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Old 01-22-2010, 06:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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The Taco - '99 Toyota Tacoma Prerunner
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If you can call 26.5mpg in a 4 cyl success...

My inner speed-child has been screaming to get out! Nevertheless, I've kept him bottled up and drove with the proverbial egg under the gas pedal. And the best I've been able to get is 26.56 in a 3200 lb four banger, on super-unleaded too. I would have thought this grandparently driving would net me a bit more mpg. And over the last couple tanks, the car has been turbo in name only. If I ever hear the slightest whisper of spool-up, I back off immediately. It's essentially an NA 2.3L direct-injected 4 cyl, on 93 octane and synth oil. I know it's burning winter blend and wearing the winter shoes, but those are on 17 inch wheels - lighter than the 18 inch boat anchors it normally wears in non-icy weather. I would figure that exchange should be a wash. (I'm looking for a good deal on some extra light 17s or 18s for summer.)

Anyway, is it me, or is it this car? Or maybe this is the best I can expect without further mods?

And yeah, I read the hypermilers' tips.



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Old 01-22-2010, 08:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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With a high-strung engine like that, real-time feedback is crucial. You'll be able to see what works in real time, not just at the end of the tank.

Also, use the turbo as an asset. There may be a point where it just starts to spool that offers a few MPG better since it's pushing more air but not more fuel. Sometimes it's more efficient to accelerate briskly to your desired speed rather than slowly, since that uses slightly more fuel for a shorter time for greater acceleration.

Try out a bunch of things, and let us know what is working!
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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you want a vac guage no matter what.
if you have the bucks, maybe a used scangauge.
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Old 01-22-2010, 09:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You can call 30% over EPA rating, in January in Michigan, a success. Your Mazda reminds me of my old Subaru: a quirky little wagon that does some things very well, but gets terrible gas mileage for its size.

I'm pretty sure you'd love a scangauge. It will improve your gas mileage, and it lets you know exactly what's going on under the hood while you drive, which will amuse the gearhead in you.

Egg under the gas pedal may be crucial for slushbox drivers, but I got excellent results from my MT Subaru by keeping RPM to a minimum, and using 70-80% throttle to accelerate. On my old commute, I never exceeded 2200RPM.

Driving without brakes, plus an engine kill switch, will help a lot if you're not doing so already. The Scangauge reports my Subaru idles at 0.25 gal/hr when warmed up, so you can do the math on how much fuel you might save by shutting down the engine during prolonged coasts in neutral, and at red lights.
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Old 01-22-2010, 10:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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it is fuel injection and turbo, live with it.

and for subarus, mastering is capable up until the 2.5 liters, and then it gets worse with variable valve timing...most don't even know that yet, subaru changes thier stuff before hackers enjoy thier ecomod hacking.

The greatest I have seen for newer and over 2 liters is indeed at n/a only, making compression higher (even as simple as thinner jead gaskets) and variable valves are just simply right out to lunch, I know of no hacks what so ever...the four foot socialist midget is winning...

no turbos do good on gasoline. it is either a racing sprite of "look at me" or an excuse for pathetic drivetrain parts than cannot handle n/a high compression.

seriously, 26.5 is doing good for your little "race car".
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Old 01-23-2010, 08:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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You could always slow down a little. If you get passed by a grumpy old great-grandfather in an over sized old caddy, and he flips you off for driving too slow while he's passing you, then you are going the right speed!

Ok, well that did happen to me, but he didn't flip me off.
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Old 01-23-2010, 09:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I also think you need to invest in a scanguage. Electronic throttles can be extremely sensitive. I know mine is. I find that I need to accel. to speed then back off and watch the SG closely to see where to keep the throttle in a sweet spot because I can't tell by feel. It will also help to determine how to use your turbo to an advantage. At light throttle, your high octane gas may not be doing a thing because turbo engines usually have a lower static compression than their NA twin. Do you have a standard or an auto trans.?
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Old 01-24-2010, 06:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The Taco - '99 Toyota Tacoma Prerunner
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Robert /Puddleglum / luvit / the scangauge looks neat, but I already have the instant and average mpg display on the stock in-dash info display. I do enjoy watching the instant mileage number increase as I drive, especially coasting and watching it read up to 99.9 mpg What do you use your scangauge for? You're right in suggesting that the other realtime info could be amusing though. I already have some software that acts as a generic OBDII reader. This software also allows me to delve into the code on our 2.0L turbo Jetta's ECU. Of course, I proceed cautiously when getting into core functions. In fact I've "discovered" a few code changes that make some interesting mods to the car. One specifically is now featured in the manufacturer's website, although they didn't give me any credit . I can't use this software for anything substantial on the Mazda ECU though. I have had my eye on the Cobb Tuning AccessPort for a while. This seems to monitor even more engine functions than the scangauge, and is a performance tuner as well. It is more expensive, but if I can use it to tune for better mileage, it might be worth it. Still, $695 is a pretty big pill.

99LE / Robert, I have thought about that drving method too: accelerating more quickly to desired speed in order to spend less time accelerating and more time cruising. I think that was advised by Motor Trend (?) not too long ago, but I'd have to work on the execution. It seems quite similar to the driving style that was getting me the bad mileage in the first place .

Puddleglum, this car is only available in manual 6 speed. And good point about the octane rating. I wonder about dropping down a few octane points as long as I'm not using boost. It normally runs at 9.7:1 so it might take a little experimenting to see if it likes a new diet.

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Old 01-24-2010, 09:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mifunego View Post
99LE / Robert, I have thought about that drving method too: accelerating more quickly to desired speed in order to spend less time accelerating and more time cruising. I think that was advised by Motor Trend (?) not too long ago, but I'd have to work on the execution. It seems quite similar to the driving style that was getting me the bad mileage in the first place .
My lean-burning Honda calls for a different method, but in the Subaru, I accelerated slowly at 75% throttle at low RPM. You use RPM to modulate the rate of acceleration, and keep it low for maximum efficiency. It's an entertaining way to drive, because it requires skilled feet. You also have to plan ahead, because if you want more power, you're going to have to use your right hand, or wait for revs to rise.
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Old 01-25-2010, 02:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertSmalls View Post
My lean-burning Honda calls for a different method, but in the Subaru, I accelerated slowly at 75% throttle at low RPM. You use RPM to modulate the rate of acceleration, and keep it low for maximum efficiency. It's an entertaining way to drive, because it requires skilled feet. You also have to plan ahead, because if you want more power, you're going to have to use your right hand, or wait for revs to rise.
Unless your electronics tell you otherwise, I assume that you mean the pedal is 3/4 of the way to the floor? I'm not sure, however, how you accelerate slowly with a 75% throttle opening. I've been driving lately barely touching the gas. But there's no doubt, that would require some skilled feet!

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