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Fudog1138 01-18-2008 04:49 AM

New guy in Detroit area
Good morning all,

I sat in the hospital potentially at death's door for 2 out of 7 days the day after new years. I'm better now. I found out I have a rare blood disorder. My immune system doesn't always shut off when its supposed to, kind of opposite of HIV. Anyway, that made me mad so I decided to funnel that into my 2008 goal of trying to reduce my families carbon footprint in 2008 by 20%. We're recycling everything possible, I talked my girlfriends sister into dropping off her recyclable items at our house once a week, I will be replacing my 5.4 KW of potential lighting with all energy efficient bulbs.

That brings me to my commute dilema.

I have a 99 Ford Contour, six cylinder, automatic, 142 K on it and have an 80 mile daily commute.
10 miles of it in the 45 mph range with 5 stops to muck things up.
4 miles of 45-25 stop and go
26 miles of highway with minimum 50, max 70 mph

So I have some variety there to deal with
I wanted to build an electric car, but due to distance can not. I also can't sell my children to pay for one.

So I searched and found this site.

I just ordered a scanguage to get a baseline. I beleive my mileage to be around 26 Mpg right now, but have a broken and dragging RF caliper so it is squee'd a a bit (replacing that tomorrow morning).

I'm going to establish my baseline, then make a few mods here and there to see where I'm at. EPA says 18 and 26 for my car. I believe that to be rubbish.

Anyway cheers to all. I appreciate you guys getting together and doing this.


SVOboy 01-18-2008 09:14 AM

Welcome to the site! Sorry to hear about your health condition. It's hard for me to relate but I hope you can do your best with what you've got.

Anyway, good move on the scangauge, that's always the first bit of advice anyway, so you've got tht out of the way.

Ever thought of swapping cars or doing some aeromods?

Fudog1138 01-18-2008 12:19 PM

I thought about picking something else up. I gave myself $1000 for my cars maint and green efforts around the house (starting solar next year, can't this year). I picked this car up around three years ago for $1300 bucks. Not a spot of rust on it and pretty clean in and out. I put 20K or more on a year, so am going to hold onto it since I know its quirks and work on improving where I can.
I ordered the scan guage this morning and will start logging data as soon as I get it plugged in. After I establish a baseline at 65 mph, 60 mph and 55 mph for a weeks straight driving. I'm going to start with plugs, wires, air filter. After that maybe pull wipers, close up the front and wheels. After each tune up\mod I'm going to give it a week to look at my results. Its going to take a while to do all of it, but I'm a data nerd. And my girlfriend flat out told me I could never get above 28 mpg's. So now I've been challenged and am going to give her a friggin book of data to back everything up that I claim. I'll scan it and convert it to a pdf and put it up here if anyone is interested as well.

One thing that does bug me about the car is that I'm driving along at say 60 on the highway. That's 2250 on the tach. If I pop it in to neutral my RPM's stay up around 1500-1700. They don't drop.
Any ideas?

SVOboy 01-18-2008 04:01 PM

My experience with various cars is that the RPMS don't drop until you come to a stop...not sure why, but that just seems to be how the IACV works.

If you put 20k a year on the car, getting a car that gets 50 MPG over a car that gets 30 MPG will save you 800 bucks given gas at 3.00, and it's likely to be higher than that, so it might really be worth looking at!


metroschultz 01-18-2008 04:17 PM

I'll have to check a new Ford product.
The rpm's on my wifes Avalon drop like a rock when I put 'er in neut. Coasting @ 65 mph, with 600 rpm.
I tested several vehicles at work this way, practicing my P&G. Engine running.
Everything I drove from a 2006 Mack twin screw tractor to the 2002 Caravan. All had lowered rpm in neut while traveling at highway speed.
Caravan was worst. 900 at speed, 700 stopped. :(
Mack was best. 550 at speed, 550 stopped. :thumbup: (All of our trucks are automatic. maintenance costs are lower than with clutches.)
BUT, all were way lower than your 1500 to 1700 at speed. :confused:
I will get my hands on a newer Ford product and see what kind of results I get.

DifferentPointofView 01-18-2008 04:51 PM

when you do do maintainance, replace the fuel filter if you haven't in over 50k, The stuff that came out of mine was black fuel.. I'm pretty sure it's supposed to come out clear riiight?

Fudog1138 01-19-2008 06:06 AM

Yah, clear clean fuel is the drink of choice of man's modern day war horse. I've replaced it before and will do it again just in good measure. So I have a broken caliper on my front left side as I mentioned above. I filled up last night. 23.25 was my fuel economy. This is driving about 60 mph in a 80 plus zone (Detroit drivers for the most part =SUV's that can't drive under 70 MPH). So I'm replacing front brakes this morning and am going to get really good at taking my wipers on and off and may purchase an adhesive window antennae. I'm not going to do any mods until I get my scanguage. I got an email last night indicating that its shipped. I'm a nerd, I'm totaly excited about getting it.
I really want to shoot that high RPM issue. P&G isn't possible if I can't stop it.

Lazarus 04-19-2008 10:06 AM

Welcome to the site. The Scan gauge will really help. Make note of your shift points and try to keep the lowest rpms for the speed limit without it downshifting and as always check the tire pressures. Good luck with the medical condition glad you found us.:)

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