New Guy - '05 Honda Accord Driver - Any Tips/Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Start Your Journey Here' started by md7989, May 13, 2011.

  1. md7989

    md7989 Active Member

    Hey everyone, how's it going? My name is Mike and I am a senior in college majoring in civil engineering. My first vehicle was a '98 4WD 4Runner, but that was sold and the 2005 Honda Accord EX-L V6 Sedan AT was bought in December 2009. The reason for this purchase was I do a lot of driving now with my engineering co-op job, driving 225 miles home one way to visit family, or 210 miles one way to see my girlfriend and her family.

    I bought the Accord with 69k on it, and now I'm at 101k. Main reason is my commute during my co-op work rotations. I drive 120 miles M-F. I drove this from August '10 to January '11, and I am now driving it again from the beginning of this month until mid August. The drive, starting from my apartment going to work consists of this: 3 miles city at 45 mph to interstate, 54 miles on nothing but interstate, and then 3 miles in city at 55 mph until work.

    I've always been MPG aware, and strive to get the best I can w/o going too extreme in hypermiling techniques. I always go easy on the gas pedal, coast the best I can, and shut off the motor when sitting idle longer than 10s. I also keep my tires at 44 psi (max rated pressure), filters checked, and use Mobil 1 5w-20 (only oil ever used in this car since mile #1). In the morning trip to work, I drive 63 mph w/CC & w/o AC, and in the evenings coming home I drive 61 mph w/CC & w/AC...takes right at an hour each way, with ~50 minutes on I-20/59 from Tuscaloosa to Birmingham. The car nevers has to downshift when using CC on the grades I see and never really bogs down when going up them, but these grades are not extreme at all.

    I also just purchased an Ultragauge today, and will use it to adjust my style even more when it arrives next week.

    QUESTION: Can anyone suggest other tips/techniques to help squeeze out more MPG without going too extreme?

    Just to note: I've been keeping track of gasoline usage since last August and averaged 29.1 mpg with the one semester of driving back then (faster MPH than I drive now) and a semester of in town driving. This week is my first week back on the 120 mile commute, and I filled up Tuesday morning, added 1.1 extra gallons after the first "click" (I always do this), and I believe I'm doing good so far on MPG (see attached pics of fuel gauge vs. trip meter...at least I think it's good...lol).

    Thanks guys, and I look forward to hearing from you all. :cool:

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    Last edited: May 13, 2011
  2. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    Welcome to CleanMPG!
    You sound like you're already heading in the right direction. Two suggestions I would make:
    1 - Slow down, or at least use your new gage to judge trip mpg at 50, 55, 60, etc. It might surprise you to see how much you can gain by just lifting off the pedal a bit.
    2 - Instead of cruise, keep a steady foot on the pedal (contant engine load or DWL as abbreviated here), and let the car speed change a bit with changes in terrain.

    Wayne's 2005 Accord has a lifetime mpg number over 48, and the Accord is just one of those cars that blows away EPA estimates. Read up and ask questions, and you will find your car is using less and less fuel.
     
  3. md7989

    md7989 Active Member

    Thanks for the tips my man!

    Yes, each morning this week I'm getting back used to the traffic flows, volumes, speeds, etc. I will likely drop the morning speed down to 60 mph and the evening speed down to 58 mph. I know not using the AC in the evening would help more, but when it's 90+ outside and who knows what inside, I'm not sweating that bad for an hour...haha!

    I can say one thing I have noticed compared to my commuting last fall: People are driving somewhat slower. I nottice this because then I drove 65-66mph, and got passed like I was tied to a tree, yet now doing 63 mph, I just get casually passed by most. Darn fuel prices, but good to see others taking better MPG measures.
     
  4. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    I was one of seven CleanMPG drivers who took the 2011 Ford F-150 EcoBoost through your area last week (Alabama on Thursday morning 5/6). We were driving a bit slower than the target speeds you noted, and we finished the cross country trip at 32.281mpg. In a full size F-150. Choosing the speed appropriate for wind and terrain, and treating the brake pedal as though it were wired to the ignition coil both played a major part in the outstanding fuel economy result.
     
  5. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Super Moderator Staff Member

    Assuming it's an AT, you're driving the same car as Wayne Gerdes. He Throws The Book At It (tm) and has a lifetime average of 48mpg, but has had multiple tanks over 1000 miles.

    If you're not going to go extreme (which pretty means no FAS, see glossary), you'll need to turn off the cruise and use DWL.

    With DWL you maintain a steady, efficient load on the engine (without allow a downshift) and allow the speed to vary with terrain as gravity fights you uphill and assists you downhill.

    Cruise control is anti-DWL. Cruise control varies the engine load to maintain a steady speed. As a result it works the engine harder uphill (possibly downshifting) and cuts the engine or possibly even hits the brakes downhill. As a result, in hilly terrain the engine spends a lot of time operating inefficiently.

    Since you already drive sub-PSL, you can quite easily cut the cruise and incorporate DWL into your routine. With your long journeys, I understand wanting to cruise to relax, but by making some good choices as to when to DWL you'll make some good savings, even on fairly flat terrain.

    Apart from that, I suggest you read the CleanMPG Primer, which will introduce you to many different techniques.
     
  6. md7989

    md7989 Active Member

    Thanks guys and ItsNotAboutTheMoney it is an AT. And MaxxMPG that's awesome you all were driving through this area. I'm definitely going to start using no CC when the UG gets here. Honestly, my goal is this:

    Last fall, I could go 3 full days w/o filling up and still have a considerable amount of fuel left (but less than in above pics), but I always filled up after 3 days because I didn't want to risk getting stuck in bad traffic w/no fuel. Now, as can be seen in the pics above, I have drove 3 full days (~360 miles) and still have right under 1/2 tank left. Tomorrow morning I will drive to work w/o filling up and cross over the 400 miles/tank mark, meaning I have gone 3.5 days w/o filling up.

    So My Goal = 4 full days w/o filling up, or basically 500 miles per tank. I think this should be easily attainable when I get the UG, stop using CC, and decrease a few MPH. Thoughts on this?
     
  7. nighthawk

    nighthawk Well-Known Member

    Actually the OP has a V6 while wayne's car is the 4 cylinder.

    that tank is looking pretty good for a v6...
     
  8. md7989

    md7989 Active Member

    Thanks nighthawk. By the way, how do you guys get the green/blue MPG lists under every post? That's pretty cool.
     
  9. nighthawk

    nighthawk Well-Known Member

    fill out a mileage log for your vehicle and then just link to the image in the mileage log. Mileage logs at the top right.
     
  10. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Super Moderator Staff Member

  11. GrnHrnt

    GrnHrnt Well-Known Member

    I have a 05 accord too although it's a 4 cylinder. Driving with load will help a lot, you should be able to experiment a lot with it since you are commuting displaying throttle position on your ultragauge will help with that.
     
  12. Die2self

    Die2self Saving more by using less!

    Welcome,

    my wife has a 03 HA with the 4 cylinder MT 5SP. she typically get about 32-35 during th school year, (she works in OK 30 minutes away on I44). She still is going 65-70 on the highway. I help her out on the weekends by hypermiling more for her around town.

    it sounds like you have a good plan and with the gauge you will be able see what works and what doesn't right away for you. I have gotten several tanks at 500 to 600 miles. It just takes some time and slowing down.

    If you want to use he AC I would suggest 2 things to try to see what would work best for you.:

    • - turn on the AC to the coldest setting then let it cool for a few minutes. Then Turn off the AC and only use the vent (you may want to recycle the air to only the cabin). Then when you can't stand it any more, turn on the AC again and the off again. Hypermile that too.
      - Turn on the AC then keep turning up the temp setting until you are just above comfortable. That way the AC will dehumidfy the air (which will feel better) but it will be warmer so the AC will not turn on as much.

    keep us posted of your improvements.
     
  13. md7989

    md7989 Active Member

    Thanks Die2self for the tips. Yeah my sister has an '05 I4 Accord coupe and my mom just got a brand new '11 Accord EX-L I4 with only 8 miles on it! Wish I had either one of those, as on my trip 40+ would come a lot easier...lol.

    BTW: I'm at 425 miles with ~1/4 tank left, and going to fill up in about 30 min when I leave work. Will post my MPG numbers.
     
  14. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    My advice from driving the 2004 Odyssey V6 5AT:

    Don't let it downshift! It guzzles like a frat boy when the rpm jumps up. As said above, DWL is your friend. On hills you should use a gentle foot and lose some speed as you climb. If you find it downshifting due to speed getting too low (below 45?), try getting a running start on the hills with a little more speed.

    Do you have the automatic climate control where you just set a temperature? Start it high and click the temp down as it gradually cools the cabin.
     
  15. md7989

    md7989 Active Member

    Andrew, yes I have the "AUTO" button/setting. Are you saying start it off at a higher temp to not make it work so hard initially?

    ALSO: MPG Numbers From Today

    From driving since Tuesday morning fill up:

    432.1 mi/12.436 gal = 34.759 mpg

    From trip from Birmingham to Dothan this afternoon:

    193.0 mi/5.542 gal = 34.825 mpg

    Now, I explained earlier in this thread how the 432 mile tank was drove. This evening the entire trip was in rain, doing 60 mph with CC on most flat parts and slight grades, and periodically turning on AC to defog windows even though I used nothing but outside venting in most of the way due to ~67 degree outside temps.

    So overall I think I did very well to use CC and no SC or UG...yet. :D

    How do these numbers look for the driving style and conditions listed?
     
  16. nighthawk

    nighthawk Well-Known Member

    I'm pretty impressed with 35 mpg with the V6...congrats.
     
  17. md7989

    md7989 Active Member

    Thanks nighthawk! I'll admit, it surprised me a good bit. Amazing how slowing down will boost MPG!
     
  18. freedom7

    freedom7 New Member

    I'm new on here and I have a somewhat related question. I owned a 1984 Honda Accord that I bought new and I got between 31 and 33 mpg. After that I bought a new 92 Civic and got in the high 20s. My question is why are newer cars including Hondas not getting the same or better mileage? Have the engines changed so much, the cars heavier, what?
     
  19. md7989

    md7989 Active Member

    One of my guesses would be that back then they were not mixing 10-20% of ethanol into gasoline. But yes, I wonder the same thing looking back at MPG numbers of Hondas from the 70s
     
  20. md7989

    md7989 Active Member

    But I would also think modern cars might weigh less to an extent by using more plastics, composites, and aluminum, but then again new cars have way more electronics and all...so who knows. It is crazy that cars in the 70s & 80s were rated higher MPG though...lol.
     

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