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BrakeDrum 04-17-2020 02:23 PM

I Don't Like Hypermiling
 
Really, I just like money.

There, I said it. My name is Dave, and my primary reason for reducing fuel consumption is saving money. My apologies if this is long for an introduction post.

I care about the environment quite a bit, but my contributions to protecting the environment are primarily made in ways that are outside the scope of this forum (being miserly with my home heat and air conditioning, growing my own food, harnessing solar/wind energy, etc.) so I won't be discussing it here unless any of it is relevant to my saving gas.

I currently take a holistic approach to saving money on transportation costs. I walk or ride a bicycle instead of driving when possible. I try to be a smooth and predictable driver because I know that I will be less likely to get into an expensive accident. I do all my own repairs and do frequent preventative maintenance, often using top-shelf fluids and components when I believe they'll save me money in the long-run. I strive to prolong the life of wear items such as brakes/rotors, clutches, etc. Luckily these things are generally conducive to good gas mileage, so I've got a solid foundation.

The biggest problem for me is that I love spirited driving; I will never give up my weekend joyrides up a winding mountain road, or the occasional hard acceleration from a stop just for the thrill of it. I get no pleasure from trying to drive more efficiently, but hypermiling is the last piece of the penny-pinching puzzle for me. Therefore, I am pledging to drive as efficiently as possible as often as possible, doing whatever is necessary provided it does not interfere with safety or create hidden costs (e.g. trading better mileage for higher maintenance costs.)

I'd like to introduce you to my fleet, but first let me tell you what my needs are and why our vehicle lineup is what it is. I am an office drone by day, so I just need to get to work and back most of the time. My wife works from home, so owning 1 vehicle would be fine 99% of the time if we just had to work. However, in our spare time we buy houses, fix them up ourselves, and rent them out. We haul appliances and lumber, make dump runs, and sometimes pull a trailer full of stuff. I also do light landscaping work as a side job.

Without further ado, meet:

1. Bertha, my wife's 2013 Prius C. Rear seats were removed and replaced with plywood decking. This is our primary vehicle for recreational use (we do a lot of camping), getting from A to B, and stuff-moving. Gas mileage is so good that I've honestly never tracked it. I should probably change that. It fits a surprising amount of material, but for big jobs we found ourselves spending a ton of money renting pickup/box trucks until I bought...

2. Luanne, my seen-better-days 2005 F-150 with 220k miles and a 5.4L V8. Hitting the EPA rating of 13/17 mpg is a pipe dream for her, but to be fair she's only on the road when she's towing or loaded down with more than 800 lbs.

3. Ricardo, my 2016 Mazda3. 6-speed manual, 2.0L 4-banger. This is the vehicle that I use for A to B stuff when the wife is using the Prius for something, or when we're transporting friends, or when I just want to take a drive for fun. I generally meet or exceed the EPA rating of 29/39 mpg without trying much. This is my favorite vehicle of the bunch, and I don't feel guilty getting the mileage I do, but honestly we could get by without it. I just can't bring myself to sell her.

Hmm. Is it weird that we name our vehicles?

I've already begun my journey - yesterday I managed an average of 48 mpg in the Mazda on a 2-hour drive where I'd normally get 41-43, simply by putting a little extra cushion between myself and other cars, trying harder to anticipate traffic lights, and allowing myself to lose speed up hills on the highway.

Finally, I'd like to thank everyone here for all the information I've already taken from this site while lurking, and I look forward to contributing whatever I can to help others making a similar endeavor.

oil pan 4 04-17-2020 02:35 PM

Do you have a wood stove?
If you have a a wood stove and source the fuel from your back yard or from down the street that's about as sustainable as you can get.
For air conditioning you can get very efficient mini splits and just cool one or 2 rooms. This summer it looks like me and my wife are both working night shift so we will leave the central AC off most days and just run the split in the bedroom during the day.

A lot of times you can replace a pickup with a car and trailer.

redpoint5 04-17-2020 02:45 PM

Good introductory post and welcome.

I don't think the minor things matter much, like losing speed going up a hill, or especially accelerating slowly. Engines are most efficient at loads around 70% anyhow. The main thing is to drive in such a way that you can minimize brake use, and to simply drive a slower average speed. The rest are details.

The Mazda 3 was on my list for a while due to the sporty nature and incredibly good MPG. I remember lusting after SkyActiv technology when it was first introduced.

I enjoy both sporty driving and driving efficiently. When the goal is to simply travel from point A to point B, I find employing efficient driving practices to be fun. When the point is to have fun, then I have fun.

BrakeDrum 04-17-2020 03:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oil pan 4 (Post 621873)
Do you have a wood stove?
If you have a a wood stove and source the fuel from your back yard or from down the street that's about as sustainable as you can get.
For air conditioning you can get very efficient mini splits and just cool one or 2 rooms. This summer it looks like me and my wife are both working night shift so we will leave the central AC off most days and just run the split in the bedroom during the day.

We're in the process of moving to a new house with plenty of trees to be cleared on the property. The house came with a fireplace in the living room and an old coal/wood stove in the garage. We currently keep the house at 60 degrees F in the winter - so I think we'll actually be able to stay warmer AND save more money with the addition of wood heat.

I'm a sucker for air conditioning, but last year we were able to get by with a single window unit in the living room. No central AC at our old house or the new one, but we're considering a split-level system.

I could talk all day about how we optimize our heat/AC usage in our house... don't get me started! Nice to know there are other like-minded people here though.

Quote:

A lot of times you can replace a pickup with a car and trailer.
We've thought about the car + trailer idea before, but as we took on more and more projects we determined we needed a pickup with an 8' bed for the amount of material we're moving. Even with the truck there are situations where we have to rent/borrow a trailer. I nearly hyperventilate when I think about the 10-12 mpg I'm getting, and with a 36 gallon fuel tank I dread filling it up.

Quote:

Originally Posted by redpoint5 (Post 621877)
Good introductory post and welcome.

I don't think the minor things matter much, like losing speed going up a hill, or especially accelerating slowly. Engines are most efficient at loads around 70% anyhow. The main thing is to drive in such a way that you can minimize brake use, and to simply drive a slower average speed. The rest are details.

The Mazda 3 was on my list for a while due to the sporty nature and incredibly good MPG. I remember lusting after SkyActiv technology when it was first introduced.

I think I've got the basics down - I've always tried to minimize brake use just to make the brakes last longer. Maybe I'm at a point where the details are starting to matter, or maybe my good trip yesterday was a fluke!

The 3 is a great car. Lots of fun with the standard shift, and you really don't have to try to get decent MPG. I made the monumental mistake of buying it brand-new in 2016 thinking that we would be going down to 1 vehicle (might as well make it a nice one, right?) but then everything changed. Can't bring myself to get rid of it.

Thanks for the welcome, guys!

Fat Charlie 04-17-2020 03:41 PM

Efficient driving is high performance driving: conserving momentum is what separates actual drivers from idiots who simply bought a lot of horsepower.

Hypermiling just gives you another performance measurement, is all. :)

2016 Versa 04-17-2020 06:26 PM

I don't really use any hypermiling approaches except driving slower, putting a few seconds buffer between me and the car in front of me and timing traffic lights but I enjoy the challenge of seeing just how good of gas mileage I can get. My best mileage so far on my 2016 Versa is 51.167 in May 2019. The current tank is looking like it may be between 52-53MPG if so my new goal will be anything better than this tank. Years ago when I was younger and had better nerves my goal was to set record low drive time on trips now my goal is best possible mileage. Driving for better mileage is much safer than driving 90-100MPH trying to cut a minute off my previous best time on a trip.

ssullivan 05-27-2020 02:57 AM

Hey, nice to meet you. If it is any consolation is higher trap speeds with aero modding. I were you, sell the Mazda, work the truck (or use some $ to buy tall skinny tires and skidplate if you need it for off road).I think you have decent aero with the truck. Another option, also sell the tired F150 ,get a diesel truck and start with a much better platform. There are lots of rad ways to do up a truck for mpg. Also, weight reduction is cool. You can also sell stuff :) :turtle:

Edit: reread that, and reread your post. Since you are enjoying the challenge in the Mazda you should probably keep it.

California98Civic 05-27-2020 10:33 AM

Welcome. I have a very similar attitude about the "green"‐‐both the environmental and the cash connotations.

Start fuel logs here at EM for the F150 and the Mazda3? Tracking FE is good for mechanical diagnostics and also charting progress.

cRiPpLe_rOoStEr 05-28-2020 01:35 AM

Sometimes, even if you're not a tree-hugger, it doesn't prevent you to take a more consistent approach regarding decisions with an environmental impact for the sake of saving money. The honesty that takes to say it clearly when such decisions are motivated for economic purposes is more valuable than all those false claims about "sustainability" that some "celebrities" embrace.

Fat Charlie 05-28-2020 07:08 AM

Oddly enough, if you think through being a conservative, you quickly become what used to be called a conservationist. And if you don't, you don't.


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