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Old 01-24-2007, 12:52 PM   #11
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Good ideas

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Originally Posted by bzipitidoo View Post
I forgot "drafting". Should add "Tailgate big trucks when possible" to #9.
These are some good ideas, but this one I find a bit dangerous, and road-rage envoking. I consider this an 'extreme driving techinque' that I refuse to do, personally. A driver may do it with the full understanding of the risks, but it's an adjunct that I would rather omit.

(I have to give this lecture): I used to be a Paramedic in a district along I-70 in Ohio. Our coverage area was primarily rural with the exception of the Interstate and some small towns. Long story short, it turns out that the "bumper" bar on the rear trailer of semis is very weak, and proved to collapse under most moderate-to-heavy impacts. I feel an explanation isn't necessary to describe what happens when that bar enters the cabin of a car at neck-level...I can attest that it isn't pretty, and rarely survivable.

Some like to side-draft, but having personally known many truckers, that can really get them P.O.'d as the ideal draft space is within an "escape zone" if an emergency maneuver is needed. Also if it's on a 4-lane road, other drivers don't appreciate the blockage. I try to prevent road rage as it can be dangerous (had an angry driver pull a knife on my wife and me once, for no good reason). People are capable of much more, and its on the rise. I take an "Efficiency with Diplomacy" approach to GasSaving. That's just me, and individual results may vary

I prefer the Approach and CODFISH method of draft. Approach a semi with the 2-second safe following distance, pop it in Neutral and cut the engine (CODFISH = Coast On Demand / Forced Ignition SHutdown) or "FAS" in some circles. The wake should provide a longer Glide distance (of Pulse and Glide).

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Grill blocking: Sounds fairly easy. I don't entirely understand it yet. This is not blocking off air to the radiator or air intake, this is only stopping air from blowing into the engine compartment from around the sides of the radiator, right? And it is very effective, is it? Anyway, grill blocking sounds a lot easier than other aerodynamic mods, so ought to put that in, let's see... between 6 and 7? Or, as suggested, even better than #4 changing to lighter oil.
Grille block achieves 2 objectives: trapping heat into the engine compartment (which helps especially in the Winter to get the engine into closed loop sooner) and improved Aerodynamics. Those here who have tested this technique have closely watched their operating temps. Some designs loose the heat effectively, and others tend to overheat. Testing on each model is required to see how much air is required to get to the radiator -- it's a bit of a compromise

Keep the great ideas coming!

RH77
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Old 01-24-2007, 02:12 PM   #12
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Grill Blocking, GP style, consists of entirely, totally having blocked off all possible openings into the radiator. Initially I used packaging tape. Now I have a cardboard ensemblage, which covers the front, from the top of the radiator to under the bumper, from left side to right side.

I did have to put in a 1 inch by 2 inch opening, because my temperature started going up rather quickly, suggesting that I had managed to block it rather effectively. I probably should add one more opening, for the time being. However, I use the heater and fan, to cover any marginal cooling issues, at the moment.

I've really dragged my feet on doing the radiator block, but having done it, for this time of year, I am really amazed that I have been able to get by with it blocked as much as I have. I am also pretty amazed at how much of a improvement it seems to have been.

Drafting trucks is just not something that I am willing to do. My feeling is that if I can't see what's coming down the road, then I am putting my safety in jeaprody, let alone that of everyone else driving down the road. IMO, it is just not worth the risk.
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Old 01-24-2007, 06:25 PM   #13
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I'm going to have to try grill blocking to get more heat in my xB - can't seem to get enough heat in the cabin in these temps. If the engine temp get high enough the fan will kick in and circulate air around the radiator to cool it since my grill is a lot further forward of the radiator. Where I have been driving the traffic is so heavy around trucks I am the only one keeping a halfway decent distance behind them when I draft. And I make sure I keep an eye on what is up ahead and behind in the other lanes to allow them to move where they want to flashing the brights when it is clear for them to pull in front of me if that is where they are signaling.
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Old 01-24-2007, 08:36 PM   #14
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I'd agree with the previous posters: avoid driving as #1, driving techniques as #2. Also driving techniques that need the most attention are the most broken types: left-foot breaking, or the on-off gas pedal. Fixing one of those probably doubles your mileage overnight.
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Old 02-06-2007, 09:38 PM   #15
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I have read somewhere else about closing all windows while driving on a highway. I think this may reduce wind resistance at high speed. However, some fuel economy advice givers say the difference this measure can make is small. So it is up to you to consider whether to add it to your list.
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Old 02-06-2007, 10:10 PM   #16
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swng -

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I have read somewhere else about closing all windows while driving on a highway. I think this may reduce wind resistance at high speed. However, some fuel economy advice givers say the difference this measure can make is small. So it is up to you to consider whether to add it to your list.
I used to have the windows open all the time, but now I have them open about 1 inch max when I am on the freeway. I have wind/rain deflectors on my front windows to cover that 1 inch opening. I originally got the deflectors because the rain would get into my Saturn when the window was open "just a crack", but I like to think they help me to ventilate without sacrificing MPG.

At highway speeds, every little bit helps for the purpose of reducing aerodynamic friction in order to increase coasting. The difference is small, but it is easy to do, and it can be a behavior you add later on after you have exhausted the "big MPG" gain strategies.

It is also strategic. Driving with the windows open is better for MPG than running the AC. But maybe not better on the mileage of your lungs in the big city, .

Yes, at street speeds, closing the windows doesn't help much.

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Old 02-06-2007, 11:09 PM   #17
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Thanks a lot for sharing your insight/experience cfg83! I now have more reasons to think that closing the windows should help a little on highways.
Also, I believe that using window shades to prevent the sun from heating up the car too much whilst it is parked in open space in summer may help a little too because of the resulting reduction in the A/C's workload when the car is restarted later.
I will also try to park indoor or under the sun as far as possible in winter to reduce loss of heat if I know I will have to drive again soon.
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Old 06-04-2007, 08:37 AM   #18
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It is also strategic. Driving with the windows open is better for MPG than running the AC. .... Yes, at street speeds, closing the windows doesn't help much.

CarloSW2[/QUOTE]

I thought that windows add drag which get worse at higher speeds and eventually sucks up just as much mpg as an AC once you hit highway speeds. Because of this I would SLIGHTLY use the AC (High fan speed, lower ac temp) instead of windows once I hit the highway. Any insight from anyone here. Im a MAJOR newbie, this is my first day here.
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Old 06-04-2007, 09:13 AM   #19
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i only crack mine about an inch. my front drivers and my back right. i can tell the differance at 60mph in the drag so i figure i should keep them down as little as possible. i just have a bottle of ice water and its amazing what it can do to keep you cool whyle driveing.
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Old 06-05-2007, 11:46 AM   #20
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In no particular order, things I'm gonna do:

Remove floor matts - I still have the mud matts from winter
Remove trunk tray

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