Thread: Newbie from DFW
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
slowmover
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 2,442

2004 CTD - '04 DODGE RAM 2500 SLT
Team Cummins
90 day: 19.36 mpg (US)
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As a Dallas native, welcome. Moved away a few years ago and miss some of the techs and shops where I knew I could find good work and great advice.

What has worked well for me is:

1] Combine all trips. The DHS sez 90% of us go to 90% of the same places 90% of the time. I used MAPQUEST "Best Order Routing" to analyze my usual errands. It is one thing to know to go to the farthest place first (via freeway if possible for a long easy warmup), but it is another to find right-turn only routing from thereon (as does FED-EX and UPS). The effort is worth it.

2] Now, having eliminated short trips and cold starts, the challenge is to drive the remaining miles as well as possible. I decided that changing my habits was crucial as I wanted things to be habitual. That is, I would use whatever methods adapted on a constant basis. It isn't enough to know how to do EOC or P&G, but that one must make them part of the routine of driving.

I've been driving for economy for 40-years, but that didn't mean that there wasn't room for improvement. Just beating EPA estimates is not hard (but it was enough for me for many years).

I highly recommend extensive records. The fuel log here is good to use. I record in a journal kept in the console. All gallons, and all miles. Any effort expended is all about changes to the baseline mpg: the percentage change.

Finally, it is worth every effort to mechanically baseline the vehicle. Don't assume that alignment or brake drag or steering wander, etc, is within boundaries, Spend a little to find out. Little things like posture, mirror adjustment, clean glass all add up.

FE is all about details. Many, if not most, are just a matter of making some lists (scheduled maintenance as a beginning) and checking things off as part of those records.

A big metro area presents challenges. Time and distance don't always equate as stress plays a big role in getting from Point A to Point B. The relaxed driver who has to give the least input to the vehicle to maintain best momentum is miles ahead.

Good luck.

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