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Old 10-06-2008, 03:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Slow driver reporting in

Hey, I'm very new around these parts and have a very low level of knowledge when it comes to cars in general, but as soon as I heard about hypermiling, I knew it was for me! I've been trying to do some of the more basic things like slowly coasting to stops and shifting to neutral when my foot's not on the accelerator. I'm just a beginner, but I'm enough of a convert that it makes me cringe to ride with friends and family who drive "normally," because now it feels like they're stomping all over the brakes!

I drive a '96 Civic with automatic transmission. I recently got my best tank ever for town driving, 37.5 MPG, in my area with plenty of stop signs and stoplights. I thought I was doing well until I came here and saw some of the insane numbers you guys are putting up!

Few questions... Yes I know they've been asked a million times before, don't hit me, I just want to know if the answers are the same for my car!

1. Is shifting to neutral going to ruin my transmission? I get a lot of teeth-gnashing over this from friends and family. From what I gather, doing it only on occasion, like when coming to a stop sign or red light, isn't really going to affect anything. Doing it constantly, like in pulse-and-glide that uses shifting to neutral rather than engine-off, isn't really any worse on the car than city driving's constant change of gears would be. Is that right?

2. Engine-off coasting is a complete no-go on automatic transmissions, right? I thought this sounded interesting, but it sounds like it's not good for my car, plus I don't know if I would be confident enough in my driving to try it anyway.

3. Does pulse-and-glide work at any target speed? I can either do it when aiming for an average of 30 mph on a side road or 55 mph on a highway?

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Old 10-06-2008, 03:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome. I'm sure you've already found, as well as I have, that this is an awesome site for maxmizing fuel efficiency.
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Old 10-06-2008, 04:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome to ecomodder!

1. Prolly not
2. Depends on the transmission, I'm not very useful in answering that question though
3. Depends on the car, but usually you'll be better off the slower off you are
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Old 10-06-2008, 05:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Slowpoke -

Welcome to EM! I will be right behind you on the freeway, making a convoy.

In terms of question #2, here's a site with a list of cars that can be flat-towed :

Dinghy Towing Basics

If they can be flat-towed, they should be "safe" for neutral EOC. The bad new is, the list only goes back to 2002 cars, .


What's your EPA MPG? Go Here and find out!
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Old 10-06-2008, 11:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yay! Another ecomodder in Michiana!
Ever get to the Elkhart/Goshen area?

Coasting in neutral, with the engine running, keeps fluid coursing through the transmission and keeps everything A-OK. As cfg83 said, do engine off coasting (EOC) only if your car is approved for 'flat towing'.

Pulse and Glide does, indeed, work for most any target speed. But as SVOboy points out, you'll see better results at lower speeds. Personally, I pulse up to around 55, and glide down to 40. Sometimes lower if I'm in no hurry.

Have you read the 100+ tips?
Methinks 37.5 in town with an automatic is a darn good start.
Enjoy the site!

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