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  #1  
Old August 14, 2008, 01:28 PM
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Default Fuel efficiency: the good, bad, and evil

I've been driving a 2001 Mazda Protege for the past 1 year. After recently starting to work in a city that's 50+ KM away from my place, I'm commuting more than ever before.

I've tried getting better efficiency on fuel using 'natural' means. By that I only mean changing my driving habit to include good driving habits that have been proven many times to increase your fuel efficiency. But recently, I started reading about Acetone, which when added in tiny portions (1 oz per 10 gallon) is said to increase fuel efficiency significantly. But I've never tried it myself as I have seen conflicting comments from people who have tried it.

Here is what I have tried, however.

1. Reduced my avg highway driving speed from 120/130 to 100/105 km/hr. I've seen an immediate incrase in efficiency. Before, I used to get 10 litres for 100 km. But after this reducting, I got 9 litres for 100 km hwy driving.

2. Next, I tried several things.

a) Kept window pulled up when driving on highway
b) Kept my driving speed more or less at a constant speed for the most part
c) Ensured that my tires have the suggested pressure
d) Reduced idling time, so that if I have to stop somewhere for 2 mins, I'ld rather turn off the car and turn it back on instead of keeping it idle while turned on
With these, I experienced another 10% increase in efficiency. I constantly got about 8.5ish litres per 100 km.

3. To take things to the extreme, I tried a few more things then.

a) When accelerating from zero speed, took it easy...and not just step hard on gas...apparently, the engine consumes the most amount of gas in acceleraing from zero
b) Offloaded unnecessary items from my trunk
c) Started taking routes that involve less stopping and turning
d) Pressed on gas slightly slowly, so that when the car is accelerating and it switches gear, the RPM stays below 2. If driving in a 60 zone, keep the car at 65 so that the sweet spot of RPM below 2 is achieved.
e) If there's a red light ahead, I'ld slow down from far behind. If not slow down, at least remove the foot of the peddle. In most cases, the light will turn green, and I'ld start accelerating again...but this time not from zero speed. Which means, it'll take less gas to get back to speed
With these, I ended up getting an incredible increase in efficiency. I constantly went at 6.75 litres per 100 km. I tried this for weeks, and it worked like magic.

I was reading up more about efficiency, and have come to see the following suggestions.

1. [Good] Without following too closely, stay behind a car or bigger vehicle. This will reduce the drag caused by air. It's a technique used by sportscar drivers, cyclicsts and many others.

2. [Good] When changing engine oil, use synthetic oil. It supposedly increases efficiency by 5 to 10%.

3. [Bad] Try using acetone. I've got mixed reactions from people who tried this...so will stay away from it.

4. [Evil] Try using gas with more ethanol portions in it. There are also conflicting stories I've heard. I thought it increases efficiency, but some say that it does not. And that it causes more harm than good.

Obviously I've tried the 'natural' means so far. And now, I go at about 7.2 litres per 100 km constantly...giving away a bit of efficiency by not being a jerk on the road and driving the people behind me crazy.

Anyone tried any of these with success? Anyone tried eacetone? Any ideas about engine water?
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  #2  
Old August 14, 2008, 01:36 PM
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Boka. Start car-pooling!!! You will save more than half (try to get four people). Also will help the environment stay clean tremendously.
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  #3  
Old August 14, 2008, 01:38 PM
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The sad thing about carpooling is that, I cannot do it. I work in a small company, and so making sure that others' criteria matches mine is next to impossible. I've tried for a long time...never worked.
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  #4  
Old August 14, 2008, 01:41 PM
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try to live around your workplace, as near as you can, then.
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  #5  
Old August 14, 2008, 01:46 PM
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i'm broke paying for gas..i live in such a dead town..if u dn't hav a car ur screwedd...when school starts whatever i make half goes to gas..so i hav no option but suck it up n finish school...
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  #6  
Old August 14, 2008, 02:52 PM
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I think Mohiul's advice will be the best if possible. It is obvious that you are spending a lot of time, energy and money trying to figure out the most cost-effective way to commute. Whatever you try, please don't ignore the safety issues involved with driving, even if it means more breaking, coasting and what not. If you relocate, you can bike or better yet, walk to work, or take public transportation if in the city.
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  #7  
Old August 14, 2008, 02:59 PM
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Looking at the wrong place Kabir. Try to find some neighbors who works somewhat close to your workplace. If not, yes, relocate. Cause gas price will not go down next summer. And the next one. Relocation may free up an hour of your precious time everyday. I would be over the moon if I have an extra hour of nap time.
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  #8  
Old August 14, 2008, 03:04 PM
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r ey poysha koto kamaiben... kisu khoros koren aiber...
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  #9  
Old August 14, 2008, 03:07 PM
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Or, you can work from home like me, few days a week..yay..
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  #10  
Old August 14, 2008, 03:41 PM
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how come nobody takes the bus?

people still laugh at me, i am very lazy, about 20 years old, goes to college, but still no car and no driver's license. though i am working on it now by demanding situation but i am still awaiting the day when you can use water/solar panel on a car for fuel and not pay for any gasoline...

but that wil never happen because about 15%(misleading statistic made up by me ) of the world's wealth comes from gasoline? right?
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  #11  
Old August 14, 2008, 03:59 PM
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Guys...I think I failed to explain the reason I have opened this thread. The reason that I have opened it is, I wanted to share with you the techniques that have worked for me...and that can help you have substantial savings - only if you need the savings. If money is your haater moyla and you don't care about environment, I guess it's not for you.

I am not looking for a cheaper living by this. I cannot move close to my work because I have to consider my wife's commute as well. I wonder how many of you know about Toronto...because riding a bike to work or walking to work is not an option unless you pay twice as much to live next to your work.

As for taking transit, for me to get to work from home will take me 3 hours on transit...due to connection. I'm in the West end of Greater Toronto Area, while my work is on the East end. I like taking transit...and I've taken transit for the past 7 years...and I love the environmental impact it has.
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  #12  
Old August 14, 2008, 05:36 PM
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Get a Yaris for your commute. I can do ~ 41miles/gallon consistently (approx: 16.7km/liter; i.e. 5.9 liter per 100km).
My commute is 140miles everyday (that is 70miles each way) ! Yes you read that right

For the price Yaris the best bet. Prius is over hyped.
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  #13  
Old August 14, 2008, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kabir
2. Next, I tried several things.

a) Kept window pulled up when driving on highway
b) Kept my driving speed more or less at a constant speed for the most part
c) Ensured that my tires have the suggested pressure
d) Reduced idling time, so that if I have to stop somewhere for 2 mins, I'ld rather turn off the car and turn it back on instead of keeping it idle while turned on
3. To take things to the extreme, I tried a few more things then.

a) When accelerating from zero speed, took it easy...and not just step hard on gas...apparently, the engine consumes the most amount of gas in acceleraing from zero
b) Offloaded unnecessary items from my trunk
c) Started taking routes that involve less stopping and turning
d) Pressed on gas slightly slowly, so that when the car is accelerating and it switches gear, the RPM stays below 2. If driving in a 60 zone, keep the car at 65 so that the sweet spot of RPM below 2 is achieved.
e) If there's a red light ahead, I'ld slow down from far behind. If not slow down, at least remove the foot of the peddle. In most cases, the light will turn green, and I'ld start accelerating again...but this time not from zero speed. Which means, it'll take less gas to get back to speed
All these work really well for me as well. I dont drive long distances like you but these steps are really helpful. I was watching CNN and apparently having your window up and ac on saves you more gas than having your windows rolled down.

I have heard mixed stories about acetone too. There was a report on it on CTV. The reporter asked consumers questions and some said it worked and some said it didnt. My dad said its BS, and so far no scientific proof either so i rather not try it.
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  #14  
Old August 14, 2008, 05:39 PM
BD-Shardul BD-Shardul is offline
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Quote:
originally posted by akabir77
r ey poysha koto kamaiben... Kisu khoros koren aiber...
lol :-d
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  #15  
Old August 14, 2008, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nasif
Get a Yaris for your commute. I can do ~ 41miles/gallon consistently (approx: 16.7km/liter; i.e. 5.9 liter per 100km).
My commute is 140miles everyday (that is 70miles each way) ! Yes you read that right

For the price Yaris the best bet. Prius is over hyped.
Forgot to add the tips in that post; so here it is. Some I have read before in few online articles and some are from my experience:

1. Use cruise control as much as possible. Whatever speed you drive, cruise control will always give you more miles than you pressing the pedals (except for driving uphill; see point #4).

2. Above 65mph you are reducing engines fuel efficiency quite dramatically; and above 70 it falls very rapidly. Try driving at and around 65mph. Its hard to do in midwest where speed limit is 70mph.

3. Never drive windows down. Your car was designed for optimal aero-dynamics. Rolling the windows down will introduce immense drag and pressure on the engine. Todays car ACs are ultra efficient. Now, if you have a very old car (I mean anything before 1999) thats a different story. Change AC gas to improve efficiency; and try to use low level when the AC is turned on.

4. When driving uphill; stop the cruise control and climb gradually. Don't put unnecessary gas to climb faster. Depending on the rise; judge the best speed at minimal load to the engine.

5. If you are falling downhill and if it is a long one; bring your shift to "N" (for automatic only; for manual hold down the clutch). This will reduce engine RPM and you will save gas. Bring the shift back to "D" as you are approaching level driving zone and resume cruise control (shifting to N automatically disables cruise).

6. Check your tire pressure. Manufacturer recommended tire pressure is printed on the bottom edge of the drivers door (open the door and your will see it on the side). Check your pressure every month and keep it to the recommended level.

Most Important one
7. Drive sober; don't fall for the "road rage"; its not worth it. Its your money that you will be burning ; it might be your life too
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Last edited by Nasif; August 14, 2008 at 09:40 PM..
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  #16  
Old August 14, 2008, 07:53 PM
MohammedC MohammedC is offline
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Always check tyre pressure. If the manufacture suggestion is 34 psi then stick to it. Tyre pressure less then that will create more friction than necessary hence using more power (fuel) to get the vehicle moving.
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  #17  
Old August 14, 2008, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MohammedC
Always check tyre pressure. If the manufacture suggestion is 34 psi then stick to it. Tyre pressure less then that will create more friction than necessary hence using more power (fuel) to get the vehicle moving.
Absolutely right! Forgot about that (added it to my list now).
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  #18  
Old August 14, 2008, 10:41 PM
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Just get a job that pays more so you don't have to worry about the price of gas.





j/k
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  #19  
Old August 14, 2008, 10:55 PM
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Excellent thread!




(trying to reach 7000 by the end of this month)
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Old August 15, 2008, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bancan
I was watching CNN and apparently having your window up and ac on saves you more gas than having your windows rolled down.
That's true ONLY when you're driving on the highway. For city driving, A/C is never recommended.
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  #21  
Old August 15, 2008, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nasif
1. Use cruise control as much as possible. Whatever speed you drive, cruise control will always give you more miles than you pressing the pedals (except for driving uphill; see point #4).

...

4. When driving uphill; stop the cruise control and climb gradually. Don't put unnecessary gas to climb faster. Depending on the rise; judge the best speed at minimal load to the engine.
Actually, on 401, cruise control is simply impossible within GTA. For long distances, cruise control is good. But the switching back and forth for uphill driving...I'ld rather stick to the peddle

I've noticed that cruise control also puts me to sleep. So that's one more reason why I don't try it.

One thing about cruise control that nobody talk about is the max speed at which it is recommended. It's only recommended for over 80 and under 120 km an hr.
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  #22  
Old August 15, 2008, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nasif
Get a Yaris for your commute. I can do ~ 41miles/gallon consistently (approx: 16.7km/liter; i.e. 5.9 liter per 100km).
My commute is 140miles everyday (that is 70miles each way) ! Yes you read that right

For the price Yaris the best bet. Prius is over hyped.
That's amazing! But what the heck? 70 miles each way? I think for 50ish km I'm doing GOOD.

Come to think of it, since my car is an '01 model with almost 170 clicks on it, a constant avg of 13 km/litre is GOOD.
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  #23  
Old August 15, 2008, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zunaid
Just get a job that pays more so you don't have to worry about the price of gas.
That's the general attitude of some people. For me, environmental concerns are much bigger than the $15 saving a month. And since it's impossible for me to take transit or carpool, this type of driving makes me feel not that bad.

Quote:
j/k
I get the feeling that you're not. That's a typical response.
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  #24  
Old August 15, 2008, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tehsin
Excellent thread!
Thanks!

Quote:
(trying to reach 7000 by the end of this month)
Bepar na...chalay jan. But as the founder of BC, you don't need 7k for recognition
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  #25  
Old August 15, 2008, 09:06 AM
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I tried the whole cruise control and steady at 65mph today. It was good for the car but damaging for my psyche. People were crossing me on my left and right and some even gave me the mean look, the kind I usually reserve for people who drive under 70.

(watch 'the hammer' if you get a chance. There's a scene where they get pulled over)
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