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Hypermiling



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buurin

http://www.cleanmpg.com

These guys with hybrids are using all sorts of tricks to exceed their cars' EPA gas mileage ratings, some with very impressive results.

Any chance us Corolla folks can implement these successfully?

Many you can do on conventional vehicles - except for the autostop (possible, but more headache than anything else) and electric motor assisted takeoff and cruising. Probably will not get the extreme cases of 78MPG - 150MPG, but should be able to atleast beat the EPA numbers by a wide marging following their tricks of the trade.

Bikeman982

I still think the car that runs on water subjected to radio waves is the best way to go.

Who doesn't have water? - and saltwater is even better!

Skwyre7

I am a frequent visitor of CleanMPG.com. I started hypermiling my '05 Prius. A few months ago, my wife and I switched vehicles. Now my daily driver is a 2001 Corolla LE (automatic). I have a ScanGauge II installed, so I can track my mileage for each trip. Since I began driving the Corolla, I haven't had a trip that was under the EPA estimates. Most of my trips have been in the 38-40 mpg range. My average mileage is at 39.5 mpg right now (see signature). This tank should bring that up closer to 40 mpg.

If you want to increase your mileage, there are a lot of knowledgeable folk over at CleanMPG. I highly recommend it.

Brendon

It doesn't take a genius to get better MPG. Just think about the obvious things. Here are the tactics I use:

Don't run the a/c. Just roll down the windows when your driving around town under 40 MPH. When you start going faster, roll them up to reduce drag and use the fan without the a/c to blow fresh air in. On the highways, most of the time you don't even need the fan running. With the vents open, the pressure from the outside will blow the air in naturally.

Stay as close as you can to your optimum speed. Most estimates show your optimum speed for fuel efficiency is 55 MPH. On the highways, just go into the right lane and keep it steady at 60 MPH, which is a decent speed. Even going 65 decreases fuel efficiency by 10%. Yes you're going to see cars flying by you, but most of them are only going 10-15 MPH faster than you. Think about it, for an extra 10-15 MPH, are you really going to get to work that much faster? Maybe 1 or 2 minutes sooner.

Brake as little as possible. Since our cars don't have regenerative braking, everytime you even touch the brake pedal, you're wasting energy. If you see a red light up ahead, let off the gas and coast to it. If its your lucky day, the light will turn green and the traffic ahead will get moving before you have to step on the brakes. You would be surprised how well this tactic works for me. Sometimes on short trips, I might never have to stop for a red light. This tactic is a huge benefit because of the way fuel efficiency works. Even driving at 20 MPH, most cars at performing at over 90% of their maximum possible fuel efficiency.

Leave space between you and others. By leaving a good distance between you and the driver ahead of you, you wont be subjected to their changes like slowing to turn off into a side street or if traffic is building up. If you leave enough distance, you can simply let off the gas and not have to brake. This can be very useful in stop-and-go traffic on the highway. If you leave a huge distance, you can cruise at 5-15 MPH and just let off the gas when the traffic ahead of you brakes. Hopefully it will get moving again before you have to brake. Remember, even going 5 MPH is still yielding you at least 60% of your max MPG so don't get so upset that you're wasting gas when you're in a traffic jam. The other reason this tactic is good is if you get stuck behind morons. Some people are just bad drivers plain and simple. They like to step on the brake pedal randomly because they either think they're going too fast or they are just idiots. They accelerate, see they are going 5-10 MPH over the limit, step on the brakes, then accelerate again. They accelerate over the speed limit again, have a heart attack, then brake again. These people annoy me the most as you can tell.

If you don't need to accelerate fast, don't. Now obviously you don't need to accelerate like a grandma all the time, but for instance if you're driving at night with no traffic (and no one to laugh at you), then when the light turns green, accelerate slowly. My philosophy is "if there's no one to impress or offend, then don't bother".

Other minor tactics. These are tactics which yield some gains, but nothing spectacular.

1) Cruise control can be useful when on a straight, flat road; however, turn it off if you see hills. Cruise control is VERY DUMB. It has a single-minded purpose to keep at a constant speed which means it wont accelerate before the hill to get momentum. In most instances, a driver with a good foot can drive better than cruise control so don't get to dependent on it.

2) Disabling daytime running lights can save you about 5 gallons of gas a year, and your headlights will last longer.

3) Sometimes driving around town, breaking the speed limit is benefitial to MPG since the optimum speed is 55; however, this doesn't mean you should drive 55 around your neighborhoods or in rural areas. Aside from the obvious danger, it may actually hurt your MPG because of the energy loss involved in turning on winding roads.

Skwyre7

Don't forget to keep your tires properly inflated.

Brendon

Yeah, I forgot about that too. And the other obvious, maintaining your car. I actually keep my tires around 37 psi rather than the usual 30 or 35 psi. At 37, I generally get slightly better acceleration. I don't know how much it improves MPG, maybe .5 at best. Some people like to go over the max which is usually 40, but that's a bit too much for me. Going too high will diminish your cornering ability and safety in rain or snow. Your tires will also wear haphazardly.

Overall, I would say the best MPG you could possibly get out of any car would be maybe 2-3 MPG above the old EPA highway estimate. Anything beyond that and you're probably miscalculating. That being said, If you want to get over 45 MPG, you'll need to install your own hybrid system and regenerative braking. Personally I don't care for Hybrid cars and I think they are nothing more than a fad for Hollywood to feel better about themselves. Realistically Hybrid cars, while gaining an edge with MPG, will cost you more over their lifespan than an identical non-hybrid due to the extra maintenance costs associated with the hybrid system.

pennsygopher

Just an observation on the hypermiling issue. I have a 1994 Geo Prizm 1.6 4afe with the 3spd auto (yuck) and it used to get 22-23 mpg in town on very short trips (2-3miles one way.) It wasn't getting warmed up, etc.

Now that the driver (my daughter) is in college, the car sits around, so I drive it once-twice weekly on my commute...a 23 mile one-way trip that's 80% two-lane country road at 55mph, and the rest is one mile at 30mph and a few miles on a hwy at 65mph. Using simple hypermiling techniques, I have brought the mpg up to 31+mpg average on the last two tankfulls.

It's not extreme, but careful attention to the speed limit, less braking, and coasting have brought up the mpg.

I think I can get 33+ on the next tank.

Skwyre7

I keep my tires at 44 psi (max sidewall). I have seen no uneven wear. I have not seen any change in handling either.

As far as getting more than 2-3 MPG over old EPA estimates, I assure you that I am not miscalculating. It's very simple math. Miles driven/gallons used = miles/gallon. I'm currently at 6.5 mpg over the old highway EPA estimate, and my commute is about 50% highway. It can be done, if you're willing.

Regarding hybrids, I have spent less maintaining my Prius that I have the Corolla. All the Prius maintenance has been are oil changes and tire rotations over 68k miles. I won't have to do any fluid changes until at least 100k. Can you say that for a non-hybrid? I didn't think so.

I don't mean to get up on a soap box. It just annoys me when people use misinformation to prove their points.

Bitter

I keep my tires at 44 psi (max sidewall). I have seen no uneven wear. I have not seen any change in handling either.

As far as getting more than 2-3 MPG over old EPA estimates, I assure you that I am not miscalculating. It's very simple math. Miles driven/gallons used = miles/gallon. I'm currently at 6.5 mpg over the old highway EPA estimate, and my commute is about 50% highway. It can be done, if you're willing.

Regarding hybrids, I have spent less maintaining my Prius that I have the Corolla. All the Prius maintenance has been are oil changes and tire rotations over 68k miles. I won't have to do any fluid changes until at least 100k. Can you say that for a non-hybrid? I didn't think so.

I don't mean to get up on a soap box. It just annoys me when people use misinformation to prove their points.

actually just because the maintennce schedule says 100K miles, doesnt mean its true. brake fluid should be flushed every 2 years regardless of miles due to its absorption of water and turning acidic. transmission fluid should be inspected every 15-30K miles and i firmly think changed every 60 if the car does alot of stop and go city style driving since thats harder on the fluid.

 

 

Bikeman982

I keep my tires at 44 psi (max sidewall). I have seen no uneven wear. I have not seen any change in handling either.

As far as getting more than 2-3 MPG over old EPA estimates, I assure you that I am not miscalculating. It's very simple math. Miles driven/gallons used = miles/gallon. I'm currently at 6.5 mpg over the old highway EPA estimate, and my commute is about 50% highway. It can be done, if you're willing.

Regarding hybrids, I have spent less maintaining my Prius that I have the Corolla. All the Prius maintenance has been are oil changes and tire rotations over 68k miles. I won't have to do any fluid changes until at least 100k. Can you say that for a non-hybrid? I didn't think so.

I don't mean to get up on a soap box. It just annoys me when people use misinformation to prove their points.

I have heard that batteries have to be replaced at 100K miles and that they are very expensive. Is that true??

 

 

Brendon

As far as getting more than 2-3 MPG over old EPA estimates, I assure you that I am not miscalculating. It's very simple math. Miles driven/gallons used = miles/gallon. I'm currently at 6.5 mpg over the old highway EPA estimate, and my commute is about 50% highway. It can be done, if you're willing.

Regarding hybrids, I have spent less maintaining my Prius that I have the Corolla. All the Prius maintenance has been are oil changes and tire rotations over 68k miles. I won't have to do any fluid changes until at least 100k. Can you say that for a non-hybrid? I didn't think so.

Actually, you aren't getting as much over the old EPA estimate as you think. A 2001 or 2002 Corolla automatic with 4-speed was rated at 30/39, not 29/33. Check fueleconomy.gov

 

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/calculatorC...=1&id=16701

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/calculatorC...=1&id=17630

As for the Prius, you are mis-interpreting me. The extra costs associated with hybrids have been proven over a car's lifespan. Yes early on in its life, a hybrid Civic or a Prius will win over their comparible non-hybrid brothers, but its more deceiving. For one thing, a hybrid costs several thousand dollars more than a non-hybrid. The advantage a hybrid has over a non-hybrid is that it can split the work between an engine and a battery. What that basically translates to is like driving two cars. It allows you to split the bearing of mileage, but remember, certain things on a engine need to be maintained even if a car is seldom driven. That's why when collectors buy a 30 year old Mustang that has low mileage and has probably been stored for a decade, they still need to refurbish and retune the engine. Maintenance of your parts on the hybrid engine will occur no matter how much you use the gas engine. Many mechanics today require extra training in working with a hybrid engine, which means some might also try to charge you more.

As for the battery, its also a part that they don't like to tell you about when you're reading the brochure. Rechargable batteries are a difficult subject for car applications due to the power needs. That's one reason why cars developed around gas engines. In small applications like eletric bicycles or mopeds, batteries can work well because you don't need so much power. Early car companies in the turn of the 19th-20th century tried experimenting with battery engines, but could never get them to work. If you wanted an application that was affordible and durable, then lead acid was the solution. The problem is lead acid has a very poor power-to-weight ratio and self-discharge rate. They also don't last as long, 500-800 charges at most. When nickel batteries came out, they offered a solution. NiMH batteries, like on your Prius, offer a good power-to-weight ratio, but they the same problems associated with lead acid, plus they cost ALOT more. That means when it comes time to replace your battery, the cost is going to be roughly the same as an engine swap, and its going to occur much more frequently (usually 115-150k miles, depending on useage).

I'm not trying to completely denounce hybrids. I support the help with the environment and oil consumption they offer, but many people buy into the hybrid trend without understanding the consequences and costs. They think hybrids are the next step in automobiles, not understanding their short comings. When they hit 125k miles and are told they need a new battery for $3500, they are shocked. From what I've read, most Prius owners either sell their cars, or just keep driving them without the battery (using the gas engine solely).

Bikeman982

That is the archilles heal of hybrids - battery replacement.

Be prepared to spend a lot to get them replaced, if you have a hybrid.

Skwyre7

Since this is a Corolla forum, I'll let you spread misinformation about hybrids. Until Toyota comes out with the Corolla hybrid, of course. We'll never have to replace something important in our Corollas, will we?

Bikeman982

Since this is a Corolla forum, I'll let you spread misinformation about hybrids. Until Toyota comes out with the Corolla hybrid, of course. We'll never have to replace something important in our Corollas, will we?

Cars require maintenance and also components do fail and require replacement.

 

The intent of this forum is to share information and help others be more aware.

We are not here to criticize people's choices, just give our opinions.

They may not always be favorable or popular, but everyone has an opinion.

People should have an idea of what they can expect, before investing in any vehicle.

Brendon

Since this is a Corolla forum, I'll let you spread misinformation about hybrids. Until Toyota comes out with the Corolla hybrid, of course. We'll never have to replace something important in our Corollas, will we?

I don't know why you think I'm making things up. What did I say that is false??? There are pros and cons to hybrids like any other type of car. Batteries don't last forever. In fact, most hybrid batteries last just passed Toyota's warrenty limit of 100k miles, meaning you get stuck having to foot the $3000 bill if it dies at 110k miles. And yes, nickel batteries are very expensive. It's not like replacing a normal lead acid car battery for $100. Nickel batteries cost around 15 times more than a lead acid battery of comparible energy capacity. At least its not a lithium battery. Those would cost around $20,000 to replace on a car.

 

As a result of the battery cost, as well as the extra computer system involved, Hybrid cars in general cost significantly more than their non-hybrid counterparts. For example, a Civic Hybrid starts at $22,600 currently, while a non-Hybrid starts at $15,010 and even a top-of-the-line EX-L starts at $19,910. A hybrid Camry starts at $25,200, which is more than the XLE model and significantly more than the comparibly equipped $20,025 LE model.

I'm sorry if you don't believe me and think I'm spreading "misinformation", but the facts speak for themselves. Over a hybrid's lifespan, the gains in fuel efficiency just can't negate the large extras you spend at the dealer and on the replacement batteries, on top of the regular maintenance any car needs.

c2105026

Don't knock hybrids; they are ultimately the future. If global warming doesn't eventually result in fossil fuel combustion being banned then peak oil will eventually ensure that such a practice is uneconomical and, well, stupid. Within a generation, the fossil age will be dead due to carbon emission regulation and resource depletion - and the only way I can see the market going is plug-in hybrids.

Yes at the moment they cost more - but like all technologies, the costs come down. When the prius was released at the start of the decade down under, it cost about A$40k. 7 years on, it is still only $38k or so. The original insight was near $47k, the much better civic retails NOW for $30k. Yes, the battery pack does wear out - but then again so do many other parts on a 100k mile car. I have heard of taxi operators getting 300k km plus out of their batteries.

On a combined city/urban cycle, a plug-in hybrid running on biodiesel can return about 67 mpg. This is exactly what the roads of the 21st century need. In the meantime, I shall wait for an E85 conversion kit to be developed for the corolla; I reckon within a decade we will start to see the emergence of biofuels as a real market force. It took us about 15 years to get us from no computers/cellphones to computers/cellphones being the centre of the universe. It could take biofuels and hybrids the same.