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Old 01-08-2009, 01:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
In search of mpg
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 9

Old Blue - '07 Honda Civic
90 day: 58.06 mpg (US)
Thanks: 1
Thanked 2 Times in 1 Post
Thumbs up Hello, ye' Hypermile Heros!

Well, I'm new to this forum but guess I've employed some basic hypermiling techniques without even knowing it (pulse/glide mainly). Anyways, I have a 1998 Nissan Sentra 1.6L, 4door, 5spd manual with ~165K on it. Most of my driving is in the 50-60mph range with a daily commute from Raleigh to Ft. Bragg, NC (45 miles one way) across county roads/highways, minor rolling hills, and a couple small towns. I also drive occassionally up to Hampton/Norfolk, VA on I-40/95/VA-58 (200miles one way).

I haven't modded the car at all but generally get about 38mpg during the workweek. Figured I would check out this forum to see how much better I could improve this car while it still has some life in it (btw, very low maintainence so far). Interested in some computer hook-ups to manage the engine a little better, modding the air intake, and perhaps a few other easy DIY mods if possible. Really wish I could convert the car into a hybrid electric but that is beyond my available time and money.

So, looking forward to researching, engineering, and hopefully sharing some positive experimental results back with the group!

"I have a fever... and the only prescription is more cow bell."
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Old 01-08-2009, 02:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Ireland
Posts: 507

De Yaris - '04 toyota yaris T2
90 day: 69.55 mpg (US)
Thanks: 111
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Welcome to Ecomodder. You've come to the right place if it's mods to your car you're looking for! From the looks of your mpg figures, you are well on your way. Best of luck.

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Old 01-08-2009, 05:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 2,321

PaleCivic (retired) - '96 Honda Civic DX Sedan
90 day: 69.2 mpg (US)

PaleFit - '09 Honda Fit Sport
Team Honda
90 day: 44.06 mpg (US)
Thanks: 611
Thanked 433 Times in 283 Posts
Consider a Scangauge or an MPGuino. They will help you get much better mileage without major mods. Then, if you want to do mods, they will show you what does and doesn't work. The SG's price looks steep at first, but it WILL pay for itself in a matter of months.

1996, 4 door, 1.6L, 5 speed manual, with minimal mods.

11-mile commute: 100 mpg - - - Tank: 90.2 mpg / 1191 miles
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Old 01-08-2009, 05:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 1000 Islands, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 22,526

Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
Team Metro
Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 52.71 mpg (US)

Even Fancier Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 70.75 mpg (US)

Appliance car - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage ES (base)
90 day: 60.06 mpg (US)
Thanks: 4,078
Thanked 6,970 Times in 3,608 Posts
I'll second that advice: first step should be instant/average fuel consumption instrumentation. It'll pay for itself many times over if you're serious about improving efficiency (yours, via technique & the car's via mods).
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
www.ForkenSwift.com - electric car conversion on a beer budget
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Old 01-09-2009, 01:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
In search of mpg
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 9

Old Blue - '07 Honda Civic
90 day: 58.06 mpg (US)
Thanks: 1
Thanked 2 Times in 1 Post
Definitely interested in a diagnostics that I can operate with my laptop. Being a bit of a GIS/techno geek, one thing I might try is recording my typical engine/driving performance patterns in conjunction with GPS plots with the idea that I can begin to tweak specific driving patterns at specific points along my route (intially just using Google Earth). From that, I could plug in POI alerts to my GPS to give audio alerting to pulse up/glide, cut engine and glide, re-engage, and so forth. Eventually would also think about tweaking the fuel flow and minor tweak to the engine itself, but we'll see. All in all, it's a fun experiment to try and out-perform the previous tank!
"I have a fever... and the only prescription is more cow bell."
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Old 01-09-2009, 04:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: North Central Alabama
Posts: 572

Big Salsa - '04 Toyota Sienna LE

Silver - '10 Toyota Prius III
Thanks: 110
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Computer Monitoring

Here's a couple ways of doing FE monitoring if you want to use a laptop...

MPGuino now outputs vitals for computer monitoring
DIY MPG guage - GasSavers.org

The MPGuino is an open source project from right here at EcoModder.com. DCB and others have written code to make a ScanGauge like instrument, with fewer parameters, but greater flexibility (pre-obdII cars). You can build one (from hardest to easiest):
It now outputs the data every half second so it can be monitored by a computer (not sure what port it outputs to... may not work with one built from scratch)... something I haven't taken the time to really look into, but it could be super helpful for determining where driving habits could be improved. How it works is explained a little more here. You may have to do a bit of reading to figure things out.
I think the DIY MPG guage is pretty simple, it uses a headphone style jack that's buffered with resistors, and uses the sound card to monitor VSS and Injector Pulses. Much like the MPGuino, but with the laptop as the display. I don't know much about it, but you can do all the digging you want and customize until your heart's content, then tell everyone about it so we can copy if we want!

The advantages to the MPGuino would be that you don't HAVE to have your laptop hooked up to get feedback, it's small so it can sit on your dash, and it can still output to your computer. The disadvantage would be the additional cost. Hope this is helpful.

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