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Old 04-17-2020, 02:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
EcoModding Lurker
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: West Pittston, PA
Posts: 2

F150 - '05 Ford F-150 XLT

Mazda3 - '16 Mazda 3 iTouring
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I Don't Like Hypermiling

Really, I just like money.

There, I said it. My name is Dave, and my primary reason for reducing fuel consumption is saving money. My apologies if this is long for an introduction post.

I care about the environment quite a bit, but my contributions to protecting the environment are primarily made in ways that are outside the scope of this forum (being miserly with my home heat and air conditioning, growing my own food, harnessing solar/wind energy, etc.) so I won't be discussing it here unless any of it is relevant to my saving gas.

I currently take a holistic approach to saving money on transportation costs. I walk or ride a bicycle instead of driving when possible. I try to be a smooth and predictable driver because I know that I will be less likely to get into an expensive accident. I do all my own repairs and do frequent preventative maintenance, often using top-shelf fluids and components when I believe they'll save me money in the long-run. I strive to prolong the life of wear items such as brakes/rotors, clutches, etc. Luckily these things are generally conducive to good gas mileage, so I've got a solid foundation.

The biggest problem for me is that I love spirited driving; I will never give up my weekend joyrides up a winding mountain road, or the occasional hard acceleration from a stop just for the thrill of it. I get no pleasure from trying to drive more efficiently, but hypermiling is the last piece of the penny-pinching puzzle for me. Therefore, I am pledging to drive as efficiently as possible as often as possible, doing whatever is necessary provided it does not interfere with safety or create hidden costs (e.g. trading better mileage for higher maintenance costs.)

I'd like to introduce you to my fleet, but first let me tell you what my needs are and why our vehicle lineup is what it is. I am an office drone by day, so I just need to get to work and back most of the time. My wife works from home, so owning 1 vehicle would be fine 99% of the time if we just had to work. However, in our spare time we buy houses, fix them up ourselves, and rent them out. We haul appliances and lumber, make dump runs, and sometimes pull a trailer full of stuff. I also do light landscaping work as a side job.

Without further ado, meet:

1. Bertha, my wife's 2013 Prius C. Rear seats were removed and replaced with plywood decking. This is our primary vehicle for recreational use (we do a lot of camping), getting from A to B, and stuff-moving. Gas mileage is so good that I've honestly never tracked it. I should probably change that. It fits a surprising amount of material, but for big jobs we found ourselves spending a ton of money renting pickup/box trucks until I bought...

2. Luanne, my seen-better-days 2005 F-150 with 220k miles and a 5.4L V8. Hitting the EPA rating of 13/17 mpg is a pipe dream for her, but to be fair she's only on the road when she's towing or loaded down with more than 800 lbs.

3. Ricardo, my 2016 Mazda3. 6-speed manual, 2.0L 4-banger. This is the vehicle that I use for A to B stuff when the wife is using the Prius for something, or when we're transporting friends, or when I just want to take a drive for fun. I generally meet or exceed the EPA rating of 29/39 mpg without trying much. This is my favorite vehicle of the bunch, and I don't feel guilty getting the mileage I do, but honestly we could get by without it. I just can't bring myself to sell her.

Hmm. Is it weird that we name our vehicles?

I've already begun my journey - yesterday I managed an average of 48 mpg in the Mazda on a 2-hour drive where I'd normally get 41-43, simply by putting a little extra cushion between myself and other cars, trying harder to anticipate traffic lights, and allowing myself to lose speed up hills on the highway.

Finally, I'd like to thank everyone here for all the information I've already taken from this site while lurking, and I look forward to contributing whatever I can to help others making a similar endeavor.

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