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Old 05-18-2010, 11:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Worst Case Scenario

Call me crazy, but threads like the "best miles on a tank of gas" got me thinking about the opposite. As it is, my mileage suffers because of several short trips throughout the day rather than a couple long commutes. I end up having to defend the car when talking to family and friends, swearing that others routinely best the EPA estimate, and I just don't get the best results from a hybrid due to my current driving needs. I'm of course still using a TON less gas than someone who commutes 100 miles RT a day, but it seems everyone is always focused squarely on the "MPG".

Anyways, with the temps hitting 90 here, I think after my next fill up, I'm going to keep econ off (and if necessary, put it in Secondary (S) mode) to keep the A/C from cutting out, and drive it more aggressively. That's not to say I'm going to intentionally try to keep the revs high or floor it after every stop, but drive it a little more like I drove my previous cars, but not quite how my brother drives his Saab 9-2x Aero

This way, when someone asks, I can give them a high (personal best is 44 on a tank...sad, I know) and low number (TBD) and call it a day.

...maybe I've just been watching the Discovery channel too much and have been subliminally influenced by the ads for Bear Grylls' new show, "Worst Case Scenario"

I'll report back with my findings in a while...it can take me over a month to get through a tank of gas

Last edited by RahTX; 05-18-2010 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 05-19-2010, 01:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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ive gotten down to 20 mpg on some stretches so its doable.
driving uphill with battery exhausted and flooring it will kill mpg really quickly.
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Old 05-19-2010, 10:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah, there aren't any hills here to speak of (although on a bike, you'd swear that there is not a mile of truly "flat" land ), but axing auto-stop for the sake of A/C is what will probably have the biggest impact over a longer period of time (at least a full tank).

I don't expect to see anything new that hasn't been covered before, but maybe this will be a "what not to do" thread
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Old 05-19-2010, 06:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Driving 40 or 50mph in a toad strangling rain got me only 38 mpg in a gen1. I had been getting 60mpg behind a semi(it was raining so hard I had trouble seeing the road) but pulled off to get a gallon of high priced gas to get me home. I began to think I should have got more than a gallon! On my own I had to plow the water on the road hydroplaning once. I did make it though. That's the worst mpg I've seen from the Gen1.
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Old 05-20-2010, 12:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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My worse til the winter was 44 leaving it idle with the ac on and driving with it in sport mode. Last winter til I added a grill block I got 43.

The recent warm snap got me 47 and 200 miles at the half way point of the tank. Since it cooled back down I was still able to break 500 miles below the low gas light came on.

Setting the ac to LO and use of sport mode are too great ways to lower your fuel economy.



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Old 05-20-2010, 07:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RahTX View Post
Call me crazy, but threads like the "best miles on a tank of gas" got me thinking about the opposite. As it is, my mileage suffers because of several short trips throughout the day rather than a couple long commutes. I end up having to defend the car when talking to family and friends, swearing that others routinely best the EPA estimate, and I just don't get the best results from a hybrid due to my current driving needs. I'm of course still using a TON less gas than someone who commutes 100 miles RT a day, but it seems everyone is always focused squarely on the "MPG".

Anyways, with the temps hitting 90 here, I think after my next fill up, I'm going to keep econ off (and if necessary, put it in Secondary (S) mode) to keep the A/C from cutting out, and drive it more aggressively. That's not to say I'm going to intentionally try to keep the revs high or floor it after every stop, but drive it a little more like I drove my previous cars, but not quite how my brother drives his Saab 9-2x Aero

This way, when someone asks, I can give them a high (personal best is 44 on a tank...sad, I know) and low number (TBD) and call it a day.

...maybe I've just been watching the Discovery channel too much and have been subliminally influenced by the ads for Bear Grylls' new show, "Worst Case Scenario"

I'll report back with my findings in a while...it can take me over a month to get through a tank of gas
I'm not sure how useful this approach will be for several reasons:

(1) People with most conventional cars don't really KNOW what their mpg is. Most people don't bother to track their tanks, and most conventional cars don't have all the extensive fuel economy displays (instantaneous, average, leaves, etc) and controls (AC Econ, sport) that hybrids typically do. So you are often dealing with what they imagine their mpg to be. Or their car's EPA rating, which most people assume to be what they will get no matter how they drive.
(2) Because of their downsized down-powered engines, hybrids are more sensitive than conventional cars to how they are driven, driving distances and conditions, etc. In optimum summer conditions on long highway trips, I have gotten 110mpg in my Insight-I, but headwinds and pouring rain or heavy city traffic drops it to 50-60mpg, a factor of two. For the Insight-II, journalists at the press launch got 65-78mpg on a 16 mile loop (CleanMPG Previews the 2010 Honda Insight-II - CleanMPG Forums), which also drops by nearly a factor of two in lousy conditions as reported in this thread.
(3) If you want a lower limit for a tank, you're going to have to drive lousy for quite a ways. Not easy. Probably harder than driving economically for a whole tank.

When people ask, it might be simplest to quote your average LMPG (lifetime) and then give the range between your worst and best tanks.
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Old 05-20-2010, 09:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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So you are often dealing with what they imagine their mpg to be. Or their car's EPA rating, which most people assume to be what they will get no matter how they drive.
Oh, I know. My friend seems to think he can get 17MPG in a full size pick-up truck while towing a fifth wheel!

Quote:
(3) If you want a lower limit for a tank, you're going to have to drive lousy for quite a ways. Not easy. Probably harder than driving economically for a whole tank.
Yeah, I'm not intentionally trying to lower my tank average I'm just curious to see what happens if I stop letting auto-stop do it's thing in the summer and also drive it like a "regular" car, what will the impact be.

I've actually already kind of started (it's getting hot here!) at half a tank, so it won't be very accurate. But, so far I've almost found that getting up to speed quickly in city/suburban streets and then maintaining that speed and coasting to the next light seems to have little negative impact on MPG versus creeping up to the speed limit, religiously following the "under 2000RPM" axiom. It certainly gets me to where I'm going faster!
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Old 05-20-2010, 02:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by RahTX View Post
But, so far I've almost found that getting up to speed quickly in city/suburban streets and then maintaining that speed and coasting to the next light seems to have little negative impact on MPG versus creeping up to the speed limit, religiously following the "under 2000RPM" axiom. It certainly gets me to where I'm going faster!
I've found the same thing. Getting up to coasting speed a little quicker and [I]then[I] going into "coast mode" comes out very near the same mpg a more gradual start gets me...and the bonus is that it does save a little time.
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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An alternative to trying to get poor mpg, might to just forget the mpg and drive normally but hard. That is use the ac to make it cold inside, accelerate faster, pass other cars, use less space to stop. Check the fun, danger, in / out of the cool, and mpg factors for a whole tankful; then compare. When I did this I was suprised at how good the hard driving mpg was ....high 30's to low 40's vs the mid 50's I can get when making the high mpg effort. THEN you can ask if its worth it ! !
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Old 05-31-2010, 11:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I was driving around the inner hizzie with the ac set to 68 in sport mode.Got 26mpg per the screen for the ten miles I drove. I ended the tank with my usual driving at 52mpg.

I use to wonder why prius owners always passed me in my super charged tacoma. I see why if driving like that still nets decent fuel econonmy.



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