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Old 05-17-2017, 01:33 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I drive a (epa calculated) 24.1 MPG car 7000 miles a year and get 33.2 MPG. At my average gas price of $2.05 a gallon, this saves me $163 a year. My starter is super easy to get to, and CAN BE REBUILT for $30-50.

I think so far I am about even with money spent vs returned with only 3 or 4 years of driving. That includes poor ROI mod choices like an expensive deck lid spoiler for my previous accord, and CHEAP gas!

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Old 05-17-2017, 02:23 PM   #12 (permalink)
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My goal is better fuel economy. Like other car hobbies, I don't expect ecomodding to pay for itself. But it's nice when that happens! My Civic has 237k miles on it and is 26 years old. The starter gets more use than normal. It's the original starter! I did have to replace the solenoid contacts in it, but that was before I started hypermiling.
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Old 05-17-2017, 02:27 PM   #13 (permalink)
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$1000 bicycle? I have 4 bicycles. They were all free.
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Old 05-17-2017, 09:19 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hersbird View Post
$1000 bike? I don't get that. Either you ride a bike to save money or to get exercise, either way a $300 bike is the way to go. Me I'd go with a older $1000 Honda motorcycle first
If you really use your bike, you'll need to spend at least $1k for one. I spent a year commuting on a ~$1000 bike and it needed close to $1k worth of parts a year. I switched to a $10K bike (bought much cheaper at an importer closeout), and it's still original and problem free. If you do high miles, a $300 bike will pretty soon be a $1000 bike.

I don't know why you'd bother with a motorbike when you can get the same economy out of a complete car.
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Old 05-18-2017, 11:50 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Well now if we are talking 5-10k the average Honda 700 rider is getting 66mpg on fuelly, some in the 80's. It's like an Elio they actually make.
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Old 06-10-2017, 01:37 AM   #16 (permalink)
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From my experience with my last car, most mods can be done for nearly free... I had around $75 in the mods on the Malibu, and that's everything done to it at all... Now, some gains made were from driving habit changes, but I was at around 37-38mpg in a car rated to get 25 combined (DIC was showing 37.1 when salvage truck picked her up)... Normally, I drive 25-30k miles a year, so the mods were paying for themselves quickly enough... From July to November, I had saved around $160 compared to the EPA combined rating...
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Old 06-10-2017, 05:44 AM   #17 (permalink)
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My car's average mileage is about 13% less than factory specified with only inflating tires and having a better air filter.

and i am not even into modding yet.
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Old 06-10-2017, 10:19 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fingie View Post
My car's average mileage is about 13% less than factory specified with only inflating tires and having a better air filter.

and i am not even into modding yet.
Better to spin it, "my average economy driving this car is 13% less than the EPA rates most drivers to get for mixed driving."
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Old 06-11-2017, 11:53 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Well we have EU specified mileage instead of EPA
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Old 06-12-2017, 10:42 AM   #20 (permalink)
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General Practicality

The thread title implies a larger picture.

First, the vehicle.

Assuming a new or nearly new vehicle, the most important consideration is vehicle specification. A married man with wife and children. Longest life at lowest cost with highest reliability. This is the target bullseye.

Through the 1980s from the dawn of the twentieth century, this was a four door sedan. From the 1930s forward it was most likely a straight-6 motor. And by the late 1960s with an automatic transmission, power steering & power brakes with front discs.

Still the most useful template as all else is essentially a variation on this practicality.

After vehicle specification is longevity. It makes the most sense (traditionally) to buy a fleet car. That which is produced in volume, thus can be serviced by nearly anyone, anywhere in North America. Parts availability, new or used, is a given due to high volume and length of production. Plus, drivetrain components and body electrics usually have gremlins worked out early.

Additional capacity is via trailer, (cargo or camping). Versatility is huge.

And unlike a pickup, roadgoing stability is high, not to mention better aero. A lockable trunk provides all weather storage and security. One car that can carry the family trumps any other combination.

And fully enclosed storage (garage) is simplest for one vehicle in a family. (And a requirement for longest life/highest reliability. It, in turn, trumps aero or other eco-modding due to longer life with fewer repairs and higher resale value). One pays a higher price in mortgage or lease agreement due to additional land and construction, but this is also offset by owning fewer vehicles over a lifetime.

Next is records and their use. Charting expenditures, overhead and projected budgets. On a cents-per-mile basis given family use. One must put aside a given amount above and beyond the required outlay to cover maintenance and repairs. These are not last minute credit-financed items (trumps eco driving and aero modding). Vehicle ownership makes for convenience, but it requires proper accounting for future expenditures.

Time out of service and adequate insurance. Budget ahead. Not pay as you go. An expected lifespan of time and/or miles for components and service intervals. (Tire and brake life are constant markers, no different than FE). Same for cleaning to a high standard. Budget ahead and mark the calendar. Regularity is THE thing.

Eco-modding is sort of niche hot rodding. Old project cars. Toys. Not greatly reliable, and maybe not suitable to family conveyance. Pretty much without meaning. However much fun.

Second, the use.

DHS released a report of a study of American driving habits. Boiled down it was that 90% of us go to 90% of the same places 90% of the time. Most choose an address based upon work location versus family "need" (this last is always ripe for evaluation with a cold eye). I tend to look at services first for home address, and work or school last: first is grocery, library, post office, etc. This really is the place that lowest dependence on gasoline is crucial.

The most important sentence I'll write is that Americans have become accustomed since WWII to having gasoline become as important as electricity in their lives, but barely begin to escape ego in dealing with it.

Using the least amount of gasoline isn't central. It's the best use per mile

Corollary to that is in the decision to own one: A change in life's circumstances isn't a "reason" to change vehicles. Vehicles are, in a sense, about family. One may be unmarried, but one does have relatives. (Kith and kin) Too young or too old to drive, too ill or incapable. Or, one may marry and start a family. Vehicle choice precedes this. The historical "best vehicle" template above does not start in an era of affluence. Far from it. (Citing ones personal circumstances is beside the point).

So, "best use per mile" is the practicality of moving family around, and for the longest vehicle life while highly reliable (I'd say 12-years and/or 200k miles as an average), at the lowest cost (which is record keeping, budgeting and planning).

And, as any physician worth his salt will tell you: Want to live to a nice old age? Avoid two things: Don't ever get shot, or be in a serious car wreck.

Vehicle weight & wheelbase still matter for safety in this era of highly engineered cars. Stability peaks with fully independent suspension on a 120" wheelbase. Weight is beneficial up to 4,000-lbs. (Past this overall size brings detriment, as does smaller).

With stability control, anti-lock four-wheel disc brakes, rack & pinion steering, and all of it riding on today's incredibly good tires, this is the post-1980 contribution to the fleet sedan.

So I'd say that for the past dozen years the "ideal vehicle" has been the Mercedes-derived Dodge Charger/Chrysler 300. It meets every goal above. (SUVs are inherently unstable by design, and while minivans an intriguing alternative, a FWD drivetrain means problems of initial expense, repairs, and long term viability. It's a lower duty-cycle envisioned).

Were one to spec this car with an FE concious drivetrain, and apply a reasonable goal to exceed EPA estimates, this would be how to evaluate other vehicle choices.

A V6 2017 Charger is rated at 19-city and up to 30-highway.

I don't quite believe lesser vehicles will pencil out due solely to fuel savings. Use the near-enough current average of $2.50/gl for disagreement. (But have ready all other costs as well). The AAA Club and the car site, EDMUNDS have pages on this subject of cents-per-mile analysis. Past 20-mpg it begins to become difficult to justify the smaller percentage gains.

In short, buying the traditionally best car with cash (for 10-12 years; used or new) keeping it garaged, fully serviced and highly insured beats eco-driving and aero mods alone. An adult 25-years old expecting to be at the wheel for a half century might expect to own 4-5 cars over this period.

Now, reduce all miles travelled on this car (without giving up the convenience of a car; yet no last minute trips to the corner store, etc); continual use of pre-start engine warming, and cold weather heat-exchanger wind blocks, plus avoidance of idling with better understanding of average mile-per-hour . . . and "hyper-miling" plus aero mods are likely without merit (in fact may defy practicality, service issues and component reliability).

I've written in several posts and will repeat here that solo driving to achieve highest mpg is fun, but it's just a stunt. Carnival exhibition.

The real test was always loading the vehicle to maximum capacity and THEN finding highest average mpg. Do that for 10,000 miles (what is needed to become accustomed), and real bragging rights accrue. The tool defines the use. A 5-passenger car -- in essence -- can't be driven economically with less than a full complement of passengers and their luggage. (At least simulate the weight with sand bags, etc).

I applaud every effort made within these pages. But, as an old saying has it, it's the practical car in the hands of the practical man (shows the cow how to eat the cabbage).

I grew up with college-educated, white-collar men -- war veterans -- who'd started driving either at the dawn of the automobile era before WWI, or in the Great Depression. They knew these things in their bones. Practicality rules the scenario. What man can call himself a man otherwise?

.

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2004.0 DODGE Ram QC/LB 2500 2WD/NV-5600 305/555 ISB. 7,940-lb. Stock. 200,000 miles/5000-hrs @ 40-mph average.
1990 35' Silver Streak TT 7,900-lb.
8-cpm solo & 11-cpm towing; 21-mpg average past 54k-miles
Sold: 1983 Silver Streak 3411

Last edited by slowmover; 07-16-2017 at 10:33 AM.. Reason: Clarity & spelling.
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