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Hypermilers - Post SAFE High FE Driving Tips

  #1  
Old 06-03-2006, 03:46 AM
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Default 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!
 
  #2  
Old 06-03-2006, 09:44 AM
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Default 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.
 
  #3  
Old 06-03-2006, 10:33 AM
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Default 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....
 
  #4  
Old 06-03-2006, 11:26 AM
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Default 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.
 
  #5  
Old 06-03-2006, 01:12 PM
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Default 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.
 
  #6  
Old 06-03-2006, 06:29 PM
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Default 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.
 
  #7  
Old 06-03-2006, 07:33 PM
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Default 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.
 
  #8  
Old 06-04-2006, 08:30 AM
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Default 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.



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.
 
  #9  
Old 06-04-2006, 09:06 AM
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Default 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 .
 
  #10  
Old 06-04-2006, 09:32 AM
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Default 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
 

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