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Old 02-15-2008, 05:15 PM   #71
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I would say 20% is in the maintenance, another 20% in the driving.
More so if nothing ever gets done, and one has never experienced driving with an FE gauge.

And it takes time, but I dare say one can improve a vehicle's mpg by UP to 40% (thou 10-20% is more like it, especially at first, the later parts can take years).

Definitely slow nice and easy driving.
Even ONE heavy footed acceleration per tank hurts mpg by at least 0.1, doesn't even have to be to the floor.
Letting off the gas way earlier by anticipating possible stops, and coasting off speed versus braking, Exit ramps on the freeway are great for practicing this (I almost never have to touch the brakes on these anymore, and safely so).

Another one is if the light turns green but the one ahead just turned yellow, might as well just mosey up on it.

Some folks believe drafting helps, but I disagree: ONE tap of the brake pedal and it's over, I find the constant speed adjustments I have to do in these situations hurt mpg as much as the draft helped (plus I HATE tailgaters and it is dangerous).
I find keeping a 6-8 second distance from the car in front far more beneficial, I can just let off the gas when they already have to stop, and keep a more constant speed, to me this outweighs all the drafting garbage.

Originally Posted by rGS View Post
One tip that hasn't seemed to have been mentioned yet is:
  • Plan your trip in it's entirety before you even get in the car.
Yeah I started using a GPS, I've been living here some 20 years and I figured I had this area down, but I was surprised. I couldn't tell you that it boosted my mpg, but I can tell you it has saved me 5, 10, even 15-20 minutes.

Mine doesn't even have traffic, just from it telling me where to turn instead of me doing it.
Found more than one road I never knew existed.

A FE gauge should be standard equipment in every vehicle.
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Old 02-15-2008, 09:26 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by Nrggeek View Post
I took a 5 mpg hit (from 44 to 39 mpg) when I replaced my well-worn front tires with Blizzaks.
Winter tires make a big difference in mileage. I have a set of 4 'Arctic Alpin' tires... they have serious traction, especially on ice. I'd prefer them to AWD and all-seasons. But they take a lot of power... you can feel a big difference in coasting. Blizzaks are supposed to be the most extreme winter tires: the most grip, but the fastest wear and most power loss.

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Old 02-19-2008, 09:17 AM   #73
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you could possibly get a ticket in Virginia for 'drafting'(tailgating). we consider it 'aggressive driving'. Besides who's ever seen a semi going the speed limit?
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Old 03-11-2008, 01:27 PM   #74
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Get Better Gas Mileage

Here is a page that I wrote which goes into detail about some of the best tips for saving gas and increasing the gas mileage of your car: Tips for Getting Better Gas Mileage. Most of these suggestions are relatively easy and don't require a complete change of your lifestyle or driving habits.

As the prices of gas continues to climb, this topic is going to become more and more important!
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Old 03-14-2008, 03:47 PM   #75
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Here's a driving technique: Drive off center. Most places have roads that are worn, and have grooves. The further you stay out of the grooves, the smoother the surface is. You can tell instantly by the sound difference. I don't know how this translates to FE, but it's too easy not to pass up. I have my car lightened to the point of no (heavy) sound deadening, and smooth roads make a huge diference. Also, in the rain, I'm less likely to hydroplane on my overinflated tires, because those grooves hold the water.
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Old 04-02-2008, 10:11 AM   #76
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Smile re:save gas

Well you did say to save on gas, not save on saving gas in a "car" HAHA- just kidding
My husband and I are saving on gas "in our cars", if anyone's interested- see signature link. I will also provide additional endorsement links if you PM me ...something that's working for us, so I wanted to share....

Originally Posted by bzipitidoo View Post
Reposting and adding to what I put in cleanmpg.

So far, I have gathered that this is what you should do to save gas, in order from the quickest, easiest, and cheapest ideas, to the more expensive, inconvenient, uncomfortable, dubious, and/or difficult ones.

1. inflate tires (to at least the maximum recommended on the tire walls)
2. throw out extra weight: clean out the beer (root beer of course, officer) cans and bottles, etc
3. change your driving habits: drive slower, accelerate more slowly, try to do acceleration on downhill slopes and avoid accelerating on uphill, coast up to stop lights, shut engine off when stopped.
4. change to lighter weight oil
5. install a gas mileage indicator (to help with #3)
6. Maintenance: Keep engine tuned. pay special attention to the O2 sensors

Those are the easiest and best. From here on it gets worse with respect to sacrifices, significant expenses, dubious benefits, or decreased safety.

7. Limit power use: no A/C, no loud radio, drive in daytime so won't have to use headlights. change incandescent bulbs to LEDs.
8. upgrade to low rolling resistance tires.
9. More radical changes in driving technique: Shut engine off while coasting (not always legal, is that?) and master technique of restarting engine with clutch rather than starter, make high G turns rather than touch those brakes,
10. more serious weight reduction: dump the spare tire and jack and carry a cell phone and an emergency number instead, trade out steel rims for lightweight aluminum, replace steel hood and fenders with carbon fiber (if available for your vehicle), maybe trade out glass side and rear windows for some sort of plastic, toss out the passenger and back seats
11. trade up to a more efficient car (if what you have is nothing special)
12. aftermarket engine upgrades: headers instead of stock exhaust manifold, camshafts specially tuned for FE . Hotter thermostat, electric fan for radiator (well, most cars do that nowadays), chips.
13. do it yourself aerodynamics: make skirts for the wheel wells, spoilers, build up back so it's more like a teardrop shape, do something about the side mirrors, and do what you can to smooth the underside.
14. add solar cells to lighten the load on the alternator.
15. Or dump the alternator and change to a deep cycle battery, and get a charger. recharge often.

And now, to boldly go where no one has gone before. Or very few have gone, because it's so uncertain and heart stoppingly expensive.

16. Radical body: Acquire a body made entirely from lightweight material, be that aluminum, magnesium, or other alloys, or composites. How one keeps it street legal, I don't know.
17. Radical engine work: make something that can burn methanol, and dispense with the radiator and water pump (Scientific American article from some 10 years ago), go with a dry sump (Hey Smokey column in Motor Trend from years ago), and where oh where is the 42V standard will all the cool gas saving features like electrically actuated valves with whatever timing was desired and no losses from camshafts, a single winding for both alternator and starter integrated with the flywheel and the wonderful ability to instantly start, etc. Still all ICE tho.

No doubt I missed plenty of ideas. And please discuss the ordering. I'd like to see something like the above list somewhere, perhaps as a FAQ. Or is there already such a list?
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Old 04-05-2008, 05:55 PM   #77
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not sure if someone said this already, but fuel injector cleaner helps out alot. i drove a 92 toyota mr2 and that stuff works very well. it's about three dollars fr two bottles but each bottle gives me an additional 40 miles to the tank! but this only works if you use the cleaner with shell gasoline but a very inexpensive method to save alot of gas. Also, the older your car is, the better it works!
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Old 04-14-2008, 01:20 PM   #78
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Last trip in my VX was mostly interstate in Virginia. I stayed in the right lane and followed the trucks about 100-125 feet behind them which is close to the distance I could stop completely. 65.744 MPG for 304 miles. The trucks have slowed down here to conserve fuel, and on 95 the idiot drivers will not cut in front of you or do other stupid things when you are in the right lane behind a truck. Some of the trucks in Va are now tandems which have a trailer hitch for the second trailer. They have a steel panel that goes down between the tires to just a few inches off the ground which seems to help with airflow under the truck. Average truck speeds now are 67 MPH, not all of them but the majority. Find a truck driver that anticipates traffic flow in front of him and use downshifting instead of brakes to take advantage of fuel shutoff when your foot is off the gas. This trip I was carrying about 600 total pounds of passengers and cargo. Va state troopers will not even think about giving you a ticket for that following distance, and you have a chance to react and avoid road debris. Coast on long downhill sections.

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Old 04-16-2008, 05:31 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by yellowtail3 View Post
Tire pressure - crank it up to about 40psi. Now the Wagon gets 40mpg.
Full disclosure... that 40mpg seems only attainable on roadtrips. So far, the mixed driving number is 36.94, and edging downward. Something seems to be amiss; despite very gentle driving and high pressure, mpg isn't quite as high as it has been in COLDER weather. Hmmm....
95 Escort Wagon
94 Tracer Wagon
37.88 mpg mixed
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Old 04-22-2008, 11:53 AM   #80
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Some folks believe drafting helps, but I disagree: ONE tap of the brake pedal and it's over, I find the constant speed adjustments I have to do in these situations hurt mpg as much as the draft helped (plus I HATE tailgaters and it is dangerous).
I disagree and agree with you.
Drafting works very well. at least if you draft a semi. Especially if you are driving long distances. Had an s-10 pickup that got a max of 24 mpg and drafted a bus on a long trip once and got over 30.

But yes your right, it's dangerous.

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