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Old 12-09-2007, 11:33 AM   #1
rpm
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Scan Gauge II - first impressions

Hi everyone. I would like to share my first impressions upon receiving my Scan Gauge. The test car was a 2001 Honda Civic.

First, two minor issues I had:
  1. The SG does not recognize fuel cutoff. You know that when you take your foot off the pedal for a prolonged time while leaving the car in gear, the engine will keep on turning without using any fuel. The SG seems to be agnostic to this, the FE reading never dropping below ~2.5l/100Km.
  2. Trip distance seems to be inaccurate. At the moment, the car's digital odometer shows 156Km after the last fillup. The SG shows only 152Km.

Now, concerning FE-oriented driving. I am currently monitoring: instantaneous FE, consumption per hour, engine load and throttle position.
I found it a bit shocking that throttle position and specially engine load seem to have a much bigger influence on FE than engine RPM. I'm having trouble climbing hills, for no matter what I do, engine load increases and my FE starts sinking like Titanic.

Should I use a lower gear? I tried it but it didn't seem to help much.
I live in a very mountainous region, so I think efficient hill climbing will be the key to improving my numbers.

Any comments appreciated.
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Old 12-09-2007, 03:05 PM   #2
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I noticed my odometer moved faster too.... But I verified my SG against a GPS over a 3,000+ miles trip. The SG was nearly dead on - we only saw a measurable deviance after 1500 miles My speedometer is also faster - but the SG was dead on to the accuracy we could measure. At 65mph, the GPS said 65.05 and my speedometer said 70.

For the cutoff - mine def. recognizes it, but there's an infinity barrier I think (I don't think the SG can handle division by zero very well). I can never get mine below .3gal/hour - even with the ignition on, engine off But I can def. see that it's doing something while engine braking over ~1500 rpm or so

Quote:
I'm having trouble climbing hills, for no matter what I do, engine load increases and my FE starts sinking like Titanic.
Your efficiency is likely going up - but consumption is too Typically you brake specific fuel consumption (fuel/hp) is better under heavier loads
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Old 12-09-2007, 03:33 PM   #3
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Not recognizing fuel cutoff:

Ya gotta set the "vehicle type" to hybrid. That way even if coasting with engine off, it will correctly track distance and compute vs. zero fuel consumption when that's the case.

For a reference, see CleanMPG's review of the SGII. http://www.cleanmpg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4495
It's in the third set of numbered items under "Installation and Setup", #2 of 4.

OK, OK, it's another FE site. It's a good article, imho.
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Old 12-09-2007, 06:57 PM   #4
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You can certainly calibrate the odometer. It is part of the setup. I am pretty wasteful. I just bought my second scanguage.

I have had the calibration make a wide swing from summer to winter. It might relate to the position of my intake air temp sender.
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Old 12-09-2007, 08:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPM View Post
I found it a bit shocking that throttle position and specially engine load seem to have a much bigger influence on FE than engine RPM. I'm having trouble climbing hills, for no matter what I do, engine load increases and my FE starts sinking like Titanic.

Should I use a lower gear? I tried it but it didn't seem to help much.
I live in a very mountainous region, so I think efficient hill climbing will be the key to improving my numbers.

Any comments appreciated.
If the hill isn't too high and you it's safe to do so, increase your speed before you hit the hill and then bleed some speed while climbing. That won't work on long climbs. On long climbs, it's just like cycling... every little thing this is in or on the vehicle that isn't absolutely necessary should be removed.

I think it would work out that at 100 kph on a 10% grade every 60 pounds or 27 KG requires another horsepower, which with inefficiencies, might mean several... ;-)
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Old 12-09-2007, 08:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usedgeo View Post
I have had the calibration make a wide swing from summer to winter. It might relate to the position of my intake air temp sender.
Or lower BTU winter gas?
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Old 12-09-2007, 10:14 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by 2TonJellyBean View Post
If the hill isn't too high and you it's safe to do so, increase your speed before you hit the hill and then bleed some speed while climbing. That won't work on long climbs. On long climbs, it's just like cycling... every little thing this is in or on the vehicle that isn't absolutely necessary should be removed.

I think it would work out that at 100 kph on a 10% grade every 60 pounds or 27 KG requires another horsepower, which with inefficiencies, might mean several... ;-)
That's what I do, to good effect. Also, if there's a series of hills, I like to keep my TPS at a constant reading (33 for my Focus), accelerating down hills and bleeding the newly acquired speed up the next one. This netted me an extra 3mpg over a 150 mile stretch)
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Old 12-09-2007, 10:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2TonJellyBean View Post
If the hill isn't too high and you it's safe to do so, increase your speed before you hit the hill and then bleed some speed while climbing. That won't work on long climbs. On long climbs, it's just like cycling... every little thing this is in or on the vehicle that isn't absolutely necessary should be removed.

I think it would work out that at 100 kph on a 10% grade every 60 pounds or 27 KG requires another horsepower, which with inefficiencies, might mean several... ;-)
That's what I do, to good effect. Also, if there's a series of hills, I like to keep my TPS at a constant reading (33 for my Focus), accelerating down hills and bleeding this newly acquired speed back up the next one. Doing this netted me an extra 3mpg over a 150 mile stretch.
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Old 12-10-2007, 07:27 AM   #9
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When climbing hills use whatever gear gets you the best highest MPG and it probably will be the highest gear with the lowest RPM just because of gearing and engine losses but you have to balance that with engine cooling and lubrication/wear for the long term should you lug the engine for extended periods. There is a speed calibration when set properly will give you correct distance traveled in the Scangauge - more likely your speedometer and odometer are both off and the speedometer typically will read higher that actual for speeding reasons by design - if it was reading low you might get stopped for speeding more.
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Old 12-10-2007, 02:32 PM   #10
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Thanks for the tips everyone. I didn't know one could calibrate the odometer on the SG. I'll dig through the menus to try and find it.

As for the hills, most are miles long and around 7-8% steep.
I already speed up a little on the preceding downhill sections and DWL on my way up. I use the highest gear that will not lug the engine but was wondering if it would be better to use a lower gear, trading RPM for a smaller throttle opening.
I guess there are no magic tricks, just hard work as always.
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