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Old 01-05-2015, 09:25 AM   #9 (permalink)
elhigh
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: SE USA - East Tennessee
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Josie - '87 Toyota Pickup
90 day: 28.6 mpg (US)

Felicia - '09 Toyota Prius Base
90 day: 50.31 mpg (US)
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Hey Scorch,

Going from high 70s to middle 30s must be quite a jolt. Then again, Maryland in January isn't a bad time to be riding inside a cage, so I call that a wash.

As you've already seen you can make a big difference to the car's yield just with how you drive. And you've already noted that the automatic hampers the car's flexibility and potential quite a bit.

Spending a lot of time in stop-and-go traffic means aero improvements don't help you much. The time spent idling at lights and pushing harder on the gas to get back up to speed add a lot, too.

Examine your usual route and see if there's a different one, one that keeps your car motoring along just above the torque convertor lockup threshold. Modest speeds in top gear with the TC locked up are the butter zone, and if you have to add distance to spend more time there, it still may be enough of an improvement to reduce your overall fuel consumption. It also means your average speed will go up, further into the range where aero improvements can make an improvement and reduce your consumption even further.
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