Maximize MPG by considering different path home?

Discussion in 'Fuel Economy' started by TimboliahPantsOnFiyah, Apr 25, 2008.

  1. For all of you esteemed veteran hypermilers on here, what I am about to say may be the hypermiling equivalent of discovering lint in one's bellybutton for the first time and marveling at this new development as if the world has never heard of such a thing. But I hope some input from the experts will allow us hypermiling Noobs to benefit.
    I live in a somewhat hilly suburban area. On my commute to work, I use this to my advantage, coasting in neutral on my way down some long descending hills. Yes, I do have to employ DWL techniques after coasting down an initial hill and making an ascent towards the crest of the next hill, but overall the hills go from big to small such that taking this route to work yields a net MPG advantage due to the coasting opportunities. However, I have found that if I take this same path home, I am doing more climbing than coasting and MPG suffers.
    I seem to have found a different path for the commute home that offers a ONE WAY (heading home) net advantage to taking that route home. More traffic lights (which are handled by shutting of the ICE), but a more gradual ascent to the elevation of my home. I even find that on the gradual upward climbs, I am able to use what I have heard described as "hang time" technique, where I get into high gear, over 40 MPH and then very precisely ease my foot off the accelerator ever so slightly. My instantaneous MPG readout shows 70mpg-80mpg during this manuever and I am still being propelled forward in a lean burn state (even while slightly climbing) without losing speed very quickly.
    Bottom line, yesterday I achieved my best commute stats to date as follows: My car has EPA estimate of 27City / 35Hwy. I was able to achieve a round trip commute (all city) of 11.8 miles with a MPG average of 45.4 MPG. I still plan on wringing more out of it, but i am happy with the progress so far. Thanks CleanMPG contributors!
  2. bestmapman

    bestmapman Fighting untruth and misinformation

    Hi and welcome to the forum. Are you by any chance in SW Ohio. If yes, you are invited to the Cincinnati/ NKY meet-up on May 17th in Ft. Thomas, KY. Details will be coming out in a week or so.
  3. kngkeith

    kngkeith Well-Known Member

    Well, I'm no veteran or expert but...
    You're doing dandy.
    The alternative return route makes sense if you are using less fuel and still able to travel in a timely manner. The goal is to reduce OVERALL consumption. The scangauge gives you immediate feedback for overall fuel used. Otherwise, just do a miles travelled at mpg comparison.

  4. BailOut

    BailOut My favorite holiday is Earth Day!

    Keith hit the nail on the head. As long as the new route isn't so out of the way that you actually consume more fuel to accomplish it then you're golden, and I congratulate you on your discovery. :)

    I had a similar test to perform once. There is an alternate route for me to get back onto the highway and it is only a 1% grade rather than the 5% I usually traverse, but because it adds 2.1 miles to the 27 mile commute (an 8% distance increase) it simply wasn't worth it as it wasn't boosting my overall trip FE by anything like 8%.
  5. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    I have about 5 routes I could pick from. 2 are out - longer, slower, and lower mpg = more gas. The remaining 3 are 10, 10.6 and 11.3 miles, but after many tests, they consume the same amount of fuel. That means that the longer one gives me better numbers, but costs the same gas. That's what I use, then.
  6. BestMapMan: Yes, I am in Dayton. Sounds interesting.

    Bailout: Thanks for the kudos, but which of my discoveries are you referring to... The alternate route brainstorm or that bellybutton thing that I stumbled onto this morning?

    Everyone Else: Thanks. Doing the math to calculate and minimize total fuel consumption makes perfect sense.
  7. Doofus McFancyPants

    Doofus McFancyPants Well-Known Member

    I have a few paths outlined- have been taking path "A" to work and path "B" home - awaiting scangage to be able to measure each and determine what is the best overall from MPG and total Gal as well.

    Data is king in these cases.
  8. rweatherford

    rweatherford Times my Mileage by Six

    There was a study recently that showed that the weaving pattern that we use to climb steep hills (on foot) is more efficient than climbing straight up. Amazing how nature figures things out. ;^) Perhaps your commute is the same.

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