New to the community, i have many questions!! Hah.

Discussion in 'Start Your Journey Here' started by carrmann, May 10, 2011.

  1. carrmann

    carrmann Well-Known Member

    hey guys im obviously new... found this forum through the hyundai forums where I read about the cross country trek with a hyundai sonata hybrid. found it about 1 day after i picked one up accidentally at a hyundai dealership.

    I went to the dealership to look at an elantra, and my wife spied the full loaded hybrid next to the elantras. well from the moment she sat in it... it was complete love and the elantra didnt exist. we test drove an elantra anyways.... and she was completely blase' about it! so here we are with a new 2011 hyundai sonata hybrid.

    after finding the forum and reading the thread on the transcontinental trip with the hybrid I decided I wanted to join and learn more about how to do so myself.

    My wife and I share the car, I am active duty military and she is on full disability. I drive it to work/home and at night she goes various places on errands etc.

    We live in a relatively flat area, the only main road is 45-55mph pretty much all the time. my commute is during rush hour apprx, so there is a lot of stop/go and speed up/slow down. any suggestions to improve my fuel mileage would be appreciated. I am seeing apprx 35-40mpg with it in those conditions. temperatures now are in the 80s during the day also. I do my best to slow down in advance of a stop, and do my best to NOT stop at any light, or when traffic comes to a stop, though that is rather hard at times!

    By the by... my secondary driver is a v8 360ci 3/4 ton 2wd 4.10 geared 97 dodge ram. it gets about 12.6 mpg at best. Has recently had an oil change, full tune-up, K&N cold air intake, and new exhaust. Any tips on this vehicle for same driving conditions would Also be much appreciated!

    Thanks in advance and sorry for the lonnggggg post!
  2. nighthawk

    nighthawk Well-Known Member

    Are you talking about the 1,000 mile on 1 tank sonata article? because that wasn't a hybrid ;)
  3. southerncannuck

    southerncannuck Well-Known Member

    Congrats on the new car, and thank you for your service. Trucks suffer on both ends of the driving spectrum. They have the aerodynamics of a parachute (under water) which kills highway mileage, and they weigh a ton, actually a few tons, which kill city mileages.

    The best advice I can give you is to keep your speeds low. 55mph or less, and never drive to a red light. Try to coast when you know you have to stop.

    Also that 360 is a huge piece of metal. It takes a lot of gas to get that thing warm. If you combine your trips you will reduce the warm up cycles and save a lot of gas.

    All the best,
  4. carrmann

    carrmann Well-Known Member

    No im talking about the 2300 mile transcontinental drive that wayne did with 2 tanks of fuel in a hybrid sonata. I read the 1000 mile one as well.

    I figured on the truck... sucks lol. I think it needs a mild rebuild now wth 170000 miles on it... used to get 15-17 mpg now only gets apprx 12.6 . Oh well. I already do what you mentioned though.
  5. ksstathead

    ksstathead Moderator

    CAI gives you more power and less fuel efficiency. We sometimes see warm air intakes here for the opposite impact. Very doubtful that alone would bring you back to 15 mpg, but every little bit helps.

    Do you have your tires pressed up nicely?

    Study the Hows and whys to hypermile article on the home page.

    I traded my Tacoma for the Prius, but not everyone can give up their truck, nor should they. As I muddle through life, I just try to veer toward the most efficient answers that keep me going.

    Welcome to CleanMPG!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 11, 2011
  6. carrmann

    carrmann Well-Known Member

    really? when I installed it I picked up an average of 1mpg with the truck.
    tires are at roughly 55psi rear and 60psi front. I also have a cap(even with the cab) on the bed.
    last time I weighed it, it clocked in at around 6000lbs so its 3 tons haha! kinda fat... lol.

    I cant give up the truck for several reasons lol.. its not worth much considering gas prices (13mpg and 36 gallon tank = ouch at the pump), I own it, and lots of family memories with it as my dad bought it back before 2001 (right before I joined the AF). Plus its extremly useful on occasion (moving or towing).

    Thank you for the welcomes everyone! Apologies if I didnt catch anything, i was checking with my phone which makes it hard to reply etc.

    in terms of the sonata... all 4 tires come aired up to 34psi, should I increase the psi or leave them be? i run the a/c at apprx 75* in ECON mode as the manual suggest for best economy, always have blue mode on, and shift to N if im going downhill, or see a stop somewhere ahead of me. i try and do as much regen braking as I can as well.

    im going to check out the basics articles as well.
  7. carrmann

    carrmann Well-Known Member

    I have been shifting into neutral... but is that good for the transmission? im worried about doing in the trans by constantly popping it into N.

    Anyone have an idea?

    Will a scan-gauge work on this?
  8. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    There is no harm in shifting to neutral. The design of the Hyundai automatic uses two of the five friction clutches to apply each of the six forward gears. Shifting occurs by releasing one of the two and applying a different one. Shift to N, and the two clutches are released. Shift back to D and two of the five clutches are applied again. The trans controller selects the proper ratio based on road speed during the return to D. Assuming you're moving above about 35mph, the gear selected would be 5th, and that's an easy shift for the transmission, since it's a 1:1 ratio.

    Shifting to N while underway is known as a NICE-on (neutral, internal combustion engine on), and it is a great way to improve mileage by increasing coasting distances. The improvement comes from allowing the engine to idle while the car rolls down the road. The Sonata hybrid combines the gas engine with two electric motors, and the system is engineered to minimize energy waste. Shifting to neutral means the computer can't employ fuel cut when it might be appropriate, and so it might be possible to measure better fuel economy when just leaving the car in D.

    The Scan Gauge will work beautifully with the Sonata hybrid. Reading about Wayne's coast to coast and watching the video in there (it's toward the end) reveal that the SGii was an important part of extracting the best possible fuel efficiency from the car. The Scan Gauge will allow you to accurately measure trip MPG so you can see any difference between "D only" and "shift to N" trips.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 11, 2011
  9. carrmann

    carrmann Well-Known Member

    now I have to convince the wife its a good idea to put another gauge in the car... lol.

    i was reading in another thread about 1st gen hyundai transmissions having issues with shifting to neutral. I wasn't sure if it applied to the hybrid or not so I didn't want to risk anything. thanks for the clarification!

    it has 2 electric motors? I thought it just had 1 and it replaced the torque converter?

    I did notice that using neutral improved coasting for sure. I 'THOUGHT' that the engine cut off when you coasted in N or D (it sounds like it.. but its hard to tell when the motor is running to unless you are pushing it).

    If the car doesnt have a tq converter, does anyone know if the electric motor acts like one and 'locks up' at specific speeds or rpms?

    thanks again for all the info! doing my best to learn as much as we can. we currently have the car up to ~39mpg with mixed driving and stop/go traffic. Im hoping to get it over 40mpg.
  10. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    One quick fix for the truck would be to swap out the rear axle for one with a set of higher gears.

    Those 4.10's in the Ram are killing your fuel mileage. If your not hauling heavy loads I would go for at least something close to 3.73 to as high as 3.55's. Find a junk yard with a rear end with a higher set of gears.

    I've had great luck using for part searches like this.
  11. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    Hyundai automatics are not flat towable, so they have a problem with NICE-off - meaning engine off while the car is in motion. Regardless of model year, the owners manual will have a warning if shifting between N and D at speed will cause a problem. And even then, read between the lines, considering "not recommended, damage is possible" is quite different from "should never be done, damage will result". The automatic that I know of that will very likely be damaged in a NICE-on was in production from 1961-1964, it was a lousy unconventional design, and many of those older cars have since been upgraded with different AT's.

    One for the torque converter, and also a motor/starter - a big alternator-lookin'-thingie that is used to spin the engine to start it, and also to spin it if necessary when the engine is decoupled from the driveline.

    The electric motor replaces the torque converter, and so there is no "lockup" function needed or required because there is no parasitic slippage. The lockup functionality addresses a flaw in torque converter function, and when you remove the converter, you remove the flaw, and therefore no longer need the 'fix' for it.

    As you drive the car, note whether the engine quits in both N and D (EV Mode light is on). If it is off for both, the only gain in shifting to N would be to save some additional driveline drag by releasing the two clutches in the transaxle that apply a forward gear (3-5-R and OD clutches in 5th, 2-6 and OD clutches in 6th), so forward momentum isn't used to spin the planetary gear trains, input shaft, and the output side of the electric motor. These are all small parts (low inertia), but the SGii will allow you to see any small changes trip mpg's and show you if coasting in N offers any benefit.
  12. carrmann

    carrmann Well-Known Member

    I should have known that about tq converter being inefficient, my bad. I've changed enough lol. I'll have to see if I can find that alternator/generator to check it out.

    its depends on the battery charge. it may be in EV mode but the engine is still running to charge up the battery. Its very hard to tell if the engine is running unless Im on the energy flow screen.

    you were right on the being in N not affecting the fuel mileage in the computer.. thanks for the tip there. Now I know it wont be 'truly' accurate unless I have a scan-gauge if I continue to use N to coast down hills/gradually slow down etc.

    I appreciate all the input a lot!

    I have the low rolling resistance tires, and they come aired up to 34psi. Should I increase the psi, or leave it be?
    Last edited: May 11, 2011
  13. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    air air air! 34 psi will give you max comfort. Max sidewall will give you max mpg! If you are unsure, raise the psi in steps. If your sidewall max is 44 psi, raise your tires psi to 38 psi to see how it handles and if it gets better mpg. From that point go up about 2 psi every couple of days or so and it will lessen how you feel the stiffer tires. You will see a noticeable effect in the mpg at max sidewall. Just be aware of handling differences.
  14. carrmann

    carrmann Well-Known Member

    okay will do lol! its not going to freak out my TPMS is it?? Question is, does it increase tire wear in the center of the tire(ie improper tire wear)?
  15. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    TPMS only trips if one tire is more than maybe 10% lower in psi than the others, and will also trip somewhere around 26-28psi. The TPMS in my car also blinks when certain police or fire radio equipment is in use nearby.

    Tire wear is appreciably lower when at higher pressures. Wayne's Michelins are well past 100k miles and are only now approaching min tread depth. The center-wear happened back in the bias ply tire era. Modern radials have thick steel belts that are not deformed by pressure.
  16. carrmann

    carrmann Well-Known Member

    I'll give the tire pressure a shot tonight!! thanks for the info on that. improved fuel economy, AND less tread wire. sheesh, why didnt I do this years ago??? lol. I can handle decreased ride quality. I doubt it will ever ride anywhere near as bad as my HD 3/4 ton ram lmao.
  17. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    The Sonata rides smooth even with tire pressures "optimized". ;) Last year, I drove the Sonata used in the 1000 mile Challenge, and the tires were at challenge pressure and the ride was smooth and quiet. It might be a little smoother and quieter at only 30-34psi, but I prefer the sharper handling and lower tire wear of the higher pressure.
  18. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    As far as the TPS alarm point: There is a low and a high. On a Toyota, the high alarm point is 80 psi. (I've been told;)
  19. carrmann

    carrmann Well-Known Member

    i'd prefer handling/longer tire wear/higher economy than comfort anyday. I just took a coworker with a 3series 07 bmw for a ride in my sonata, and he was extremely impressed. to the point he is thinking of trading the bmw in for a sonata lol. when he saw my 'avg' mpg which was sitting at 38.9mpg he got really pissed too haha.

    any idea how much increasing tire press. will effect mpg?
  20. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    According to some numbers a member here got from Michelin, going from 36 to 51 psi is worth roughly 5% at 55 mph. It makes an even bigger change at lower speeds where aerodynamic drag is a smaller factor.

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