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Old 08-31-2015, 12:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: NE Ohio
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Telescope Transporter - '17 Kia Forte 5
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Need Advice on 2008 Kia Rondo

Being recently divorced and down to one income, any place where I can save money is paramount. I'm not financially desperate; I can stay within budget most months and save a little, but more is better.

One place I was naturally looking at in terms of savings was fuel economy. I drive a 2008 Kia Rondo with 60,000 miles on it. It's the standard Rondo with the 2.4L 4-cylinder engine in it. I do mixed driving, averaging around 40% city, 40% highway, and 20% suburban/exurban, but not quite rural. Call it "mixed" driving for short. Combined EPA rating on this model is about 22 mpg, and I'm getting around 22-23 mpg; call it 22.5 mpg as a solid estimate.

Recently, I started adopted some (not all) hypermiling techniques to save fuel. Call it "supermiling" or "hypermiling-lite". Here are the main modifications I did to my driving:

1. No EOC, but I have lengthened--considerably--my coasting distance to stop signs and traffic lights, particularly when I sense a "stale green" light.

2. My local freeways here in NE Ohio--I-77 and US-30--range from 55-65 mph speed limits. I go at the speed limits, neither above nor below. I'm hesitant to drop below the speed limits given traffic flow (again, half-hearted hypermiling), but I noticed before I was consistently going 60-65 mph in the 55mph zones and 70 mph in the 65mph zones.

3. It took a while, but I think I got the hang of keeping the tach constant going uphill (this is NE Ohio, mind you, not West Virginia), preventing downshifting into gas-guzzling gears on most occasions.

4. I did away with quick acceleration altogether. I kept the tach at 2,200 rpm or lower in all gears whenever possible. It seemed going 2,300 rpm or above when upshifting gave me "empty" acceleration when switching gears.

Here's a list of things I *didn't* do:

1. I did not do anything to the tire pressures. 35 psi is recommended (44 psi max. sidewall), and the tires ranged from 33-36 psi during my last fillup.

2. The original Kia roof rack, cross-beams and all, is still on the vehicle.

The results? Again, 22.5 mpg has been a consistent, solid average. I had yet to hit 24 mpg, let alone breach it...

...until now. My last fill-up, with these techniques employed, yielded 26.3 mpg--a 17% boost in mileage! Now I know a lot of folks on this forum can do better, but I'm pretty happy with the results. At my current pace, I'll be driving 15,000 miles/year. The difference in fuel economy would result in nearly 100 fewer annual gallons. If gas averages $2.50/gal, that's $250/yr savings. Furthermore, I can't help but think it'll add several thousand--maybe tens of thousands--of miles between brake replacements...

...but SOMETHING tells me I could do substantially more. And that's where I need the friendly advice of those on this forum. In short, I was wondering what your thoughts are on the following:

1. Is my acceleration from a stop about where it needs to be, higher (to get through the lower gears quicker), or lower?

2. Would I get an appreciable boost in fuel economy with more pressure in the tires? I'm not keen on putting 50 psi in the tires, but what if I keep them all, say, in the 38-40 psi range?

3. Would I get an appreciable boost by removing the OEM roof rack assembly?

Thanks in advance,

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