Newbie in Iowa - V6 Dodge Caravan - Looking for tips!

Discussion in 'Start Your Journey Here' started by jake832, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. jake832

    jake832 New Member

    Hi all,

    I'm a new member, I heard about the website on the radio the other day and decided to check it out. I drive a 2006 Dodge Caravan SXT - V6 3.3L Automatic FWD.

    My car has a MPG/Counter (averaging only) built into the electronic console and until I heard about this site I never reset it and I averaged 17.9MPG

    My commute is 20 Miles to work and 20 Miles home on the interstate (I80) 3 Lanes of traffic through Des Moines, IA.

    Since reading the introduction page and trying to use very basic techniques and adjust my driving habbits I've peaked at about 25MPG, that's still using ethanol and not yet inflating my tires, in fact they are probably low right now.

    I've been shifting into neutral but leaving the engine running when going downhill or comming up on a situation where I would normally use the breaks and I think that's had the most significant impact on my fuel efficiency... other than that just trying to avoid ever accelerating aggressivly has helped quite a bit. I'm not actually sure what the EPA or rating of my vehicle is but I've been impressed with the 25 I've gotten over the average of the last 100 miles. (2 days commute). Just looking for ways to make it better now.

    So, just wanted to introduce myself and open up to any additional tips or tricks I should consider trying. I know I'm already at a disadvantage because I drive a V6 Van...

    Thanks all and it's good to be a member.

  2. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Jake:

    ___Sorry I missed your post earlier.

    ___You have read the Why's and How's, right? Using a NICE-On with more timing sounds like you have already :) I wouldn't FAS a Chrysler Minivan at speed due to past issues but would shut down at long lights and such. Setup is definitely worth a lot more FE. Press up those tires, synthetic on the next change and even if all you have is an averaging display, rest it each segment so you have some real time feedback as I am sure you are doing already.

    ___Good Luck

  3. A024523

    A024523 Currently in Training

    Welcome to the forum Jake. You can hypermile a van, just as easily as most any vehicle. Looks like you are on the right track, already doing better than 2 of our Caravan members (they are at 22 MPG avg). Keep up the great work, and keep reading up on the info at this site. :D
  4. jake832

    jake832 New Member

    Thanks for the info.

    Since I have gotten used to using some of the basic techniques I've been doing a little better. I reset the averaging sensor before my commute today and I went 44 miles round trip and got 30.3 mpg for the commute. That was almost all on the highway and it was rainy today so it was an easy 55mph all the way so that was definately to my advantage. Also my seats arent in the van right now so I'm probably close to minimum weight you would see with this van...

    I haven't been doing the FAS in the sense that I actually key back and shutoff the ignition, this I'm not totally comfortable with yet... I have been just shifting into neutral anytime I'm going down a hill big enough to allow me to maintain speed decently... it seems like my commute is cut into several big gradual uphill stretches and several downhill stretches that are just steep enough to maintain speed between 55 and 65 in neutral as long as I have some people in front of me breaking up the wind a little bit. That combined with DWL I think has been a good combo. But you are right, I'm probably pushing my luck shifting in and out of neutral so often in a van that's known for early life transmission trouble. [/I][/I]I've been pretty good about doing a rev-match and i know about what rpm I need to hit depending on how fast I'm going. I think at 60mph I have to reingage at about 2100rpm to not feel it at all...

    Also I filled up my first tank on my way home today with 87 w/o ethanol rather than the 89w/ethanol I've been using and increased my tires to 42psi. I'm a little nervous about how high i should be taking the pressure... says on the tire 40 max but I'm guessing that's got lots of saftey factor in it... any good way to figure out what's actually safe for tire pressure?

    Anyway, it's been a fun challenge so far to see if I can break my MPG record but I have a feeling that if my 30 is accurate I'm probably not going to see much higher. Still a huge improvement over 19 last month. We'll see how it goes.

    Thanks for the comments and the welcome. :)
  5. vangonebuy

    vangonebuy Well-Known Member

    Hi Jake,
    I have a 05 Chrysler T&C that I've been hypermiling.
    Did the same on a previous 97 Dodge GC.

    Your commute seems much more highway than mine, So slower speeds will help.
    Mine is much more like city driving.

    Some idea's that work for me.

    Turn off the A/C. It's an unbelievable pig on fuel.
    If needed, I turn it off/on at 5 min intervals. Also turn it off on hills.

    Try to let the engine shift at around 2000 rpms.

    Get the van into OD ASAP. It kicks in at 40 mph, But after you hit it, you can slow down as low as 32 mph and run under 1300 rpm. Great around town.

    Your tire pressure sounds good.
    Mine is 44psi. Tires max.

    I've had some great luck FAS'ing. But since the van is so heavy, Its mostly rolling to stop lights. (It really runs up the mpg)
    I don"t do it at cruising speed. The T&C manual states it can be flat towed up to 100 miles and at speeds lower than 44 mph. So a fast FAS makes me nervous.

    N-ICE works very well but no big gains. Its steering control is much better.
    I do this a lot.

    Rolling is very good on this van.

    Highway is 32+ mpg on a long road trip.
    Around town it's closer to 18.5, Some are 24 mpg.
    Most are short trips.

    A lot of repeated info to what your probably doing, But every one helps.
    Let us know if you have any techniques that are working for you.

    I really want to hit 35mpg.
    Good Luck,
    Glass Bongs
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2011

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