I've posted a few times here before and some folks wondered where the heck I came from/who I am.
My name is Steve and I live about 50 miles North of Atlanta in the rural countryside and drive almost 100 miles/day to-from work. All my 30 year driving life up to about Jan'04 I had no thought of saving gas and was among the worst aggressive Left lane drivers. I had both a detector and CB and monitored truck chatter to allow my +85MPH thrill habit. I drove 99% freeway and my foot on-foot off style only did 14-16MPG in our '94 Dodge Spirit which was rated 27MPG highway rating.
But then we moved to the rural area and fuel cost was rediculous (Around $1.00/g) so I tried driving speed limits with cruise control for 3 days but was too big a shock for boredom so I went back to the old habit.
After all if I drive 90 I arrive earlier so it's a wash, right? That was my reasoning.
In 2003 I began looking for a nicely loaded economy vehicle and watched the newly hybridized Civic for trouble and being Dodge family considered Neon.
Ended up buying a new 2004 Civic Hybrid in Jan'04 and got around 45MPG.
I got the hypermiling bug and sought out the best Insight drivers for advice and found great help from a fellow named Wayne who is known on the net as xcel. With his help and encouragement raised my MPG up into the 50's, then 60's and later into the 70's.
I've been so impressed on just how much MPG and fuel $$$ can be saved by modifying habits alone and regularly post tips around the net in an effort to try and inform those who desire to save fuel money.
I'm not an environmentalist and don't subscribe the the "Were all doomed global warming" idea but I do notice the thick, stinky smog when I get off work at 2:00AM in the city.
I'm not Republican nor Democrat, I'm too conservative for that and much closer to being Libertarian. I'm easily upset about the legalized theft system by the U.S. governemt called income tax and rabidy support the http://www.fairtax.org movement.
I'm also a moderator at greenhybrid, at least for a while.
I think it is better to drive a large vehicle and hypermile it rather than buying an economy car and drive like I used to. I have no grudge against large vehicles or their owners: people should be able to buy what they want but also don't want to hear whining about the cost to fuel them.
Our other car is an '02 Grand Caravan and MPG went up from about 14 to around 22. It's not hypermiled as my wife's primary vehicle.
I used to be rabbidly anti-diesel and used to post all the old stereotype troubles as today's fact. But I've done some research and came to realize that they're good cars too.
The results are amazing for the very high achievers...and I followed a few of them here and is how I found gassavers.
Well that's me.
2004 Civic Hybrid AT (CVT)
Personal record: 1003Miles on single tank, 74.9MPG calculated.
Supporter of http://www.fairtax.org
I believe your story is the same as a lot of people here. While some of us have always been obsessed with gas mileage (I was discussing it with friends even when gas was under a dollar) a lot of the people here are crossovers from the racing community.
In reality it makes sense for hobbyists to have one car that gets awesome gas mileage and one car that they use for racing.
I will commend you on your libertarian viewpoints, as I share most of the views recognized by libertarians. That, however, is a discussion for another forum and another time.
Welcome and I hope to see you around more.
BTW, are you liking the HCH? I'm not opposed to getting one, but I just wonder how other people are liking it.
Welcome! (caution long reflection about this site)
I used to drive like you used to, with the CB and everything until I started carrying passengers on a regular basis, and they pointed out that I was crazy behind the wheel. It finally sunk in.
I remember it vividly. One day back in the summer of '04, I pulled into a hotel in Dallas while out of town for work. Before I turned off the rental car, I saw the info-center display what kind of gas mileage I was getting in a little 4-banger (I think it was a PT Cruiser or something). It was in the low teens where I should have been in the 20's. I went back to the room and just sat at the work desk in the room. I looked out the window thinking about that number and how the smog hung heavy over the DFW Metro area. After some reflection about world events and personal ones, I came to the realization that my driving was both dangerous, and bad for the environment (I had been an environmentalist, which slowly faded over time. That year, that passion was re-kindled). I spent nearly all night on the Internet researching the EPA's website and other outlets. I remember they were soliciting comments from the public about how they tested vehicles for the city/hwy FE numbers. I recall having written a letter that was placed in the EPA's official register, asking them to do more real-world tests so people get a better idea of FE. Thankfully, they decided to act on the 1000's of others who shared the same opinion.
Then I got married, sold my Evo, and started driving slower. I inherited my wife's Integra, which was getting around 26 mpg. I knew it could get more, but how? In late 2005, I came across this site, and it honestly changed how I live my daily life. I tried crazy experiments like running the car on 2 cylinders and making hot-air intakes.
I'm much more relaxed behind the wheel, and FE is up. I enjoy the hobby of working on the car more, and the challenge of beating that last tank. Here it is almost a year later, and I have a lot to thank this site and its members. A warning though, it's pretty addictive!
Anyways, welcome to the site -- we look forward to your input
I would speed every chance I was able, in my small town the roads are very open. (light to no traffic at all) On days when I would wash the civic and then go on a "Air Dry" run, which would be me taking all first 4 gears to redline...which is well above 100mph. There was never a tank where I was able to hold the speed under 100 for a stint. I Averaged 32 mpg...
It was fun, but those days are over. I have the gassavers bug. I can't stand going over 65, it makes me cringe.
__________________ Current Stable
GasSaver: 2000 Honda Insight Silverstone w/AC 65+mpg
Track Terror: 2002 Honda S2000 Gran Prix White- lots of mods - 28mpg
Beater: 1988 Honda Civic DX Hatback - Stripped - 30mpg
RIP: 1996 Honda Civic LX 42mpg - you will be missed