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Old 02-01-2014, 02:09 AM   #21 (permalink)
Should I turn here...?
 
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Thanks for piping up, Detail Man! If you have any certain techniques that you do/use, please post.

On the "how long must the engine be off to save fuel vs. idling" question-- have there been any studies/testing done to see how much fuel is used on startup for a given engine? Is there any tech data available? Then it could be compared to the gal/hr used at idle (Scangauge computes this, right?) to see how long it takes to reach the break even point. Are there any other threads on this topic?

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Update! I just filled my tank tonight: 338.7 miles and 8.878 gal. 38.15 mpg. This seems to be within a reasonable margin of error compared to last week's 37.2 mpg. I'll be continuing the techniques I'm currently using for another tank or two (and keeping y'all posted), and meanwhile looking in Radio Shack and such places for a good switch to make a kill-switch. I kind of want one anyway for theft prevention, since I tend to leave my keys in the car (both while delivering, and there's usually a spare key inside the car somewhere).

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Old 02-01-2014, 02:25 AM   #22 (permalink)
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when I rocked a civic it the break even point was less than 10 seconds. I forget the math but data was gathered with an mpguino that was more accurate than a scan/ultra guage could be.
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Old 02-01-2014, 08:01 AM   #23 (permalink)
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So far my techniques are pretty typical for the EM crowd: timing redlights, coasting in neutral, picking routes, running in highest gear for the conditions, etc. Half of our delivery area is typical suburban (redlights, 4 lanes, subdivisions) and the other half is rural (narrow, curvy, hilly, country roads). I have plenty of opportunities for coasting with engine on, but not for engine off coasting (at least that I'm comfortable with not having a kill switch).

This tank I'm turning the engine off at each stop to see if that makes a noticeable difference. An Ultragauge (probably, still researching the different brands) is in the near future. The other technique that will really pay off is getting used to starting out in first without over-revving the engine. It's been years since I've had a stick shift.

@ MetroMPG, I read another thread of your eco-driving lessons. You mentioned that during your demo drive you had the highest average speed for the fuel used. That was an interesting observation, and it confirmed my sense that the fastest speed for the lowest rpms is most efficient.

I also liked your comment that the steep part of the improvement curve was the fun side. That's a bit inspirational.
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Old 02-01-2014, 12:50 PM   #24 (permalink)
Should I turn here...?
 
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When I started delivering pizzas, one of the guys told me that I should be glad if I had an automatic, because I would come to hate driving a stick-shift. I'm so glad I have a manual, though. It's way more fun and interesting to drive, especially as I'm trying to up my mpg-- there's just so much more fine control over stuff like shift points and coasting.
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:16 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I just saw that modern fuel injected cars use the same amount of fuel sitting for 7 seconds as they do to start up so really anything over 7 seconds would save fuel then
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:54 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Does that account for the loss of battery charge from starting the vehicle? I'd think the alternator would take add another couple seconds to the equation.
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Old 02-19-2014, 07:12 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
Do you have a manual transmission? I get the same MPG regardless of stop and go or steady highway driving because I let a gap develop ahead of me, and I coast while traffic is slowing, and accelerate slightly when it picks up. Basically, I drive the average speed of traffic and don't worry if people cut into that gap. This strategy might not work as well in cities other than Portland due to other drivers being more aggressive. In Portland, people tend to move out of my lane about as often as they move into it, so I barely loose any time by leaving a gap.
This is exactly how I drive & it works wonders, even here in DC. No real difference in city/hwy MPG.

Most of the OP's fuel is likely wasted during acceleration & mastering the manual should make a noticeable difference. In more rural situations when getting up to speed, shift as early as possible & don't be afraid to dive into the accelerator. Just keep those RPM's as low as possible w/o lugging the engine.

Also when in stop & go traffic, tame the wave as much as possible to avoid complete stops. Accelerating from a 1-2 MPH creep is much better than from a complete stop.
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Old 02-21-2014, 02:44 PM   #28 (permalink)
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If you see the light is going to be red when you get there, key off before arrival; that time counts toward your payback.

I know the CX is pretty light already but if there's any weight you can remove, you would see big results from not having to bring that extra mass back up to speed all the time.

First step: what's in the trunk? My younger boy was complaining about poor mileage in the truck and I pointed out that for the last three months, he'd been giving his old, to-be-tossed mattress a free tour of the city.
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Old 02-23-2014, 04:57 PM   #29 (permalink)
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All that stop and go, I'd scour Craigslist or the local pick-a-part yards for a set of Civic VX wheels. And some 155/80/13 tires. Even if you only found a pair of VXs, it'd be a start. Cut that unsprung rotational mass as much as possible! Synthetic oil at your next oil change couldn't hurt either, same goes for the gearbox.
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Old 02-24-2014, 12:14 PM   #30 (permalink)
Should I turn here...?
 
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In updated news, I've been getting a pretty good average of 37mpg (36ish, 38.5, 36, and I'm working on another tank which I expect to be up).

I'm definitely going to install a kill switch, I just have to find a switch that isn't too obtrusive, and wait for the weather and my schedule to clear up (I don't have a garage to work in, and it's currently snowing/raining...).

My rural town doesn't have much in the way of stop-and-go traffic jams, so I don't get much chance to "tame the wave", and I do try to avoid having to stop for lights as much as possible, and keying off when I know I'm going to have to wait at a red.

I've actually been surprised that being heavier on the accelerator pedal doesn't make a noticeable difference in my mileage. As far as shifting early, I generally hit 2nd as soon as possible, 3rd @ 20-25, 4th @ 30-35, 5th @ ~45.

I wouldn't mind having a set of lightweight wheels, but as I've mentioned before, my budget is about this big |---|. So unless they're free or under $15-20, it will break the budget. And I don't have anything extra that I'm carrying around besides the spare, toolkit, and first-aid kit. None of those are extraneous.

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