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Old 01-03-2011, 02:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Driving Technique Comparison (me vs. father in law)

I recently went on vacation with my family. My truck was the only one big enough to carry our luggage and six people so we took it, and my Father in law drove it home. He picked us up when we returned in it too.

When we left, the UltraGauge was reading 18.5mpg with about 35 miles on the trip. When he picked us up, it was at about 90 miles and 16.2mpg. The drive each way is nearly identical to my daily commute where I normally get 18.5-19.5mpg.

My F-I-L doesn't exceed the speed limit, but otherwise drives like your typical driver. I guess that shows that my driving technique is significantly better than typical, but I still haven't met my goal of 20+mpg for my typical commuting (~60% city/40% hwy).

Mike

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Old 01-03-2011, 10:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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shows how much the flat foot can change things aye
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
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full size trucks, usually having larger engines and poor aerodynamics, are very sensitive to driving style.
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Old 01-04-2011, 03:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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darcane good to see you are getting a good percentage better than a normal driver.
Since you mentioned your goal is 20+mpg i thought id check if you were doing the pulse and glide technique, it can be done on an automatic by shifting into neutral.
Although doing P&G with 6 people in the truck im sure at least one of them would ask what you were doing.
Anyway if you aren't yet doing P&G that should push you over the 20mpg goal.

If you have no idea what P&G let me know and ill explain.
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Old 01-04-2011, 04:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I think 20mpg is realistic since you have the 4.8L engine, but not with any city driving. That 4800# is a lot of iron to get moving from a dead stop. Given the percentage of your commute that's city driving, you're doing pretty dang well. I have a 98 with a 5.7 and I'm thrilled when I can get it over 17mpg (which only happens on highway tanks). Then again, I haven't filled it up in over a month since it's our third vehicle. When we do drive it, it's loaded with weight or it's deep snow. Sadly, the best thing you could do to save gas is pick up a used Metro/Civic/Prius for your commute. Obviously I have no clue why you drive a truck, so it may not be an option, but if it is, it'd probably save you $800/year in fuel.
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Old 01-05-2011, 06:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Its fun to read that your driving style was verified for you by an unknowing person like your Father in law. I guess it validates that you are working in the right direction. Having a truck that can carry 6 and loaded with your bags is better than taking multiple cars to the same location.
Good luck in reaching your goal of 20mpg, have you tried a programmer with an economy tune? the "claims of 3-5mpg" improvement are tempting.
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Old 01-05-2011, 03:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saand View Post
darcane good to see you are getting a good percentage better than a normal driver.
Since you mentioned your goal is 20+mpg i thought id check if you were doing the pulse and glide technique, it can be done on an automatic by shifting into neutral.
Although doing P&G with 6 people in the truck im sure at least one of them would ask what you were doing.
Anyway if you aren't yet doing P&G that should push you over the 20mpg goal.

If you have no idea what P&G let me know and ill explain.
I don't really P&G, but I will coast in neutral when I can (coming to a stop, slowing traffic, down hills, exiting a freeway, etc). I have concerns over shifting back and forth TOO often and long term reliability of the tranny. I tend not to do it as much with other people in the truck though (especially a full load since it's harder to shift with someone in the middle front seat).

Mike
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Old 01-05-2011, 04:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by endurance View Post
I think 20mpg is realistic since you have the 4.8L engine, but not with any city driving. That 4800# is a lot of iron to get moving from a dead stop. Given the percentage of your commute that's city driving, you're doing pretty dang well. I have a 98 with a 5.7 and I'm thrilled when I can get it over 17mpg (which only happens on highway tanks). Then again, I haven't filled it up in over a month since it's our third vehicle. When we do drive it, it's loaded with weight or it's deep snow. Sadly, the best thing you could do to save gas is pick up a used Metro/Civic/Prius for your commute. Obviously I have no clue why you drive a truck, so it may not be an option, but if it is, it'd probably save you $800/year in fuel.
I've had several tanks in the mid 19's, so I'm almost there. It is a challenge though. I'm sure I could get over 20 if I only drove hwy miles, but that's not something I ever do unloaded.

Normally, I commute in the truck in the winter months and a motorcycle when it warms up (March-Oct). I also use the truck for truck things (which are all the low points in my fuel log...). This last year, I've had to drive it a lot more since my motorcycle was stolen and never recovered and I've been having problems with the cheap replacement motorcycle I bought. Hopefully I'll get that going soon and can ride all summer.

Mike
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Old 01-05-2011, 04:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHRABill View Post
Its fun to read that your driving style was verified for you by an unknowing person like your Father in law. I guess it validates that you are working in the right direction. Having a truck that can carry 6 and loaded with your bags is better than taking multiple cars to the same location.
Good luck in reaching your goal of 20mpg, have you tried a programmer with an economy tune? the "claims of 3-5mpg" improvement are tempting.
I haven't looked too seriously at programmers... but I've looked at services to reprogram my CPU. 3-5mpg seems outrageous for my truck, most of the claims I see are 1-2mpg. At $200 or so to do it, I'm seriously considering it but I haven't pulled the trigger on doing so since there is no guaruntee it will pay off.

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Old 01-05-2011, 07:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darcane View Post
I don't really P&G, but I will coast in neutral when I can (coming to a stop, slowing traffic, down hills, exiting a freeway, etc). I have concerns over shifting back and forth TOO often and long term reliability of the tranny. I tend not to do it as much with other people in the truck though (especially a full load since it's harder to shift with someone in the middle front seat).

Mike
Rev match? Even with a auto it's a good idea to rev match to some extent when shifting back into gear. This reduces the shock on the tranny. With a torque converter you don't need to be too fussy about exact rpms as you may want to do with a clutch, it does a good job of soaking up some shock, but it also amplifies torque.

You'll feel the jolt, try to minimise it. At near highway speeds I give a brief stab of throttle to before popping back into drive, feel less jolt that way.

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