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Old 02-16-2009, 12:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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IMO, routinely killing the engine just isn't worth it. Apart from starter and/or clutch wear, you are also beating up the ignition switch. The engine itself also experiences a little extra wear at every stop: The protective film of oil collapses as it slows to a stop and doesn't reform until the engine regains speed. Also, I find that the constant obsessive fiddle-farting to be distracting and tedious. A small engine like yours probably doesn't burn any more than 1/4 gal per hour at idle. Unless you're stuck at a loooong light, train crossing, etc., you're really not saving much.

Since you've got a manual transmission, I'd suggest you read up on specific fuel consumption and pulse/glide driving. The basic notion is that you try to run the engine in it's most efficient RPM/throttle envelope. This is usually found from ~20% to ~50% of redline, and between 40% and 80% of full throttle. (Don't get too close to flooring it, the car may richen the mixture if it thinks you REALLY want to accelerate.) Your variable valve timing will probably extend and distort this zone somewhat, depending on how the ECU is programmed. In practice, all this means is that you short shift and give it a fair amount of gas. This was worth almost 5 MPG city for me.

Actual BSFC (brake specific fuel consumption, or sometimes just SFC.) charts are, unfortunately, hard to find. You might ask the mechanics at the local dealership; sometimes the factory manuals have extra goodies that are not generally available.
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