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Old 09-09-2008, 03:01 AM   #1
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Hi. new member from London, England

Hi everyone. I'm what you guys call a Hypermiler. We don't have that phrase here in the UK. Over here we're just known as fuel effecient drivers. It's so interesting to read views and advice from US drivers. Both our driving styles and road layouts are totally different. I came across this forum by reading an article on the LA Times website. I have family in LA so I'm in Cali once a year or every other year. On a ending note I would like to tell you all that over here we pay ?5.25 (British pounds) per Gallon (imperial - approx 1 or 1.5 litre more than a US gallon). That's about $9!!! the reason for this is because our greedy Govt. takes a massive 82% fuel duty tax on the price. So unfair

So you guys got it good! but then over here in the UK and Europe we do have much more fuel effecient cars from all the main manufactures.
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Old 09-09-2008, 03:54 AM   #2
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Old 09-09-2008, 03:58 AM   #3
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Welcome, we pay $.384 per gallon for taxes here in Louisiana.
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Old 09-09-2008, 04:45 AM   #4
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Welcome, Brit.
You've no vehicle listed. What are you customarily driving? Something we don't get here, hopefully. Something as basic as a Panda, or a Transit even, might elicit Ooohs and Aaahs from us, just as you might think we have it so good with some of the vehicles you don't get.
When adding any fuel entries to future vehicles in your "garage" please remember to convert your 153-and-change ounce imperial gallons to the 128 oz US gallons the form was designed to use. Failing to do that will make your distance per "gallon" appear to be about 20% greater.
Currency variations will be more difficult to convert, but our Canadian and Kiwi members have the same issues. If they can manage to accomodate we Yanks and our incomprehension of S.I. units I expect you'll also have no trouble working to the least common denominator (whether that's us, or U.S.)
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Old 09-28-2008, 08:47 PM   #5
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Holy smokes... 9 bucks a gallon huh... well, I guess that is one way to get more money into the government. If things don't change here, I would assume it will only be a matter of time before our gas gets as high as that. Only difference is we'll be paying that much for the actual gas and the tax will stay low. sad isn't it?

I am curious too to hear what you are driving around these days????
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Old 10-02-2008, 02:46 AM   #6
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hi ya'll. back to the forum for me after being busy with stuff. In reply to the last post, I drive a vauxhall (UK division of GM) Astra - which is equivalent to a Chevrolet (i think that's how you spell it) Cobalt. I rented one of these at JFK (NYC) 18 months ago and noticed the similarity with my own car back home, I guess it's US cousin!

It's a 2001 model 1400cc (1397) 16v, Hatchback, Manual (5 speed stick shift), petrol (unleaded). In town I can average 32 mpg and motorway/highway is 44-49 mpg. This weekend I've implemented a weight saving technique by throwing out the spare tyre (tire to you american's) from the boot (trunk). Wife not too happy about that. It's a full size normal spare (not a space saver) which has never been used. Must weigh at least 15-18 Kg. Should improve fuel economy. To re-assure the wife I got one of those tyre repair gas thing in a can made by Holts. Should fix the tyre in case of puncture until i get home. Already noticed the car is lighter and quicker to move off from stand still. I urge you all to remove your spare tire if you have a full size heavy one like I do. And I'm talking about the one in your trunk not around your waist!
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Old 10-02-2008, 11:35 AM   #7
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Welcome. You might as well put the spare tyre back in there. Simply removing weight from a vehicle will not make a difference unless it's a major portion of the vehicle's weight. You're looking at 1%, or at most, 2% weight loss; it will not help FE at all, even if your driving technique is the complete opposite of someone who is trying to save fuel. I'd guess that you'd have to remove at least 35% weight to get a real difference (unless you drive very wastefully, in which case a smaller weight removal could help).
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Old 10-04-2008, 04:44 AM   #8
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I'm sorry I beg to differ. Here in the UK we're told to get rid of the excess weight. By that, any clutter in the boot (trunk). I should also mention that we carry around a pram/pushchair/stroller for our 9 month kid. It's one of those heavy duty all singing all dancing top of the range prams which weighs about 20-22 kg. When we don't need it I leave that at home too. So all in all with the pram and tyre out i've saved about 45kg in weight. As we all know a car uses more fuel and energy to move this total weight. Also you have to remember here in the UK our cars are typicaly less heavy and smaller than the cars in the US, for example a Licoln towncar, GMC Truck/pick up and Voyager. In a light compact sized vehicle (such as mine) the % of weight omitted from the car by these and similiar items would have a significant affect on the overall FE but not so much on a larger, heavier car, i.e. your example and theory. short of stripping the seats, carpet, roof lining and door trims I'll try out the more practical fuel saving techniques.
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Old 10-04-2008, 05:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brit_fuel_saver View Post
Here in the UK we're told to get rid of the excess weight.
Everyone everywhere is told that. If you can manage to remove a significant amount of weight, and you don't drive efficiently, then the weight removal will have a reasonable effect. Other than that, it's just one of those things that's "common knowledge" but fails to produce results.

Quote:
As we all know a car uses more fuel and energy to move this total weight.
Not quite. It uses more energy to accelerate that weight -- but anyone making even a minor effort to save fuel is probably going to do the most important and easiest thing: don't discard the energy. People trying to save gas drive smoothly instead of constantly accelerating hard and decelerating hard.

You accelerate, which uses energy; then, if you're smart, you don't discard that energy by braking. You don't accelerate so much that you're going to have to slam on your brakes, and you don't brake down to a stop for every slight curve. Instead, you plan ahead, accelerate as much as necessary to get somewhere at the right speed.

Quote:
Also you have to remember here in the UK our cars are typicaly less heavy and smaller than the cars in the US, for example a Licoln towncar, GMC Truck/pick up and Voyager. In a light compact sized vehicle (such as mine)
I googled up the weight of your car for my calculations. You said the Vauxhall Astra is approximately the same car as the Chevy Cobalt. I figure it's probably a little lighter, since it probably has a smaller engine (as it seems many equivalent models do across the pond).

Anyway, for an 18kg item to make a noticable difference with a smooth driver, your car would probably have to weigh 200kg.

Quote:
short of stripping the seats, carpet, roof lining and door trims I'll try out the more practical fuel saving techniques.
Well, that was my point -- weight loss is not a practical fuel saving technique for most people. You'd be surprised how little the seats, carpet, roof lining, and door trims weigh -- do some googling, people report removing 10 to 40 kg in reports I remember. Certainly leave the spare out if you don't want it, but any fuel savings will not be because you removed 1% extra weight.

Most practical fuel saving techniques that actually work are driving techniques. There are some modifications that can help, but as said by someone else on this forum, the best nut to adjust is the one behind the wheel.
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Old 10-04-2008, 05:36 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Brit_fuel_saver View Post
... I urge you all to remove your spare tire if you have a full size heavy one like I do. And I'm talking about the one in your trunk not around your waist!

I don't advocate removing the spare - that's a safety issue to me. This is what I might do. If I had a full size spare in my car I would go to a junkyard and pull a compact spare out of a similar model car and swap out the compact for the full. I just don't trust that "Spare tire in a can" stuff at all. Then again there are savings in loosing the spare "tyre" around your waist. weight reduction there may not have much effecct on the economy of your vehicle (for most people) but reducing your excess body weight you live healthier and longer - and that's a gain I'll take any day. There are extremes though. I have a friend who weighs ~450 pounds and was asking me what to do to his car to get better mileage. We replaced his plugs & wires, did a synthetic oil change, and I taught him how to DFCO. In the back of my head I was thinking "Loose 250 - 300 pounds" but I didn't say that. He has junk in the trunk, (boot) (no pun intended) and in the back seat. I told him to clean the car out and get the stuff out of the car that he's just hauling around for lack of ambition to do anything else with it. He already says that he's getting better mileage.

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