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Old 08-02-2008, 03:55 PM   #11
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When I was a college kid I had two speakers right behind my ears in a partition in my van, maybe 6 inches away. Headphones were illegal.

Now my car has no radio. If I wanted one. I would get a small boom box from Wally world and plug it into the empty cigarette lighter socket.

regards
gary
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Old 08-02-2008, 08:18 PM   #12
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Sometimes the radio can help avoid busy/stagnant traffic and hence save some gas.
As is pointed out/implied in some of the foregoing posts, it is usually the heavy bass that drains power (the sub-woofers are often the worst). One can save a little by using the tone controls to cut down the bass a bit. At least do not boost the bass level .
A very small difference may be noticed in a rather long trip.
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Old 08-02-2008, 11:48 PM   #13
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haha i doubt it since those long trips are generally going 65mph the alternaters making more than enough juice....

i messed with the bass(particular headunit had a LOUD button) and maybe flucuated the amps .01 amps more when using that button. stock radios draw even less.

now a sub system yes those draw quite a bit of power but stock or near stock systems nah use it as you please.
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Old 08-03-2008, 08:24 AM   #14
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Just use your stuff and don't worry about it.

But if you got a car full of amps, then all that extra weight you are lugging around is what will kill your gas mileage. It would be like hauling around "fat albert" all the time.

Just my opinion.
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Old 08-03-2008, 08:31 AM   #15
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Just try not listen to "I can't drive 55" or "Ace of Spades" or other uplifting music as it could affect you psychologically and make you go faster thus wasting gas.

As far as wasting gas via electrical - you might as well go #2 before you ever hop into the car each time you drive in an effort to reduce weight.
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Old 08-03-2008, 09:23 AM   #16
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same goes w/ heat and air. a comfortable driver is a safer driver.

i have exactly a 40 mile commute. just for the sake of easy math, we'll round my FE down to 40 MPG. that's a gal/day @ ~$4(rounded up). i don't use a/c in the morning, so half of 4 is $2. so even if a/c costs me a 10% loss, i live w/ it!

anyone ever drive in 95*F @ 100% humidity and no air? it ain't fun!
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Old 08-03-2008, 11:28 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowtieguy View Post
same goes w/ heat and air. a comfortable driver is a safer driver.

i have exactly a 40 mile commute. just for the sake of easy math, we'll round my FE down to 40 MPG. that's a gal/day @ ~$4(rounded up). i don't use a/c in the morning, so half of 4 is $2. so even if a/c costs me a 10% loss, i live w/ it!

anyone ever drive in 95*F @ 100% humidity and no air? it ain't fun!
throw in vinayl seats in that mix, then welcome to driving my chevette in a summer in IL the s-10 is slightly better, 5% tint on the back window and cloth seats
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:30 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by VetteOwner View Post
throw in vinayl seats in that mix, then welcome to driving my chevette in a summer in IL the s-10 is slightly better, 5% tint on the back window and cloth seats
sounds like it would improve weight reduction!
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Old 08-05-2008, 11:49 AM   #19
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Most alternators create more electricity than the car needs, so a fair amount is wasted anyways.

I think I have a 130 amp alternator on my Explorer that puts out about 60 at idle. If your AC, lights, etc. are off, there is no way you're using anywhere near 60 amps. Likewise, if I'm cruising at 70 mph, my alternator is going to be putting out near the 130 amp rating. and again, there is no way a vehicle will use 130 amps of 12V electricity. So I don't think it would affect your mileage at all.

The obvious exception would be those who have big stereos (I must admit, I am one). If you're playing it so loud that the voltage dips on big bass hits, then yeah you're energy defficient and the alternator will have to pull a little more engine power to create its power to make up. You can visually see the RPMs dip when this happens, too (at idle), so you know the alt is pulling harder.
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Old 08-05-2008, 05:17 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KU40 View Post
Most alternators create more electricity than the car needs, so a fair amount is wasted anyways.
WRONG!

Most alternators (even very big ones) only produce what electricity is currently being "used" (either immediately, or to charge the battery), so little is wasted. While it is true that many car alternators are considerably "over sized" (and therefore could theoretically keep up with much more demanding electrical needs in the car), that mostly just has an effect on the maximum power you could (if you really wanted to) use from that alternator. BUT, almost all alternators put progressively more drag on the engine, as your electrical usage goes up!

So even if/when you have a way "over sized" alternator, you will still end up using more fuel (due to the higher alternator drag) as you use more electrical power. And in the case of cars, the mechanical energy source is the engine, so as the engine "drag" from the alternator increases (as a result of using more electricity in the car) the engine needs to do more "work" (generate more mechanical energy) to compensate (which will usually result in the engine burning more fuel to accomplish this extra "work").

Of course, when you look at this from an electrical engineering standpoint, that result is really to be expected. After all, a car "alternator" is just one design for a mechanical energy to electrical energy "generator". And so the car's alternator, since it is a "generator" of this type, has to follow the same laws of nature that pertain to ALL such "generators". And since one of those laws of nature is that energy is just transformed from one form (mechanical motion) to another (i.e. energy is not "magically" created out of thin air), then it follows that the more electrical "work" (i.e. electricity) you get out the harder it will be for the mechanical source to turn the "generator".

BTW: This is the primary reason why you really can increase fuel economy some (in most cars), simply by taking steps to use less electricity in the car!
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