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I'm sure many of you hypermiles will not be that impressed, but I got 74 mpg the other day on my way home. Yeah!!! I was excited. I ususally average around 53 mpg. I purchased my Insight to travel in the carpool lane so my speed is usually in the 60-80 mph which doesnt get the highest mpg. The other day I was really late going home so I missed the carpool hours and having very high winds on the San Mateo bridge and drafting with the trucks I did mangage to get 74. My old high was 68
 

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I've gotten low 60's on a few rare occasions in my 02 CVT. Only way I could see 70+ would be drafting a semi as you stated. Usually mid 50's on highway @ 65-70 mph.
 

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I thnik that most people invision drafting ala Nascar. ANd when someone "twitches" on the track we all know what happens. :shock:

However, a slight variation sometimes referred to in here as surfing is safe and effective in improving MPG. Use the 3 second rule (almost identical to 1 car length / 10 MPH) behind a semi and you can "feel" the buffeting of his wake, and watch the MPG indicator climb.

Best of both worlds :)

But the drive is a bit harsher (all the buffeting). And here in the hills of east Tennessee my rollercoastering of the hills for peak MPG dosen't sync with an 80,000lb semi so any sustained surfing usually has an MPG penalty. ;)
 

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Insightful Trekker wrote:
Use the 3 second rule (almost identical to 1 car length / 10 MPH)
Last year I installed a small fan in front of the car, not a regular fan, the fan lays horizontal, and it has an air intake only a couple of inches long by about an inch wide, I hooked up a voltmeter, so I could read how fast the fan was spinning, this would show how much wind resistance the front of the vehicle would get.

Then I did some experimenting following different vehicles, I'd also watch the distance and how it would decrease as you got closer.

Here is what I found, if you still keep about the 3 second rule, you still see some benefit in following a truck, but, not all trucks are the same, I would get different readings depending on the shape of the truck.

I found there is also some benefit just by driving behind a large SUV, anything is better than you being in front.

And you don't even have to follow vehicles too close. :wink:
 

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To be drafting you have to be very close to the rear of a big semi rig. This reduces the wind resistance allowing your vehicle to gain fuel mileage. You have to be so close that if the vehicle in front of you reduces speed suddenly, you would hit them.

But if you are at a legal safe distance then you aren't drafting and don't get the mileage results.
 

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Personally, I would prefer to live longer than have really good gas mileage, and putting plenty of space between me and other vehicles improves my chances of living longer.

:)
 

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The 3 second rule or 1 car length / 10 MPH is a "safe" distance. Check any Driver's Ed book. ;)

True, more distance may be safer and _required_ if road conditions aren't dry. But if your not paying attention to the car in front of you then any distance, no matter how great isn't safe.

Drafting by definition is too close and _not_ safe.

Surfing on dry pavement and not closer than the above can be safe.
 

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I've only had my Insight for a few weeks now, but I find myself just naturally falling in behind trucks. They go slower than the rest of the traffic and the few gentle grade changes on my commute time just about right with great mileage.

I don't "draft" in the true sense, but I do draft a few car lengths back and actually have to work at staying an appropriate distance back by letting my foot off the gas a bit. This, combined with slower speeds, not worrying about a Hummer trying to push me out of the way, and the nice speed-up slow-down timing in the small grades makes for a pleasant, high-mileage commute. : )

This morning the truck I was drafting was a Mobil gasoline tanker. Ironic, huh? :D

Cap'n. . .
 

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Trucks are good traffic blockers, because the people behind you can see that they're "really" passing the truck, not you. But I always stay a long, long way back because of all the gravel on Colorado highways. I've replaced two windshields in the last six months (on other cars)...
 

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Dang, cainsight! The best I've ever done is 69.7 (or was it 69.9? Never been back to those heights so I don't quite remember the breakpoint) on the 40-some miles from Oakland to San Jose on 880, on a warm day in the right lane... So jealous.

The San Mateo bridge always seems like a fight for me, since the wind is generally cross. When I'm going east it's late and there are not many other cars to break it up; when I'm going west there's the hit from that big hill at the end. It's my favorite bridge in the Bay Area still.

For drafting ("surfing"? I always stay 2-3s behind), I've found that the big square trucks and tour busses work way better than gasoline tankers. And yeah, a massive SUV is better than nothing. A sedan is better than nothing. A Hummer is worse than nothing, though, since they go way fast.

I did hang gliding for awhile, and they taught that even a tiny bush can cast a shadow of rotor (messy air) when the wind is going 60-some mph for hundreds (thousands?) of feet. In the Insight, too, you can see the effects of even a tiny car as a windbreaker.

I've thought about riding along in the wind-sheltered spot in the next lane over from an SUV, like geese in a V, but that spot is unfortunately the blind spot.
 

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75 MPG on my CVT...

Filled up the tank (7 gals...) in NJ, drove back to NYC using a mix
of route 10 (some stoplights), I-80 -> GW Bridge -> West Side Hgwy, then about 1/2 mile of local streets:

Wound up the 47 mile trip with.... 75.4 mpg

best prior sustained mileage on my CVT was about 60 mpg

(I was careful _not_ to overfill, so this wasn't an
artifact of the mumble mumble getting gasoline in it).

Things in my favor:

Engine was still warm, so no fuel wasted starting up.
Pretty good tailwind...

And I kept below 60 mph.

picture: http://www.panix.com/~dannyb/images/insight.tif
 

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How do you maintain the "3 second, 1car length/10mph" rule in moderate to heavy traffic? Here in CT, every time you attempt to maintain this distance, some other moron feels you have created this space just for him/her. Then your choices are 1) slow down and risk being rear ended, 2) change lanes and begin the process all over again, or 3) drive in the far right lane at such a slow speed that everyone will pass you. Just curious what others have encountered?
 

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Scott said:
How do you maintain the "3 second, 1car length/10mph" rule in moderate to heavy traffic? Here in CT, every time you attempt to maintain this distance, some other moron feels you have created this space just for him/her. Then your choices are 1) slow down and risk being rear ended, 2) change lanes and begin the process all over again, or 3) drive in the far right lane at such a slow speed that everyone will pass you. Just curious what others have encountered?
Hey, another insight owner in CT! Neat, I haven't seen one in years.

Anyway, that's so true for CT.. can't possibly be more than half a car lenght behind someone w/o some idiot squeezing in. CT drivers are nuts.
 

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... 3) drive in the far right lane at such a slow speed that everyone will pass you. Just curious what others have encountered?
[mod edit: Added initial bbcode formatting string for identifiable quote attribute. You got the trailing string :) ]

So, let them pass you! Odds are you'll meet most of them at the next traffice light or STOP sign.

As they pass you, do your best not to grin too much. They might begin to suspect you know something they don't :)

Fred
 
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