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Old 08-03-2011, 10:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
The guy slowing you down
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: westernmost Rednekistan
Posts: 23

"The Poop Wgn" - '02 Mazda B2300 Base
90 day: 30.59 mpg (US)
Thanks: 7
Thanked 5 Times in 4 Posts
I had no idea ...

(Nick Riviera voice) Hi everybody!!

...that I was a natural-born hypermiler!
From my dad, who was an engineer, I learned the excellent habit of maintaining a vehicle mileage log.
My first new car was a Honda CRX "regular trim" bought in 1985. I routinely got close to 40mpg from that one. I might have improved on that, but I had to let my blushing bride drive. She was more "cowboy" than I.
My first serious miler was a 1992 Honda Civic VX. I broke that car in lovingly and carefully. I got a high of 61mpg from my best tank in that thing ... and then CA began mandating oxygenates in gasoline. I could tell at once because my average fell from high 50s to low 50s. It recovered as if by magic when summer gas came back to the pumps.
The mileage deficit became permanent when oxygenates became mandatory year-'round. (rant) What IS it with putting dead weight combustion products in my fuel, lowering its energy content and density, and charging me extra for that?? (/rant)
I had to sell that car when we needed something that could accommodate kids. I missed that car, but truth told? I did not miss having angry Volvo Diesel pilots pass me in a slo-mo display of comparative hamsterpower.

Now I have my Mazda B2300. During these hot summer months I routinely exceed 30mpg. For a pickup truck (admittedly the minimal machine to qualify for that status so very desired here in R'stan) that's dang fine! After doing a bit of reading on basic hypermiling techniques here and elsewhere, i realize that I am home here!! I don't do some of the extreme graduate-level techniques, like shutting the engine off at lights or downhill coasting stretches. They are incompatible with Aporigine's Zeroth Commandment of driving: Be inconspicuous. My one systematic violation of that commandment is that I tend to drive at or below the speed limit. I do make a serious effort to pull over when i have traffic behind me. It's CA law and imo a generally good idea.

My principal ecomods are 1) choice of motor oil. I'm a big fan of Redline oils and am using their 5w-20 full-synthetic road vehicle shmeer. A buddy sells Amsoil and I'm thinking of switching ... after tiresomely much online research I am concluding that the two products are about even for tribological excellence. I'm thinking of using 0w-20 ... please tell me if this is a mistake!!
2) tire choice. The truck came on Firestone Wilderness HTs, imo a simply awful tire. I have had to repair seven (7!) punctures from drawing nails and screws into the tread. Compare with zero (0) on all the other cars and motorcycles I have owned over the last 30 years. Finally a month ago the left front tire failed ... the tread unstitched from the carcass, requiring me to become familiar with the general yuckiness of the B2300's tire changing tools and procedures. (The rear tire is under the back of the bed, held on with a cable whose reel is protected by a lock. My key did not fit the lock. The slot for the correct key was smaller than my truck's key!! I needed to use my Universal Spare, size 3/8", cordless. Needles to say that lock is no longer installed or installable.) The tires wore quickly; I am just now approaching 50 kmi. And in rain or snow they are simply UNSAFE. (When there is nobody else on the road, this can be rather amusing.) So now I have Michelin LTXs on order from tire Rack. I haven't been able to find a cecent online comparo of tires by rolling resistance. Did I choose well?

I am also shopping for my next vehicle. I want something that WILL make it up the local grades (I live in the Sierra foothills aka westernmost Rednekistan) in the top gear of a manual tranny. I do not want a hybrid ... I have ethical issues with the conflict minerals being used in the batt packs. While I respect the Prius, I consider it more at home in an urban or suburban setting. I do so wish that we could get a small truck here with a Euro-style economy-minded turbodiesel. Barring that, my frontrunning choice right now is a Honda Fit. Absent a new VX or equivalent from another firm, that's the best i can seem to do. The Mini Cooper is tempting ... great EPA numbers and a sporty stylish design that promises to be fun ... but I am allergic to run-flat tires, and from a bit of poking around online the actual mileage returned is much lower than suggested by EPA figures. The reverse seems true of the Fit. I invite, solicit, verily I entreat opinions.

Or in a fit of mid-life perversity i might just get that slightly-preowned Carrera S... (big cheez-eating grin)

cheers apo

My god - it's full of stars!!
-David Bowman

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