutoff switch will probably not be detected by the ScanGauge, but you will see it when you use the car's odometer to track gas usage at the pump.

The fuel-cutoff switch doesn't have to be momentary, it can be an on/off switch. However, I like the *idea* of a momentary switch because I want a "default-normal" configuration in commuter traffic.

The fuel-cutoff is on my todo list, but since I don't hills like yours in my commute, I don't have a pressing *need* to do it.

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