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Old 08-17-2009, 01:25 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Jason, you're hosed . You have to drive your AT car, on a short 2 mile drive, with a cold engine, with A/C on. I don't think any of us could better your mileage by much under those conditions. Even (especially) a Prius would get lousy 20 mpg results on a cold engine on such a short drive.

Can you combine trips? Maybe offer to pick up the neighbors' kids from school? Do the grocery shopping for your elderly neighbor every Friday? At least then you'd be able to warm your engine up and have a chance to bring your mileage up into the thirties.

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Old 08-17-2009, 01:31 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Yea, maybe your right that my driving condition sucks. It seems most of you guys have nice 20+ mile commutes. I use to have one of those, but back then I was not so concerned about gas mileage.

I was keeping track a while ago, and with my 25 mile commute, 20 miles highway @ 75MPG, 5 miles city, I was averaging 28MPG. I know for sure this car will do 30MPG+ If I go on a long highway trip and keep speeds to 60.

And to make matters worse, where I live there are lots of little hills all over the place. Nothing is flat.

Also, is it bad for an auto trans to throw the car in Neutral and glide sometimes? I have avoided doing this for fear that it might be bad for the trans, but I wanted to find out if anyone knows?
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Old 08-17-2009, 02:19 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Sounds like you could use an EV. A small set of cheap crappy used batteries should be able to get you 4 miles, and you could either buy a well-known conversion vehicle (S10, bug, Metro) and use an off-the-shelf kit, or do your own a la Forkenswift.
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Old 08-17-2009, 02:36 AM   #14 (permalink)
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jasonck08 -

I commend your commitment, but a 4 mile round trip commute is a *very* good thing. A vacuum gauge may help.

If I were you, I'd try different routes for each tank, and see which one wins. A route that has a short steep uphill followed by a long gentle downhill is best for me because I don't pick up speed when I'm in neutral.

You can total your motorcycle and car miles and gallons to generate a "combined MPG". If you have a Garage entry for each one, you can use the new totals data to quickly compute your "total" vehicle MPG. For example :

Code:
CAR A : 
- Total gallons used: 5
- Total miles traveled: 100
MOTORCYCLE B : 
- Total gallons used: 1
- Total miles traveled: 60

Calculation on your own :
(100 + 60) / (5  + 1) = 26.67 Combined MPG

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Old 08-17-2009, 02:43 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Clev -

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clev View Post
Sounds like you could use an EV. A small set of cheap crappy used batteries should be able to get you 4 miles, and you could either buy a well-known conversion vehicle (S10, bug, Metro) and use an off-the-shelf kit, or do your own a la Forkenswift.
True, an NEV will handle a "4 city miles" round trip without any problems. But I think in a lot of cases the A/C won't be an option. The Zenn car has an A/C (it was featured in the movie G-Force) :

ZENN Motor Company

But I priced one with A/C and it costs $20K, .

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Old 08-17-2009, 03:07 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SentraSE-R View Post
Can you combine trips? Maybe offer to pick up the neighbors' kids from school? Do the grocery shopping for your elderly neighbor every Friday? At least then you'd be able to warm your engine up and have a chance to bring your mileage up into the thirties.
I find it admirable to offer ones driving services to help neighbors, the elderly, etc. but driving more for the sake of getting better mpg defeats the purpose of trying to save fuel unless the driving you are doing is serving a purpose (I'm not saying good deeds don't serve a purpose...just saying adding miles to the route to get a warmer engine isn't a popular suggestion). While Jason might see others driving "nice 20+ mile commutes" he has an advantage that many of those 20+ mile commute drivers might envy...low consumption.

I would take a different view Jason...one of conservation. Even though you might not be getting the mpg you desire your short commute gives you the advantage of using less fuel than the average driver.

Maybe along with your goals of higher mpg you should also have goals of conservation (see how few gallons of gas you can use in a week, month or year and keep good records to compare your progress for both mpg and conservation).

Here's my personal example:

In March I moved into a new house and my commute to work went from 4 miles to 11 miles. Prior to moving I was driving a 4runner and getting 20 mpg. After moving I bought a Prius and get 60 mpg. So while I tripled my mpg I also nearly tripled my commute (which is 75% of the miles I drive each tank for me).

When looking at my fuel logs the other day I noticed I've saved nearly 120 gallons and $500 in fuel from driving my Prius vs. the 4runner. But, in the 4 months I've owned my Prius I've also driven about 1500 more miles than I would have driven in my 4runner with the shorter commute. So, while I am certainly saving money by getting 60 mpg in my Prius I am also driving more.

So the lower mpg you are getting is all relative to your consumption. Small improvements in mpg via driving technique and mods will lower your consumption even more! Maybe setting mpg and consumption goals would give you some optimism in your quest to be more "green."
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Old 08-17-2009, 03:10 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I haven't done any firm research, but I do believe many with EVs have achieved a level of coolness that trumps A/C har har. A/C would be the last thing I'd think about if I had an EV with a measly 4 mile commute very day. You could do a conversion VERY inexpensively. Would your guitar + amp fit in a trike?
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Old 08-17-2009, 03:59 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Wonderboy -

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonderboy View Post
I haven't done any firm research, but I do believe many with EVs have achieved a level of coolness that trumps A/C har har. A/C would be the last thing I'd think about if I had an EV with a measly 4 mile commute very day. You could do a conversion VERY inexpensively. Would your guitar + amp fit in a trike?
Instead of a trike, I wonder if the motorcycle could have a sidecar for "shtuff".

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Old 08-17-2009, 12:13 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Sidecar... or trailer. Seriously. Or electric bike with a trailer. You've got some other options besides the car with such a short commute.

And SentraSER is right - a 2 mile one-way commute is about the worst situation for good fuel economy in an internal combustion car in the environment you describe. I missed that important distance detail. The car never really gets up to operating temp (not just the engine coolant).

Neutral gliding with the engine running won't hurt anything, provided it re-engages smoothly when you go back to D (no nasty thunks - which I doubt).
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Old 08-17-2009, 12:59 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I agree on the sidecar or trailer for the motorcycle you already have. Another plus is you've probably got decent weather year round so you can pretty much always ride the motorcycle.

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