The Electra Forums

Guitar Talk about Electra and other vintage imported guitars
Home
Index of Models
The Electra Forums
PM Inbox
It is currently Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:04 am

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: 40 MPG Finally..!
PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 2:05 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:52 am
Posts: 1924
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
I've been flirting with 37-39 mpg all summer long, and this last tank I finally reached 40 mpg with my '95 Escort Wagon (standard transmission, 1.9 liter). Yeehaa. I find it really puzzling that the American auto manufacturers have been so short sighted on fuel efficiency, especially to those of us who lived through the gas 'crisis' of the 70's... they've had 30 f'ing years to get their act together, and now there is a real good chance that two of the 'big three' may not make it through the decade because of this lack of planning and research. None of the top ten fuel efficient models available in America are made by American auto makers.

Top ways to maximize milage:

I) Standard Transmission. An automatic transmission is basically a big hydraulic pump, which is systemically inefficient and uses probably 20-35% more energy to do the same amount of work as a Standard. I happen to own two Escort Wagons (down from three) and the automatic rarely gets over 30 mpg even if I really feather the gas pedal.

II) Easy does it on Acceleration. Sure you wont make any friends at the stop light, but taking it easy getting up to speed makes a big difference in fuel consumption, many times if you let people get ahead of you, they can trigger the next 'smart' traffic light by the time you catch up with them, further increasing your milage because you didn't have to slow down again.

III) Coasting. Hard, if not impossible to do with a Automatic, but slipping your Standard Transmission into neutral far in advance of a inevitable stop helps greatly. There is a part of my drive home that has a stop sign at the end of a very gentle downward slope that I get to coast for over a half mile without using any fuel (to propel the car). I remember in High School that I used to turn the engine off coasting down Geddes road on the way to school, but that was in a '64 volvo that didn't have a locking steering column! Never turn your car off when coasting, you'll lose your steering, your power brakes, your life!

IV) Shift as early as your engine will let you without complaining. Winding the engine out basically is wasting gas. If you shift too early, your Engine will groan and shudder.

V) Draft on the Highway. As reported by 'Myth Busters' drafting behind a truck can give you crazy good gas milage. No, I don't mean 5 feet off their tailgate Mr. NASCAR, but even keeping 50 to 70 feet (~ 4 car lengths) won't get you a ticket and was proved on Myth Busters to help fuel use dramatically. Not only do Semi's typically go 5-10 miles an hour slower than all the other traffic which helps you out (really, what are you going to do in the 7 minutes you saved in your commute racing home from work?) but the trailers create a aerodynamic slipstream that has been measured up to 120 feet behind them. I once heard that over 35 miles an hour all other forces (road friction, gravity?) are basically nothing compared to air friction on your car.

VI) Don't wait for your engine to warm up. If my car is on, I'm driving, dead of winter or not. The engine DOES get more efficient once warmed up, but that doesn't take very long, and it just seems fuelish to remote start your car and let it sit there fast idling for 10 minutes in your driveway... even if it is cold outside, wear a good coat, it'll bring you closer to nature!

VII) Don't transport unnecessary items. Especially on smaller cars, a full trunk or wagon can account for a significant percentage of your cars weight, over time, that is just fuel wasted.

VIII) Keep your engine tuned and happy. I don't want to sound like a politician, but keeping your tires correctly inflated, injectors clean, air cleaner replaced regularly only will help your milage, and make you closer to your car. It may be more money up front, but the car will probably last longer and give you less problems, which is tough to put a pricetag on.

There are probably dozens of other things you could do, but that's what has worked for me, possibly the Scot in me showing through, but I've always tried to reduce my gas consumption and expenses. Call me a miser... I've been called worse! Cheers, Mike.

_________________
Electra Guitar Videos ===> http://www.youtube.com/user/mjm33mjm?feature=watch


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 40 MPG Finally..!
PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 3:59 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 7:54 am
Posts: 471
Location: Baltimore, MD.
Ford wins!
Good tips too.

_________________
Addicted to Matsumoku.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 40 MPG Finally..!
PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:22 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2007 2:06 am
Posts: 1039
Location: Hervey Bay, Australia
Ah, yes - I can still hear my father exhorting me to"Drive SMOOTHLY, boy; there's no prizes for getting there first!!" Words of wisdom that sum up proendorser's tips... still, every now and then the boy-racer appears and has to be appeased, eh!! I can't be a boy-racer anymore - I have a Nissan Patrol which does 0-100 in about 3 weeks!! :D

_________________
"Sometimes the nicest thing to do with a guitar is just look at it."

Thom Yorke


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 40 MPG Finally..!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 7:31 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 9:32 am
Posts: 1024
Location: NYC
Still a boy racer, my Sti goes 0-60 mph in about 4.5 sec :D For all that the milage is not that bad about 27 on the highway and 22 in town. In stop start trafic it get teriible quickly though. I am thinking of getting something more efficiant for about town and short runs though.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 40 MPG Finally..!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 8:19 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2007 8:49 am
Posts: 70
Location: Austin TX USA
haha, I saw that episode of Mythbusters as well. Whenever I get stuck behind a semi, I take advantage of it!

My commute is about 45 miles. The patch of interstate in my area doesn't allow semi's to drive in the leftmost lane so it's easy to pass them up. They can use it to pass traffic but they can't stay in it (which people SHOULD be doing in the first place).

_________________
Peavey 5150 w/Bias mod
Custom 4x12 birch cab w/Celestion G12T-75's
Ibanez TS808 OD w/Monte Allums mod
ISP Decimator
Electra X260 Invicta
Ibanez RG320DXQM


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 40 MPG Finally..!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 8:52 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 9:22 pm
Posts: 20
proendorser wrote:


III) Coasting. Hard, if not impossible to do with a Automatic, but slipping your Standard Transmission into neutral far in advance of a inevitable stop helps greatly. There is a part of my drive home that has a stop sign at the end of a very gentle downward slope that I get to coast for over a half mile without using any fuel (to propel the car). I remember in High School that I used to turn the engine off coasting down Geddes road on the way to school, but that was in a '64 volvo that didn't have a locking steering column! Never turn your car off when coasting, you'll lose your steering, your power brakes, your life!

If you turn the engine off but leave it in gear, the engine will still be turning and running the power steering and power brakes. You can turn the key one click to turn off the motor without locking the steering. To "start" it, all you have to do is turn the key back to "on". No need to go all the way to start, unless it is out of gear. If you are going fast enough, you can do it with an auto, but once it is in neutral there's no going back.

With a carbed engine, there's no point in turning off the motor with it in gear.


One other point... an older car with fuel injection. Obviously FI is much better than carburetion, and older cars don't have all that extra equipment (read: weight) to lug around that kills mileage. Something like a Geo Metro, maybe. IIRC those were 50 mpg cars way back in the late 80's. Motorcycles too are good for mileage. The last time I checked MPG on my 600 CBR I was over 49 MPG. (mostly highway, 70-80 MPH.)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 40 MPG Finally..!
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:09 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:52 am
Posts: 1924
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
I just couldn't in good conscience encourage people to turn off their engine while driving, it would seem that the savings would be woefully offset by the safety factor, at least in my book. In any event, I again haven't seen 40 mpg this year yet, maybe I need a lighter pair of shoes!

_________________
Electra Guitar Videos ===> http://www.youtube.com/user/mjm33mjm?feature=watch


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 40 MPG Finally..!
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:22 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 7:54 am
Posts: 471
Location: Baltimore, MD.
proendorser wrote:
I just couldn't in good conscience encourage people to turn off their engine while driving, it would seem that the savings would be woefully offset by the safety factor, at least in my book. In any event, I again haven't seen 40 mpg this year yet, maybe I need a lighter pair of shoes!

Remove the AC, stero, back seats....

Wait, you aren't going racing?

_________________
Addicted to Matsumoku.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
Fatal: Not able to open ./cache/data_global.php