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Old 05-22-2008, 02:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: New York City
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Originally Posted by Daox View Post
Hey Ncc, welcome again.

Unfortunatley for your lead food, driving technique is the #1 mod to do to a car to improve mileage. Check out the 100+ ecodriving tips here and pick out a few and try them. I'd highly suggest looking at pulse and glide, driving without brakes for techniques. With a little work you should be over 40 mpg easily. As for immediate mods, pump up those tires to max sidewall pressure. The car will handle better, tires will last longer, and you'll get better mileage. The only downside is a slightly harsher ride. The grill mod will help the car warm up faster, but unless you do a lot of highway traveling, your not going to see the aerodynamic benefits from it.
My issue with the appropriate driving style for maximum MPG is one of several. First off, NY roads, both highway and street, are just about never suited to most of them, everything from steady speed to P&G techniques. It's just a fact of life most of us live with in this area. In other areas of the nation it's easier to do, I believe. Remember, it's not just us on the road, it's everyone else that helps dictate our driving style.

As noted in my original post, when I do take into account consistent driving, there is no doubt that the consistency helps greatly. Also, staying at the recommended 55 MPH is another tremendous boost. This is the type of situtation where I'd like to employ things like the aero mods. I'm doing this activity largely out of an interest in the subject and proof of concept rather than significant changes to my driving style.

I had originally wanted a Prius (barring a higher performance car, that is), but was actually very uncomfortable in a Prius (I'm 6'4"). Otherwise I found it to be an excellent car.

One of my first mods will be lowering the car, which is part of a whole suspension project in general. If I understand correctly, and there is no countering force, lowering the car creates less wind resistance and therefore drag, and is thus more efficient. The next part of it all will be the baffle project, as well as a skin under the car.


Oh, a small aside for an update to the P&G techniques write-up. Most modern manuals are equipped with a fuel saving mode that causes the engine to kill the injectors while the car is coasting in gear. It does induce drag, naturally, which means that some sort of research here on the comparative costs/benefits of the loss of coasting difference over neutral, but it's worth mentioning anyway.
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