Warming the car up before driving, you'll be getting 0 MPG whilst doing that, so that doesnt help, allthough I understand its a must if a heavy frost has occured. The overdrive kind of acts like an extra gear, you should experiment with it as it can affect your fuel consumption. Tyre pressures should be on a sticker on the inside of the drivers door. Im not sure different oil will give that much extra MPG, probably just a coincidence, but I could be wrong
Thanks everyone for responding. I did get the car about 2 months ago. I do drive like an old lady & at 62 yrs old, I guess I can claim that. Lol.
I replaced the spark plugs with 4 New NGK G-Power Platinum Spark Plugs BKR5EGP # 7090, about 3000 miles ago. I live in Kentucky, so right now the weather is cold. I do warm the car up before I drive it & it does shift a little easier when warm. I do keep the overdrive button pushed in all the time. Not sure if I should do that. Don't know if it makes a difference.
I am going to check my tire pressure. Any advise as to how much I should pump them up to?
Also the car came with a Mobile 1 synthetic oil change & when I am due to get another, I'm going to put in Quaker State synthetic oil. I use to use Valvoline regular oil in my other Echo & switched to Quaker State regular oil & got 6 more miles per gallon.
Does anyone know about Bestline Engine Treatment?
Also, Jcp385,I would be interested in your techniques for hypermiling.
Try picking up the pace a bit. To save fuel with a traditional, step automatic, you want to get to the highest gear and lock up for your target speed as soon as possible. Otherwise you spend more time in the less efficient fluid thrashing operation of the tranny. Doesn't need to be fast fast, but just a little quicker acceleration than what you would use for efficient driving with a manual.
I make use of the factory remote start on freezing mornings before stepping out the door to give the oil a little more time to get pumped around before driving off. Less fuel will be used warming up the engine and cabin driving the car than idling it to warm up though. Some Prius owners installed block heaters and used them year round to avoid the fuel sucking warm up cycle, but perhaps a seat heater would help with creature comforts. There are seat cover ones that plug in the lighter/12volt outlet.
Turning off the overdrive might help if you are driving at speeds lower 30 or 35mph. It is operating as three speed then, and might lock up the TC instead of waiting to get to fourth. I personally never had to spend much time at those speeds to experiment though.
There should be a sticker on the door, door jamb, or even the glove box with a tire pressure listed. This is what the manufacturer recommends for a comfy ride on the factory tire models; likely around 35psi. This is the minimum, and should be higher to lower the rolling resistance. Higher pressures can also improve cornering traction and tread life at the expense of wet weather traction and ride quality. Try setting the pressure to the max on the tire sidewall; usually 44psi, but some hypermilers will exceed this. If the ride is too rough, or traction too lessened for you comfort, gradually decrease the pressure until you are happy. Anything above the door limit should help fuel economy.
Unless you want to go with oil change intervals beyond the 5000 miles Toyota recommends, regular oil should be fine. The only time I saw a marked improvement in fuel economy was when trying 0w20 Mobil1 in the Prius. Then it helped mostly in the winter. Filling the engine only to the midway point on the dipstick instead of the top is probably has a bigger impact than oil brand.
Don't know about the spark plugs being the best fit. Jcp385 likely does, and also this specific info about the car and hypermiling. If you are interested in trying some basic techniques, which should be simple coming from a manual, you need to know the shifter gates and car's DFCO behavior. The gates are the blocks that keep accidental shifts from happening, such as neutral to reverse. The gates are why you have to push the button on the shifter, but pushing the button isn't required between all the 'gears'. If you don't need to push the button between neutral and drive, neutral coasting becomes less concerning without the worry of going to far into reverse gear.
DFCO, deceleration fuel cut off, is more important, and is basically what the name says; fuel injectors get turned off while coasting gear. Your manual should have been doing regularly. When, or if, it happens with an automatic varies. Some will DFCO nearly as soon as you let off the gas. Some, um, not so much. The HHR didn't unless the rpms were above 2000, which meant downshifting to to turn it on.
It isn't burning fuel, but if the engine braking slows the car down when you aren't coming to a stop, you might burn more fuel than saved re-accelerating. Which is where the ability to neutral coast comes in.
The Bestline looks like snake oil to seperate you from your money. It might be less harmful than Slick50, but Slick50 at least tells you what they added for their claimed improvements. Bestline appears, from what I can see, to just be high priced motor oil.
If you are concerned about any dirt build ups or the conditions of seals and gaskets from the car's age, just use the high mileage version of whatever oil brand you choose.
The Echo does not have DFCO in that vintage in automatic; not sure about stick.
I can't recommend the harder acceleration; the only place this benefits is a stoplight I am commonly stopped at, it has a relatively short, gentle upslope before flattening out and then descending again. By accelerating hard into lockup, them maintaining speed, and them coasting down early, I can get far better fuel economy on that segment. Otherwise, hard acceleration never pays off.
Also, O/D off hasn't paid any benefits at all at any speed. At 30-35mph, this puts it out of 4th gear and mileage suffers, at least according to my UltraGauge.
Last, I run 48psi in my tyres; ride is stiffer than at placard pressure, but still softer than my wife's Rio, and the Echo's light weight means no problems in the traction department. But the recommendation to start high and go lower until your requirements and comfort levels are met is a good one.
Oil wise, I second the motion for either a high mileage 5w30 or Mobil1 0w30. You might get away with 5w20 or even 0w20 but I'm too nervous to use it in my car and wouldn't feel comfortable recommending it for you either.
So here's the update. Yesterday, I got a Mobile 1 synthetic oil change, pumped up my tires to 44 psi, and had a shop clean out my fuel injectors (which they said was nasty) with 127K miles on the car, it was probably never done.. So we will see if it makes a mpg difference.