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ppgroup 06-03-2006 03:46 AM

Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 
I am a new HCH2 owner and want to maximize my FE.

This forum has help me understand my vehicle much better and am already doing well (about 48mpg since we picked up the car a week ago, 54 since I stopped letting my wife drive it - she generally averages a whopping 30-35 in her Prius, although on the drive home from the Honda dealer [following me], she averaged 58 while I only got 52 with the HCH2).

But I want to do better, if possible, and figure the best of the best can educate me and others on how to get the highest mileage.

Safety is important as well. I don't want to do anything that is dangerous to me or the drivers around me. I am not going to run stop signs, drive 35mph while traffic is zipping by at 60, turn the engine off while gliding or carry a gas can in my trunk so I can run the tank dry.

So if you could post your BEST 'safe' tips, it would be appreciated. And if you have any 'secret' techniques you use (that are safe and legal)...

Thanks in advance!:)

Hot_Georgia_2004 06-03-2006 09:44 AM

Re: Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 
1. Slow down to close to, or better at, or even better below posted speed limits when traffic permits. Much of the time if you actually do go below the posted limit and in the Right lane most people won't care. Most will follow at a safe distance for miles then go around. A few might follow at a safe distance for a great many miles. Only a very tiny minority will tailgate for a short while then go around. It doesn't matter to them anyway...they'll just tailgate the next car.
2. Drive with the load. Let your speed sag going up hill, regain that speed again going downhill.
3. Keep momentum. Don't rush a red stop light (Drive w/o brakes), increase your traffic buffer when approaching a light so you won't catch it red.
4. Keep a traffic buffer. Keep a big distance between you and the car ahead, so when he stops/slows down (Like making a Left turn) you don't have to stop/slow down.
5. Watch the road as far as possible to anticipate both traffic and road grade.
6. Try alternate routes that favor fuel efficiency. For example if your commute takes you across heavy traffic and cursed with lots of lights then perhaps there is another way around that congestion. You will never know those better routes unless you take the time and actually look.
7. Memorize your commute route. Know where you can coast and where you need more gas. Learn exactly how much fuel is required over specific segments. Don't just "gas it" because you see a hill.
8. Sometimes the use of Assist is required, other times you can moderate it (Choose) if it comes on. With my car it is about the 40MPG range where it comes on. If you have a choice over a segment to use it or not, keep it off.
9. If you must use AC then activate the compressor only when going downhill or coasting. Never just allow it to run on its own. You'll be fighting all those uphills dragging a running AC compressor as well.
Same goes with Defrost. (Unless cycling won't keep the windows clear)
I bring a 6-pack size cooler with ice water and a dabbing cloth and don't use AC except for a few very brief moments.
10. If your car sits parked for hours then back it in, so when you return you don't have to back it out, put in D and go. This way when you return you can just put in D and go.
11. Be extra, extra careful FE wise in the first couple miles after start up. I don't know how long your commute is but my own car is pretty much warmed up after around 10-15 miles.
12. Increase tire pressure to what you consider a safe level. The higher the pressure the better the FE. Don't exceed maximum sidewall PSI while the tire is cold. (Not driven for an hour) I run mine at 51PSI max and if one tire drops to...about 40lbs I know it both by feel and FE.
The recommended 32PSI feels like wet sand to me.

Well I guess that's my top dozen.
None of those tips are fanatical or dangerous, but can substantially increase your efficiency.
Of course the more you apply them the better results you'll have.
Extraordinary results are possible only through extraordinary effort.

mexiken 06-03-2006 10:33 AM

Re: Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 
I generally find that keeping a light foot while accelerating, coasting to stops and around turns, and trying to constantly hold the iMPG gauge above 50 mpg while on the freeway can easily get you near 50 mpg. I'm currently at almost 52 mpg, and I RARELY drive below 60 miles an hour. I'm usually between 68-80 mpg in fact. I blast the A/C all the time. But thats just me....

ElanC 06-03-2006 11:26 AM

Re: Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 

Originally Posted by Hot_Georgia_2004
6. Try alternate routes that favor fuel efficiency. For example if your commute takes you across heavy traffic and cursed with lots of lights then perhaps there is another way around that congestion. You will never know those better routes unless you take the time and actually look.

Think carefully about this one. The real goal is to burn less gas, not to maximize MPG. Let's say, for example, you could drive 10 miles to get somewhere with 45 MPG, or you could drive 11 miles to get to the same place while getting 47 MPG. Which would be the better route? The 11 mile route is the wrong answer.

Double-Trinity 06-03-2006 01:12 PM

Re: Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 

Originally Posted by ElanC
Think carefully about this one. The real goal is to burn less gas, not to maximize MPG. Let's say, for example, you could drive 10 miles to get somewhere with 45 MPG, or you could drive 11 miles to get to the same place while getting 47 MPG. Which would be the better route? The 11 mile route is the wrong answer.

There are situations however where you can actually save gas in total gallons, such as the following technique:

1) Choose alternate routes based on traffic signals at the time. This works well on a grid where you need to go say 5 blocks east, and 8 blocks north. Let's say I would normally turn left at a particular light. If the arrow to turn left is red, but the signal to go straight is still clear, I'm better off going forward then going left two blocks later, when I happen to reach a left-hand turning lane with a green arrow. Conversely, if the light is red to go straight, and the left arrow is green, it's better off to go left earlier, to avoid stopping (this is assuming a fairly constant distance for each route, as would be the case on a grid). Even on non-grdided layouts, you can use this technique by knowing back routes and things like that. I can actually arrive at a destination faster and use less gas, as opposed to going the same path all the time, if there are multiple alternate paths of the same length, by avoiding the stops.

2) Anticipate traffic lights. This way, if you a green light up ahead is about to turn red before you reach it, let off the gas and coast from as far back as possible. Some people will be impatient, race past you, and brake to a stop ahead of you. On traffic signals which are triggered by sensors (on major thoroughfares, lights are kept green by default unless there are people waiting to turn), allowing people to do this works in your favor, as they trigger the light, and by the time you get there, you are still moving and only have to go from say 25 - 50mph instead of 0-50mph.

On lights with sensors, you can tell if a red light is about to turn green as well if the cars approaching the intersection from the cross-street are beginning to slow down (this means their light is yellow) AND there are no cars waiting to turn left. If there are cars waiting you turn left, you known the light will stay red to allow them a protected turn, so you're better off trying to get regenerative braking. If there are no cars in the turning lanes, it will turn green soon, so you're better off keeping your momentum up than charging the battery. No matter what though, make sure you have enough room to stop safely if you misjudge the situation.

If the stop-lights were actually linked, they could do all this judgment with a centralized system and maximize the fuel efficiency for everyone by using smarter timing on the lights. That may even have a significant benefit on smog, as well as average commute time in the city if they could get a significant improvement.

mmrmnhrm 06-03-2006 06:29 PM

Re: Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 
An additional comment to anticipating traffic lights... *MOST* lights with crosswalk signals (at least here) will flip from green to yellow at the same time the blinking "Don't Walk" signal becomes solid. Thus, if I'm a ways back but see the crosswalk hand blinking red, I know there's no point to attempting that green light. It'll be yellow by the time I get to it anyway.

nbalthaser 06-03-2006 07:33 PM

Re: Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 
here's a couple tips i've found that work:

1. use cruise control on the freeways. on the hch.ii at least it appears the ima system knows better than i do how to manage things and return great mpg.

2. avoid short trips (<3miles). these trips kill mpg. i went from 48mpg to 54mpg simply. by using my electric scooter to go down to the store.

3. use the gauges. on the ima system, learn how to read the gauges (assist/charge). learn when to let up on the gas to get into ev-only mode and how to coast (no green bars).

4. get a feeling for how much battery power you've got. if you're only down 2 bars, then use that electric motor! try to stay above half charge otherwise the ice will kick on and force a recharge. let off the accelerator early in front of a light to maximize regen. regen energy is (almost) free energy so the more you can capture (and use) the better.

6. if you've got the battery power, use it to accelerate up to speed quickly. generally, i try to accelerate up to 5-8mpg over the speed limit and then let it glide back down to the speed limit. it is surprising how far you can glide.

7. know your route. there's a big hill on the way out to my parents and the speed limit is 50mph. the hill gradually declines on the other side. knowing this, i climb the hill at around 45mph and then let off the accelerator near the crest and glide all the way down (about 2 miles) at 55mph. by the time i get to the bottom, not only has my mpg shot up but i have managed to recharge my battery. if you manage hills like this you can really bump your mpg up and recapture energy for future use. hills are the friend of the hybrid (at least the ima system i've found).

another example, on my way home from my parents house highway 24 gradually climbs and then the other side declines pretty steeply. my exit is right in the middle of the decline. i power up the hill and use as much of my battery charge as possible to assist. then at the top, i coast (managing the gas pedal so as to not recharge). my speed picks up to around 75mph and at around my exit i let the regen kick in full power and it slows me down pretty good. by the time i have exited no only did i make up a bunch of time, my battery is fully charged again and my mpg is much higher.

Mr. Kite 06-04-2006 08:30 AM

Re: Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 

Originally Posted by Hot_Georgia_2004
I bring a 6-pack size cooler with ice water and a dabbing cloth and don't use AC except for a few very brief moments.

:zip::zip::zip::zip::zip::zip::zip:



Originally Posted by Hot_Georgia_2004
12. Increase tire pressure to what you consider a safe level. The higher the pressure the better the FE. Don't exceed maximum sidewall PSI while the tire is cold. (Not driven for an hour) I run mine at 51PSI max and if one tire drops to...about 40lbs I know it both by feel and FE.
The recommended 32PSI feels like wet sand to me.

The maximum sidewall PSI on my tires is 44. I know you have a different car, but is your sidewall max really 51 or greater? So far I have been running my tires at the recommended 32 PSI, but I am considering increasing this to the upper 30s. I have found many websites that talk about the problems with running tires below the recommended, but I have not found a good site that talks about the pros and cons of overinflation. Do you know of any good sites? Safety is way more important to me that good fuel economy. Also, do you notice any uneven wear at those pressures?

Thanks.

tomdavie 06-04-2006 09:06 AM

Re: Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 
good post. I like the tips about going slower and anticipating braking sooner.



I dont think pumping up the tires beyond the recommended psi is wize. Id rather just stick to the recommended level. I also will not start carrying around a bunch of apparatus in my car. I will just use the AC when i need to. I find putting the ac on the lowest setting doenst do a heck of a lot to the FE .

GeekGal 06-04-2006 09:32 AM

Re: Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 

Originally Posted by Mr. Kite
I have found many websites that talk about the problems with running tires below the recommended, but I have not found a good site that talks about the pros and cons of overinflation. Do you know of any good sites? Safety is way more important to me that good fuel economy. Also, do you notice any uneven wear at those pressures?
Thanks.

This was posted here on GreenHybrid a couple months' back:
http://www.officer.com/article/artic...on=19&id=27281

Double-Trinity 06-04-2006 09:42 AM

Re: Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 

Originally Posted by tomdavie
good post. I like the tips about going slower and anticipating braking sooner.

I dont think pumping up the tires beyond the recommended psi is wize. Id rather just stick to the recommended level. I also will not start carrying around a bunch of apparatus in my car. I will just use the AC when i need to. I find putting the ac on the lowest setting doenst do


R
eccomended pressure is almost always on the low side for the sake of creating a cushier ride, not necessarily improving performance or gas mileage. I would say try out 40psi -- between reccomended and max sidewall. If you find the handling, road-feel, and mileage improvements outweight the additional noise/harshness, keep the pressure up. It should be not be unsafe -- some reports have even showed slightly improved stopping distances, especialy wet.

Hot_Georgia_2004 06-04-2006 12:11 PM

Re: Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 
Mr. Kite, thanks for the post.
I've driven 70,000 miles on my original set of Dunlop tires and had them set to 51PSI over their life. 51 is the max cold pressure for my Dunlops.
I'm ready for new tires, and have worn evenly across the tread.

ElanC, as we know I was suggesting taking a different route which favors better MPG. What you posted makes good sense. However the MPG difference can be much greater than a couple MPG's. For example I could take the freeway for 99.5% of my commute but choose to take a parallel highway for about 1/2 the trip instead. I get +10MPG better for that segment.
The side road is a bit over a mile longer.

tomdavie 06-04-2006 01:15 PM

Re: Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 
gang

thanks for the new info regarding the tire pressure. I will bump mine up to 3 psi below max sidewall. That seems reasonalbe. NOT to what some of these jokers bump it up to however.

i will NOT bring apparatus in my car like wet towels and ice just so i dont put the AC on. I will NOT spend my waking hours obsessed with being able to post the best MPG on this site or lose sight of the fact it ALREADY gets much better mileage than a regular gas car. Can we just get on with our lives without going way overboard?

To the casual observer, going crazy on the MPG to the point of where it starts to really look ridiculous actually cheapens the site as average folks cant relate to it, and conclude we are a 'fringe group' of obsessed freaks.

My hope was to promote the benefits of the hybrid, as a normal american would enjoy it, so that more and more of us will switch to hybrids.

I didnt come here to become part of some cult that goes to ridiculous lengths to embellish MPG to the point where nothing else in life matters.

Boasting MPG numbers that are 'dubious' at best, obscure scenerios, and outright bragging about ridiculous technics does not help our cause. Its done to showcase the egos of those involved -which saddens me

Helium in the tires???? cmon man..........


Automakers no doubt read our blog , eagerly seeking what the real world MPG is on their vehicles. They end up having to take it with a 'large margin' grain of salt when they see the ridiculous lengths these guys go to to 'put up numbers' like its a contest or something. They are not interested in obscure scenerio trumped up numbers that wont be realistically duplicated in normal situation driving.

Do you honestly believe toyota or honda is going to start handing out wet towels and ice -instead of AC -on their cars. Not very constructive a suggestion huh......

Even if the 'technics' can be taught, americans are not going to spend all this time 'relearing' how to drive to milk an extra mpg out of their car, and if they do -they will just use the new skills in their gas cars, defeating the purpose of driving a hybrid, as their 'state of the art' training will reap them better mileage in their gas cars. So why shell out the extra expense of the hybrid?

Do you now honestly expect honda and toyota to now include classes on how to 'pulse and glide' -instead of just drive the **** car?

Average americans come to this site , looking to get better mpg , and help the enviroment and foreign oil. They then are aghast to see hybrid drivers talking some 'funky' language about wholesale changes in driving and tire pressure and all this crap -when all they wanna do is buy a new car.

Didnt we purchase the hybrid for the enviroment? We all know the price was trumped up so that we have to drive about 100k miles to make up the diff in gas savings.

Automakers , nor consumers can take these overinflated numbers seriously as what an average consumer would do. I guess im asking for too much for all of us just to drive the **** things and report what we get as 'real world' without all the ego feeding ridiculous gyrations.

There are good common sense suggestions here to help the MPG slightly. However, there is also a bunch of nonsense and ego feeding going on that is turning off americans from buying a hybrid. This cheapens the site and takes away from the benefits that are here.

just my .02.

srry for the rant -it has been building up for some time now.

lakedude 06-04-2006 01:48 PM

Re: Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 
Different tires have different recommended and different max tire pressure ratings. It should be safe to pump up to the max. I don't think it safe to throw out a number like 51psi because not all tires are rated at 51. Mine are rated at 44 max so that is what I run them at. Many tires have a max of 35psi. It is up to the owner to check their own tires ratings and decide for themselves what is safe.

lakedude 06-04-2006 02:13 PM

Re: Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 

Originally Posted by tomdavie
gang

thanks for the new info regarding the tire pressure. I will bump mine up to 3 psi below max sidewall. That seems reasonalbe. NOT to what some of these jokers bump it up to however.

i will NOT bring apparatus in my car like wet towels and ice just so i dont put the AC on. I will NOT spend my waking hours obsessed with being able to post the best MPG on this site or lose sight of the fact it ALREADY gets much better mileage than a regular gas car. Can we just get on with our lives without going way overboard?....bla bla bla

and


no more oil
Did the same person type both of these?

Couple of things:

1) Hypermilers might be considered a "fringe" group but me thinks we are ahead of the curve like the round earthers were years ago.

2) Hypermiling is FUN (if you are into it), like driving fast is also fun. It starts out with all these "safe" and convenient things like tire pressure. When you have a "game gauge" and you see that timing lights, tire pressure and coasting (engine on) in N all help your mileage you might start to wonder what else you can do to burn less gas (or not). Then you might start driving a little slower (still safe but not as convenient) and if it is hilly you might strart driving with the load (also safe but not as convenient).

Going farther is a matter of personal choice. If you don't want to get better mileage then don't, it is up to you. If you want the car to do all the work and not put any effort in yourself that is perfectly fine. I'm not criticizing hybrid drivers that are happy driving their hybrids like "normal" cars. To each his/her own.

What isn't fair (IMO) is to criticize those of us who do put in the effort. That is our choice (and you might be one of us someday). It is a choice I feel good about I might add. Buring less oil is cool.

brick 06-04-2006 03:00 PM

Re: Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 
Tom,
While I fully understand your desire to just drive your car and enjoy it for what it is, I don't really understand your rant, either. What is so wrong with a group of people who enjoy getting the absolute best out of their hybrid cars? What is so wrong with burning even less fuel than if the car were "just driven" as you advocate? It has been acknowledged over and over again that it's your car, you should do what you want with it. Those who take FE to the next level report their results in hopes that others will want to follow suit, not to make others feel bad about their fuel economy. In that respect, I think you are reading a bit too much between the lines.


Originally Posted by tomdavie
Even if the 'technics' can be taught, americans are not going to spend all this time 'relearing' how to drive to milk an extra mpg out of their car, and if they do -they will just use the new skills in their gas cars, defeating the purpose of driving a hybrid, as their 'state of the art' training will reap them better mileage in their gas cars. So why shell out the extra expense of the hybrid?

You got it! I offer myself as an example. I can not afford to buy myself a hybrid at the moment, and nor can I justify getting rid of my perfectly good non-hybrid car while it has so few miles on it. The reason I came to this site in the first place was to seek inspiration from you hybrid-driving folks on how to get the most out of the Accord. That said, I fully intend to buy the most efficient car that will suit my needs when the time comes. That means learning, which is why I'm still here. But how am I "defeating the purpose" of your hybrid by doing the best I can without one? Wouldn't it be great if everyone did a little better in the cars they have? Your air would be a little cleaner and your gas a little cheaper. You win, too!

In closing, everybody has a different idea of how to drive and what constitutes "good" fuel economy. This is a diverse group, and that's what adds richness to a resource such as this site. And I can't honestly say that I've seen something that would label this a group of "freaks." But to talk about "cheapening" the site and "taking away from the benefits...," that's waaaay out of line IMHO. Our focus should be learning from one another, not clashing over who is right about how the cars should be driven.

GeekGal 06-04-2006 04:06 PM

Re: Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 
Tom,

Take a deep breath, relax, release, repeat.

Every interest group has its casual lurkers, its active participants and its outright addicts (mostly harmless). This group, this site, is no different. There are PLENTY of threads for casual lurkers, there's a Glossary for any of the overly "techie" talk we sometimes divert into, and the mileage database shows both the hypermilers and the middle-of-the road Jane and Joes driving their vehicles around in various ways.

Driving a vehicle with fuel economy in mind can be done in any vehicle, hybrid or not, as you say. The fact that hybrids already get good mileage doesn't negate the desire among some/many to see "just how well can they do?" Some people's climates and driving conditions offer more "suitable" conditions for "hypermiling" than others, and some people are definitely more dedicated than others -- it's a hobby, a passion. What's wrong with them sharing their enthusiasm, just as any other hobbiest group would do? Just because someone avoids using their A/C and even offers up an alternative that s/he uses doesn't mean they're advocating we all demand the vehicle manufacturer recall our A/Cs and issue us towels and coolers instead! It's free advice -- you paid nothing for it and are free to ignore that which doesn't apply to you.

Replace "hypermiling" and "hybrid drivers" with any other interest group -- aviation; performance modifying vehicles/motorcycles; overclocking home computers; even knitting -- and you get the same results we have here... a diverse and vocal group of individuals who share some similar characteristics and interests and are enthusiastic about various topics. People posting photos of their MPG readings or FAQs on how to hypermile are doing so because they're interested, they have knowledge and they want to share it with others who may also be interested. It's no more a "Thou must comply" than a knitting site posting the latest challenging pattern or someone posting how they overclocked their brand new PC to play the latest bleeding edge computer game. It's a, "Hey, look what can be done! Isn't that cool?"

Yes, occasionally there are posts that seem to judge anyone who's getting less than XX mpg as not trying "hard enough" or "why even bother getting a hybrid". That is their belief/opinion and we're all free (there's that word again) to take it or leave it; but they do have a right to it just as others have a right to say, "No, sorry, some of those things just don't fit my commute/lifestyle/family's needs. For example, the poster who mentioned ice cold water and a wash cloth probably wouldn't advocate that a Texas family with a newborn in their vehicle leave the A/C off today as the temperature creeps towards 94+ Fahrenheit. It was simply shared as something simple one or more people do.

Also, don't assume that everyone buys a hybrid for the same reasons. Just as there are widely varied reasons people have/give for buying ANY vehicle, the reasons for purchasing a hybrid are all over the spectrum. My husband loves the fuel economy, but even more than that he loves knowing the emissions are so extremely low. Myself, I love the technology and the ability to "support" (through commerce and discussion) more fuel efficient vehicles such as gas-electric hybrids. Some people buy a hybrid because they like trying new things or saw an opportunity for savings (regardless of time scale) over a gasoline-only vehicle. There are many, many more reasons than these even.

Relax and enjoy. You're welcome here, just as the whole gamut of drivers (hybrid and non-) are. As with everything in life, your mileage may vary. ;)

Double-Trinity 06-04-2006 05:37 PM

Re: Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 

do you honestly believe toyota or honda is going to start handing out wet towels and ice -instead of AC -on their cars. Not very constructive a suggestion huh......

Even if the 'technics' can be taught, americans are not going to spend all this time 'relearing' how to drive to milk an extra mpg out of their car, and if they do -they will just use the new skills in their gas cars, defeating the purpose of driving a hybrid, as their 'state of the art' training will reap them better mileage in their gas cars. So why shell out the extra expense of the hybrid?
To answer this question, hybrids tend to be more sensitive to changes in load, making those techniques more significant. So while they will save mileage in any car, due to the nature of how hybrids gain efficiecny by downsizing the engine, you will see a more significant difference in hybrid mileage by using techniques -- especially braking techniques that maximizes battery recharging -- than on standard cars. So while you can improve a standard car mileage with technique, the potential on hybrids for improvement is much greater.


Do you now honestly expect honda and toyota to now include classes on how to 'pulse and glide' -instead of just drive the **** car?
While I don't expect to see classes on how to pulse and glide, or other such techniques, their engineers coudl actually incorporate some of those techniques into the cruise-control system, in a way that is transparent to the driver, such as automaticallty cruising for some length of time in all-electric mode, then periodically running the engine to recharge the battery -- pulse and glide using the batteries instead of varying the momentum on the car as a means of storing energy.

Another technique mentioned on here is to cycle the air-conditoner to run on max when going downhill (I do this, as I go down a large hill every day from my house) then on a lower setting when going on the flat ground, and off when accelerating. This entire routine could be programmed into the "econ" mode on the air conditioning system, and done automatically by the car.

While suggesting peopel carry buckets of ice is a bit extreme, that doesn't mean there is not room for improvement in the air conditoining and ventilation systems. I think a lot of the need for A/C could be reduced by introducing wider, more efficient ventilation ducts throughout the car to circulate the air better. Another option would be to ventilate and cool the actual seats themselves, in addition to or instead of the whole car (cooling the people is what matters).

Hot_Georgia_2004 06-04-2006 07:01 PM

Re: Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 
Tom I know the others have already chimed in, but I've never been critical of anyone who gets, and continues to get low MPG numbers.

I know they are just enjoying their vehicles in their own way.

But I always try and help those who are asking for assistance, and was the topic of this thread.
Back when gas exceeded $1.00/gallon I bought my HCH for economic reasons.

I guess it may seem like I'm living, breathing, and constantly worry about every MPG all hour of my life.
Actually it's far from that, as Lakedude mentioned: I'm just enjoying my car.

l'll give you the respect to enjoy yours in your own way as well.

Mr. Kite 06-04-2006 09:33 PM

Re: Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 
I appreciate all of your responses. I know some of you do some things that may seem a bit extreme. I have no problem with this as long as it doesn't piss off normal drivers. With that said, if people get pissed off when you are timing lights or timing your stops, they are just being stupid. It is not really impeding the flow of traffic. Thanks for all of your advice.

tomdavie 06-05-2006 12:11 AM

Re: Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 
guys

like i said. Sorry for the rant. I aint the only one feeling like this,and I am glad its finally been said.



What I said stands. If you disagree , fine. I wont mention it again, but instead will just try to find common sense discussions and ignore the rest of it.
:)

Pravus Prime 06-06-2006 12:09 AM

Re: Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 

Originally Posted by ppgroup
- she generally averages a whopping 30-35 in her Prius, although on the drive home from the Honda dealer [following me], she averaged 58 while I only got 52 with the HCH2).


30 MPGs in a Prius? Wow, that seems pretty low.

It seems all the best tips have already been mentioned, though I will add one more, minimize idling.

Don't start up the car, go in for coffee, and load her up for the day, don't start the engine until you're going to move the car.

Take it easy on the pedal too, sometimes, if you watch your instant FE, you can tell that you're pressing too hard on a road, you can let off, and reapply less pressure to keep your speed the same, but improve your FE at the same time. (occasionally)

Good luck, and enjoy!

lakedude 06-06-2006 03:39 AM

Re: Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 

Originally Posted by tomdavie
What I said stands. If you disagree , fine. I wont mention it again, but instead will just try to find common sense discussions and ignore the rest of it.
:)

You are perfectly entitled to express your feelings. Please do not feel restricted just because some might disagree with you.

You should know that different people have different ideas about what "common sense" is. Clearly you have your own ideas and you find them reasonable as do many others.

What I find reasonable has changed over the years. When I was younger I drove like a mad man with zero reguard to MPG or tire life. In 1996 I bought my first car with a real time MPG meter. Having those numbers stairing you in the face all the time eventually gets you thinking. Like I said before it starts out with little things you start doing and a few (10) years later you can't imagine NOT shutting the car off on down hill sections. You start thinking that it would be crazy to leave the engine on.

If you had told me to kill my engine while driving back in 1996 (or earlier) I would have called you crazy. Even in 2000 I might have thought you were a nutbag if you killed your engine while driving. Turning into a hypermiler was a slow and gradual process but the numbers speak for themselves. Anytime you drive a car with a real time display you get instant gratification for your effort.

Anyway I'm not trying to sell you on anything. Bookmark this page and come back in 10 years and see how you feel then. You might feel exactly the same or you might be one of us "crazy people".

foo monkey 06-06-2006 04:41 AM

Re: Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 

Originally Posted by Hot_Georgia_2004
Well I guess that's my top dozen.

heh. And only two of them is specific to driving a hybrid car.

gonavy 06-06-2006 04:52 AM

Re: Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 
...and that's the point!

basjoos 06-08-2006 03:17 PM

Re: Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 
A couple of additional tips:

When driving on roads that are wet to the point where you can see the squeegied tracks of the preceeding cars, drive so that your tires are following in the tracks of the preceeding traffic. This can reduce a lot of the MPG loss associated with driving on wet roads. Also when driving in very heavy rain with LOTS of water running off the road, drop your speed down as low as traffic will allow. In addition to hydroplaning issues, an inch of water on the road can play havoc with your gas mileage and reducing your speed from 60 down to 30 MPH can greatly help reduce the MPG hit (think of the mileage that boats get).

If you can choose what time of day you can make your trip, try to plan it for the warmest part of the day in the winter or when temps will be in the 70F to 80F range in the summer. Also if you can, time your trip to avoid rainy weather and wet roads.

SretiCentV 06-09-2006 05:19 AM

Re: Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 
People always say drafting isn't safe, but I disagree strongly. I just make sure I've seen the truck's brakelights work prior to engaging it. The slower we're going, the closer I get. I just stare hard at one of his brakelights and the instant it comes on, I react. I've been a video game player for years and reflexes is one thing I have going for me. Also consider how much longer it would take for such a massive truck to come to a stop (much more than either of my cars)

I'd much rather be behind an 18 wheeler than in front or next to it.

Mr. Kite 06-09-2006 05:40 AM

Re: Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 

Originally Posted by SretiCentV
People always say drafting isn't safe, but I disagree strongly. I just make sure I've seen the truck's brakelights work prior to engaging it. The slower we're going, the closer I get. I just stare hard at one of his brakelights and the instant it comes on, I react. I've been a video game player for years and reflexes is one thing I have going for me. Also consider how much longer it would take for such a massive truck to come to a stop (much more than either of my cars)

I'd much rather be behind an 18 wheeler than in front or next to it.

What happens when something unpredicted distracts you from intently staring at the brakelights? It is amazing the silly things people will do to achieve slightly higer fuel economy. It is one thing for you to say that you think it is worth the risk, it is another to strongly think that it is safe.

GeekGal 06-09-2006 07:21 AM

Re: Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 

Originally Posted by SretiCentV
People always say drafting isn't safe, but I disagree strongly. I just make sure I've seen the truck's brakelights work prior to engaging it. The slower we're going, the closer I get. I just stare hard at one of his brakelights and the instant it comes on, I react. I've been a video game player for years and reflexes is one thing I have going for me. Also consider how much longer it would take for such a massive truck to come to a stop (much more than either of my cars)

I've seen an 18 wheeler's tire delaminate/blow out and get shed all over the highway at 75mph. I've also see them drive over road debris that a normal sized vehicle (non-SUV/pickup) would ordinarily avoid, but if you're tailgating/drafting you cannot see that and make the judgment yourself.

The only thing going for you is that tailgating semi's means you're at least putting your blind faith in *professional* strangers (people who are paid to drive for a living) vs. drafting off any Tom, Dick or Jane in their van/SUV/pickup -- strangers whom you cannot and should not make any assumptions about driving ability, attention span, or vehicle handling capabilities.

jajohnson 06-09-2006 08:04 AM

Re: Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 
IMHO, it all boils down to how much you think you and your family's safety is worth. In my case, no amount of savings is worth rearending a semi (or having to swerve into an adjacent traffic lane unexpectedly), a real possibility when you consider the speed you are travelling as well as reaction and stopping times.

I personally have seen firsthand the effects of tire shredding as well as the ability of a semi to drive over road debris that would be a real problem to a normal vehicle. Unexpectedly having a mattress fly off the vehicle in front of you while driving on the Interstate in the middle of Chicago is enough to convince me to keep a safe distance, even a little more.

T'aint worth it (to me). Of course this is from an older driver (60), one who finally realizes they are mortal. When I was 20 and 30, driving 50K per year, I thought I could handle anything thrown at me, the same as several of my close friends who are now dead and/or disfigured from traffic accidents.

Guess it's time to get off my soapbox........

Hot_Georgia_2004 06-09-2006 02:58 PM

Re: Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 
I could probably draft within a reasonable margin of safety, but that won't stop the occasional sand, rocks and broken airborn car parts from damaging the front of my car.

ppgroup 06-11-2006 02:24 PM

Re: Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 
In my opinion, you cannot draft with any reasonable safety, no matter what your reflexes are.

And certainly, the small $$$$ dollar savings aren't worth the risk. Even if you were able to drive 100 miles (or hundreds) this way and consume no fuel at all, you would only save about 2 gallons of gas. Do the math. Isn't your life worth more than a couple of gallons of gas?

Getting high FE is fun, but not worth risking your life over. If you can't afford the gas, take the bus!

SretiCentV 06-11-2006 02:44 PM

Re: Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 
I'm really enjoying these responses. I wasn't specific enough so people made assumptions and even gave me scenarios that I'll never see. Not that I need validation from anyone, but here's clarification on how *I* justify my actions.

-I only do it when I drive alone so I'm not endangering anyone's family.
-I didn't know an exploding tire would cause the truck to come to an immediate stop, thanks for the info.
-Road rebris isn't a factor where I drive. Its rush hour and theres tightly packed traffic going 55-65 mph. Any road debris would quickly cause a traffic jam, thus negating that argument.
-I don't get distracted.
-I've had many a truck (I only draft off of big 18 wheelers, nothing smaller) absolutely slam their brakes right in front of me. I'm not a physicist but the amount of time it takes an 18 wheeler to stop vs a honda insight gives me ample time to also slam the brakes. Generally I end up further behind them than I was.

Also, thanks for using the word stupid. I might've considered your argument otherwise.

GeekGal 06-11-2006 04:00 PM

Re: Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 
{shrug}

Mr. Kite 06-11-2006 04:45 PM

Re: Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 
I guess my common sense reasoning should only be reserved for average people. I need new rules for those with extensive video game experience.


Originally Posted by SretiCentV
Also, thanks for using the word stupid. I might've considered your argument otherwise.

I think you need to recheck my post. Now that the unmentionable word is no longer there, you can consider my argument. :D

brick 06-11-2006 05:16 PM

Re: Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 
On the topic of extremely safe, high FE driving tips:

I managed a 42.2mpg, 108 mile highway segment in the Accord this weekend using nothing but cruise control set to 60-65mph. The only "trick" I used was to shift into neutral (it's a manual transmission) on down-hill runs that were sufficiently steep to maintain my speed. The return trip was 39.7mpg using the same technique but using the a/c periodicaly.

That's about as safe as you can get without staying home, and results in some of the highest numbers I've seen in this vehicle.

ppgroup 06-11-2006 06:33 PM

Re: Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 
Obviously, starting from a stop gives the lowest FE in any car.

With our '06 Prius, I accelerate gently under battery power until the gas engine comes on, usually around 10mph (with the air on), higher with the air off. Then I accelerate moderately (about 1/2 throttle or more) until about 35mph (I have found the mpg reading is about the same whether you accelerate gently or moderatly once the engine comes on as the car really only used the electric motor to drive the car until above 35-40mph). I then accelerate gently to my cruising speed.

Following this method of acceleration, I find I get the same or better FE than if I drive 'granny' style all the time. I drove the car this weekend for about 30 miles and averaged over 47mpg with the air on and a mix of 90% city, 10% highway). (I use many of the techniques listed here EXCEPT DRAFTING).

Has anyone had similar experiences?

kamsmart 06-13-2006 11:05 AM

Re: Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 

Originally Posted by ElanC
Think carefully about this one. The real goal is to burn less gas, not to maximize MPG. Let's say, for example, you could drive 10 miles to get somewhere with 45 MPG, or you could drive 11 miles to get to the same place while getting 47 MPG. Which would be the better route? The 11 mile route is the wrong answer.

I second this .. sometimes, the hypermilers, lose the track of their original quest and get driven into the quest for the highest MPG, which is not really the final aim. The final aim i to get around the places and live your life while burning the least amount of gas ...

Thanks, Elan!

Orcrone 06-14-2006 11:08 AM

Re: Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 
Great thread.

Regarding tire pressure. Remember that tire pressure varies based on the temperature. So be careful if you're setting your tire pressure close to or at the maximum. If tomorrow (or a month later) it's 30 degrees warmer your tire pressure may be too high.

As for me I just got my TCH on Friday. I love the instantaneous MPG gauge in the car. Forces me to become more aware of what saves gas and what sucks gas. I'm learning to anticipate lights and let the car coast more. That helps me avoid accelerating/decelerating. I've also found how speed effects the mileage. I may try upping the pressure in the tires. However, I'll keep using the A/C in hot weather.;)

kamsmart 06-15-2006 01:36 PM

Re: Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips
 

Originally Posted by ppgroup
Obviously, starting from a stop gives the lowest FE in any car.

With our '06 Prius, I accelerate gently under battery power until the gas engine comes on, usually around 10mph (with the air on), higher with the air off. Then I accelerate moderately (about 1/2 throttle or more) until about 35mph (I have found the mpg reading is about the same whether you accelerate gently or moderatly once the engine comes on as the car really only used the electric motor to drive the car until above 35-40mph). I then accelerate gently to my cruising speed.

Following this method of acceleration, I find I get the same or better FE than if I drive 'granny' style all the time. I drove the car this weekend for about 30 miles and averaged over 47mpg with the air on and a mix of 90% city, 10% highway). (I use many of the techniques listed here EXCEPT DRAFTING).

Has anyone had similar experiences?

I have had my Prius II for about a week. I am still on the first tank, and I have used about 3 bars worth of gas. I hgave drive 200+ miles. The mpg meter on the dashboard shows 63+ mpg.

My limited experience shows that the mpg values on the dashboard do not change while accelerating once the ICE comes on. In fact, I have found that the faster you accelerate (I have only pushed for moderate acceleration .. so my experience is limited to this extent of pushing the acelerator), the better MPG figures you get. So, common sense tell me that it is better that I push the accelrator and get to the sped that I want to quickly and then try to maintain the speed.

The other observation that I made is that the power required to "maintain" the speed of the car is about directly proportional to the speed of the car. So, if one does want to drive at smaller speeds, then once the car has accelerated to that speed, the MPG numbers start becoming better ...

Regards!


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