Civic VX - can I better my 45mpg average?

Discussion in 'Start Your Journey Here' started by judyrud, Dec 28, 2006.

  1. judyrud

    judyrud New Member

    After reading an article on hypermiling in "Mother Jones" I decided to look at this website. After some frustration with the difficulty in finding succinct, easily-comprehended information on increasing gas mileage (yes, it's there - you just have to wade through a lot that doesn't necessarily apply to you), and after finally figuring out how to post (no instructions anywhere), here I am.
    I own a 1992 Civic VX and average 45 mpg, just driving the way my dad taught me and using common sense (I know very little about physics or automobile mechanics). Here's a question I didn't see the answer to while perusing the forums today. Since my car really coasts well, and since there's a long level stretch of road as I near home, where I'm usually going 50, I often put it in neutral a ways before my turnoff and coast home. My question is, "Before putting it in neutral, how much should I let it slow down? In other words, what happens to the gas I already gave it when it goes into neutral? Is it simply wasted, as when I brake?" I'm trying to balance that against the amount I slow down when I let up on the accelerator, because if I slow down too much, I can't coast clear into the garage and have to give it more gas. Please don't suggest turning it off (I know there's one of those annoying abbreviations for that), as my brakes really don't do their job then, and I'd like to survive long enough to reap the benefits of fuel economy.
  2. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    First of all - Welcome to CleanMPG!

    krousdb had a Civic DX....and definitely has tips that could get you to the next level!
  3. xcel

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

    Hi Judyrud:

    ___Welcome to CleanMPG and just knowing your average FE is 45 mpg is a great start!

    ___What I would like you to consider is practicing the gamut of techniques we use but only one at a time until it becomes second nature out on that old deserted country road. This includes the “FAS”. Shutting down the ICE can increase your FE but you really want to know its limitations with no traffic around so as to get the feel for your cars steering, brakes, and even its handling for when you might consider using that technique in a more traffic dense situation. I highly recommend it to any and all stops within reason as idling going nowhere after Fuel Cut has been extinguished is a terrible waste :( What you may soon discover is what some of us deem FAS points (places along your daily route where a FAS from a particular speed would be most appropriate) so as to climb your drive and into the garage with the last few feet at a very slow speed crawl. I would also encourage you to bring your tire pressures up 2 #’s every 2 or 3 days until they are pushing at least MAX sidewall. This way you will not really notice that increased harshness but you will notice the increased handling capabilities under a number of conditions. You may want to start practicing a few of the simpler techniques like slowing down to the limits, DWL, DWB, and RR when amongst heavier traffic. Once you have those basics down, you may become hungry for a even more ;) Members here not only have plenty more to offer but will give you their experiences and encouragement you need to bump that VX’s FE up a few notches every step of the way.

    ___Also, follow the links under the acronyms into our glossary as most of the “techniques” and “stuff” we discuss is listed there. Don’t feel a moment’s hesitation to ask for help if there is something you do not understand. As mentioned above, there are some great members here that will do everything in their power to get you where you are going safely all the while reducing your fuel consumption and lowering your emissions as it is in all our best interests to do so.

    ___Finally, if there is anything you would like to see improved as in the “Start Your Journey” here forum that Tom added a few weeks ago, post your suggestions! When he sees a good idea, you can bet it will be incorporated quickly. It sounds like we need a basic hypermiling article for those visiting for the first time and with a little guidance; any number of us could turn down our every day vernacular to make that happen. Watch for Tarabell’s latest creation in the article section hopefully this week as it will give even more insight into the capabilities of ones car given the route he or she drives as well as “why we do what we do” :)

    ___Good Luck and welcome again.

  4. psyshack

    psyshack He who posts articles

    Hello judyrud:

    Welcome to cleanmpg. That VX you own should be a mpg machine. If its running right and passing emission test for your area ,,, if you have them. 55 mpg shouldn't be a problem at all.

    To try and answer your question.

    Basically once you it give it gas its gone. So put it in neutral as quick as you can. If 50 mph is your target max speed on the segment of road. Put it in neutral and let it coast. I wouldn't speed to get to a good coasting speed.

    At this point don't worry about fas'ing. With time, practice and a well functioning car fears will leave and skill will develop.

    For now it would be good to review the tire pressures. And slow down if not doing so already. If your VX is a manual transmission car. ( I hope ) Then work on getting it into 5th gear quicker. Another tool that my be of use to you is shutting the engine off if you are at some traffic jammed long red lights.

    It all starts with little baby steps. With time the skills become better. And you will really start learning things about your car and yourself. FE/MPG driving makes one a better driver. You will become more aware of your surroundings, routes, traffic and other drivers. You will develope a relationship with your car few have.

    Feel free to post up your tanks. And enjoy the ride.

  5. krousdb

    krousdb Defiant NX-74205

    I found it nearly impossible to get below 60 MPG with my VX. Can you tell me about your drive? Speed, length, drive time?

    The first thing I would check is the O2 sensor. Is your check engine light on? Does the shift indicator light work?

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