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Android Users - Coming Soon! - Migrating from aCar 4.8 to 5.0

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Old 09-11-2007, 07:40 PM   #1
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Right Lane Rollers

Long winded

Hey fellow rollers, I need some ideas on how to better my urban MPG. EPA is 19 MPG and I'm averaging 21.5 MPG but it's dropping. Of 14 fills, if you take away the 4 best (25.1 - 26.7) the average drops to 20.35 MPG.

I live in stupid suburbia where school buses don't run until almost 9am and we commute into the downtown far earlier.

Kids to school
- 2.5 km (1.6 miles)
- 7 minutes (unless it takes longer turning at the end of the street)
- 6 stop signs
- major RR 4x tracks
- slight uphill
- 13.8 LHK / 17 MPG is tough to achieve

School to commuter train
- 5.4 km (3.4 miles)
- 9 minutes
- 4 stop signs
- major RR 4x tracks
- then about 6 traffic lights of straight road after a very slow light
- last few hundred meters running to designated spot
- back in so I'm first or second car out after train arrives even going slow
- 12.9 LHK / 18.2 MPG seems about par for this drive

Go Train to home
- 3.7 km (2.3 miles)
- 5 minutes
- about 6 traffic lights then coast down street
- starting warmed up can get FE under 8.0 LHK
until I back up - then in 50' it goes from 7.9 to 8.2 LHK :-/
- 10.8 LHK / 21.8 MPG is the norm if it is hot out / lots of coasting

Every part except school zones and parking lots have a 50 KPH / 31 MPH speed limit but I do pulse it down the main road up to 63 KPH so that 5th will engage and then I keep it 50 or above to hold 5th.

When winter roles around non-commute drives will be rarer and the commute probably will barely warm the engine. I do plan on using a block heater to help in the morning.

So with the engine taking make longer to warm up, the dropping the BTU/energy content of gasoline for the winter and less non-commuting trips, I'm wondering if I'll be able to achieve the EPA city value.

I was hoping that with super diligent driving that I'd be able to do better than 10 LHK / 23? MPG under normal driving circumstances but my commuter train and 2 km walk sure mess up my mileage.

Tires at 44psi (I may drop them to 38psi)
Extra light on the gas
Coast at least 10%
Hardly ever touch the brakes

It might be simpler to cut me loose... :-/

Hrmm... or should I change jobs? ;-)
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Old 09-11-2007, 08:57 PM   #2
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One thing that helped my car warm up faster was a grill block. Of course watching the temp gauge is much higher priority at that point. Guestimating it took me 4 miles to get to normal operating temp but with a grill block cut that down to maybe 2.5 to 3. That was earlier in the summer, not sure if winter would have a bigger/smaller difference. I actually don't have the grill block in right now for the summer heat. Without a fan I am afraid to run blocked up.

Oh, and the change jobs thing. I may be doing that some time in the near future, sad thing is I will more than likely still be driving just as far or farther with the new job. Right now I am doing a 23 mile commute one way. The traffic is usually pretty docile though so nothing much to complain about.
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Old 09-18-2007, 10:15 AM   #3
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4th, thanks - a grill block and a block heater seem mandatory right now. My mileage on that first leg is now down to 18.8LHK/12.5MPG on a low traffic day.

The tough part will be the grill block (this would have been far simpler on all my previous older vehicles). I want it to come off easily for service trips, not pull paint off, and help on the aero side. I could probably cover 75 - 80%, even in the summer. The power steering cooler and the warm air intake areas should keep at least partial flow. The thinking cap is on, but it's not coming up with much yet.
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Old 09-21-2007, 04:39 PM   #4
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I think a relatively big engined car like that could really benefit from EOC. Is it a Manual? Why drop tire pressure? I just read an article on tire pressure I posted in articles. It didn't say running 6 psi higher than sidewall rating was dangerous, just said your tire might be more fragile to potholes. Improved cornering and FE tho.
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Old 09-21-2007, 04:43 PM   #5
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what about EOC? I think a car with a relatively big engine could benefit a good deal from Engine off coasting. But may be too much of a hassle if it is an automatic. Is it auto tranny? Why lower the tire PSI? I just read an article that didn't say it was unsafe to increase the PSI to 6 over the sidewall rating, that it provided better cornering but might wear the tires faster or be more fragile hitting potholes. posted it in articles.
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Old 09-21-2007, 10:02 PM   #6
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For the 44-38 psi pressure drop would be for winter traction, the ride would be nicer too. It's much smoother at the factory 30/30. I noticed the quad tracks much less at 30 psi. 38 might be a good compromise. No sense rattling the computer excessively - the vehicle's and my old grey one.

I actually have started one EOC - the return home. My street is downhill, so it's 25kph/15mph for about 800 - 900' and then roll into driveway. electric power steering would have been nice for that turn. Then I can roll back and then start and go from the road in the morning. Bizarre, because we have always been backer-inners.

For the most part EOC's not recommended for my vehicle's automatic. I still do a lot of coasting. Once warmed up, the engine at idle without AC compressor (now needed for defrost and no isolate off à la Honda) the engine consumes 1.3 LPH / 1/3 GPH. It just means that I should keep glides at speeds over 30 kph / 20 mph - fine by me.
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Old 09-22-2007, 10:48 AM   #7
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When the planets are aligned...

Wow - I got 6.9 LHK / 34 MPG on a 30 km / 20 mile errand run today, and that even included some reverse.

(let's not mention some tailwind)
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Old 09-22-2007, 12:51 PM   #8
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Nice. Not bad for a SUV. I think that's about what you might expect from a smaller Ford Escape Hybrid. Yeah, a 1/3gal an hour isn't very much.

If you were to drive 600 miles and get 34mpg over that 600 miles with using EOC, then without EOC you'd get 33.37mpg. That's with the assumption that over 600 miles you would have had the engine off for a total of 1 hour and not take into consideration fuel use turning the engine back on. So, yeah, unless you can have huge amounts of EOC, not worth risking damaging the car.
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