Help me hit 25+ mpg in my '99 Camry!

Discussion in 'Start Your Journey Here' started by cameronfield, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. cameronfield

    cameronfield Well-Known Member

    When I first got this car a month ago, I was barely getting 18 mpg in the city. Lately I've increased my city FE to about 21~22 mpg, and recently took a trip that was about 50% highway 50% city and I hit 25 mpg. My goal is to hit 25 mpg in the city. So far I've been trying P&G (not sure if I'm doing it right though), using AC less, accelerating more slowly, coasting in N, coasting to red lights, etc. Can ya'll suggest other things? I want to try FAS, DWB, etc., but I dont know how to do these or if my car can do them. My car is an automatic 4-cylinder.

    Any tips would be greatly appreciated!
  2. cameronfield

    cameronfield Well-Known Member

    Wow, 35.2?! Was it mostly city or highway?? My tires are at sidewall max (44 PSI). What do you mean minimize cold starts? Like let the car run for a minute before driving? There are only a few stoplights in town that are worth turning the engine off.
  3. degnaw

    degnaw Well-Known Member

    FAS shouldn't be done with an automatic unless your manual says so (which i doubt, because i have 2 autoyotas here that can't). And don't let your car run before driving, which is unnecessary idling-i think he basically means making longer trips so you don't have a cold engine as often.
  4. atlaw4u

    atlaw4u Well-Known Member

    Hello and welcome to the club.

    You should start by knowing your car’s EPA rating located at and make sure to read the article “Beating the EPA”.

    Make sure you air your tires up to the maximum pressure indicated on the tire’s sidewall.

    Also, consider purchasing a ScanGaugeII. It is an invaluable source of information and will quickly pay for itself in fuel savings.

    However, please be careful as hypermiling is addictive. :)
  5. some_other_dave

    some_other_dave Well-Known Member

    I think he means "link trips together"--so if you're going to the grocery store, and going to pick up dry cleaning, and taking a package to the mail box, try doing that all in one trip, instead of mailing the package first thing in the morning, then picking up the dry cleaning at lunch, and then grocery shopping at night.

    It sounds like you're making decent progress. Perhaps you can try DWB (Driving With Buffers or Driving Without Brakes; I prefer to think of it as "Driving As If You Didn't Have Brakes") and see what kind of MPG you can pull from that technique.

  6. Kurz

    Kurz Well-Known Member

    Never let your car idle for more than 30 seconds cold start!
    Once the engine is turning its pretty much good to go.
  7. cameronfield

    cameronfield Well-Known Member

    So when coasting should I put my car in N or leave it in D?
  8. Kurz

    Kurz Well-Known Member

    It depends on what you are trying to do.

    If you want to maintain speed put it in N.
    If you want to engine break to a light or slow down for a turn use D.

    The fuel cut off for the engine is usually around 1300 and more RPM.
    As long as your foot is off the gas.
  9. cameronfield

    cameronfield Well-Known Member

    Wait what? What's the difference between maintaining speed and "engine breaking" or going around a corner? Sorry, I'm lost lol.
  10. JusBringIt

    JusBringIt Be Inspired

    if you want to coast for a long time, keep it in neutral, if you want your car to slow down b/c you are on a hill with a stoplight coming up or just a stoplight, (no hill) you should keep it in drive to avoid using the brake. this will induce engine braking where the fuel cuts off the fuel instead of you having to use your brakes and have the engine continue to supply fuel.
  11. JusBringIt

    JusBringIt Be Inspired

    make sure your car is maintained well, regular oil changes, spark plugs, wires, and also use synthetic oil. this will give you a significant increase, I get over 30 mpg in the city with an auto v6 rated at 19/27, you should be able to do that no problem. good luck!
  12. Kurz

    Kurz Well-Known Member

    N and D to leave in one or the other is very... Dependent on whats going on.

    For example for my particular On ramp from my work;
    45 MPH road to a little bit downhill to the start of the ramp,
    into a downhill spiral (20 MPH advised *yellow sign*) for 495 and after that its a bit of a uphill climb to accelerate.

    I used to leave my Stick in D for the entire spiral and lightly throttle through the spiral down.
    Then I realized that was a bit inefficient since I was just trying to maintain speed through the turn.

    D was the cause of me throttling through the spiral.
    Then I tried the same turn in N... it was beautiful.

    I stayed at 40ish MPH through the turn and switch to D when I came out've it.
    I saved a little a bit of gas there.

    Like I said D vs N coasting is very very situational and requires a bit of thought.
    If you are trying to maintain speed on the downhill N is the way to go.
    If you are preparing to stop... D is better since most cars have fuel shut off.
    Fuel shut off ONLY happens about 1300 RPM and higher in my car (About 35MPH and higher).

    Or it if you think the Time spent switching between from D to N and back to D is not worth it, keeping in D is probably better Short downhill (50 - 100ish feet) followed by uphill climb. Especially the case when you are at a speed you need to rev match.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2008
  13. ChenZhen

    ChenZhen Dreaded Car Salesman


    I can't help but think that there is something wrong with your car mechanically. The EPA lists the original window sticker at 23/30, and the average based on 18 owners using the site's mileage logs is at 27. So I'm with JusBringIt, I think it needs a peek under the hood.
  14. cameronfield

    cameronfield Well-Known Member

    Well that's the problem, I've had it looked at twice. I replaced the spark plugs/wires, air filter, oil, pumped up my tires, etc etc. When I first got the car I only got 18 mpg, two tanks in a row. Since I've been coming here, I've gotten that up to about 22 mpg. What all could be wrong with my car? Dirty o2 sensor or brake drag or something? Could getting my tires aligned/balanced help?

    I will take the D vs. N stuff to heart and learn when to use each.

    One quick question - in my car I have a lot of electronic devices. Here's the list:

    - 800 watt Sony Xplod Amp
    - 2 12" subs (running off that amp)
    - Ipod charger
    - GPS charger

    How much do these effect my FE? I know the subs/amp add weight, which slightly effects my FE. But overall how much do those hurt?
  15. cameronfield

    cameronfield Well-Known Member

    Also, in a car like mine (automatic), is it possible to turn the car off and coast and then turn it back on without having to stop, put it in park, and then turn the key to start? I've been uneasy about trying anything stopping my engine because I dont want to mess it up.
  16. some_other_dave

    some_other_dave Well-Known Member

    You can check for brake drag by putting a finger on your brake rotors. If one is hotter than the rest, that one is dragging. It is normal for the fronts to be warmer than the rears, as the brakes do more work.

    Be careful, though, as sometimes the rotors can be very hot indeed! (If you have an infrared thermometer, you can use that instead.)

    If you coast to a stop rather than braking to a stop, your brakes should be relatively cool (unless you've been using them a lot right before that). That will help show a dragging brake more easily.

    A dying O2 sensor can cost you significant mileage as well. If your alignment is really off, it will kill the tires relatively quickly, and also hurt FE. If it's off a little bit, that shouldn't hurt things too much.

    ...No idea on the re-starting. I know that many cars with auto trans are very peculiar about starting...

  17. JusBringIt

    JusBringIt Be Inspired

    I would replace all O2 sensors, they have a habit of causing reduced mileage. I should have noted that earlier, but I can almost guarantee that's your culprit.
  18. cameronfield

    cameronfield Well-Known Member

    How much are they? And could I replace it myself?
  19. cameronfield

    cameronfield Well-Known Member

    $140 for front and rear o2 sensors?! Geeze. I'm gonna look and see if maybe they're dirty or something so I dont waste money if they're fine.

    Is it possible to clean them myself?
  20. SlowPatrol

    SlowPatrol New Member

    I have a 97 Camry 4cyl. auto. Before I found I was getting 23-24 mpg in mostly city driving. My first Hypermiling tank was 31mpg, 2nd tk-33mpg, 3rd-37mpg, and my last tank was 39.60 mpg. My first 600 mile tank! I would suggest learning all you can from the wealth of info the members here have, is the gold standard for fuel economy. Here are some things that have helped me. Increased tire psi to max sidewall. Keep RPM's under 2200. Fake shift to get into higher gear sooner. I use NICE-ON a lot. FASing not much, owners manual says flat towing recommended only short distance at low speed, so I limit FASing to be safe. P & G in city. DWL. DWB. Time traffic lights. When stopped at a light under 15 sec I idle in neutral, if longer I stop engine. I found a route to work that was only a little farther but increased FE about 6MPG more. Scanguage a must. Very additive though. Best of Luck.

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