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Old 07-15-2008, 10:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Talking Hello!...from Massachusetts, USA

Hey everyone!

I recently purchased a 2006 Kia Rio LX - 1.6L automatic...mainly for its fuel efficiency and low cost. I drive at least 75% highway. I am expecting to get about 32mpg...based on fueleconomy.gov., and so far I'm half-way through my first tank of gas and I think I'm going to come out around 40mpg because of some simple techniques I found while reading around on this and similar forums! I'm excited to see what my final number will be! It's definitely a huge improvement from my 17.8mpg that my Jeep was giving me.

Anyhoo, I'm still new to the whole EcoModding/Hypermiling scene and am wondering what else I can do to improve my mpg...just simple things, I'm not comfortable doing Pulse and Glides, etc. So far, I've just really changed my driving style and have seen great numbers...in my opinion. I'm driving a steady 55mph on the highway, limiting the use of my brakes a lot, generally just driving slow and having a light foot. I'm also keeping the windows rolled up once I hit about 40mph, never use the A/C , radio, lights (during the day), etc.

On my way home after work, I'm going to inflate my tires to 44psi...as it says on the sidewalls, rather than the label on the door jamb. I also heard that changing my oil to synthetic would be a good idea. My main concern is that synthetic is thinner and will leak? Maybe?...I heard something along those lines a while back. Also, if I change to synthetic, do I have to flush the previous oil out? What are some good brands?

Any other suggestions to improve my Fuel Economy?

Thanks in advance!

...don't mind the signature below...I'm just waiting to finish up this tank of gas to put the data in...


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Old 07-15-2008, 11:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Vegan Powa! - '91 Honda CRX DX
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Welcome to ecomodder! For some more hypermiling tips, check this out: 100+ hypermiling / ecodriving tips to increase gas mileage - EcoModder.com
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Old 07-15-2008, 01:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
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The first thing I'd do is invest in a ScanGauge or build yourself an MPGuino to track your progress with driving technique and mods.

Synthetic oil won't leak out of a new car. The fuel efficiency advantage in going to synthetic lubricants is limited to cold temperature performance, something worth considering for the Mass winter.

Welcome to the forum!
Project MPGiata! Mods for getting 50+ MPG from a 1990 Miata
Honda mods: Ecomodding my $800 Honda Fit 5-speed beater
Mitsu mods: 70 MPG in my ecomodded, dirt cheap, 3-cylinder Mirage.
Ecodriving test: Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown

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 07-15-2008, 02:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Wonton Mobile - '06 Kia Rio LX
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Thanks for the info guys! The scanguage is a bit pricey for me...I don't think I'm ready for one yet, but it's definitely not a bad idea.

Last edited by HyperMiler; 07-15-2008 at 02:49 PM..
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Old 07-15-2008, 02:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hello & welcome from a fellow Mass resident,

You may not see any improvement above 38 or 40 psi. I would try it progressively -- it will affect the ride, and if it starts the wheels jittering over rough pavement, it could affect the handling.

You might want to coast in neutral with the engine idling. In situations when you can carry your speed, this will greatly improve your mileage, since you will coast a lot further than you will coasting in gear.

In situations where you need to stop at the end of the coast, then leaving it in gear will be best -- the computer shuts off the fuel, so you get the same effect as turning off the engine; but without any downsides.

I personally will not do EOC (engine off coasting), because my car becomes very difficult to control -- and I'm a big, strong guy. But, coasting in neutral with the engine idling is not a threat to my safety, IMO. And according to my ScanGauge, I get up to 340mpg while coasting at 55mph.
Sincerely, Neil

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Old 07-15-2008, 02:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Also, consider joing the EM Garage here. You start by posting data about your car, including the EPA estimates, and then posting your fuel purchases/mileage. This will automatically create a "banner" for you telling how much above EPA you are... assuming you will be above EPA. It's very precise and will help keep you "situationally aware" of your mileage.

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Old 07-15-2008, 02:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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AzxA - '06 Scion xA
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The SGII is pricey but it is very powerful. With it, I have jumped from 38mpg to my current tank of 43 (best trip was 46 mpg) because I can surgically tailor my driving to get better FE.

By far, the best and cheapest mod you can do is to change you -- the driver. I jumped from 33 to 38mpg: reading the 105 tips, hanging out here and at cleanmpg, listening to NPR and just being more relaxed with the road. I pumped my tires up to 40psi and coast a lot more and cleaned up some of the aerodynamics by covering/removing any glaring "air catches". I'll work on an upper grille block next.

I don't usually look at signatures because I look at the left margin first (then I cry at the kickass FE people are getting that I wish I was... but I'll be there someday!!! I believe in the Scangauge)

My 5 pillars of fuel efficiency:
  • driving style
  • aerodynamics
  • tires
  • weight reduction
  • engine maintenance
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Old 07-15-2008, 02:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Wonton Mobile - '06 Kia Rio LX
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I've been considering coasting while in Neutral, just a little hesitant/nervous because I'm not used to it. It's definitely worth a shot though. Should I be doing that on the highway?..like down a hill. Or just keep it to city driving?

Also, I have actually added my vehicle to the EM Garage...but just waiting for this tank of gas to finish up so I can post the results in the log.

I used to be somewhat of a speed demon with my previous vehicle, but since purchasing this one, I've changed dramatically and I believe it shows in my mpg...but we'll see in a couple days when I refuel, what #s I'm pulling in.

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Old 07-15-2008, 02:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hello and welcome to the site.

Pulsing and gliding will really boost up the mileage. We recommend you try new techniques in very light traffic or even in an abandoned parking lot to get used to it if you're not comfortable. You can start out with just popping it in neutral down hills to get used to it. Once you are used to it try doing it more. The more you do it, the less gas you use.

Good luck.
Current project: A better alternator delete
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Old 07-15-2008, 09:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Welcome to the site. Glad you could join us. If a Scangauge is out of your budget, some of us "Old School" guys use a Vacuum gauge to help with fuel economy. More info on that can be found here.............

For highway fuel economy, I highly suggest you check out the Aerodynamics forum section.


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