Go Back   EcoModder Forum > Introductions
Register Now
 Register Now

Reply  Post New Thread
Submit Tools LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 06-21-2013, 05:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
EcoModding n00b
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Klickitat County, WA
Posts: 11
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 1 Post
Smile Hypermiling/EcoModding n00b checking in...

Hi all!

I am new to the hypermiling and eco-modding scene. Found many useful tips on here already as a lurker, but now I have some more specific questions I hope to find answers to amongst this community.

A little background:

I'm an aerospace systems engineer. Have my BS in Aerospace Engineering. Have been tinkering on motorized vehicles since I was a kid. Learned to ride motorcycles as a teen. First car at 16, been messing with it ever since (yes, I still own it, many years later).

What got me into researching hypermiling and ecomodding is my commute. I live in a house built by my father-in-law. It's nice to not pay rent or a mortgage. There are a couple caveats, though. I live 33 miles from work. 5 miles of that is gravel. Obviously, maximizing fuel economy is a priority for me. Some of the tips and tricks work wonders... I already get 6 mpg better than the EPA "combined" number for our Subaru, and 1 mpg better than the "highway" value. The car is hardly broken in, with 4500 miles on it. I'm looking to eek a little more out of it, if possible.

The challenge is that only some of the hypermiling techniques seem to apply. Avoiding gravel/dirt is not an option, as it's five miles from the house to the paved highway. I can go around another way and only drive 1 mile on gravel... but it adds a 10-mile loop to my commute, so obviously that just burns more gas. The Subaru and the truck are automatics... because the Subaru H-6 and Limited packages only come as an auto, and the Duramax diesel is only paired with the Allison 1000 automatic. My project car is a stick shift, and I am a manual gearbox aficionado, but sadly many manufacturers do not cater to my vehicular needs. On the upside... for real fuel savings, I ride a Cagiva Gran Canyon that gets me roughly 41mpg on average. It's a big dual-sport powered by a Ducati 900 desmodue twin. I've ordered the chain and sprockets to change it to more highway-oriented gearing, so that should nudge it a little further up.

Another challenge is elevation. Home is 1700 feet above work, and there is a 2000 ft hill in between. No matter which way I go... the trip home involves climbing a steep mountain grade.

There are some pluses: There are some rolling hills on which I use P&G. It's rewarding to watch the average MPG indicator creep up when I'm driving through those sections. Also, I live east of work, which is great in The Columbia River Gorge... I typically have light headwinds in the morning, with a stiff tailwind in the afternoon/evening. I used to live west of work, and I was almost always opposite the favorable winds. The tailwinds are really nice on the high grasslands near home. I can scoot along at 50-60 with very little throttle. Traffic is also really light, so some of the more annoying hypermiling practices can be used without making other drivers mad.

Anyway... I look forward to learning here!

  Reply With Quote
Alt Today
Popular topics

Other popular topics in this forum...

Old 06-22-2013, 08:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
MPG Militia HMV-25E80+A
JethroBodine's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Vermont, USA
Posts: 823

FrankenJetta D - '90 Volkswagen Jetta GL
Boat tails and more mods
90 day: 64.35 mpg (US)
Thanks: 191
Thanked 144 Times in 98 Posts
Welcome to the forum.

There are a few other Subie owners on here trying to get the most out of their cars, too. FatCharlie seems to be at or near the top. You might want to check out some of his posts or check in with him.

Good luck, and remember to air up those tires.

It is always very amusing how our imagination is put to the test when overcoming reality. Redyaris
Boat tail project
How to gently bump start during EOC
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2013, 10:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
Cyborg ECU
California98Civic's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Coastal Southern California
Posts: 6,297

Black and Green - '98 Honda Civic DX Coupe
Team Honda
90 day: 66.42 mpg (US)

Black and Red - '00 Nashbar Custom built eBike
90 day: 3671.43 mpg (US)
Thanks: 2,373
Thanked 2,162 Times in 1,465 Posts

Thinking of your two routes across the gravel near your house. Have you monitored how much gas it takes you do each route? If MPG is just (random guess) 5 on the gravel but maybe 35mpg on the paved roads where you can do EOC, then perhaps you'll burn less gas across more miles. Of course, I'm just guessing at the conditions, speeds, your MPG.... everything. But route planning around total fuel usage is a good technique sometimes.

Good luck.
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.

  Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2013, 11:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,927
Thanks: 877
Thanked 2,023 Times in 1,304 Posts
P&G on the gravel, even with a cold engine it can make a big difference. While the climb up the big elevation hill will cost you, engine braking downhill will use practically no fuel. If you can coast down that hill in neutral then do so, possible using tranny reengagement and DFCO to slow down if your speed gets higher than desired.

  Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2013, 01:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
EcoModding n00b
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Klickitat County, WA
Posts: 11
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 1 Post
Thanks for the useful input all! I have learned quite a bit on here already. This is a really cool forum.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2013, 02:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
EcoModding n00b
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Klickitat County, WA
Posts: 11
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 1 Post
W00t! With the input from this forum, we've bumped the last two tanks on the Subaru up to 26 mpg! EPA estimates for the 3.6R are 18/25 with an average of 20.

Those tanks are also mixed between my driving and my wife's driving, and I don't have her on the hypermiling kick yet. I also haven't aired the tires up yet. And there is still a bunch of experimenting to do to find peak FE on certain stretches of my commute. Basically, we're already ahead of EPA, and there is a lot of headroom for further improvement. This is kinda fun. Of course, this is coming from an aero engineer with a love of physics, so my idea of "fun" may be a little warped... ;-)
2013 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited (3.6L H6/auto)
2011 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Duramax/Allison
2008 Saturn Sky 2.4L/auto (wife's car)
2000 Cagiva Gran Canyon 900
1986 VW Golf GTI mod project (1.8L 8v/manual)

  Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2013, 02:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
Batman Junior
MetroMPG's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 1000 Islands, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 22,373

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

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 52.07 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 61.98 mpg (US)

Fancy Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 58.72 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: 50.04 mpg (US)
Thanks: 3,916
Thanked 6,768 Times in 3,510 Posts
Congrats on the early success, and 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
www.ForkenSwift.com - electric car conversion on a beer budget
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2013, 03:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
jedi_sol's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Tustin, CA
Posts: 929

2013 STi *SOLD* - '13 Subaru Impreza WRX STi
Sports Cars
Team Turbocharged!
90 day: 26.59 mpg (US)

1996 Geo Metro *RETIRED from Ecomodding* - '96 Geo Metro Base
90 day: 58.68 mpg (US)
Thanks: 368
Thanked 378 Times in 236 Posts
Welcome fellow Subaru owner, get a scanguage or equivalent MPG monitoring equipment, that will help boost your mpg since you get realtime MPG readings.

For the downhill sections...if you are REALLY BRAVE and there are NO CARS AT ALL..why not just EOC all the way down the hill. The momentum will probably be enough so you can coast all the way home.

*WARNING, do not engine off coast in situations where you will risk your life and the life of others**


See the rest of the Sti project log:
  Reply With Quote
Reply  Post New Thread

Thread Tools

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.5.2
All content copyright EcoModder.com