Good post. With the gas prices condition nowadays, those gas saving tips are really important. In fact, many companies are now giving so much effort on how they can give their consumers a good service with better fuel efficiency. Once-faltering Ford Motors picked itself up by its bootstraps and reinvented itself in 2006. The country's second largest automaker said it will now be devoting one of its biggest labs to the effort. The center of that push seems to be in developing and applied brand new technologies to reduce fuel consumption.
Not sure if this has been mentioned (there are a lot of pages and I'm lazy) but coast to stop lights in gear instead of going to neutral/pressing the clutch. Modern cars consume less fuel while in gear because the rotation of the tires is enough to keep the engine running with little fuel use, when you disconnect the engine from the wheels you force the ecu to use more fuel to keep the engine running.
I got a OEM device for my mazda, I get .33 GPH coasting in gear and .42GPH when coasting in neutral.
Some of my farvorite driving style tips:
1. Limit speed to as low as you can bear given highest gear can be used.
Errr, lugging the engine will result in worse fuel economy. You have to take into account the throttle position. When climbing/passing higher revs may improve economy, depending on how high the revs and the engine type.
These are all great ideas! I'm probably buying a vx tomorrow! It doesn't have the stock vx wheels though. I like the idea of getting low resistance tires. I'd like to find the stock vx wheels but am curious if there are more fuel efficient choices to consider? Is a larger diameter than the stock 13" better for efficiency? Any ideas are appreciated.
general gimracks and world mileage record -- how it was achieved
The world mileage record is generally set on a pedal bike with no motor on a regular basis, but I wonder how many were familiar with the mileage record of the internal combustion engine? It was set in BION, 1955 and was reported on by Popular Mechanics magazine. It was a rip snorter. With extensive mods engineers got a basic sedan with a 4 cylinder gas engine to drive at 128 miles per US gallon. One hundred and twenty eight miles per gallon a level road. They did it using modifications and driving techniques which are mostly unavailable to your average Sunday driver. They removed all the extraneous weight from the car, seats, internal lining, hubcaps, trunk jack, spare, windows, locks, anything that could be ripped out and let the car drive.
They inflated the front tire to 100 psi and the rear to about 65 so it did not slip much. If I am not mistaken in recollection I believe they removed most of the tread as well. They took off the fan belt so there was no alternator or water pump action. The timing was advanced to almost backfire and the manifolds crossed and insulated. Exhaust manifold was removed to a straight pipe. Carburetor was at as lean as possible to still fire. Valve timing was changed as well but exact details escape me at present. The rear bearings were opened and the oil was made to flow thru and escape.
Driving technique was counter intuitive. The car was started in second gear and accelerated slowly to 15 mph and the engine turned off, taken out of gear and coasted to an almost stop, then the cycle started again. The truth is a lugging engine under acceleration/load is most efficient. Probably the opposite of what you have been told. Also the idea of stop start and using the start cycle of the engine has also probably been told to you as inefficient and gas wasting. Again that would be incorrect. Some of these ideas a guy can use in everyday driving. turning the engine off, coasting, slow acceleration, harder front tires, lower weight etc.
I used the APO Vapo Injector Mark II which used acetone, propyl glycol and water. It worked wonderfully to extend the life of spark plugs, and keep oil absolutely clear for 1000's of miles. Benefits could be seen at 15,000 miles. [ I drove 200 miles per day ] It unstuck valves, made the engine start better in all weather, run smoother [ and hotter ] and generally I believe made the engine I used it in, a 318 Dodge, last a few tens of thousands miles longer and stay in better shape than I know it otherwise would have. At 150,000 miles it was like a new engine still. Obviously it reduced carbon deposits to zero as the manufacturer claimed. I could go 25,000 miles between oil changes and it tripled plug life at least. Oil stayed yellow! At 25 below zero F the engine would start at first crack. I did not see much or any mileage difference. Road and Track installed it in cars and missed the point by not testing it long enough. It was a miracle. Probably if the solution, which was very sparingly fed, was increased in feed rate by 5 or more times the possible benefits of lower emissions might show up markedly. In some ways the Vapo Injector was like using plastic oil.
At the end of the day probably the easiest mechanical way to get better mileage is to go to either the Stirling cycle engine, which should get 50 mpg I would estimate or use the Scotch Yoke design which increases combustion TDC dwell and pwoer & exhaust BDC dwell allowing better extraction and more complete burning. Lower emissions, better mileage. This should get mileage to 30 plus with standard weight, standard fuel and ordinary ignition techniques. After that hybrid power utilizing exhaust waste heat is an easy utilization of waste energy. Just Diesel-electric with motors in the wheels would gain perhaps 60% in mileage due to diesel's greater efficiency and the ability to run under load at constant speed - producing power in the optimum range which can be used at any speed & stored.
I have access to aluminum rechargeable battery technology. Greater efficiency of the electric vehicle is around the corner. Now we must find ways to generate that power efficiently without fossil fuel and with low capex.
Not true. A lugging engine is most efficient. A slowly accelerating engine under load is getting the most out of each power stroke. The slowed powerstroke is using fuel most efficiently by burning more completely. In other words starting your car in second gear is the best way to save fuel. If you want to save more fuel, turn your car off when coasting. Contrary to what people believe again, the start cycle will not waste fuel, except that it forces the alternator to work.
What if I don't start in 2nd, but bump start in 5th?
(This is the best I can imagine here, I live on a hill too steep to coast down. With a T junction at the bottom. Therefore I have to engine brake with a cold engine, which is of course inefficient. But I can at least save on the starts. Bump start in 5th, shift back to 3rd, engine brake. A sharp turn, coast down then up the next hill, which gets me up the next crest, slower. Then engine brake in 1st down the steepest part, into the T )
(With a motorcycle:
a.) Coast down to the sharp turn, brake, coast down and up, key on, start the engine, engine brake down...
b.) Only under dry circumstances, because the mud can be dangerous there: coast down straight (with some braking, mostly), key on, start, go. No T here... and no car, because the Yaris doesn't have enough ground clearance for that trail.)
I tracked mpg records for 10% ethanol blends for years. Switching to 100% gasoline for years, my 3 cars gave 8%, 7%, & 5% better mpg. Pump up tires over 35psi, but reduce pressures in rain & snow.
A Chevy Cruze website had a lot of members, whose spark plug gaps were too small. Setting them to correct gaps, improved their mpg consistently. My theory(poo-poohed by the website members), was that the spark plug manufacturer set the gaps properly at the factory, but packaged the sparkplugs so they were shipped with the sparkplug gaps in the down position, which caused many spark plug gaps to narrow, because of travel shaking. With the popularity of the Cruze, time pressures on factory spark plug installers, caused some plugs to be installed without checking gaps. I suspect long term installers would be able to visually see the narrowed gap, but new assemblers on the line, might not have detected the narrower gaps.
Especially for automatic tranny drivers. Get your tranny in the highest gear possible & carefully reduce your speed a few mph to your intended speed. You should still be able to hold your higher gear, whereas driving directly to your intended speed, will cause you to remain in a lower gear. This is really important if you drive at a customary speed, but a few mph extra will cause your tranny to drop into the next higher gear. Also, with wild new 6 to 9 gear trannies, this technique becomes more important because you can use the technique more often.
Jeepers, in the 1st msg, don't tell idiots to not use their lights. Turn a light off at home to save money =- houses don't ram into people. Hate when I see a dark vehicle past sunset driving w/o their lights on...almost is funny to see a "safe SUV" going down a road w/o lights on, as if they are saving anything...and if concerned with costs, why buy a SUV...totally idiotic Many people drive all the time with the lights on, so by turning yours off, you become invisible.
I think #3 is the most important - people drive very mindlessly and aggressively. #1 is easy to do and worthwhile, but #2 is very minor - most people don't have 100lbs of stuff in their cars. Going on a diet would help though! :-)
If you plan way ahead though, one can glide MUCH further in neutral, whereas you'd still need to be in gear (travelling "at speed") if you plan to use engine braking - assuming you do not hold up traffic. If a light turns red though and you need to stop quicker, engine braking is another reason to stay in gear, I agree there.
Originally Posted by Ptyochromis
Not sure if this has been mentioned (there are a lot of pages and I'm lazy) but coast to stop lights in gear instead of going to neutral/pressing the clutch.