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View Full Version : The Echo and the Mountains (56k warning)


lamebums
02-18-2008, 10:45 AM
This is the long story of a gas guzzler - one that doesn't like driving uphill, and one that definitely doesn't like cold weather.


YouTube videos--my morning drive on I-275. Includes all the DWL and FAS.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vfa-y2jsmgc - part 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=599c_LnYF6M - part 2

YouTube videos of my alternate commute--I-471 North via Cincinnati to 71/75 South returning home (West):
I avoid 275 West like the devil now because of all the potholes. :angry:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNTnEDJf9AI - part 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAIdL75rWfc - part 2

First, meet the Echo:

http://img152.imageshack.us/img152/6471/02180808101jy2.jpg

2000, everything stock. I picked it up as a salvage after the previous owner got it in a fender bender ($4,000 when the blue book said ~5300). 29/37 EPA (34/41 old). Had about 80,000 miles on it when I began - has just under 86 now. Only maintenance necessary has been an oil change.

My most typical commute goes like thus (from my house to NKU's campus):

http://img406.imageshack.us/img406/240/02180808101yy7.jpg

Half a mile up this long hill on my street to Dixie Highway, a four lane avenue. Not a good start to a commute (in this case when my car is facing the other way I keep it off and roll backwards into the driveway, then crank the starter and go up the hill.) But hey, it's an excellent ending. No gas burned at all for the last half mile... :D

(I make a right onto Dixie Highway where more often than not I immediately hit the first red light, not 100 feet away. I think it has something to do with traffic patterns.)

http://img98.imageshack.us/img98/8808/02180808101uk3.jpg

A painful sight for any hypermiler. Cold engine, burning a lot of gas to warm up, and FAS is useless because then the engine won't warm up.

I then go the next three lights (Orphanage, Buttermilk, and then Turkeyfoot). I make a left on Turkeyfoot (about one mile).

http://img292.imageshack.us/img292/5938/02180808141bb2.jpg

My photography suffers from quality control issues. About a quarter of my pictures are so blurry they're useless. :(

(I timed the Turkeyfoot light perfectly - left turn.)

Follow Turkeyfoot for half a mile to this onramp (second light in the distance):

http://img253.imageshack.us/img253/2512/02180808161ke9.jpg

Left at the onramp (again timed well, with no oncoming cars so I just blazed that turn at 30):

http://img225.imageshack.us/img225/8271/02180808162dn7.jpg

Taken from the onramp. All you need to do here is get up to speed and then use NICE-On Coasting for the next two miles (Independence exit, KY 17). Then DWL across this slightly uphill bridge and across the next mountain, which rises some 800 feet over the next two miles (6 or 7 degree grade)

http://img159.imageshack.us/img159/5268/02180808181pg9.jpg

A (rather bad) picture of DWL in action:

http://img220.imageshack.us/img220/9447/02180808191sl4.jpg

I am dead serious when I say I was in a hurry that morning:

http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/4544/02180808192qx3.jpg

Over the next ridge (Taylor Mill) and then some more NICE-On Coasting for the next two miles, across the next valley (another bridge spans the valley, except this one's slightly downhill so it's possible to coast all the way across, too. This downhill has to be at least 7 degrees. It's the only one where I will be doing 50 at the top and 70 or more at the bottom... and then more DWL up the next one in the distance:

http://img216.imageshack.us/img216/919/02180808201zr0.jpg

Another picture, this one taken while crossing the aforementioned bridge (and as my stomach clenches, knowing I have to give it gas soon):

http://img222.imageshack.us/img222/1854/02180808211yn0.jpg

At the top of the next hill (another painful mile later all the while I'm DWL 'ing) the offramp is up ahead (my actual picture of the offramp was so bad it's an assault on the senses). Just imagine a half-mile long offramp which is just begging for more nice-on coasting:

http://img220.imageshack.us/img220/8718/02180808221zj7.jpg

Once off the ramp, across University Drive, through the roundabout, and then into the parking lots where I spend several minutes squabbling with 10,000 other commuters for a spot, preferably within half a mile of class:

http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/2075/02180808311ax1.jpg

(The road in is on the lower left)

The damage done:

http://img220.imageshack.us/img220/2100/02180808261kk1.jpg

Total was 13.2 miles, one direction.



http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/500/medium/commute_1.JPG
Morning commute, topographical map


http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/500/commute_2.JPG
Afternoon commute, different route



http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/500/medium/work_drive.JPG

Work commute - reverse going back home


(Work in progress. Finishing later.)

bomber991
02-18-2008, 06:55 PM
Seriously, it's 2008 isn't it? Who the heck still has 56k?

Anyways, neat pictures.

lamebums
02-20-2008, 10:45 PM
I thought I'd collect all the pictures I ever take of crazy/stupid/just plain weird stuff I see, preferably related to driving and hypermiling, but really, anything.

This one - snow covered all the lots when I got to class this morning. Around the edges of the lot (where I parked), nobody wanted to park close to each other - with no lines to guide, all the cars were 4-5 feet apart. Each.

And then this mess, which only became more apparent in the afternoon when the snow melted off the blacktop:

http://img230.imageshack.us/img230/1346/parkingpu3.jpg

Do cars fly yet, or something? If not they're screwed... :confused::confused::confused:

BailOut
02-20-2008, 11:24 PM
Where are the mountains? All I see are some hills. ;)

lamebums
02-20-2008, 11:41 PM
Where are the mountains? All I see are some hills. ;)

The perspective from the camera phone is pretty bad. Do these paint a more accurate picture?

http://img170.imageshack.us/img170/1364/27536lq2.jpg

http://img170.imageshack.us/img170/3449/27537nf1.jpg

dobsont
02-21-2008, 12:56 PM
good thread - gives me some real-world sense of what other people are doing. For a newb, that's handy!

edit: oh, and you think that thing's a gas guzzler!? Ouch for me!

fitmpg
02-21-2008, 06:43 PM
Thanks. I enjoyed the photographs and the commute.

lamebums
02-21-2008, 10:59 PM
good thread - gives me some real-world sense of what other people are doing. For a newb, that's handy!

edit: oh, and you think that thing's a gas guzzler!? Ouch for me!

Oh, when you're unemployed and $3 a gallon is burning a hole in your wallet, even 300 MPG isn't enough. :p

lamebums
02-22-2008, 06:07 PM
Can I get this moved to the "My Ride" section? Thanks.

Right Lane Cruiser
02-22-2008, 06:09 PM
Moved as requested. :)

lamebums
02-27-2008, 08:15 PM
I took a picture of this buffoonery today in the parking lots on campus. Sometimes it just cracks me up, but it's unfortunately true...

http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/8926/n50904346312642588668bu9.jpg

bestmapman
02-27-2008, 08:19 PM
I took a picture of this buffoonery today in the parking lots on campus. Sometimes it just cracks me up, but it's unfortunately true...

http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/8926/n50904346312642588668bu9.jpg

did you get all those in 1 day?

BillLin
02-28-2008, 05:43 AM
> did you get all those in 1 day?

I think lamebums' car is light colored/silver?.

cheers,
Bill

lamebums
02-28-2008, 06:26 PM
Hah, yeah, this was someone else's car. I'm not a ticket kind of guy (I couldn't afford it either if I got one so...)

My advantage comes from driving a compact rather than huge FSP 's such as Chevy Tahoe's and Ford Explorer's - I can put Echo in places that Tahoe drivers have no choice but to pass up. :D

lamebums
03-16-2008, 11:39 PM
So, I'm at White Castle tonight with a buddy, and right at about 11 pm, in come these guys...

http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/500/medium/campbell_county_popos_at_white_castle.jpg

All of them left their engines idling. :eek::eek::eek:

lamebums
03-26-2008, 09:23 PM
Return commute from NKU back home. Alternate route--471 North to 71/75 South. Slightly better mileage because I can drive slower without getting murdered and only one mile longer.

Part 1 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r03DeRSfoQ8

Part 2 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Spw22taSfDs

Part 3 - coming whenever YouTube isn't under maintenance

bestmapman
03-26-2008, 10:04 PM
Return commute from NKU back home. Alternate route--471 North to 71/75 South. Slightly better mileage because I can drive slower without getting murdered and only one mile longer.

Part 1 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r03DeRSfoQ8

Part 2 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Spw22taSfDs

Part 3 - coming whenever YouTube isn't under maintenance


Nice videos!

lamebums
03-26-2008, 10:30 PM
Nice videos!

Weather and memory permitting, I'll have a "forwards facing" commute video tomorrow. I did it backwards and slightly to the left specifically so I could catch all the speeders on camera. Even the cop passed me at 5:35. :D

Oh, and the enormous black GMC SUV at 0:55? Probably <10 MPG... :(

lamebums
03-27-2008, 02:22 PM
As promised, part three.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1VpvBVqRS0

I tried to get a forwards-facing drive today but the camera fell out of place within a minute and I never noticed - it ruined the perspective. I'll try again tomorrow.

lamebums
03-28-2008, 03:33 PM
Uploaded to YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNTnEDJf9AI - part 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAIdL75rWfc - part 2

end result: 51.6 MPG

lamebums
04-20-2008, 01:29 PM
A bit of an update--instead of doing 60 MPH, I now do 55 uphill, DWL'ing to 50. Downhill... I'll just let it roll however fast it goes. I've got it up to 75 a few times...

And I've replaced NICE-ON coasting with Fas on the longer declines (anything > 15 seconds). It's pushed my commutes into the low 50's if I can avoid too much traffic.

lamebums
06-04-2008, 02:10 AM
Update--I used YouTube's new annotation capability and added subtitles to my driving videos (at the very top of my first post in this thread.)

Kevin108
06-04-2008, 06:41 AM
The Echo and the Mountains

Formerly, it was with the Bunnymen. :Banane08:

kelly.cardona
07-02-2008, 03:32 PM
Auston,

Great video of your commute, that does help out a lot to see what others do for their commute.

Kelly

lamebums
08-08-2008, 12:55 AM
Added my "morning commute" which was way, way overdue. Now everyone on CleanMPG finally gets to see I-275. :)

shifty35
08-08-2008, 12:20 PM
Not sure why you get so much beeping when FAS'ing? My wife's Echo only takes a quick key-off / key-on to kill the engine, definitely not long enough for it to beep even once.

An Insight would eat that commute up. :D

Right Lane Cruiser
08-08-2008, 12:42 PM
Was that the seat belt warning beep??

Are you sure your ODO is running when you're FASing? I FAS like crazy and don't have anywhere close to 1mi missing on my 22mi commute...

I agree, Ben -- the Insight would like that commute! :)

lamebums
08-08-2008, 10:53 PM
Not sure why you get so much beeping when FAS'ing? My wife's Echo only takes a quick key-off / key-on to kill the engine, definitely not long enough for it to beep even once.

An Insight would eat that commute up. :D

The beeping happens after I key back to IG-2. It only takes a second or so for the engine to completely stop before I key back. I'm not sure how or why, though?


Was that the seat belt warning beep??

Are you sure your ODO is running when you're FASing? I FAS like crazy and don't have anywhere close to 1mi missing on my 22mi commute...

I agree, Ben -- the Insight would like that commute!

Not sure what beeping it was.

The ODO runs in a FAS, but the Sg takes ~10 seconds to register anything new. So my MPG doesn't rise in a Fas until after 10 seconds has elapsed--my reported MPG's are in fact lower than what it probably really is. :o Especially when rolling downhill at 50+ MPH the distance the Sg misses begins to add up.

There can be as much as a 40 mile discrepancy between the Sg and the ODO when I go fill it up.


With regards to the Insight liking the commute, I've maintained the entire time that the only two things that would do better on my commute is either an Insight or a small diesel with plenty of torque down low. :)

You're welcome to come down to Kentucky any time and drive the hills in the Insight. Remind me the clutch position in the Insight is way, way further back than in the Echo, though. (Yes, and I drove the blue car in the WFEC.) LOL

Right Lane Cruiser
08-09-2008, 12:41 AM
Remind me the clutch position in the Insight is way, way further back than in the Echo, though. (Yes, and I drove the blue car in the WFEC.) LOL

Ouch!! I don't want to hear that!!! :(

lamebums
08-09-2008, 01:01 AM
Ouch!! I don't want to hear that!!! :(

You should have seen me try to drive those Insights up Larry's driveway. I'm not used to a gutless three-cylinder engine. :)

Whirrrrrrrrrr as the engine passes 2,000 rpm's with the clutch in, then I hit the clutch position, keep going, putt-putt-putt... Splat. Stalled. :o

shifty35
08-13-2008, 12:17 PM
Heh, once you get the hang of it, the Insight is *impossible* to stall. If it starts to stall, just mash the gas and the electric motor brings you out of it. ;)

My Insight has a brand new clutch as of March.

There are plenty of big hills around here that I exploit.... errr, use to my advantage during my commute. ;)

I read something last night about the Echo's MAF sensor getting gummed up fairly easily. I need to check our Echo's and clean it before sale.

I've seen reports of 40 --> 47 mpg as a result of cleaning a dirty MAF.

Right Lane Cruiser
08-13-2008, 04:23 PM
Heh, once you get the hang of it, the Insight is *impossible* to stall. If it starts to stall, just mash the gas and the electric motor brings you out of it. ;)

This also means it is a little more picky about FASing. If you are just a little too quick it will spin it up from an RPM too low for a normal vehicle. I run the ragged edge in my Elantra and I just can't do that in the Insight. :o

lamebums
08-13-2008, 05:21 PM
I read something last night about the Echo's MAF sensor getting gummed up fairly easily. I need to check our Echo's and clean it before sale.

I've seen reports of 40 --> 47 mpg as a result of cleaning a dirty MAF.

The only Cel my car has thrown since I got it was when I didn't tighten the gas cap properly. I'll have to check those sensors though. Maybe 70 MPG is indeed a possibility on a regular basis. :)

shifty35
08-14-2008, 10:09 AM
Apparently a dirty MAF can hinder performance without setting a CEL.

lamebums
09-25-2008, 01:09 AM
I need to start driving even slower. I've flirted with 70 a few times, including a 70.8 with a warmed-up engine once, but never this:

http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/500/medium/092308_16392.jpg



I got this coming home the other day. Cold engine, still hit several lights. So 70 was indeed a real possibility. I got the molasses (10W30) oil out of my car maybe that made a difference? Or it was the 65 PSI? Also I took the cut in the hill doing 40 MPH instead of 50 over in the truck lane, four ways on (just like a semi. LOL)

Just wait until next year when I get my crappy tires replaced and press those suckers up to 80 PSI with some Mobil1 0W-20 and grill block it. And stop hitting so many damn lights :angry: I'm gunning for a 70 MPG tank next spring.



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