long-time high miler

Discussion in 'Start Your Journey Here' started by featherfoot, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. featherfoot

    featherfoot Well-Known Member

    i'm tab from texAss. i currently own a 93 honda del sol with almost 200,000 miles. i have gotten 48mpg in this car and routinely get 46mpg. the smog police labeled it a "polluter" and advised "retirement"!!! long story short..... i had it retested at a DMV waiver station and it easily passed. so much for smog testing.....

    anyway, i've been a high miler since the early 80's with my used 6cyl, pontiac, ventura. then i bought a guzzler vintage 3/4 ton, chevy pickup with a 235 six which i still have today. when i'm not driving my del sol or my pickup to home depot, i ride a harley superglide which gets 50mpg.

    i'm appalled at how ignorant people are of basic auto mechanics. all they understand is; mash the gas...car goes, mash the brake, car stops. they race up to red lights and slam on the brakes then mash the gas to race up to the next red light. when they are behind me, timing the lights so that i don't have to stop, they get extremely upset. they blast past me and race up to the next light, cursing me. oftentimes i coast right past them, saving lots of gas. lol....

    anyway, it's nice to be on a site where the people understand my driving mindset....
  2. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Welcome, Tab! We are glad to have you and hope that you stay!

    It sure sounds as though you have a good skill set at your disposal to get that kind of mileage from your Del Sol -- what techniques other than light timing do you employ?

    I'm assuming your car is a manual transmission?
  3. laurieaw

    laurieaw Sorceress of the North

    welcome. it sounds like you will fit right in.
  4. koreberg

    koreberg Junior Member


    I also drive a del sol. Your numbers blow my first hypermiling tank away. Hopefully you're driving a s instead of si so I don't look so bad :D

    I think there was another guy on here who used to have del sol, that consistently got 60+mpg. So you can get pretty good mileage out of these little cars if you put the work in.

    Good luck.
  5. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger


    I know you did not specify where you live in Texas, but the state law you refer to is only good in three metro areas: D/FW, Houston, Austin. In case you are from around the Houston area, we have a hypermiling meet in a week...if it's around D/FW, maybe we and atlaw4u can meet!

    Welcome to CleanMPG!
  6. atlaw4u

    atlaw4u Well-Known Member

    Where's the meet?
  7. Daox

    Daox Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the site. Looks like your getting very nice numbers out of the car. :)
  8. featherfoot

    featherfoot Well-Known Member

    Delta: i live in the cleburne area in Johnson county. the smog police threatened our commissioners with highway fund cutoff if they didn't enact this testing nonsense in our county. they say that "bad" cars from johnson country are polluting tarrant county and therefore WE must smog test. but this is bunk. smog testing every vehicle every year is just a means to take money from our pockets and put it in others pockets. and the smog testing stations have an incentive to fail your car so that they can do needless work. they did $1,200 of unnecessary work to my car and it turned out to be their dyno, not my car. i called and bitched to everyone even the paper about this nonsense but there is way too much money to be made. nobody cares. i wouldn't call this "less government". strange, the REAL polluters like the modified diesel pickups still aren't being smog tested but they come down hard on a guy who's doing his part for the planet. if they fail that car again, i'm just going to have to drive my 62, 3/4 ton chevy. What a scam!!!

    korberg: yes, it's an "S". i love the car but it gets no respect on the highway. i can't simply drive the speed limit in that car without jerks tailgating me. the worst was an 18 wheeler who was out of control. i videotaped him and called 911. the cops pulled him over! i then filed a complaint. haven't heard anything so far. i got the vids on utube and will up the url later. i am doubtful about anybody getting 60mpg in a del sol though. maybe if they never have to stop and start and don't go over 40mph but that's not possible in most areas of the country.

    rightlane: i overfilled my tires a tad, i shift early, i try to drive around 65mph on the highway and coast whenever possible. when it's cold i never leave my car running to warm it up.

    in my old pontiac ventura, i used to shut it off on down hill runs and coast to my destination. it takes some doing though and is not recommended for the faint of heart. timing lights is critical. lol...

    thanks to all for the welcome!
  9. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Ah! Thanks for the list. :)

    There are a few more techniques you can employ that would help. Let's just say that my thirstier car has been over 50mpg several times on highways with my own average speed in the neighborhood of 63mph. It does take work but you can pull it off.

    And my car is off anytime I'm not using the gas pedal -- or as close as I can get to that!

    Please take a look at the method called Pulse and Glide. If you can master that you'll see some nice gains.
  10. featherfoot

    featherfoot Well-Known Member

    if you start pulsing and gliding in traffic, someone will either shoot you or an 18 wheeler will run you down. but i was doing this, ~when practical~ on downhill runs, with my old pontiac. there's one really long hill at the I-20 / 408 exchange if yer heading west. i used to shut my car off and coast for over a mile. the view is nice too... most of the time though, i would just pop it in neutral. but that was in 1979. when i coast in my del sol i don't shut it off because it idles very low and i don't want to put more wear and tear on my high miles car.
  11. xcel

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

    Hi Tab:

    ___You are making incorrect generalizations and with practice and experience, you will become so in tune with traffic the guy or gal behind you will not notice anything different no matter what technique you are applying other then gliding to a red light from a distance off when an idiot has to beat you to the red light and passes at WOT for whatever reason :rolleyes:

    ___Good Luck

  12. Blake

    Blake Well-Known Member

    Tab, NICE-on coasting is definitely a valuable technique, but FASing is the way to go when its feasable. You actually will experience less wear and tear on your car using FAS than NICE-on in the long run. If your battery is in good shape and you know how to properly bump start your car (select the highest gear and use that to restart your car instead of the starter, then shift to the needed gear, while rev matching)

    I used to worry alot about the other people on the road being upset with me holding them up, but if the traffic is anything less than rush hour and your on a road with multiple lanes, there's really nothing holding you back. Even if its crazy busy, remember you are the one driving safely, not the people jack rabbiting starts and stops and driving at the speed limit (or within a reasonable speed given road conditions)
  13. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    I concur with both Wayne and Blake. I would not have suggested it if I had not personally verified its usability in all traffic situations. If the traffic rate is high, shift your delta speeds higher. If the traffic is absolutely too dense, you'll have to abandon some techniques in the name of safety but my experience is that if you are looking for them there are always opportunities to do SOMETHING to improve efficiency.

    With that said, there have been VERY few situations I've been unable to use P&G in some capacity. Generally speaking, if the average speed is high you can shift your high and low speeds upward to compensate. I have done this in stop and go, light, medium, heavy, and insane rush hour traffic in several areas of the country.

    An interesting point to consider is the simple fact that once you have dropped below a certain speed which is slower than the average on a highway you become noticeable enough to drivers that they will immediately pass you without issues. The trick is to find that range at which you become immediately identifiable as a "slow driver to avoid" but still fast enough to pass easily. Several members here have commented on this phenomenon -- exploiting it typically results in LESS hassle by other drivers because they usually don't waste time tucking in behind you and then discovering that you aren't going "fast enough."

    As Blake mentioned, bump starting will avoid straining the battery and starter. What he didn't mention is that bump starting can be extremely smooth, use less fuel than the reduction gearing starter, and get your engine running in a shorter period of time than the starter can. Many members here have been doing this for many tens of thousands of miles. A few I'm sure have been doing this for over 100K miles on the same vehicle.

    Please try to keep an open mind about the suggestions here. They are backed up by a lot of real world experience and we are all happy to clarify and answer any questions you may have.
  14. Blake

    Blake Well-Known Member

    I'm spoiled with my MIMA and FAS module as I can skip the bump part and go straight to the rev matching part ;) But Sean is entirely correct. Bump starting actually uses LESS gas than starting it with the starter, plus you avoid all the wear and tear on the starter that some people use as a reason to not use P&G driving.
  15. koreberg

    koreberg Junior Member

    Only problem with fas I've had so far, is that it kills my battery at night.
  16. Blake

    Blake Well-Known Member

    Yes, FASing at night can be an issue. There are ways to get around it by installing a heavy duty deep cycle battery when its time to replace you battery (optima yellow tops seem popular), switching the rest of your light bulbs in your car over to LEDs to lower the amount of current draw, and installing HIDs to reduce the current draw of your headlamps.

    You should be warned though that HID retrofits are technically not legal in most, if not all, states if they did not come with your model car in the first place.

    You can also check to make sure your ground cables are clean and intact. A broken ground strap can keep your alternator from properly charging the 12 volt battery.
  17. koreberg

    koreberg Junior Member

    right now i've got a gold duralast battery in the del sol, and a dead battery in the crx, so I could get a new 1 for the del sol and stick the duralast battery in the crx. would the optima make that much of a difference from what I have now?
  18. Blake

    Blake Well-Known Member

    I personally have never used one (because of the weight issue) but from the people I know that have used them, they swear by them. I know my friend that races rally professionally uses it in his rally car. If it can sustain that type of abuse, I'm sure it will last in anything.
  19. featherfoot

    featherfoot Well-Known Member

    LOL.... are you kidding me? i can be doing the limit in the right lane here in texAss and the idiots will come right up on my ass and STAY THERE rather than simply go around. Even 18 wheeler professional drives do the same. people are fricking brain dead. i have taken to hitting my flashers to get their attention that i'm in the RIGHT LANE AND I'M NOT GOING ANY FASTER. now that so many people are on the phone they ride my butt and aren't paying any attention. man, that pisses me right off.... the only time they go around me is when i'm in my 62, 3/4 ton. they pretty much know i'm not going to go any faster but in my del sol, they want to learn me a lesson by riding my butt.

    btw: i park on a hill often to bump my car. i used this technique quite often when driving my 72 Ventura with a bad solenoid.
  20. Blake

    Blake Well-Known Member

    My garage is at the top of a slight hill, leading out to the road in my sub-division. I always give a little push with my left foot as I'm closing the door and I glide right out of the garage. Doesn't save much gas, but I'd rather avoid using Reverse if I can manage it ;)

Share This Page