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Old 11-10-2008, 10:01 PM   #1
Loren
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Help me see 55 mpg!

I'm doing an "economy run" this weekend. About 200 miles of gas-wasting fun on mostly rural roads in Central Florida.

I'm almost positive I can achieve 55 mpg. I've seen 50 mpg (49.9, actually) already. I do all of the basic "passive" hypermiling tricks, lots of DFCO coasting, anticipating traffic, smooth and gentle acceleration, maintaining momentum as much as possible, a little pulse & glide.

I do have to keep an average speed of 45 mph on this trek (them's the rules of this economy run), which means speeds of up to 55-60 wherever and whenever I can to balance out the areas with lower speed limits. That's going to make it a challenge, but it also makes it a much more realistic test.

The car already has the rear seat removed and a lightweight crankshaft pulley installed. Wheels are fairly light, but tires are very wide. Nothing I can do about that besides air them up more than usual, which I will do.

I'll run the whole trip without the AC, that should gain me 2-3 mpg.

I don't normally cut the ignition at stop lights, but I will for this trip. That's probably worth another 1/2 mpg or so, maybe more.

I was considering taping over the upper grill, half of the lower grill, the foglight holes (I have them punched out for brake ducting for track use) and taping the hood seams all for better aerodynamics. Worth doing?

I've heard higher octane can improve mpg a little. I'll be at about 1/2 tank before Sunday, so I'll have half a tank of 87. I guess it wouldn't hurt to fill up for the run using 91 or 93 octane. Will probably average to about 89 octane.

Any other ideas on how to get that last little bit of MPG without getting too crazy?
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Old 11-10-2008, 10:07 PM   #2
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fold in your passenger mirror, and remove your antenna
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Old 11-10-2008, 10:13 PM   #3
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I can do that. I'm used to driving my Triumph around with no right-side mirror, no biggie.
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Old 11-10-2008, 10:27 PM   #4
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Loren good to see you back. The best tip I can give is to read up on all of Waynes Geddes' tips and see what he has done. All the hyper-miler tips. Good luck!
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Old 11-10-2008, 10:29 PM   #5
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a few other things that take more work are

A belly pan, the turbulence under the car can result in a large part of your drag so it can improve your mpg by 1-3mpg

wheel covers, pizza trays work and they'll reduce the vortex created by your tires.

More weight reduction, passenger seat (you can put it back after the run)

I'm sure you've already read about all the driving techniques so I won't go there.

Those are all my ideas, if I think of any others I'll be sure to let you know
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Old 11-10-2008, 10:33 PM   #6
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If your still running stock air intake, remove the upper filter and run with just the drop-in.
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Old 11-10-2008, 11:37 PM   #7
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ride a bike... unlimited MPG
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Old 11-11-2008, 01:29 AM   #8
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Some of this will sound extreme, but it sounds like you're willing to do some prep work to win.

• Since it's just 200 miles, remove your spare tire, jack, etc. if you haven't done so already. Bring a AAA card and a cell phone. ;)
• Get a scangauge to monitor your mpgs.
• Put your battery on a tender overnight to assure a full charge and minimize alternator load during the start of the run.
• And speaking of alternator load, don't play your stereo or use any 12V electronics getting to and during the mpg run.
• The tape and pizza tray advice is good. If you can't make a belly pan in time, try to fit a front skirt out of thin plastic around the front and go as low as possible without scraping. Not sure of where to quickly source the plastic... maybe a hobby store. You can probably secure it to the grill holes with some zip ties.
• Get a fresh change of oil the night before the event. Make sure your air filter is clean (vacuum it out if you can't source one in time)
• I would not use higher octane gas as it's harder to burn. Burn off any old gas. Fill up with fresh gas the day of the event. Try to only put in enough for the event, plus 1 to 2 gallons extra. Don't top off the tank as each extra gallon of gas you have to haul is heavy.
• Water is heavy too: completely drain your windshield wiper reservoir. Siphon it out instead of spray just to avoid undue wear on the pump and load on the battery.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes

Last edited by JnC; 11-11-2008 at 01:42 AM.
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Old 11-11-2008, 01:43 AM   #9
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^^^^^ spend $40 to save $10 i think is the idea ? ^^^^^^

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Old 11-11-2008, 01:45 AM   #10
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Heh, disregard the more expensive bits if this isn't a contest.
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Old 11-11-2008, 02:26 AM   #11
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It's a contest, but a casual one. I'll be surprised if we get 5 cars. But, that's okay. I set it up primarily as an excuse to go out and do it myself!

Lots of good ideas. I probably won't do most of them. I'm really just looking for simple stuff that I can do that morning or maybe the day before.

I already have a ScanGauge. That's how I've been able to achieve 50 mpg already.

Not going to change my 3-month old 5w20 synthetic oil just for this, I don't think it would make a difference, anyway. Not taking the time to chase a pound or two by draining excess fluids. Not worried about load on the battery. Can't take out the passenger seat because I'll be carrying a navigator.

Riding a freakin' bike is not an option, thanks.

The benefit of higher octane fuel as I understand it is that it allows the engine to run more spark advance, which gives more power at low rpm. Given that hypermiling techniques in the Yaris have the engine almost lugging on acceleration, that's probably a good thing. Harder to burn, it might be, but the Yaris has a VERY strong ignition system. I suspect that those who claim to get marginally better MPG with higher octane aren't lying to us. Probably not enough better to make up for the cost of the fuel... but, hey, I'm trying to set a record here!

What IS the record for US-Spec Yaris MPG? I think I've heard 52.
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Old 11-11-2008, 02:31 AM   #12
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Oh, and the contest is judged based on fuel used. The only way we have to determine that is to start with a full tank and fill up at the end. So, starting with a half tank of fuel is not an option, unfortunately.

But, I drove a segment of this course Sunday with my wife and without trying too hard and with the AC on, and a 7/8 of a tank of gas, I managed 51.9 on the ScanGauge for 73 miles. That will correct to somewhere around 50 mpg actual. I'm confident that 55 can be done... or something VERY close to it.
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Old 11-11-2008, 03:23 AM   #13
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Hey Loren,

I live in Florida too, and managed 58 for about 3/4 of my trip from Tampa to Tallahassee recently... then tally's crappy traffic set-up killed it. I know you can do it... not sure about 60 mph, unless you meet a nice enough downgrade. My average speed was a little under 45, and the whole trip was over 500 miles round. Good luck!!!!!

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Old 11-11-2008, 03:36 AM   #14
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loren View Post

What IS the record for US-Spec Yaris MPG? I think I've heard 52.
I would imagine it would be higher if not talking about the entire tank...

I have seen right below 60 mpg on Linebaugh going from Tampa to Clearwater... only if you don't hit lights though.

Oh, and do you know what roads you are taking?... hopefully not 75 because they can be ruthless on that highway if you are not doing 65+
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Old 11-11-2008, 08:22 AM   #15
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If you stay between 50-55mph, closer to 50 or even 45 like you said you can, you will will probably achieve 55 mpg without any other modifications. Go as slow as safety when on flat roads and coast down to as slow of a speed as you can safely when coasting down hills. Make sure your tire pressure is correct. I would put it to max sidewall, but I don't think you'll need to if you're not comfortable doing so. Start as gently as possible from a stop, but accelerate a little more aggressively once you on the hwy or have momentum.

I achieved 54.7 us MPG on my last tank on winter tires and very cold morning temperatures. The key here was I only had a couple small trips and the rest was all my commute and a short day trip. Conditions permit me to drive between 50-55mph or 80-90km/h, or I could do better. On a strictly FE run I think I could achieve around 56-57 in warmer weather with all season tires, but that's pure speculation.

Our car is an AT sedan and I think yours is MT hatch? I would think you should be able to get near 60 or maybe even more if you're doing strictly a FE run. If you did pulse and gliding; like some hardcore MT types do, I bet you could break 60 mpg. Go to cleanmpg and read how to beat the EPA. Everything you need to know is there.

I'd wish you luck, but all you need is discipline to achieve your goal
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Old 11-11-2008, 11:10 AM   #16
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Loren,

My own testing with higher octane fuels showed a decent mileage hit while some aggressive drivers claim a slight mileage gain. The advancing of the timing allows for higher RPM which needlessly burns more fuel for someone that is not asking for more power.

Testers on CleanMPG found the same thing.
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Old 11-11-2008, 11:47 AM   #17
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Sounds fun! I wish I was in Florida I'd join you!
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Old 11-11-2008, 11:56 AM   #18
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what is the penalty for being late/average speed under 45MPH?

setting up an X-gauge to tell you if you your average trip speed might be worthwile
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