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Old 06-21-2012, 04:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Driving tips/good habits for better mpg IN CITY?

Alright, so I'm taking a wild shot and saying most of you guys and gals get your awesome MPG scores because you don't drive ~90% in city...or do you? I live in Manhattan and I do frequent trips out of state but I was just wondering any tips city drivers on Ecomodder may have? 4 out of 7 days of the week, I'm at work.

Driving to work and home from work I take two specific avenues where you can drive at a steady speed as they will continue to turn green after you pass each block (as opposed to lights turning green at the same time, then red at the same time. Manhattan is a very hilly island..eh, City. Going to work, there's a lot of uphills, so i'm usually in 3rd gear going about 35-40mph. On the way home from work, i'm going a steady mix of up and down hills, but usually in 4th gear going about 40mph, a little over 1k rpm. Figured i'd just add that part in.

*For NYC peoples, I take Lexington (used to take 5th but too much traffic beyond 56th street especially due to construction) to go to work, from 112th to 31st and I take 1st ave on the way home (sometimes I take Madison but when I do, I drive in 3rd gear, preparing for the wonderful crazy cabbies. Seriously, driving in this city is always a fun driving adventure). My chariot is a 1997 Saturn SL.*

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Old 06-21-2012, 06:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SegaSaturn View Post
Alright, so I'm taking a wild shot and saying most of you guys and gals get your awesome MPG scores because you don't drive ~90% in city...or do you?
Most of the serious eco-drivers get better MPG in the city than they do on the highway (assuming manual transmission & engine kill switch).

Don't idle.

"Drive without brakes" (DWB) .

Advanced: an engine kill switch that permits engine-off coasting up to stops/turns. (See disclaimers about power assisted steering & brake vacuum reserve. Switching off via the key is arguably less safe than a kill switch.) Don't try this in traffic until you can do it safely!

Quote:
Manhattan is a very hilly island.
Advanced: pulse & glide is ideally suited to hilly drives (same disclaimers as engine off coasting).
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Old 06-21-2012, 11:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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stop and go is the best way to get great gas mileage. the only problem is you have to do it without using the brakes so you either need to know exaclty where and when you will stop or drive where there is no traffic.

Basicaly my car gets about 44mpg at 60mph (it's auto trans) but if i accelerate from a stop to let's say 30mph and let the car come to a dead stop without using the brakes i get about 60mpg so if i repeat that process all the time i would get 60mpg all the time. now, try doing that on the way to work
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Old 06-22-2012, 01:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank for all the recommendations!

Hmm, don't idle. So when I come to a red light, do I cut the engine? Seems like that'll be hell on my starter no? Driving without brakes is a big no no in Manhattan epecially going down the avenues. Taxi cabs are 100% willing to cut you off to get a fair, so it's virtually impossible to "anticipate when you're going to stop" unfortunately. With the pulse and glide, sounds like a good idea to do when i'm on Riverside (I used to do something similar to that on route 15 to CT since that road is hill heaven).

As for getting out the city, can't do that lol. I love this city, my heart, my family, my work, everything I do...all here. Driving around here, I can anticipate lights down most avenues, but lately they have been reprogramming them to 'control' traffic (which IMO just makes it worse).

If I was still in South Hadley, then I can easily picture myself doing all that you guys have recommended...guess in this little city it's almost impossible! I plan on getting an Ultragauge EM to assist.
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Old 06-22-2012, 03:00 AM   #5 (permalink)
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My driving is mostly stop and go in the city. If traffic is really bad, I have alternate routes. For the most part I maintain a steady speed just above the transmission shift point, either 30 mph or 42 mph. And I coast to lights, unless I have too much speed, then I use DFCO (on an automatic...) I don't get phenomenal mileage, but I never shut the engine off while rolling because I need my steering and brakes. I also coast down most hills.

My best mileage is on highway trips through the mountains (best 52 mpg), my worst mileage is on flat highway trips where I have to maintain 65 or 70 mph to avoid getting run over by the speed demons, about 40 mpg.

In the city on my commute I get 45-46 mpg.
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Old 06-22-2012, 03:19 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Now that's certainly amazing. I'm not sure how many mpg i'm getting at the moment, but it's not really that good. I haven't had time to calculate it, but very soon i'll dedicate some time to doing so. My main goal in this car is to get the best mpg I can city and highway and to keep it running as long as possible. It's quite a , not the type of car I normally would buy but I love it, it's fun and it has it's purpose.
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Old 06-22-2012, 03:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Accelerate briskly from a stop (don't floor it, though). Get a ScanGauge or similar to determine if and when your engine computer goes into wide-open throttle (WOT) open loop as a result of depressing the gas pedal, and then use that information to avoid going into WOT open loop.
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Old 06-22-2012, 05:06 AM   #8 (permalink)
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+1 on the accelerating briskly. But not so briskly that you need the brakes more than normal.

Example: when you turn onto a street that you are going to drive down for, say, two blocks before turning again, accelerate to 30 mph and then coast. It feels wrong, as if you should be pushing the throttle to maintain enough speed to get to where you are going to turn, but it is amazing how long it takes a car to slow down. Every route takes practice, timing when you let off the throttle to just have enough momentum for each and every turn. But as stated above, you will be rewarded.

As for a ScanGauge, I just got a used one for $115 (shipping) on Ebay. They for themselves pretty quick. I find just having one in the car (with instant and avg mileage on the screen) scares my wife into getting better mileage, even though "she is not interested in hypermiling." HA!
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Old 06-22-2012, 03:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm going to lay down a long post for you because you're new and the questions that you asked here are ones I had in my mind but had to figure out for myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SegaSaturn View Post
Alright, so I'm taking a wild shot and saying most of you guys and gals get your awesome MPG scores because you don't drive ~90% in city...or do you?
My driving is 100% city. I drive a honda fit with a manual transmission. NO hardware mods. The only thing I have is a scangauge. I do not have an engine kill switch (yet).

The EPA on my car is 27 mpg in the city. My last tank was 55 mpg.

The only thing that might skew my results is the fact that I delivery drive so maybe 50% of my driving is with the car warmed up. However it's also a lot of on/off and ignition use so you could look at it that way as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SegaSaturn View Post
I was just wondering any tips city drivers on Ecomodder may have? 4 out of 7 days of the week, I'm at work.
Everything that mostly anyone can think of is already listed in the two lists under 100+ hypermiling tips/ 60+ ecomods.

I would avoid accelerating briskly. I don't see why anyone would do that. Hell, I was getting about 40 mpg until I slowed my acceleration by 50%.

The main things I use are:

(P&G)Pulse and Glide - accelerating and then shutting off the engine and coasting, then restarting the engine with the clutch (or simply coasting in neutral)

(EOC)Engine Off Coasting - Name is self explanatory

(DFCO)Deceleration Fuel Cut Off - if you engine brake at the right rpms for a certain amount of time, the car will cut off the injectors and stop burning fuel

And the last one I would say is to slow WAAAAY down when you see a red light. If I'm going up to a red light, I will drop down to 15 mph .2 - .5 miles away from the red light with the engine off. This reduces idling as well as opens up the opportunity to possibly save momentum because the light might turn green and you can glide right through it.

Quote:
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Hmm, don't idle. So when I come to a red light, do I cut the engine? Seems like that'll be hell on my starter no?
That's my argument exactly. I do not cut my engine at a red light. Not for 10 seconds, not for 30 seconds, not for 60 seconds. I do not not not do that.

However, from the previous threads I've seen this practice is commonplace. It's up to you to decide.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SegaSaturn View Post
I plan on getting an Ultragauge EM to assist.
Spend a little extra money and get the scangauge. This is a one time purchase that you can resell for the same you paid for it if you don't want it anymore. I went without it for a while because I didn't want to spend the money. Then when I got it my gas mileage jumped +12 mpg. Pays for itself. Period. Ignore the looks you get when you tell people how much you paid for it. They're the ones driving like idiots.

Also, this is something you can use for every car you buy until the day you die. Just make sure your car has an OBD-II port.
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Old 06-23-2012, 01:05 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Brisk acceleration lowers intake manifold vacuum and opens up the throttle - these two things make the engine more efficient at driving its load. P&G uses this very concept on the "pulse" part. I use it to get 18-19 MPG out of a vehicle that is rated at 13 MPG in the city.

It's important to realize that brisk acceleration is only meant to get you to speed. If your speed happens to be timed with the upcoming traffic light, then so be it. Brisk acceleration does not mean race.

Also, if the engine goes into WOT open loop due to the gas pedel being depressed too far, and fuel delivery is enriched as a result, then there is obviously no improvement in fuel economy.

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