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Old 10-09-2019, 11:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Currently on a Florida road trip ... random efficiency thoughts



I'm on a little a road trip, heading south as co-driver with a snowbird friend who's making an early escape from the Impending Season. (We literally passed flocks of southbound Canadian geese, fer cryin out loud!).

Weapon of choice (actually I had no choice): 2008 Honda Odyssey with 240k km / 149k miles on it.


Observation 1:



Sometimes when the engine goes into Eco mode, you can feel a very slight lurch, like a transmission shift.

I think this V6 engine runs on 3-cylinders in Eco mode.

Today's fuel economy so far is 8.0 L/100 km = 29.4 MPG US.

It's rated at 20 city / 25 highway


Observation 2:

Fuel is cheap in America!


Observation 3: (related to #2?)



I'm seeing lots of side skirts on trucks, and a few full wheel covers, but only one trailer tail so far.

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Old 10-09-2019, 11:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The other thing I've noticed is in general a lot of attention is getting paid to the interface between the tractor and the trailer. I've been noticing a lot of semi-rigid rubber interfaces that make the gaps very small, while still allowing full range of motion.

What amazes is me is I have seen the ECO light in ours come on when my wife had the cruise set at ~80 mph. I don't drive that fast.
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Old 10-10-2019, 10:32 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
The other thing I've noticed is in general a lot of attention is getting paid to the interface between the tractor and the trailer. I've been noticing a lot of semi-rigid rubber interfaces that make the gaps very small, while still allowing full range of motion.

Neat. I have to say I didn't notice that.

Quote:
what amazes is me is I have seen the ECO light in ours come on when my wife had the cruise set at ~80 mph. I don't drive that fast.
My snowbird friend drives faster than I do, but I've seen the light on at least at 75 mph. It's like lean burn in the Insight: the more you load up the engine, the easier it drops out!

-----------------------------

Observation #4:

Savannah, Georgia is a beautiful small city. Stayed there overnight.

Observation #5:




So far, I've seen 5x more Model S's and 3's on this trip than Mitsubishi Mirages.

The flat, wide roads in NC/SC/Georgia made me wish for something like Tesla's "auto pilot" (ahem, bad marketing). Or GM's Supercruise. I'd love to try it on these wide, flat stretches of interstate.


Observation #6

Related to #5, when I use cruise control, it wastes fuel. When my friend uses cruise control, it saves fuel.
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Old 10-10-2019, 10:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm not sure what's going on above, but it shows me having posted a reply, however what's there is your response quoting my reply. Weird.
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Old 10-10-2019, 01:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 61.98 mpg (US)

Fancy Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 58.72 mpg (US)

Even Fancier Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
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Aw crap! Somehow I edited your post as my reply instead of actually replying to yours. That's a new screw-up for me. Sorry about that!


With great power comes great screw-ups.
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Ecodriving test: Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown



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Old 10-10-2019, 07:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Not bad! What speeds are you running? I have seen mid-30s in my wife’s van, when I drove from Harrisburg, PA to DC for July 4th several years ago, but I kept CC to the speed limit which was basically a ton of 55-60mph (~90-100kph), and the a/c humming.

As a trucker myself, I’ll tell you that the trailer tails were a thing about 5-10 years ago, but I am guessing it wasn’t worth the cost. My company dabbled in them. Of the maybe 10 trailers I’ve pulled with one, I could not tell the MPG difference, most were broken, and it can make backing up harder. All of our trailers, though, have skirts. The tractors have had these soft (but flimsy) wheel covers for a while, but the newest trucks like my 2020 Cascadia P4 have some nice full metal discs. They’re also exclusively getting automated manuals now, and after 43k miles, although I miss my find-em-or-grind-em 10-speed, it’s made the biggest mpg difference I have seen in the fleet, easily worth a full mpg, or 10-15%.

Savannah and nearby Charleston are charming places. A shame you didn’t have time to head out to Hilton Head Island. Really the whole coastal Carolinas are low-key great places. But do avoid Atlanta if for some reason you have to go that way instead. Oh, and if you happen to go up 95, stop by South Of The Border off of I95 near the South/North Carolina state line, the kitch factor alone is worth the stop and a leg stretch.
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Old 10-11-2019, 01:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Apparently I should have bought an Odyssey instead of my Forester! It gets better fuel economy!

It is almost rated as well as my Accord!

This is the spare tire location:
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Old 10-11-2019, 02:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Nice insights.
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Old 10-11-2019, 12:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 61.98 mpg (US)

Fancy Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 58.72 mpg (US)

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcp123 View Post
Not bad! What speeds are you running? I have seen mid-30s in my wifeís van, when I drove from Harrisburg, PA to DC for July 4th several years ago, but I kept CC to the speed limit which was basically a ton of 55-60mph (~90-100kph), and the a/c humming.

Speeds at or very near the limit when I'm driving, right lane most of the time. I cycle the AC when I'm behind the wheel (my friend didn't notice).



Quote:
Theyíre also exclusively getting automated manuals now, and after 43k miles, although I miss my find-em-or-grind-em 10-speed, itís made the biggest mpg difference I have seen in the fleet, easily worth a full mpg, or 10-15%.

Interesting! Is it similar to cars: would a skilled & motivated eco-driver be able to beat the automatic's numbers with a manual? Or are the automatics geared differently? More efficient top gear?



Quote:
... and nearby Charleston are charming places. A shame you didnít have time to head out to Hilton Head Island. Really the whole coastal Carolinas are low-key great places.

Thanks for confirming this. I was just telling my friend I'd like to visit Charleston if/when we do this drive again. I once missed the chance to visit Charleston as part of a tall ships event, as crew on one of the ships. Didn't go - still kicking myself for that.



Quote:
if you happen to go up 95, stop by South Of The Border off of I95 near the South/North Carolina state line, the kitch factor alone is worth the stop and a leg stretch.

We were chuckling at the multitude of bad-punny roadside billboards advertising that place! Though when we went past, it looked deserted to me. Seasonal, maybe?
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Honda mods: Ecomodding my $800 Honda Fit 5-speed beater
Mitsu mods: Oops, I did it again! Bought another cheap, 3-cylinder Mirage. Mods in progress...
Ecodriving test: Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown



EcoModder
has launched a forum for the efficient new Mitsubishi Mirage
www.MetroMPG.com - fuel efficiency info for Geo Metro owners
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Old 10-12-2019, 11:08 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Join Date: Nov 2007
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
Team Metro
Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 53.56 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 61.98 mpg (US)

Fancy Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 58.72 mpg (US)

Even Fancier Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 70.75 mpg (US)
Thanks: 3,787
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Top 5

So, today's my last day in God's Waiting Room - I'm heading back to Ontario tomorrow.

Florida round-up: here are my top 5 favourite vehicles in my friend's mobile home park. Three (four?) of them are even notably efficient!


1. EV's EVERYWHERE



You'd be hard pressed to cover a mile circumnavigating the entire neighbourhood. Yet there are tons of golf carts... and no nearby golf course! Most are electric and they come out in the evenings, as folks go visiting.


2) Two birds, one stone!



Prius plug-in owners are saving money on golf carts! (Just like my friend's Prius Prime that I got to drive for a few weeks.) Use EV mode for the evening rounds.


3) Not eco, but full points for style!



The car itself is meh, but that colour scheme! Baby blue with a white vinyl top? Gotta love it. Licence plate says "Fairmont Futura 1978".


4) Soul mate!



Sadly, an automatic.



5) Most Eco



A Florida biker gang! Competition to the golf cart crowd.

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__________________
Honda mods: Ecomodding my $800 Honda Fit 5-speed beater
Mitsu mods: Oops, I did it again! Bought another cheap, 3-cylinder Mirage. Mods in progress...
Ecodriving test: Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown



EcoModder
has launched a forum for the efficient new Mitsubishi Mirage
www.MetroMPG.com - fuel efficiency info for Geo Metro owners
www.ForkenSwift.com - electric car conversion on a beer budget
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