Hi all, I have recently joined the struggle against gas prices with my little Civic. I was paying huge amounts of cash with the last vehicle I had and now I'm trying to save every penny.
I am going away to college this August and would like to be able to come down from northern FL to South FL to see my fianc? every weekend and still be able to afford books & supplies, so I'm saving money everywhere I can. Improving my FE is one of the priorities I've set so that I can use a minimum amount of money in the 120mi trip there and back and so that I can save money during my commute to work before I start college.
I already inflated my tires to 40psi, emptied the car out, drive without AC (in south FL nonetheless!), drive it gently enough that the AT shifts at between 2k and 2.5k RPM, shut the engine off at stoplights, coast as much as possible (FL is FLat so that's not very much) and I use cruise control whenever I'm not accelerating or decelerating. I'm planning to make some VGs for the rear section of the roof right above the window to reduce flow separation and maybe will be blocking some of my grill and cooling intake (the one under the bumper).
I have yet to see my first fill-up (at 270mi now) after all of these changes, it should be coming up later this week or early next week. I'm hoping to see at least 38mpg with all of the changes I've made.
I'd like it if some more experienced members could share with me some possible (very cheap) modifications and tips to bring my FE up. A scangauge is out of the question since that cost $170, or appx. 5 tanks of gas and it will take forever for it to pay for itself as far as saving gas goes (if it ever does). Remember; my budget is essentially zero.
Well welcome to the site. I can see that you have read through a lot of the threads on the site already. You seem to have a grasp on the major things that will help improve your FE. The only other things I could think of, would be to do an under body tray/cover and/or wheel well covers. A lot of members seem to have gotten good gains from things like this. You might also think about bumping up your tire pressure even more. I am currently running around 52, and haven't experienced any problems.
Most anyone will tell you though that the biggest factor is the driver. If you are committed to getting good mileage, and work at it, then you will succeed. Keep reading through other people's threads, and exchange ideas with people who have cars similar to yours. Good luck!
A scangauge is out of the question since that cost $170, or appx. 5 tanks of gas and it will take forever for it to pay for itself as far as saving gas goes (if it ever does).
I can relate to lacking green stuff, so let me just give you an opinion on the ScanGauge -- no pressure intended. I'm relatively new to both GasSavers and the SG... but both have already saved me a lot of money.
A ScanGauge isn't an expense, it's an investment that pays dividends. The instantaneous FE readout alone is worth the price. Not only will it give you fast feedback on the various mods you might try, but it will also help you mod your driving. There are times when the slightest movement of your foot on the accelerator can triple your instantaneous gas mileage. I started out like you, keeping my revs below 2.5K during acceleration -- until the SG taught me that that's not always the best approach. It showed me that if I shifted into neutral at lights that were too short for an engine shutoff, I could save 10% of my idle fuel. And on and on.
And then there's the MAP readout, timing advance, engine load, air intake and water temperature gauges -- all tools that can help you check your mods and improve your numbers.
So, it's not a question of "if" but when a ScanGauge will pay for itself... and if you're serious about saving gas and are receptive to what it can tell you, it'll happen a lot faster than you'd expect.
Then there's the scan tool. Had a check engine light yet? If not, you likely will! Not sure where you are on your warranty yet but if you have a 2003 the end's probably coming before long. Up here just to get codes checked costs about $50. Every time you can read a code and either work out what's wrong and fix the problem or avoid the shop having to run a scan, you've recouped a third of the unit's cost. Not too shabby.
Or, offer to read other student's codes or clear their CEL for ten or twenty bucks. It could be a money-maker if you get creative!
I expect my SG to have paid for itself before the year's out. Seriously.
Like I said, I'm not trying to push you in that direction... just know that a ScanGauge is a very valuable tool, and if you eventually have an opportunity to get one, you should definitely consider it.
The best of luck to you in your FE efforts. Keep us all posted!
As above - the ScanGauge will make a huge difference, expect 10-20% improvement on the first tank, and more as time goes on!.
How fast do you drive on the highway? How many of your weekly miles are in that commute to see your fiance? (120 miles round trip isn't too bad). How many miles do you do each day, during the week? What kind of driving is it? These questions are important on what to do first!.
__________________ Team GasMisers5 - #1 for first three rounds of the original GS Fuel Economy Challenge
Miles displaced by e-bike since 1 Jan 2008: 62.6 (0 kWh used)
I appreciate the replies and advice coming in so quickly, I have an advanced knowledge of technical things and a great interest and lots of study and experimentation into aerodynamics but there is no substitute for good ol' "been there, done that, did/didn't work" experience.
Erdrick: I am thinking of going up to 50psi after this tank for experimentation purposes.
Rick Rae: It isn't that I don't want a scangauge, believe me, I would absolutely love it, being a pilot, I have a love for digital gauges that tell me everything about my craft, whether it be land or air. It's the fact that I'm leaving in a month and a few days and need to save every penny possible. It takes serious $$$ for books, gas and supplies (headset, etc., I'm taking a commercial pilot program). Also,my civic has an extended warranty to 75k miles.
omgwtfbyobbq: see above, extended warranty, it's not worth it to sell a nice new car for a beat old one (trust me, it's very difficult to find ANY kind of econobox in south FL that isn't riced and beat up.
Landspeed: It's appx 120 miles highway travel both ways, so 240miles. On I-95 I can expect to average 60mph.
Hockey4mnhs: That was an emergency overnight trip to North Carolina, It was late, traffic was smooth, and I needed to make good time, so I wasn't thinking of FE.
Iono man, you could get something that's still an auto, gets better mileage, and have lots of cash left in your pocket. If you don't want to deal will the hassle of repairs, that's fine, but it's way cheaper to buy older and fix than to buy new and not fix. Because no one else wants to fix anything...
Originally Posted by FormulaTwo
I think if i could get that type of FE i would have no problem driving a dildo shaped car.