Poor MPG in Dodge Caliber CVT

Discussion in 'General' started by SewbDude, Mar 20, 2018.

  1. SewbDude

    SewbDude Member

    Hello fellow Hypermilers,

    It's been a few years since I've been on here. I seemed to have plateaued with my hypermiling. A little about my vehicle and my driving:

    I have a 2007 Dodge Caliber SE 2.0 CVT, 114,000 miles, well maintained, ScanGuage II, I use mostly E15 88 Oct unleaded and sometimes reg unleaded 87 oct.

    I drive about 60 miles a day, round trip. Here's how it breaks down with techniques.

    Interstate section:
    -Light traffic both ways
    -26 miles total (one way is 13 miles)
    -AM commute I drive 73 to 77 mph, DWB, DWL
    -PM commute I drive 69 to 72 mph, DWB, DWL

    County road section:
    -Little to no traffic
    -24 miles total (one way is 12 miles)
    -AM commute, 60 to 63 mph, DWB
    -PM commute, 55 to 61 mph, P&G (shift to nuetral, sometimes turn off engine), DWL, DWB

    Highway section:
    -Light traffic
    -6 miles total (one way is 3 miles)
    -AM commute, 67 to 70 mph, DWB, DWL, Rabbit timing
    -PM commute, 65 to 67 mph, DWB, DWL

    Town sections:
    -Light to heavy traffic
    -30 to 40 mph, DWB, DWL, rabbiting timing, Smart Breaking

    Since October 1, 2017 I average just 26.7 mpg, . Then again, I live in Minnesota, and our average temp since then has been about 17°F the past few months. Nonetheless, does anyone have any suggestions for me? My original car on here, a 1996 Subaru Legacy, I recall getting 125% 130% of the EPA.

    How can I get better FE? What else can I do to be more like Wayne Gerdes?
    BillLin likes this.
  2. BillLin

    BillLin MASS: 2018 Bolt EV and 2017 Prime

    Hi SewbDude,

    Aside from the glaringly obvious one (high speeds), you could be more detailed in your logging of average MPG in the various segments of your drives. Since you drive with an SG II, it shouldn't be too difficult to reset at various points in the commute. In that way, you can see which segment needs the most work. If your town segment is killing you, then that's where you can get the most return on your efforts. Then again, the town section is also a smaller percentage of your drive so maybe that won't help as much. Hard to tell till you get some additional numbers.


    edit: ...and since you're in MN, I hope you have a grill block and block heater.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2018
    EdwinTheMagnificent likes this.
  3. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    My big 3 suggestions/thoughts would be:
    1. Speed
    2. E0
    3. Tire pressure

    Speed: You're driving a somewhat "high profile" vehicle. It'll take a huge hit above 65 mph, especially in cold air. LOTS of semis are governed to 67 mph. So on interstate/highway sections of your commute, just pace yourself a safe distance (about 2 seconds) behind one of these trucks. (this will add not more than about 2 minutes to your commute)

    E0: Looks like there's a fair amount of E0 available in your area. Run your current tank down close to empty, then run the next two on E0 and see if you don't notice a 5% to 10% mpg improvement over E15. (it could take a couple tanks for the LTFT (long term fuel trim) to adjust)

    Tire pressure: You gave a fairly detailed synopsis but failed to mention tire pressure, ... which makes me think you may be ignoring tire pressures. Some tires (especially older tires) need to be checked at least every other week. Most'hypermilers' here are probably running closer to max sidewall than "doorpost recommended".

    Do these 3 and I bet you're looking at 30+ mpg in the next few tanks.

    /p.s. you should not be shifting to neutral while traveling in your CVT vehicle, it is not "flat-towable" which means it could/will damage the tranny
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2018
    BillLin likes this.
  4. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    Yeah , but if he doesn't go at least 77 MPH on the Interstate , won't those big rigs just run him over ? Smirk.
    BillLin likes this.
  5. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    ... which is why I suggested pacing behind one of the 67mph governed trucks,.... the faster traffic (i.e. jackwads) are way less likely to "get aggressive" with you because they won't see you as "source bane".

    /I suppose your comment is sarcasm, but for those who don't realize, ... most, or at least a lot, of the truck traffic has slowed down over the past several years for fuel savings. If I'm in with two lanes of fast moving traffic, I'll roll with the high speed flow until a "right lane pace truck" comes along. Less stress in my day.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2018
    BillLin likes this.
  6. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    I don't get out on Interstates too much these days , but I noticed it back in 2010.

    Truckers going LESS than the PSL on I-40.
    BillLin likes this.
  7. jcp123

    jcp123 Caliente!

    My company is governed to 63mph, some others seem around that speed too. If you aren't governed, I hate to say it, but the extra miles you pack into a driving day far outweigh the fuel costs for a truck.
    puddleglum and BillLin like this.

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