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Old 08-01-2013, 09:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hypermiling a 2012 Malibu LT (4 cyl auto)

Have a Malibu LT rental to drive around on the east coast for the next 10 days (wanted a subcompact, but was involuntarily "upgraded" again by Enterprise... I hate that and will have to look elsewhere in the future).

It is rated at only 22 city and 33 highway (26 combined). But its automatic transmission has a 0.74 sixth gear and a 2.77 final drive. Fifth gear is pretty short at 1.00 but with the tall final drive it still turns slowly and sub-freeway speeds in 5th too.

So, I'll gas it up, check the tire pressure, and see what it will do.

Will report back. Just for the hell of it...

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See my car's mod & maintenance thread and my electric bicycle's thread for ongoing projects. I will rebuild Black and Green over decades as parts die, until it becomes a different car of roughly the same shape and color. My minimum fuel economy goal is 55 mpg while averaging posted speed limits. I generally top 60 mpg. See also my Honda manual transmission specs thread.

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Old 08-01-2013, 05:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I didn't realize they still make Malibus. Is it rental car special only? I don't think I've seen a new Malibu in years.

I hate the "free upgrade". The smaller cars are usually more interesting to drive. I try to get a Ford Focus rental. Half descent car.
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Old 08-01-2013, 10:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I like the new malibu's 6 speed auto with 2.4 auto and flex fuel, rated at 33 hwy. Better looks IMO that the impala or cruize. E85 is 2.499 right now so great to have the option. 26 combined is just 3 mpg combine, or 4 hwy behind my 2.2 5 spd cobalt and the Malibu is a whole lot more car. Look forward to seeing your results.
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Old 08-02-2013, 08:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roosterk0031 View Post
I like the new malibu's 6 speed auto with 2.4 auto and flex fuel, rated at 33 hwy. Better looks IMO that the impala or cruize. E85 is 2.499 right now so great to have the option. 26 combined is just 3 mpg combine, or 4 hwy behind my 2.2 5 spd cobalt and the Malibu is a whole lot more car. Look forward to seeing your results.
This is the 2012 and I'm not sure it is the E85 flexfuel edition. The transmission also has one of those automatic "manual" functions. On the gear selector is a +/- rocker switch to select gears with. Mainly it is for "sport." But it might help hypermiling if you practice a lot. The trans seems maybe less prone to unwanted down-shifting on hills, but not much less prone to it, if it is at all.

Next couple of days features a lot of driving on highways... will have some "data" soon.
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See my car's mod & maintenance thread and my electric bicycle's thread for ongoing projects. I will rebuild Black and Green over decades as parts die, until it becomes a different car of roughly the same shape and color. My minimum fuel economy goal is 55 mpg while averaging posted speed limits. I generally top 60 mpg. See also my Honda manual transmission specs thread.

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Old 08-02-2013, 11:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It's fun to get into a completely different car and see what you can squeeze from it. Dumb about the "upgrade" though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by California98Civic View Post
The transmission also has one of those automatic "manual" functions. On the gear selector is a +/- rocker switch to select gears with. Mainly it is for "sport." But it might help hypermiling if you practice a lot.
Some automatics with paddles, rockers, +/- gates will let you override the default upshift logic to get into higher gears sooner.

Even some CVT's, as I discovered:

EG: http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...rly-21149.html
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Old 08-03-2013, 08:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
It's fun to get into a completely different car and see what you can squeeze from it. Dumb about the "upgrade" though.

Some automatics with paddles, rockers, +/- gates will let you override the default upshift logic to get into higher gears sooner.

Even some CVT's, as I discovered:

EG: http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...rly-21149.html
I wish I could say I like this car. The gearing is amazing, and using the "manual" option on the gear selector I have been able to upshift very early. I can get into fifth gear at 35mph to cruise at <1500 rpms. It'll stay in 5th down to almost 30mph and about 1200 rpms. And I can get into sixth gear starting at 45mph and do about the same, though it automatically up-shifts under 45mph. I can cruise 55mph at something like 1600 or 1650 rpms. Those are cool features.

IRRITATIONS: reduced ability to choose how the electrical features work. The AC is always on. Only by shutting off the fan can you turn it off. You can't run this car's fan without using the AC. And the car does not let you know that your AC is always on because it still has a snowflake button selector, which seems to be "AC" but is actually just the "high AC" selector. I figured it out when I noticed fan mode blew cold air and then checked the owner's manual. This will waste a lot of fuel over the car's lifetime and wear out the AC system faster. That's just stupid. The Malibu also has auto on headlights. You can shut them off, but the car beeps at you a few times and leaves an irritating message on the instrument display saying "auto lights off" for the entire time the lights are off. Worse, that message replaces your ability to monitor what gear you are in if you choose the "manual" mode on the gear selector. On the pickier side, the power windows have that auto down/up function that makes partial opening tricky and irritating.

Some of my irritation will change a little if hypermiling it proves productive. I'm in combined conditions of highway and urban driving in and around New York City and Philadelphia.
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See my car's mod & maintenance thread and my electric bicycle's thread for ongoing projects. I will rebuild Black and Green over decades as parts die, until it becomes a different car of roughly the same shape and color. My minimum fuel economy goal is 55 mpg while averaging posted speed limits. I generally top 60 mpg. See also my Honda manual transmission specs thread.


Last edited by California98Civic; 08-06-2013 at 08:29 AM.. Reason: corrections
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:27 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I like the transmission quite a lot. Upshifting early is easy, and so is coasting in neutral. And I am learning to use the instrumentation better. I never did get to pump up the tires before my first distance drive. And now I see the tire pressure reading shows 30psi at 60 degrees ambient air temperature while max sidewall is 51! Or at least that's the max psi recommended on the front driver side tire. Enterprise has at least three different brands of tire on this car.
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See my car's mod & maintenance thread and my electric bicycle's thread for ongoing projects. I will rebuild Black and Green over decades as parts die, until it becomes a different car of roughly the same shape and color. My minimum fuel economy goal is 55 mpg while averaging posted speed limits. I generally top 60 mpg. See also my Honda manual transmission specs thread.

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Old 08-06-2013, 09:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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No numbers so far - does it have an onboard MPG display?
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Old 08-06-2013, 12:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I like its styling.
So I assume, it is not an electro-power assist?
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:42 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
No numbers so far - does it have an onboard MPG display?
I found the gauges and figured out how to set and use them two days ago. It has about thirty miles on the trip meter now. On local roadway driving, speeds 25-45 mph and with the tires still under inflated (!) I am averaging 31.2mpg as of this morning's "commute." I leave for a longer trip again tomorrow. I'll gas up and pump up tire pressure to max sidewall (not beyond).

Quote:
Originally Posted by longprime View Post
I like its styling.
I like the look too (more outside than inside).

Quote:
Originally Posted by longprime View Post
So I assume, it is not an electro-power assist?
I don't think so, if you mean electrical assist to the drivetrain. If you mean steering, braking, or other pumps that are traditionally often on belts to the engine, I don't know (maybe?).

First tank MPG data later, maybe tomorrow or Friday.

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See my car's mod & maintenance thread and my electric bicycle's thread for ongoing projects. I will rebuild Black and Green over decades as parts die, until it becomes a different car of roughly the same shape and color. My minimum fuel economy goal is 55 mpg while averaging posted speed limits. I generally top 60 mpg. See also my Honda manual transmission specs thread.

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