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Old 12-01-2009   #1
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How do YOU get better gas mileage?

In times when gas is still expensive and economy isnt doing so well, what do you guys do to squeeze out the most mileage per gallon? most of us dont drive hybrids, but there are still alot of things you can do to improve. so i thought it would be good to share ideas.

heres what ive done so far

-15 inch rims that weigh less than stock (13.6 lbs each instead of 18)
-maintain the car by changing fluids (oil, etc)
-check alignment and tire pressure (30 psi)
-take out spare tire (25 lbs removed)
-drive with around 1/2 tank of gas (40 lbs removed)
-conservative driving style, keep it under 4k rpms
-limit accessory use if not needed (a/c, blower, etc)
-philips ecovision headlight bulbs (saves 2 amps at night)
-complete dash light LED interior conversion
-clean air filter every 6 months
-use denso iridium plugs (requires less voltage to spark)
-make sure oxygen sensors are good
-removed washer fluid system (10 lbs saved)
-use lubecontrol oil and gas additives
-make sure cat converter is working and not clogged

i think thats all for now, but im always looking for new ideas. im trying to find some clean looking plastic piece to block off the upper grill for winter to warm the engine up faster.
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Old 12-02-2009   #2
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Re: How do YOU get better gas mileage?

Nice write up! I always fill up only half way on the gas tank. I'm not sure what to add onto this post though. I think removing the washer fluid is awesome... I haven't thought of that!

-When driving the highway/ freeway, keep your windows rolled up, since air drag will kill your gas mileage.
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Old 12-02-2009   #3
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Re: How do YOU get better gas mileage?

im reading thru this e-book i got for $5 and wanted to share some of the important points.

-accelerating from a "dead stop" wastes the most amount of fuel. the slower you press the gas to get moving, the better mpg you will have.

-wind resistance at 55mph+ increases so much that 1/2 of the fuel being burned is being used just to overcome wind resistance! very important to keep your car aerodynamic by closing the moonroof and windows, and not using any roof racks.

-parking space hunting lol. this is a good one. people waste so much gas when trying to find a spot close to the store. if you park in the first open space you see, you will be saving tons of gas that wouldve been spent driving in circles and waiting for another car to leave.

-dont use the brakes unless you have to. it effectively cancels all the fuel you burnt to get moving. use wind and tire resistance to slow you down when possible. try not to brake above 40mph.

-avoid sudden changes in gas pedal pressure. always apply slow pressure, otherwise it will take the ecu a few seconds to adjust and you will be burning more fuel than you should be.

-if you like the environment and breathing clean air, that should be your main motivation for changing your driving style.

-its amazing how clueless people are. i see douchebags in their big trucks and suvs flying towards a red light, slamming the brakes, sitting there, then the light turns green and here comes slow old gearbox passing them up, without even touching the brake pedal! i used 0.1 gallons of gas to get to the next light, they used 1 gallon. and my car has less wear and tear.

-i was gonna say carpool, but thats no fun! well maybe if youre driving and other people ride with you and pay you gas money

-try to avoid heavy traffic. less stop and go, and less stress of other drivers trying to crash into you.

-if you are at a very long light or RR crossing (5 mins+), turn the car off. dont make it a habit for shorter waits, its not worth killing your starter, even tho starting an engine uses less gas than letting it idle. buy a hybrid if you want auto stop.

start having fun behind the wheel and enjoy driving
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Old 12-02-2009   #4
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Re: How do YOU get better gas mileage?

Dont drive like a maniac...
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Old 12-02-2009   #5
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Re: How do YOU get better gas mileage?

i put breather mods on my car, intake, header, exhaust. not really extra power, just extra air.
Rota slipstreams. 11 pounds vs stocks. I did have toyo proxes 4, but I went to a harder tire after 35,000 and I think its worth it for the mileage. the toyo's grip the road like glue, but they didn't last long.
carbon fiber hood, driving a manual transmission helps lots. I coast a crapton when I don't have to be on the gas, like when going down a hill.
I don't ever use my A/C unless I have to defog because it doesn't give me a choice. All in all, I still get 40 MPG. I use 5-20 oil like im supposed to, iridium plugs originally but went to plats a few years ago and they still look new. i don't use higher grade gas either, cause thats stupid.
I keep my RPM's under 3500 unless I really need to break it or I am going 80 on the highway and then my RPMs are at like 3800 anyway.
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Old 12-03-2009   #6
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Re: How do YOU get better gas mileage?

i realize alot of people are strapped for cash as am i but come on it hard for me to not get 300 miles on10 gallons, even when i romp on it. but there are other times where i try to stretch my fuel to 400 ish. not trying to be a dick but..
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Old 12-03-2009   #7
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Re: How do YOU get better gas mileage?

Mine's parked for winter. Thats how I get better gas mileage with my Honda. lol Seriously though, I miss it. I'm driving a '88 cherokee 4.0 with a 4.5" lift on 31x10.50s it SUCKS on gas.
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Old 12-03-2009   #8
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Re: How do YOU get better gas mileage?

Lighter rims really help with acceleration- less mass to get rotating.

Everyone always overlooks this.. an alignment. it makes all the difference... imagine your front two tires trying to drive away from eachother and how much gas that wastes. Believe me, I know... I need to get an alignment.

Tire pressure too, sure that was mentioned tho.

AC vs windows down in the summer..
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Old 12-13-2009   #9
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Re: How do YOU get better gas mileage?

Dang, you all drive Civics... Stop worrying about gas mileage lol

My Honda gets amazing mileage even in the worst conditions, compared to my old car.
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Old 12-13-2009   #10
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Re: How do YOU get better gas mileage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TRIZ View Post

AC vs windows down in the summer..
They found that out this was actually an urban legend on mythbusters. the car uses exponentially more gas when the AC is on vs the drag from having your windows down.

This site gives the episode breakdown
http://kwc.org/mythbusters/2004/11/m..._catapult.html
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Old 12-13-2009   #11
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Re: How do YOU get better gas mileage?

yeah i saw that. esp on civics, the a/c is belt driven and you can feel all sorts of hp loss when using it. puts a huge load on the motor and you use more gas. now some newer cars use electric motor a/c which is completely separate and just uses a lil alternator voltage. that system would be better than windows rolled down.
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Old 12-13-2009   #12
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Re: How do YOU get better gas mileage?

Im against taking out the spare tire and loosing the wiper fluid.

The money you save on gas will not be worth the stress if you blow a tire somewhere on the highway...
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Old 12-13-2009   #13
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Re: How do YOU get better gas mileage?

I agree with that.
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Old 12-13-2009   #14
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Re: How do YOU get better gas mileage?

if you do alot of long distance highway driving, then for sure keep the spare. i meant only remove it for city driving where a tow truck is a phone call away. i always take my spare and all the tools needed to change it when i go on a trip outside the city, just in case. ofcourse now that i think about it, i doubt that would even be a viable solution to use the spare like a regular tire. prolly would need to buy new tires somewhere anyway or have the old one patched. i wouldnt drive more than 50 miles on that thing lol. its a limp-me-home solution, to get you to a tire shop.

ps. ive never had to use my spare in 8 yrs, and ive had at least 4 "flat" tires, meaning the tire got poked with nail or bolt but i was still able to drive around and get it fixed later. to me, putting on a spare is more hassle than calling a flatbed and i wouldnt do it unless i was in the middle of nowhere and needed to get off the freeway to a shop.
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Old 12-14-2009   #15
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Re: How do YOU get better gas mileage?

I leave the crew-cab V-8 Dakota 4x4 in the driveway and take my wifes Civic!
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Old 12-15-2009   #16
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Re: How do YOU get better gas mileage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gearbox View Post
ps. ive never had to use my spare in 8 yrs, and ive had at least 4 "flat" tires, meaning the tire got poked with nail or bolt but i was still able to drive around and get it fixed later. to me, putting on a spare is more hassle than calling a flatbed and i wouldnt do it unless i was in the middle of nowhere and needed to get off the freeway to a shop.
U never know whats going happen...

I used my spare by making it just to take me to the shop so i can get a new tire or fix the tire...
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Old 12-15-2009   #17
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Re: How do YOU get better gas mileage?

Hmm, someone raise a point about the iridium spark plugs not requiring as much electricity to spark. Sounds like a good mod, but that leads me to question another old idea.

Most people will tell you that a hotter spark means more fuel burn. This is true of course, but at what cost? Where is the point of diminishing returns? If you have to pump more electricity out of your alternator to get that hotter spark, then are you losing the mileage that you just gained? I bet there is a happy medium, that gives hotter spark and gains mileage by not drawing too much power. I just wonder how to find it...
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Old 12-15-2009   #18
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Re: How do YOU get better gas mileage?

the spark either ignites the fuel or it doesnt, has no relation to how "hot" it is. so long as it ignites on every cycle, the engine will not misfire and all is well. iridium makes the same spark as a standard plug, but requires less voltage to do so because of the tiny center electrode (you dont need as much power to jump the gap).
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Old 12-15-2009   #19
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Re: How do YOU get better gas mileage?

Well those MSD ignition systems do a pretty good job of adding power, and all they are is some electronics that you wire up to the car. Their claim is that the spark is bigger and better and thus flash burns more of the fuel and more power is generated cause less is wasted.

What kind of mileage are you getting in the car in your sig?
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Old 12-15-2009   #20
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Re: How do YOU get better gas mileage?

highest ive gotten on the highway is 42 mpg, highest in the city is 34. usual average where i live now, around 26. still not bad i guess, but needs to get better.

msd helps because it boosts a normally poor factory ingition system (distributor/wires) that barely can make a spark. in alot of cases, just putting the stock ignition coil on a new relay harness with thick wire will have the same effect at improving performance, because it gives the coil max power. if you measure the stock coil input, i doubt it will be as much as the alternator puts out (14v+)
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Old 12-15-2009   #21
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Re: How do YOU get better gas mileage?

highest ive gotten on the highway is 42 mpg, highest in the city is 34. usual average where i live now, around 26. still not bad i guess, but needs to get better.

msd helps because it boosts a normally poor factory ingition system (distributor/wires) that barely can make a spark. in alot of cases, just putting the stock ignition coil on a new relay harness with thick wire will have the same effect at improving performance, because it gives the coil max power. if you measure the stock coil input, i doubt it will be as much as the alternator puts out (14v+)
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Old 12-25-2009   #22
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Re: How do YOU get better gas mileage?

Mobil 1 synthetic oil.
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Re: How do YOU get better gas mileage?

I just got a stick shift civic and I've been learning to put it in neutral whenever I can. I bet I save a good bit of gas by idling down hills and inclines (or I guess you'd call it a decline if you're going down it ). I also check my tire pressure regularly, I just changed my air filter, and I'm going to have the wheels aligned soon but these three areas have already been covered here.

On a side note, I wonder if its OK to switch automatics into neutral when coasting? I tried it with my parents' Corolla going around 20 mph and the engine revved really high when I made the switch so I didn't do it again...

Last edited by fatsheep; 12-25-2009 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 12-25-2009   #24
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Re: How do YOU get better gas mileage?

autos are not okay to switch around, esp in neutral, while driving. at stop lights its fine to shift to N so the trans doesnt overheat.
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Old 01-16-2010   #25
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Re: How do YOU get better gas mileage?

Use premium gasoline. The mileage increase will possibly offset the price increase. BIG performance boost also.
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Old 01-17-2010   #26
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Re: How do YOU get better gas mileage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fatsheep View Post
I just got a stick shift civic and I've been learning to put it in neutral whenever I can. I bet I save a good bit of gas by idling down hills and inclines (or I guess you'd call it a decline if you're going down it )...On a side note, I wonder if its OK to switch automatics into neutral when coasting? I tried it with my parents' Corolla going around 20 mph and the engine revved really high when I made the switch so I didn't do it again...
Actually, it's much more fuel efficient to leave the transmission in gear without your foot on the throttle pedal when slowing down and going down a hill because this way you take advantage of fuel cut-off by the ECU. This means no fuel use whereas as idling in neutral uses fuel.
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Old 03-19-2011   #27
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Re: How do YOU get better gas mileage?

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Actually, it's much more fuel efficient to leave the transmission in gear without your foot on the throttle pedal when slowing down and going down a hill because this way you take advantage of fuel cut-off by the ECU. This means no fuel use whereas as idling in neutral uses fuel.
So is the engine actually turnes off as you coast? And does the same apply with an automatic transmission?
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Old 03-19-2011   #28
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Re: How do YOU get better gas mileage?

god...
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Old 03-19-2011   #29
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Re: How do YOU get better gas mileage?

I never go above 3000rpm. Which classifies me as GRANDMA. As long as I stay under vtec kicking in. My crankshaft oil seal leaks a lot less driving like that anyways...all that is offset by having two dual voice coil subs though.

What kind of gas prices you guys got? 3.36 in my hood.
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Old 03-19-2011   #30
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Re: How do YOU get better gas mileage?

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god...
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Anyway, back on topic, I too usually never go above 3k. I'm very tempted to wind it out every day, but I think about putting more gas into the car as a result. I try to keep the weight down in my car. I just took my steelies off from winter and tossed my OEM wheels back on, so that should help some. I keep at a constant 60mph on the highway. I know it's slow, but whatever. At this point in time I really couldn't care less. I don't drive as much as I did back when I got the car. I try to make all my shopping trips in one day. I'm sure there are more. I also coast in gear downhill, stay off the brakes unless I absolutely need to, keep my car tuned up, keep my tire pressure in check. I could honestly go on, but I think most people on here do the same.
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Last edited by MelJ; 03-19-2011 at 09:19 PM.
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