Go Back   EcoModder Forum > EcoModding > Hypermiling / EcoDriver's Ed
Register Now
 Register Now
 

Reply  Post New Thread
 
Submit Tools LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 11-17-2011, 07:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
EcoModding Lurker
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 6
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Tips for a beginner

I just started trying to hypermile my 2011 Toyota Camry in suburban driving. I've been using many of these tips before coming to this forum (e.g. braking early, rolling to a stop sign or right turn on red light, etc.). But my area is full of aggressive drivers/overspeeders including myself until a couple of days ago. My concerns are:

-how do people deal with honkers, traffic, people wanting to pass you, fast accelerators?
My route has a parkway that is 50 MPH, but most people go at least 10 over. I try to go 50 on the right lane, but sometimes traffic makes me want to speed too. How do people get over that urge? When at red lights, I try to accelerate smoothly and slowly. Is there an RPM that I should be aiming for to optimize MPG and acceleration? I try going about 1500 but that is too slow for traffic behind me. I was wondering if there was a more efficient range.

-I'm afraid of turning off my engine during coasts, so right now I'm only going to neutral. I'd like to coast for as long as possible, but people just end up tailgaiting, changing lanes, and then passing me to get one spot ahead at a stoplight. Sometimes this will throw off my estimate and I will have to brake sooner because there are more cars in front. Does this happen to anyone else?

Any other tips specific to beginners would be helpful. I'm looking to get a Scangauge as soon as my budget allows it.

Thanks!

  Reply With Quote
Alt Today
Popular topics

Other popular topics in this forum...

   
Old 11-17-2011, 08:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
 
Kodak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 346

Canyon - '07 GMC Canyon 2wd regular cab
90 day: 24.95 mpg (US)
Thanks: 41
Thanked 39 Times in 24 Posts
Look at it this way: by anticipating red lights, you give yourself more information about traffic than other drivers. Some probably don't realize the light until they're passing you. Others are opportunists who view getting ahead of you as a goal. That's fine. Let them around safely if they insist on a pass. It's annoying when your gap is taken, but driving with a buffer (even with its inconveniences) is better and safer than tailgating just to hold your spot.

I think you may find traffic to be a bit friendlier if you accelerate a bit more briskly. Some of the honking will probably subside. You'll find by searching around here that brisk acceleration (not too slow, but not revving too high) is good for fuel economy. You'll get up to steady cruise sooner. I call it 'bang for your buck' acceleration. Of course, unnecessary acceleration is still bad, so still actively maintain your buffer zone and coast to lights as you've been doing.

What I'm trying to say is that you don't have to be part of the rat race to the next light, but if you accelerate at a snail's pace, you're likely to irritate others and even waste fuel getting up to speed. 1500 is definitely low, in my opinion.

I hope that answered it. Occasionally, other drivers will be puzzled by my coasting too, but I do it in the right lane, and even then I get back up to a cruising speed that's around the speed limit.

And yes, your buffer zone will be infiltrated by other drivers, but that's pretty typical.
__________________
EcoDriving: Turning more fuel into usable forward motion.

Last edited by Kodak; 11-17-2011 at 08:37 AM.. Reason: spelling
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2011, 08:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
EcoModding Apprentice
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Arab, Alabama
Posts: 176

No nickname - '17 Chevrolet BoltEV Premiere
Thanks: 33
Thanked 27 Times in 16 Posts
In suburban traffic like you describe, I still drive the speed limit and do not attempt to match the speed of the people who are in a perpetual hurry.

As for their honking {and occasional rude gestures } I just ignore them and try to remember that they are a picture of the old me {the perpetual hurry and occasional honk part, not the gestures part}. I can't get too mad when I realize that I am looking at how I treated others before I decided that the couple minutes I might shave off of a thirty minute drive weren't worth the extra stress in my life.
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2011, 09:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
EcoModding Apprentice
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: duluth mn
Posts: 117
Thanks: 20
Thanked 14 Times in 10 Posts
I agree with the "stress isn't worth it" approach. Just laugh it off, the honk or finger doesn't really hurt you.

My ~80% open throttle acceleration around 2,000 RPM is usually not noticeable when there is any traffic, and sometimes faster when traffic is unusually slow.

Let the speed freak out! Following in the wake of someone else @ 60 mph will be more efficient than driving 50 mph alone. I think... 20% increase in speed should be a 40% increase in drag, so 40% more drag but 20% faster (less engine time). IDK if the safe following distance would over come that, I'd bet it'd be close.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2011, 09:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
EcoModding Lurker
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Virginia
Posts: 15

Trinity - '05 Toyota Matrix XRS
Team Toyota
90 day: 31.62 mpg (US)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'm a beginner as well, but here's my $0.02.

I think you ALWAYS have to balance eco-driving with safety. If your driving is decreasing your safety or those around you, I'd say it's better to compromise a bit with those 'going with the flow'. Doesn't mean you have to go 65 in your 50mph area, but go a speed that isn't causing a dangerous situation.I don't want to cause drivers around me to drive aggressively and dangerously. Especially if they're tailgating me, that puts me at danger if I have to suddenly brake because of a deer or whatever. It certainly depends on the situation.

ex- If there's only 1 lane of traffic and I'm coming to a stop sign with cars behind me I'm not going to coast all the way to the stop sign. This is likely to infuriate others and cause them to drive aggressively around me. Instead I will gradually apply my brakes to come to a controlled stop. But if there are no cars behind me I'll REALLY take my time and coast to the stop sign.

One great way to let ppl know what you're doing is put an ecomodder bumper sticker on your car, or otherwise make it clear you are driving for efficiency. Some people on this site use detachable magnetic numbers/letters to communicate this.

Sounds like many of your streets are stressful. Any way to take an alternative route that is less stressful and filled with fewer idiots? Same with driving at a different time of day? Hope this helps some.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2011, 10:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
 
Diesel_Dave's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Indiana
Posts: 1,194

White Whale - '07 Dodge Ram 2500 ST Quad Cab 2wd, short bed
Team Cummins
90 day: 37.68 mpg (US)
Thanks: 112
Thanked 502 Times in 211 Posts
Optimal driving is one thing--I've found optimal driving with traffic can be a competely different story. It takes some time to learn, and depends greatly on the type of raods that you drive and how much traffic there is.

One thing that I've found is that, at least for most of my driving, traffic tends to move in "packs" (or sometimes "herds" as I like to call them). Without getting into too much detail, this basically comes about from red liights and the way most people drive them. If you're good you can actually P&G with the traffic "packs". I drive on quite a bit of 4-lane divided non-interstate and here's what I do (this can work on multilane highwyas in town too). I try to finish my pulse, just as the herd is catching me. That takes me to a speed just under the speed limit. That way I'm going slow enough that the herd passes me, but usually nobody is too pissed off nor am I a safety risk, because I still going at a "reasonable" speed. Once the herd has passed, I can glide down to "ridiculously slow speed (like 1/2 the speed limit) because nobody is behind me. It takes some work to learn how to do it well, and it requires a lot of driving looking in your rearview mirror. Not sure if that will work for you, but that's what I do.
__________________
Diesel Dave

My version of energy storage is called "momentum".
My version of regenerative braking is called "bump starting".

1 Year Avg (Every Mile Traveled) = 47.8 mpg

BEST TANK: 2,009.6 mi on 35 gal (57.42 mpg): http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...5-a-26259.html


  Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Diesel_Dave For This Useful Post:
slowmover (11-20-2011)
Old 11-18-2011, 11:30 AM   #7 (permalink)
EcoModding Lurker
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 6
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks for the tips everyone. My afternoon commute is during non rush hours so it's not too bad. The evening commute is during rush hours and I have a tendency of wanting to keep up with the joneses (at least it's at night so I have an "excuse" to drive slowly).

I'm starting to accelerate quicker too. My gears go up to 1800 RPM before it shifts up, so I almost never go above that. It takes me about 5 seconds to go from stop to the next gear and then 3 seconds per gear after that.

I thought that driving slower would be less stressful, but I guess in the beginning stages I've found myself looking in the rear-view mirror, tracking other cars, tracking my acceleration and speed, etc. to be fairly stressful. Hopefully in the long run it'll become second nature and I will be better for it.

Diesel_Dave, I've noticed this "pack" phenomenon, but previously from the perspective of the driver that speeds and passes these packs. Traffic will never allow me to go 1/2 the speed limit, but I try to let others pass to maximize coasting.

Is this optimal driving? On the 50 MPH hilly road, I'll accelerate to about 55-60 depending on traffic, coast downhill while keeping that speed, and then lightly step on the gas uphill while still losing about 5-10 MPH. Then I'll accelerate down the next hill or flat to 55-60 and repeat the cycle.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2011, 11:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
 
Diesel_Dave's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Indiana
Posts: 1,194

White Whale - '07 Dodge Ram 2500 ST Quad Cab 2wd, short bed
Team Cummins
90 day: 37.68 mpg (US)
Thanks: 112
Thanked 502 Times in 211 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by highhung723 View Post
Thanks for the tips everyone. My afternoon commute is during non rush hours so it's not too bad. The evening commute is during rush hours and I have a tendency of wanting to keep up with the joneses (at least it's at night so I have an "excuse" to drive slowly).

I'm starting to accelerate quicker too. My gears go up to 1800 RPM before it shifts up, so I almost never go above that. It takes me about 5 seconds to go from stop to the next gear and then 3 seconds per gear after that.

I thought that driving slower would be less stressful, but I guess in the beginning stages I've found myself looking in the rear-view mirror, tracking other cars, tracking my acceleration and speed, etc. to be fairly stressful. Hopefully in the long run it'll become second nature and I will be better for it.

Diesel_Dave, I've noticed this "pack" phenomenon, but previously from the perspective of the driver that speeds and passes these packs. Traffic will never allow me to go 1/2 the speed limit, but I try to let others pass to maximize coasting.

Is this optimal driving? On the 50 MPH hilly road, I'll accelerate to about 55-60 depending on traffic, coast downhill while keeping that speed, and then lightly step on the gas uphill while still losing about 5-10 MPH. Then I'll accelerate down the next hill or flat to 55-60 and repeat the cycle.
The definition of "optimal" will vary greatly for different people with different vehicles (weight, engine, gearing, etc.), driving on different roads (hills, stops, curves, number of lanes, etc.), with different traffic. I wasn't trying to imply what I do is necessarily optimal for you.

My best advice would be 3 things:
1) Read up on what different folks around here are doing. Try to understand the different techniques, how to do them, and why they work, and if they make sense for you.
2) Get/use some kind of fuel economy feedback. Something like a Scangauge is probably the best, but I've managed to do pretty well with just the factory installed display. If you watch it carefully you can compare different techniques and see how wel they work and how well you're doing.
3) If you've got a regular commute, start keeping a dailly log of your fuel mileage. That will do 2 things, give you more feedback on what's working or not working, as well as give you more motivation to constantly break your own records.
__________________
Diesel Dave

My version of energy storage is called "momentum".
My version of regenerative braking is called "bump starting".

1 Year Avg (Every Mile Traveled) = 47.8 mpg

BEST TANK: 2,009.6 mi on 35 gal (57.42 mpg): http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...5-a-26259.html


  Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2011, 01:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
EcoModding Apprentice
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Middle TN
Posts: 111

WorkHorse - '88 Ford F150 XL
90 day: 13.5 mpg (US)

DailyBeater - '93 Ford Escort LX
Team Ford
90 day: 39.37 mpg (US)

The ST - '13 Ford Focus ST
90 day: 26.78 mpg (US)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 2 Posts
I too am a newb, but Ive been tryin all I can to get better MPG in my F150 for some time. I just picked up a little Escort and have been doin a few small basics that have already netted a decent return. I coast as often and far as I can think to do. Im gettin better every day and am able to coast further and further without loosing too much momentum or tying up traffic at all. I kinda play a game, especially on the last stretch before my neighborhood, where I pick a spot and try to coast all the way to the end from that spot (if noone is behind me). I try to stretch that spot each time and see if I can make it LOL. I can already coast a TON more than I could in my truck, and I keep pushing for new personal bests ever day. Make it fun, make it a challenge and itll add up and become less stressful and more intuitive. Other things I do now are:
1) Shift at 2k rpm. If I need to go quick, I just accellerate harder and shift quicker at the 2K mark
2) Dont start the car till Im ready to go, seatbelt, lights, shifter etc in place
3) Coast coast coast
4) Engine off coasting whenever I can do so safely. This is another game Ive been playin, seein where I can EOC safely and if Ill make it where I was goin or not. I usually dont do this unless Im about to turn the car off anyways, so driveway and parkinglots etc.
5) Engine off at light that I know take forever, or when trains cross etc. I dont idle unless I have to do so. I dont like starting and stopping the motor like some so I only do it when its a REALLY long wait.
6)Keep your car in shape, tire pressure, oil, tuneup etc.

Again, Im just a newb myself, but Ive learned alot already from this place and have already done really well. I look forward to doin better as I get better!
Matt
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2011, 01:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
Drive less save more
 
ecomodded's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
Posts: 1,189

Dusty - '98 VOLKSWAGEN Beetle TDI
TEAM VW AUDI Group
90 day: 60.42 mpg (US)
Thanks: 134
Thanked 162 Times in 135 Posts
Everyone has great ideas and great results, Newbies or not putting some effort in to your driving style has payed off.Good Job everyone, I want to remind the newer eco drivers to fill their tires to their maximum psi or 5 psi over. It will increase your pulse n glide or coasting time exponentially.My tires are rated for 45 psi , i like to keep them at 50 psi and check the air pressure regularly.
Big difference from a car slugging about with 35 psi in its tires I'll tell ya.

__________________
Save gas
Ride a Mtn bike for errands exercise entertainment and outright fun
__________________



  Reply With Quote
Reply  Post New Thread


Thread Tools




Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.5.2
All content copyright EcoModder.com