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Old 06-26-2013, 04:43 PM   #17 (permalink)
EcoModding n00b
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Klickitat County, WA
Posts: 11
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My commute won't set any mileage records, but it's entertaining and quite the challenge to squeeze mileage out of.

I start off at home, 1800 ft MSL, 1/4-mile gravel driveway. Get out to road (gravel), climb to 2000 ft MSL over next ~1.5 miles. A few undulations, then downhill to 1800ft, stop sign and set of 90-degree right/left corners (also gravel). After the hard left, I give it a little gas to get up to 30 or so, then shift to neutral and coast... for 2-3 miles. Back into drive for the last 1/2 mile of gravel. Turn onto paved highway, slowly work it up to 55. Hilly terrain for the next several miles, averaging 1700-1800 ft MSL, so I practice pulse-and-glide. Sometimes I'm bucking a stiff headwind, so gliding doesn't work so well (there's a lot of wind turbines where I live, for good reason).

Once I hit the top of the hilly terrain on the paved highway, then I can *almost* coast from roughly 1600 ft the rest of the way down to river level (~100ft MSL). If I could turn the motor off, I'd get unbelievable mileage... but sadly, I have to keep the motor idling to keep the auto trans fluid pump working. The big issue with Subaru autos: no towing or coasting w/o the motor running.

Once on the highway next to the Columbia River, it's 10 miles at roughly 60 mph to the next town... slow to 25, go through town, across a 3/4-mile steel grate bridge, then uphill along 20-mph streets to get to the parking lot.

It's a total of 33 miles one way.

I've been able to push our box-stock Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited up to ~27 mpg on this route. EPA says it gets 18/25, with a combined rating of 20. The car is even running at the stock tire pressure (which is too low for proper wear, let alone best mileage). Last couple of tanks have hand-calc'd out to 26 mpg... that includes stints of my wife driving, and she uses zero hypermiling techniques.

I'm looking forward to upping the tire pressure for the next tank. Then, maybe, I will start looking into aero mods. I'm planning to put a set of skidplates under it for protection when offroading, and I may buy some material to interconnect the skidplates for better aerodynamics on the highway. Also debating whether to get lighter wheels... rotating mass is a killer.
2013 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited (3.6L H6/auto)
2011 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Duramax/Allison
2008 Saturn Sky 2.4L/auto (wife's car)
2000 Cagiva Gran Canyon 900
1986 VW Golf GTI mod project (1.8L 8v/manual)

Last edited by DucFanDan; 06-27-2013 at 01:58 PM..
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