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Old 10-25-2012, 11:45 PM   #21 (permalink)
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satisfied "customer" feedback

Well, she wasn't really a "customer" (because the lesson was gratis), but I thought I'd share part of the e-mailed feedback I got today.

Confirms the idea brought up in the past few posts that ecodriving = safer driving:

Quote:
After watching you drive and then having you coach me, I am astounded at how much more aware I am of distant traffic lights! And how much my foot hates to touch the brake! I expect most drivers are like me: driving is a habit and we don't think much about what we are doing. You teach that driving well requires an ever alert mind. Think how much safer the roads could be.

I haven't had to drive since Tuesday, but when I do, I'll probably be more aware of the things that I'm not quite clear on yet.

I would heartily recommend your lesson to anyone who is interested in knowing how to be a better driver and get more mileage out of their car. As the price of gasoline increases relative to the amount of money people have to spend on their cars, there could be a real demand for what you offer, particularly since you are able to demonstrate the effectiveness of the tips you give.
I like the comment about not driving since Tuesday. Best way to save fuel is to not drive!

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Old 10-31-2012, 01:27 PM   #22 (permalink)
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An announcement was made at the group's meeting this past weekend, and 6 people (3 couples) signed up for an ecodriving session.

Late models: Honda Civic sedan (5-speed); Honda Fit (5-speed); Toyota Camry hybrid.

I'm going to dole them out about one per week.

Funny: the female halves expressed the stronger interest - the guys, not so much. ("I'll just observe... I don't really think I need instruction," was heard a few times.)
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Old 10-31-2012, 02:00 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
I don't really think I need instruction
You learn how to drive on old inefficient cars and expect the same techniques to be just as useful on today’s vehicles. That is just not the case. To make matters worse, the changes made in cars today really is not advertized.


I saw an HX for sale the other day on craigslist and the guy said “it runs great but had a slight miss at highway speeds." The miss would go away though when he floored it. He listed off loads of parts that swapped out trying to fix the “issue” but he and his mechanic could not figure it out. I told him it was the lean burn feature and explained how it worked and he was shocked. He started sighting examples of how it worked and felt and started putting all the pieces together. Suddenly he realized his car was fine and it was MEANT to “miss” at high speeds. Crazy…

I found myself guilty of this. When I first joined this forum I was “all about” gas mileage, but when I exited off the highway or came to a stop from high speeds, I always coasted to a stop. Little did I know, there was a thing called DFCO (deceleration fuel cut off). This little trick goes against everything I had every learned and I would have NEVER discovered without someone pointing it out to me over and over again until I understood what it really was. It was my own stubborn mindset that did not allow me to embrace this new technology.
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:42 PM   #24 (permalink)
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PLEASE video tape these sessions for the benefit of (me) and all the new people coming here. There is a decided lack of informative practical ecodriving videos on youtube.
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:47 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheepdog 44 View Post
PLEASE video tape these sessions for the benefit of (me) and all the new people coming here. There is a decided lack of informative practical ecodriving videos on youtube.
+1 i plan on it one day if i ever get time
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:03 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Re: I make an effort to keep a good conversation going so she doesn't subconsciously start to focus on driving "nicely".

I've noticed that I cannot ecodrive when I'm having a conversation, because ecodriving itself takes so much concentration.

I *really* wish the car would do most of the work. Perhaps when we get robocars, but that's another forum.

Peace,
Randy
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:23 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Same here - I typically don't even drive with the radio/tunes on in the city.

As for cars doing most of the work - that's one of the nice things about a "full" hybrid vehicle. In city use, they do quite a bit of the fuel-saving work whether the driver is paying attention or not (mostly in terms of shutting off the engine when it's not needed, and capturing/reusing braking energy that would otherwise be lost).
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Old 10-31-2012, 11:34 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Me too.

So for me, I only ecodrive when I'm alone and on a long trip, where I can even do EOC where safe. However, I need to remember that my van has the auto fuel cut-off when there is no pressure on the gas pedal.

If anyone else is in the car, I can't even do DWL because the other people complain that I'm driving too slow. Sigh.

These are even more reasons why we need robocars.

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Old 11-01-2012, 11:34 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjstegbauer View Post
I need to remember that my van has the auto fuel cut-off when there is no pressure on the gas pedal.

If anyone else is in the car, I can't even do DWL because the other people complain that I'm driving too slow. Sigh.
I have the opposite problem now when I drive my 97 Ranger. I only drive it 1-2 times a month, but when I do, I always downshift to slow down as if it had DFCO and it does not have it... So trying to use it uses more fuel! I quickly catch myself, and switch to the old methods, but still. Just shows how complicated it has gotten.

My wife is getting better at anticipating traffic lights with me. She will put up with coasting up to a light if it is red, trying to maintain speed, etc... But just yesterday she was complaining I was not going the speed limit when there is really not room to go the speed limit. There will be a large gap in between the car ahead and us, but the gap remains the same and she just compains... I am not really sure what makes being on the persons bumper going under the speed limit any better, but in her mind it does. Hopefully she comes around to that.
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Old 11-01-2012, 05:19 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Session #2 - in a Honda Fit 5-speed

Well this was interesting:



Again, an above average driver to begin with - a farmer with a solid understanding of the basics. On his "baseline" lap, he handily beat both the EPA city rating AND the much tougher NRCan (Canadian) city rating.

He even checked & adjusted the tire pressure yesterday, depriving me of a "teachable moment"!

But here's the funny thing: on his last ("coaching") lap, he ended up with the same MPG as his baseline lap! Doh. It happened there was more traffic & he hit more red lights on that lap, yet despite these obstacles he came in with the same MPG. That meant he definitely drove more efficiently... and he understood that point.

But the session lacked the satisfying punch of pointing to higher MPG at the end and saying "ta-daaaa!"

Fortunately, my demo lap went well and showed him what was possible. Again, nothing fancy: Engine stayed on. Just plenty of anticipation, planning & minimizing brake use.

---

That was my first time in a Fit. Neat car! Too bad about the terrible gearing (too low). If it had a proper highway/cruising gear, this would be a killer MPG machine... which would of course cannibalize Insight sales. Which is why we'll never see it. Yay for marketing strategies.

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Latest mods test: 15 mods = 15% MPG improvement: A-B test, 2007 Honda Civic 1.8L, 5-speed
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