View Single Post
Old 09-30-2008, 02:41 AM   #22 (permalink)
Modified Driver
Twerp's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: South Western middle of nowhereish New Hampshire
Posts: 104

Frozen Tundra - '03 Toyota Tundra 4WD SR5 Access Cab
90 day: 26.51 mpg (US)

Red Skateboard - '91 Honda Civic DX
90 day: 45.49 mpg (US)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 6 Times in 5 Posts
The cap's progress has actually been stalled. I'm waiting to finish it, but I'm in the process of moving as well, so ecomod projects have been put on the back burner for now.

As for what I did to improve my mileage up to 26mpg, well it's a combination of things. Prolly the biggest contributer was the route I was taking to work. The max speed limit was 55 and the min was 30. I averaged about 35 according to my scangauge. There were only about 8 or 9 stop lights and I would hit most of them when they were green. I work the night shift so there was very little traffic on the way to work. It was also cooler so I could run without AC, windows closed and vent fan cranked during the summer. Since I have a stick, I could make up a lot of the energy spent going up hill by coasting EOC downhill and there were some long graceful downhills which would allow me to coast within a reasonable percentage of the speed limit.

For your purposes, here is my advise:

1. Get a Scangauge. If used properly, it will help you save enough gas to pay for itself and then some. Mine paid for itself within a month or so. Program it so that you can view your Average trip mpg as well as your instant mpg. This will help you notice when you burning more gas than necessary.

2. Prolly the most obvious, but so often overlooked. Don't go over 55mph. Let people pass you as needed and try to be patient with tail gaters.

3. Get friendly with mapquest. Engineer your route to work. You want to see if there's a rural route that you can take. Try to avoid highways or excessively fast roads as well as excessive traffic or stop lights/signs. At the same time though, try to figure out the most direct route. Remember that getting 26mpg out of a truck is great but not when you end up adding another 10 miles to your trip. The Scangauge will allow you to view how many gallons you've burned on a trip. Use that when comparing routes.

4. Get intimate with your vehicle. No, don't sleep with it, but turn off the radio and listen to the engine. Get a feel for what the engine sounds like at various speeds and various gears. Play around with the RPMs and gearing. See how low you can keep your RPMs without losing speed.

5. Get intimate with your route. Again, don't sleep with it, but once you've selected your route, practice it. Get to know every hill, speed limit and curve. Try to get a feel for the areas where you can lay off the gas and let the vehicle go. Figure out those areas where you should gradually increase your speed to prepare for ascending a hill. Keeping track of the your trip mileage on the Scangauge at certain points on the trip will help you compare your current mileage with previous trips to see if you are making improvements on that section of the road. For example, I know that when I hit the Goffstown center, I should be at 25 mpg for the trip. I can expect to be at around 26mpg by the RV dealer. I'll lose some mileage going up the hill, but if I crest it around 24 mpg, I can get it back up to 25 by EOCing down to the center of Weare. I have to hit my brakes once halfway down the hill so I don't go over the speed limit by too much, but I also don't want to slow down too much because I want to be able to coast all the way past the convenience store. You know, that type of thing...

6. Go through the driving tips mentioned on the home page of ecomodder. The basics are conserve momentum and minimize idling. Pump up your tires a little bit to get rid of some rolling resistance. Carefully practice the DNB concept. Obviously, use your brakes when you need to slow or stop, but try to plan your accelerations in a way that you don't have to use your brakes as much. Less accelerating equals less gas burned. Try to time lights so that they turn green before you come to a complete stop. Depending on traffic, you could try some pulse and glide. If you have a stick shift you could do some engine off coasting (EOC), especially for some of the longer downhills. Just be aware of your steering lock and the key position which engages it. This goes along with being intimate with your vehicle.

7. Make sure your vehicle is well maintained. You know, go through your manual and make sure that all the scheduled maintenances have been done. Make sure your oil is getting changed on time. Oh, and look into Seafoam. You can apply it to your gas and oil and it cleans everything up pretty nice. When I get bold, I'm going to suck some into the breather and really get the gunk out of my engine. Check out videos of Seafoam in action on youtube. Just make sure you're not Seafoaming your breather when your neighbors are having a get together because you will totally crap on their picnic.

8. As winter approaches, I may get an engine heater so that I can reduce the amount of time that my engine runs rich while it gets to operating temperature. During the summer, there really is no need to let an engine warm up before driving off. Winter is different. Having the engine pre-warmed will eliminate the need to sit there idling and wasting gas. I just need to see if I can run an extension cord to my truck while I'm at work. At home, it won't be an issue.

I hope that helps. Try some of that and see how it goes. Aside from the Scangauge, it's all pretty cheap. Oh, and if you do pick up a Scangauge, be sure to phone them up and mention that you are a member of We get a discount.
  Reply With Quote