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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
I'm new to the forum. I drive a 2001 5-speed that I bought used last sept. When I bought it it had 27,000 miles on it with a lifetime mpg of 56.1. My first drive in it (600 miles from Wisconsin to St. Louis, MO) I got 72 mpg, but since then I have struggled to get above 56 mpg (well, except on over 1000 mile trips when I could get around 66mpg.)
Here's my question: Most of my driving is short distances - my daily commute is 8 miles one way with only 5 of those miles on the highway where I can get up to 5th gear. The remaining miles are street driving with stop signs at every corner. It's depressing watching my mpg drop while I drive the two miles towards the highway every day.
I find that when I can stay on the highway for a longer distance then my mpg gets better. Unfortunately I can't change the location of my workplace.

I generally try to get up to higher gears as quick as possible, i.e. 3rd gear from one stop sign to the next. I haven't tried increasing my tire pressure yet - will try that this week.

Does anyone have any suggestions for getting better mpg?
Thanks.
INSIGHTS ROCK!
 

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Do the tire pressure increase to 50 lbs, and then try to work those stop sign intervals into lean burn in 3rd or maybe 4th gears.

If you do gentle starts and try to get into 3rd (or maybe 4th) between stop signs, you should pick up some mpg. Keep your eyes on the instantaneous mpg readout (while not running down pedestrians) in 3rd and 4th just like you do in 5th on the highway. Don't worry about trying to get beyond 3rd unless it is natural.

If you can get into 3rd, or maybe go from 2nd to 4th, and cruise in lean burn that will help - rather than trying to go 1,2,3,4 or 1,2,3,4,5 in a short run between stop signs - just stick to 3rd and feather the gas to try for lean burn. 3rd gear may be all you need for that 2 miles. Remember if you are spending too much time shifting, you aren't having a chance to settle into lean burn both for you and the car.

For my most common short run with stop signs, I have some spots that are slightly downhill and I can easily go 1st, 2nd then 4th and slip down the hill at about 25-30 mph. For another run through some stops on curves but mostly flat I just stay in 3rd gear at about 25 - 30 mph and never even bother with 4th because the curves need a little torque sometimes to get around them.

The tire pressure change will really help, and practice will only make it better with time.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
THanks for your help.
Most of these things I try to do already. I always have my eye on the instantaneous readout. I think one thing that makes it really hard is that we have a lot of rolling hills here in St. Louis and the stop signs are always at the foot of the hill. So I am always starting the car going up a hill in first gear. I find it almost impossible to get into lean burn inbetween stop signs.
I'll keep working on it!
 

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Stop signs are overrated. In california you don't even have to be a citizen to get a license, surly the repurcussions of ignoring stop signs can't be that negative... :)
 
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