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Discussion Starter #1
MPG tips and test results

Hey all
I know folks come here sometimes and talk about their MPG. I've been experimenting a bit and have some quick results to share. With a little luck, I'll find the time to update the thread with more.
First of all, all results come from my 2005 LX I4 5AT Sedan. As I write this, my car has 43,219 miles on it. I recently replaced my terrible OEM tires with a set of General Altimax HP's that I purchased from Tirerack.com. All in, they cost me $311.80 including shipping (directly to the local Car-X, who installed them at an additional cost).
I downloaded a free app to my iPhone 4 called Road Trip LE (light edition) to track my mileage and cost of operation.
When I started using Road Trip I drove normally, which for me means with a bit of a lead foot. The I4 is surprisingly quick for a 4 cylinder with an auto, but the impact on MPG is pretty deep, as I found out. I fill my car until the pump stops, then wait 10 seconds and fill again until it stops again, then cap it and leave.
First result:
Oct. 6, 2010
273 mile trip
12.71 Gallons @ $2.799 per
$35.58
Cost per mile: $0.130/mile
21.48 MPG
Second result:
October 19, 2010
271 mile trip
12.14 Gallons @ $2.949 per
$35.81
Cost per mile: $0.132/mile
22.32 MPG

These numbers fell in line for the style of driving and type of driving I do. A split between highway and suburban driving of about 50/50.
At this point, I decided to play with driving style and tire inflation.
I started by filling my tires to 35 psi all around. I also committed to accelerating slowly, never exceeding 2500 rpm. I also committed to limiting my speed to no more than 5 mph over the posted limit on surface roads and no more than 65 mph on the highways (speed limits on highways are 55 mph around here but, as I found out, going 55 in the Chicagoland are really ticks people off and gets you tailgated and flipped off all day long). I also did my best to get out of people's way (I hate left lane campers who refuse to go faster than other traffic arguably more than anyone else) so as to avoid inconveniencing people. I also made sure to leave for wherever I was going with plenty of time so as to avoid road rage stemming from any chance that I would be late. If I was stuck at a railroad crossing or at a long light, I shifted to neutral and shut the car off to avoid wasting gas. I also made every attempt to time traffic lights (if I saw a red light ahead, I'd coast down in drive whenever possible to avoid coming to a stop - again, only if it meant I wouldn't be aggravating any other drivers). I also went over my route to and from wherever I was going on a given day and opted to take highways/tollways when possible and only if it made sense.
Here are the results of my experiment:
First Result:
November 3, 2010
343 mile trip
13.11 Gallons @ $2.999 per
$39.31
Cost per mile: $0.115/mile
26.17 MPG
Note: I couldn't resist passing some mopes who decided that speed limits meant they could go 10-15 miles an hour below the limit. I HATE that. If the sign says 45, don't go 30. If you do, you are a jackass. So I did stomp on the gas a few times. It felt good. I felt better. Then I felt guilty for screwing up my experiment and decided I would just pass gently for the next tank to see if it made a difference.
Second Result:
November 17, 2010
392 mile trip
13.28 Gallons @ $2.999 per
$39.81
Cost per mile: $0.102/mile
29.53 MPG

That's it for now.
From 21.48 MPG to 29.53 MPG through behavior modification, slightly overfilling my tires, and planning. That's an 8.05 mile per gallon increase in fuel efficiency. It's also an efficiency increase of 37.47%!! It also represents a decrease in cost per mile of 21.5%!!
Fueleconomy.gov lists the 05 Accord 5AT I4 as 21 city, 31 highway, 24 combined. It also lists MPG estimates from drivers at 26.5 MPG.
It's working. I find myself more relaxed and enjoying my commute more. I'm saving cash and using less gas.
If you have questions, let me know. I'll try to keep updating my stats as I go. If you are experiencing MPG that you think is too low, try filling the tires to 35 psi all around, accelerating slower (keeping it below 2500 rpms), planning your route a little more carefully for efficiency, and leaving for where ever you are going with a little more time than you think you may need.
Good luck! :wave:
 

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i might have to try that 35psi all around tires. May I ask, why do you fill your car till pump stops then wait 10 seconds then fill it again till it stops? What does it do? The pump never stops when I'm filling up the tank.
 

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Rather than keep the navigation map, or radio display on my navi screen, I keep the trip computer on. I'm always amazed at just how low the mileage is when you do a few quick buzzes around some slowpoke in traffic. It's made a huge difference in how I drive, and I've seen my mileage go up from 27 combined on my first tank with the car in September, to around 30-31 combined now.
 

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:notworthy Just what i was thinking about on my drive to school. I get an estimated 25 MPG doing 75 highway 25 city. My generally accelerate pretty quick on the freeway usually shifting around 3000 - 3500 RPM. Once I get onto the fast lane usually 75-80 MPH, and avoid braking unless necessary. City kills my MPG considering there is a stop sign or traffic light every 300 meters, and slow acceleration would give you the horn or a flip the bird by an older guy.
 

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This may sounds like a strange question, but what do your tire sidewalls look like? I'm running 35 psi all around, and it may look different for different tires, but I swear mine look almost flat.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
i might have to try that 35psi all around tires. May I ask, why do you fill your car till pump stops then wait 10 seconds then fill it again till it stops? What does it do? The pump never stops when I'm filling up the tank.
I fill the car all the way up, until the pump clicks off. Then I wait. The reason is to allow any air bubbles to go away. The bubbles come from the flow of liquid into liquid, so I give about 10 seconds to let them disperse and then top her off.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This may sounds like a strange question, but what do your tire sidewalls look like? I'm running 35 psi all around, and it may look different for different tires, but I swear mine look almost flat.
i hear you! My tires look a little deflated no matter what, especially the fronts. I think it's just normal. The weight of the car pushing down on the tires is the culprit. The only time I've seen them not look a little rounded was when I over inflated one that had a bad valve so I could limp to the tire place to have it fixed (and I inflated it to around 50 psi, which I definitely do not recommend).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
:notworthy Just what i was thinking about on my drive to school. I get an estimated 25 MPG doing 75 highway 25 city. My generally accelerate pretty quick on the freeway usually shifting around 3000 - 3500 RPM. Once I get onto the fast lane usually 75-80 MPH, and avoid braking unless necessary. City kills my MPG considering there is a stop sign or traffic light every 300 meters, and slow acceleration would give you the horn or a flip the bird by an older guy.
I found myself laughing today on my drive from the train to my house. I set the cruise control at 55 mph and stayed in the right lane. Cars would fly up behind me, tailgate me for a minute, then scream around me. Half of them flipped me off or looked like they were shouting (some just waved their arms around like I was being a jerk). The truth is, there is absolutely nothing wrong with going the speed limit, especially if you do so in the right lane (that's why it's called the slow lane). 55 on a highway is the limit near me. People just don't seem interested in keeping their eyes up far enough to recognize my speed and go around. They seem to prefer to come flying up and tailgate me, as if that's going to make me, a stubborn man if there ever was one, change my plans. If you saw the way they behaved, you'd have thought I was going 30 in a 55. Which brings me to another tip: keep your eyes up. If you see a car way ahead of you going slower than you are, plan your move over into a different lane and smoothly get around them. That way, you won't have to brake, jump out of the lane, mash the gas, and jump back in.... It's amazing that people don't think about driving while driving. I've been doing that move since I got my learners permit, mainly because my dad used to yell at me to keep my eyes up, far ahead, and plan my moves (he'd say "Dammit, Jeff! Keep your eyes as far ahead as you can an anticipate traffic, moron!". Love my dad. Hilarious guy, and an awesome driver with decades of club racing experience.)

Just a side note, I read that for every mile per hour you go over 55, you lose about 1% of your fuel economy. I'm not sure if that's accurate, but it sounds sensible enough. My plan is to keep my speed no more than 5 miles per hour over the limit to see if I can get any boost. I saw a big jump over the last two tanks and I'm hoping to break 30 MPG in mixed driving on the next tank.

It's a fun experiment - far more fun than I thought it would be!
 

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Hey all
I know folks come here sometimes and talk about their MPG. I've been experimenting a bit and have some quick results to share. With a little luck, I'll find the time to update the thread with more.
First of all, all results come from my 2005 LX I4 5AT Sedan. As I write this, my car has 43,219 miles on it. I recently replaced my terrible OEM tires with a set of General Altimax HP's that I purchased from Tirerack.com. All in, they cost me $311.80 including shipping (directly to the local Car-X, who installed them at an additional cost).
I downloaded a free app to my iPhone 4 called Road Trip LE (light edition) to track my mileage and cost of operation.
When I started using Road Trip I drove normally, which for me means with a bit of a lead foot. The I4 is surprisingly quick for a 4 cylinder with an auto, but the impact on MPG is pretty deep, as I found out. I fill my car until the pump stops, then wait 10 seconds and fill again until it stops again, then cap it and leave.
First result:
Oct. 6, 2010
273 mile trip
12.71 Gallons @ $2.799 per
$35.58
Cost per mile: $0.130/mile
21.48 MPG
Second result:
October 19, 2010
271 mile trip
12.14 Gallons @ $2.949 per
$35.81
Cost per mile: $0.132/mile
22.32 MPG

These numbers fell in line for the style of driving and type of driving I do. A split between highway and suburban driving of about 50/50.
At this point, I decided to play with driving style and tire inflation.
I started by filling my tires to 35 psi all around. I also committed to accelerating slowly, never exceeding 2500 rpm. I also committed to limiting my speed to no more than 5 mph over the posted limit on surface roads and no more than 65 mph on the highways (speed limits on highways are 55 mph around here but, as I found out, going 55 in the Chicagoland are really ticks people off and gets you tailgated and flipped off all day long). I also did my best to get out of people's way (I hate left lane campers who refuse to go faster than other traffic arguably more than anyone else) so as to avoid inconveniencing people. I also made sure to leave for wherever I was going with plenty of time so as to avoid road rage stemming from any chance that I would be late. If I was stuck at a railroad crossing or at a long light, I shifted to neutral and shut the car off to avoid wasting gas. I also made every attempt to time traffic lights (if I saw a red light ahead, I'd coast down in drive whenever possible to avoid coming to a stop - again, only if it meant I wouldn't be aggravating any other drivers). I also went over my route to and from wherever I was going on a given day and opted to take highways/tollways when possible and only if it made sense.
Here are the results of my experiment:
First Result:
November 3, 2010
343 mile trip
13.11 Gallons @ $2.999 per
$39.31
Cost per mile: $0.115/mile
26.17 MPG
Note: I couldn't resist passing some mopes who decided that speed limits meant they could go 10-15 miles an hour below the limit. I HATE that. If the sign says 45, don't go 30. If you do, you are a jackass. So I did stomp on the gas a few times. It felt good. I felt better. Then I felt guilty for screwing up my experiment and decided I would just pass gently for the next tank to see if it made a difference.
Second Result:
November 17, 2010
392 mile trip
13.28 Gallons @ $2.999 per
$39.81
Cost per mile: $0.102/mile
29.53 MPG

That's it for now.
From 21.48 MPG to 29.53 MPG through behavior modification, slightly overfilling my tires, and planning. That's an 8.05 mile per gallon increase in fuel efficiency. It's also an efficiency increase of 37.47%!! It also represents a decrease in cost per mile of 21.5%!!
Fueleconomy.gov lists the 05 Accord 5AT I4 as 21 city, 31 highway, 24 combined. It also lists MPG estimates from drivers at 26.5 MPG.
It's working. I find myself more relaxed and enjoying my commute more. I'm saving cash and using less gas.
If you have questions, let me know. I'll try to keep updating my stats as I go. If you are experiencing MPG that you think is too low, try filling the tires to 35 psi all around, accelerating slower (keeping it below 2500 rpms), planning your route a little more carefully for efficiency, and leaving for where ever you are going with a little more time than you think you may need.
Good luck! :wave:
Do a search for "hypermileing" (i think that's how you spell it) and see how to get 50+MPG from your accord!
 

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i hear you! My tires look a little deflated no matter what, especially the fronts. I think it's just normal. The weight of the car pushing down on the tires is the culprit. The only time I've seen them not look a little rounded was when I over inflated one that had a bad valve so I could limp to the tire place to have it fixed (and I inflated it to around 50 psi, which I definitely do not recommend).
Hmm, I guess that does make sense. It seems a little rounded than most other cars on the road though, or maybe that's just me :dunno: Anyways, better to underinflate than overinflate for the most part, I guess.

Do a search for "hypermileing" (i think that's how you spell it) and see how to get 50+MPG from your accord!
Wasn't that guy doing crazy things that aren't really practical on the road? He had 50psi tires, would shut off the engine while coasting, and took corners blindingly fast to maximize momentum.
 

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I've only put like 4 tanks through my 2004 4cyl 5MT, but 3 of them have been 30+ mpg, and the last one was the worst at 28, which I did some extremely fast driving and accelerating.
 

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+1 for the Road Trip app. Liked it enough to shell out the $ for full version.
 

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I use the Car Minder app, which lets you log all of your services, repairs, and fuel entries. The fuel entry calculates your mileage, though it doesn't come up with your cost per mile. Whenever you need it, you can export all of your data to email if you want it later. I haven't done it to check the formatting and all, but it's been really good so far for tracking everything. I wish it had a tracker for cost of repairs/services though.

I'll have to check out the Road Trip app, sounds pretty good.
 

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I always just fill my tank up halfway instead of all the way. I don't mind going to the gas station a little more often and the lack of weight can't hurt.

On my 800 mile drive last August I averaged-

 

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damn i need to try this. i tend to have a heavy foot when people in front of me want to go as stated above 15+mph under the posted speed limit. We don't have any freeways here and all the damn highways have stop lights LoL so that kind of ****s.

I can scrape about 24mpg or so out of my V6 if i just literally cruise like i did when i first purchased the car. Now i believe i'm getting about 22 mpg out of my v6 accord. I guess not bad for a accord. In the year that i have owned the car i have not once filled up the tank all the way. I usually go half way and that's it.
 

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Fuel use: Accord I4/V6..............

.....Senor Louie, your efforts interesting and appreciated. Some feedback:

1. Your Dad nails it. He has the driving tasks down pat. Parallel with the Smith System of Space Cushion Driving (Bell System used this for all of their drivers at one time - it reduced accidents big time). You're fortunate to have a competent driving mentor. My Dad: Great guy; not a good driver.

2. Your characterization of 50% of folks passing flipped you the bird backs up my experience driving 65 (2200 RPM/6th gear) and calc'g 40 MPG on I-10 in AZ.

3. The Hypermiling guy (Wayne) was extreme (and unsafe IMHO). The extra MPG he notes comes with a little too much accident probablility for this sailor

again, nice job........

best, ez..........
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Do a search for "hypermileing" (i think that's how you spell it) and see how to get 50+MPG from your accord!
I've already researched that quite a bit. Problem is, I'm not too keen on turning my car off while moving (it's dangerous), I refuse to tailgate trucks, I stop at all stop signs, and some of the other hypermiling techniques are dangerous or extreme.

I'm more than happy with my results because, not in spite, of,how such a small adjustment can affect my mpg. Hypermilers are great. Wayne Gerdes is a wizard (mad props), but I'm not going to make my passengers sweat their butts off, while I sweat my butt off, and break a series of traffic laws to get my car to pull miraculous mpg. I'm working on becoming an attorney, and the bar isn't going to be interested in my hypermiling explaining a series of traffic violations during the character and fitness evaluation.

If I can pull close to the EPA highway numbers by using basic, easy techniques, I'm happy. I don't need to shut my car off while rolling, coast around, refuse to cool my car, dangerously overinflate my tires, etc. just to eke out the most possible....
:dunno:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I always just fill my tank up halfway instead of all the way. I don't mind going to the gas station a little more often and the lack of weight can't hurt.

On my 800 mile drive last August I averaged-

I drove to Florida from Chicago a few years back, doing close to 80 most of the time, and got between 31-35 mpg consistently.

I always fill up all the way, primarily because I don't like to buy gas frequently. Keeping the tank less than half full is fine if you live somewhere warm, but it gets cold up here, which can lead to moisture entering the fuel system. Plus, my life is busy enough without having to find time to fill my car up half way every couple of days....
 

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Discussion Starter #19
.....Senor Louie, your efforts interesting and appreciated. Some feedback:

1. Your Dad nails it. He has the driving tasks down pat. Parallel with the Smith System of Space Cushion Driving (Bell System used this for all of their drivers at one time - it reduced accidents big time). You're fortunate to have a competent driving mentor. My Dad: Great guy; not a good driver.

2. Your characterization of 50% of folks passing flipped you the bird backs up my experience driving 65 (2200 RPM/6th gear) and calc'g 40 MPG on I-10 in AZ.

3. The Hypermiling guy (Wayne) was extreme (and unsafe IMHO). The extra MPG he notes comes with a little too much accident probablility for this sailor

again, nice job........

best, ez..........
Thank EZ.
1. Driving should be like jazz - plenty of room for improvisation, but mostly planned out. Driving should flow, not be the result of simple, last-minute reactions to traffic, a-la "I've been tailgating that car for a mile, maybe I should just go around". I'm lucky that my dad takes driving seriously. Unfortunately, the downside is that I'm a car nut who will end up owning several cars at a time one day (as in the moment I can afford it). Our house when I was growing up was like a parking lot. At any given moment, our family (mom, dad, and 4 boys) had at least 5 cars ever since I can remember.

2. Isn't that funny? Go the limit, people get mad. Speed, people get mad. Drive below the limit, people get mad. My normal style of driving has also resulted in people getting ticked off. I've been zipping through traffic at night and been amazed when some jerk camping in the left lane doing exactly the speed limit decides to turn his brights on and speed up just to annoy me when I legally enter the left lane, then follow me, trying to blind me. I'm not the nicest guy sometimes, and found that the best way to deal with folks like that is slow down to 20 below the limit in front on them, then fly away to get some distance. I figure it isn't their job to "teach me" a lesson, and I usually react to someone trying to teach me a lesson by teaching them a lesson. My experiment has taught me that it's better to ignore the idiots and just remember that they are stupid.

3. Totally agree. While I can appreciate how far to the extreme Wayne takes things, I don't think it's a particularly safe or responsible way of driving on a daily basis. Wayne's a good guy, so I hear. I'm not trying to rip on him OR beat him. He's the best at squeezing out every mile per gallon. Probably the best in the world.
 

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I have a 2004 I4 5A sedan and have been trying to set a personal MPG record.

Odometer read 26,000 miles, 200-mile 100% highway trip, sunny dry conditions in mid-spring (70-75 degrees air temperature), freshly waxed exterior, original 2004 front bumper, no wind, minimal use of A/C, windows and sunroof closed, original Michelin tires at 37 psi all around, kept tach at 2000rpm or lower (62 mph maximum) for full duration of trip, no tailgating, no passengers but me, small bookbag in trunk stuffed with clothes --> 39.65 mpg

odometer read 78,000 miles, same 200-mile 100% highway trip, partly cloudy and dry conditions, mid-fall (60-65 degrees air temp), freshly washed exterior, polished headlights, 2006 front bumper conversion, no wind, no A/C, windows and sunroof closed, new Michelins at 38 psi all around, kept tach at 2200rpm or lower (67 mph max) for full duration of trip, no passengers, bookbag and minimal items in trunk --> 38.12 mpg

These 38-39 MPGs in the 7th Gen I4s can easily be done! I was so frustrated I didn't hit 40 mpg on the first trip above.
 
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