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Old 03-24-2010, 11:08 PM   #1
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manual driving techniques

I just got a civic VX w/ 294k miles on it. I hear the car is able to get up to 70mpg, but this is my first car that's a manual transmission.

I will tell you that I have a lead foot but I am trying to drive the car slowly. I'm not an expert at it yet but I am still learning. Last fill up I got 36MPG, that's worst than horrible for this car.

I want to know techniques for driving this car? I don't want to know hypermiling like turning off the car and coasting. I want to know should I change gear at 2k or 3k? I shift into neutral alot but I'm unsure of what gear to shift back into at a certain speed.

Could anybody help me with this?

Thanks.
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Old 03-24-2010, 11:33 PM   #2
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well what gear to go back into at X speed is gonna be all depening per car and what your doing when you downshift, either level speed or accelerating.

its just gonna be practice and gettign used to engine sounds

my truck (mind you truck VS car gearing is way different) every 10 MPH i upshift another gear

so if im going 25 id throw it in 3rd.

i shift at 2-2.5K rpm but once again thats where my engine makes the most of its torque (and lines up perfectly per every 10 MPH lol, used to not have a tachometer spedo only so got used to speed shifting)

down hills i just pop it in neutral (if you time it right with foot off the gas theres that spot where the vehicle is barely accelerating and the engine is just spooling down so theres virtually no load on the engine, i can just take it outa gear with a flip of a finger without pushing the clutch)

i coast up to red lights too (especially those particuarly long ones) same with stopsigns and yeild signs
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Old 03-25-2010, 02:04 AM   #3
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Do you have a shift indicator light? If you do, then when that comes on, shift! That simple.. If you don't, you might want to add one or find a way to add one. The ECU has all the logic there for the SIL, it's just that some cars have the light and others don't, specifically california VXs don't have SILs while Federal Do.
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Old 03-25-2010, 08:28 AM   #4
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The shift point is dependant upon how fast you want to accelerate and how low the engine rpm will be in the next gear after you shift. If you don't need to accelerate or climb a steep hill then you can shift sooner and that will save gas since reving the engine burns more gas under most conditions (not during engine braking) so the more you rev the lower your MPG will be. If the RPM is too low and you have to give it too much gas to keep going then downshifting is recommended to prevent overheating the pistons and providing better lubrication and cooling with the increase in RPM. IF you are going down hill then you can shift into higher - highest gear a lot sooner since the car will increase in speed just from gravity. Avoid the gear chatter that happens when the RPM is too low as that causes gear damage.
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:05 AM   #5
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Congrats on your VX. I drive a '94 with shift indicator light.
there's no reason your should be reving up to 3000rpm. i don't think i've ever seen the tach above 2500.
my owner's manual shows the speed at which you should be shifting and i've seen it poted here before.
going on membory at this point, i'm generally out of 1st at 3-5 mph; out of second at maybe 25mph (2nd is for right turns); out of 3rd at 38? (cut left turns in 3rd); out of 4th at 50mph.
put the clutch in and coast when you can
turn the car off at long stop lights (if you don't need the a/c)
turn off and coast into parking space, but don't lock the steering wheel
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:10 PM   #6
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In my jeep, I shift around 2500. I would shift lower, but with the way it is geared and the engine itself, it really doesn't like to go below 1500. In my dad's saturn sl, however, I can "short shift" as low as keeping it below 1500 all the time. For economy, you have to learn to drive like a granny. Take it easy on the right foot, and keep the engine's load as low as possible.
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:34 AM   #7
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I would not put it in neutral unless the engine is off. If you are coasting in gear with the engine on the injectors will be off so it will use less gas than idle. If I go down a long hill I'll turn the engine off so I can coast farther.
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Old 03-26-2010, 05:25 AM   #8
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I would not put it in neutral unless the engine is off. If you are coasting in gear with the engine on the injectors will be off so it will use less gas than idle. If I go down a long hill I'll turn the engine off so I can coast farther.
what?
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Old 03-26-2010, 05:56 AM   #9
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jmf is talking about Deceleration Fuel Cut Off (DFCO). By "coasting in gear" he means "slightly engine braking".

Most modern and semi-modern fuel injected engines will cut fuel entirely under certain conditions while engine braking. These conditions vary from one vehicle to the next. It is by far the best choice if you plan to slow, stop, or otherwise use your brakes.

If you're not planning to brake, and you're using it during the glide portion of a pulse & glide cycle, it is counterproductive in most vehicles. The extra energy to turn the engine at higher-than-idle RPM doesn't come for free.

My VW will DFCO almost immediately if I'm cruising and take my foot off the gas while above 1000 RPM, and it will quit when it gets down to 1000. If I've recently shifted or had major changes in throttle it may delay or may not DFCO at all. Air conditioning raises the floor a couple hundred RPM.

My GMC will DFCO after 8 seconds of closed throttle above 1500 RPM and hold it until it's down to 1000. 8 seconds is an eternity in this context; until DFCO kicks in, it's using more fuel than it would at idle.
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Old 03-26-2010, 05:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fobx530 View Post
I just got a civic VX w/ 294k miles on it. I hear the car is able to get up to 70mpg, but this is my first car that's a manual transmission.

I will tell you that I have a lead foot but I am trying to drive the car slowly. I'm not an expert at it yet but I am still learning. Last fill up I got 36MPG, that's worst than horrible for this car.

I want to know techniques for driving this car? I don't want to know hypermiling like turning off the car and coasting. I want to know should I change gear at 2k or 3k? I shift into neutral alot but I'm unsure of what gear to shift back into at a certain speed.

Could anybody help me with this?

Thanks.
my saturn
this is how 5spd works
keeep in mind I have a 124hp car, 2250lbs a little more powerful..
my car also has good low end torque...

this is how I would shift if I were trying to save gas/use clutch as little as possible. which is always

1st gear til 11mph(to shift good) 2nd till 19(if I go above 20 its harder to get into 3rd, more clutching, 3rd till 27to 29mph(same thing if I go above 30 more clutching is needed aka more pain in ***)4th till 34-39(depending on whether I am going up or down a hill)

this is all done under 2200 rpms

now if you're taking off slight down hill you can roll into 2nd(you can engage this gear as low as 7mph or start in first(for no reason,pointless usually when going downhill) you can skip gears going down hill.. start in 2nd next take it to 21mph glide to 27 then throw it in 4th ect..

also don't downshift to slow down, just use the gear you're in, downshifting like that harms your transmission, instead use more predictive driving, try to roll to a red light without stopping before it turns green, ect..
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