Hypermiling the Ford Escape Hybrid ...

Discussion in 'Ford Hybrids' started by GaryG, Mar 23, 2006.

  1. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Andrew, members here typically use the block heater all the way through summer because of the benefits it offers. I'm in MN and I can tell you without a doubt (even though I don't drive an FEH!) that the block heater is worth the investment. Consider that the most wear for your engine occurs when the engine is cold and I think you'll agree that the block heater is worth the enhancement in engine longevity alone -- even ignoring all the other benefits you'll get!

    Welcome to the forums and do let us know as you come up with more questions -- we love to help! :)
  2. rdprice64

    rdprice64 Still Learning

    Hi Andrew,

    I agree with Sean, the block heater will definitely help. My winters are not as cold as yours, but without the block heater it takes over 3 km to get my temperature up to the 68C necessary to go EV, but with the heat its less than .8 km.

  3. GaryG

    GaryG Well-Known Member

    Hi Andrew

    The $700 seems a bit steep to me because many post have claim the cost at less than half that. If you can't order the parts and install it your self, I'd gets some bids before paying that much. In your conditions, a block heater is a good idea above the mileage savings. My understanding is (I don't have one here in FL) the block heater should be on a timer for 3 hours prior to you commute to not over do it with household energy. Do some coolant and head temperature monitoring with a SGII to adjust what works better with your conditions as far as when and how long to plug the heater in.

    I just ordered a new '09 FWD FEH and found I can't order the block heater as an option. It comes standard in some states that have freezing weather, and is a option only on approved fleet sales. I may get a price on adding it on the new FEH and determine if I want to save a little money and do it myself.

    Make sure you do the radiator blocks mentioned in many threads and most importantly read my post on the FEH patented warm-up strategy here in the Ford section. The SGII SoC gauge is great to monitor at what stage the strategy is at with SoC levels dropping below the minimum 40% to as low as 32%. I have two SGII to monitor and I need both to stay on top of my mileage much better. You can see how I have them mounted in my photo gallery.

  4. OttawaFEH

    OttawaFEH Member

    Thanks Sean, Rob, and Gary

    Nice to feel like I'm not the only slow-driving enviro geek out there.

    Things are generally that much more expensive in the Great White North, but I will certainly check out other options--although installing something myself may be a bit beyond me...The whole "tape up your radiator grill" thing feels counterintuitive, but makes sense.

    Another question: How does one get the Scan Gauge to read the SoC? I'm assuming I have to put in a code in XGauge mode and then get some values back, interpret them, do some "MTH" and then give it a name...then it appears as a selectable option in "Gauge"?...I tried it once with a code that I found here in the forums (which I can't seem to find again), but I think the car was off. Not realizing at first that "Send" actually meant that SGII was communicating with the car's computer.

    Not to be too much of a complainer while I'm still so new to these posts, but the ScanGauge II Manual is terribly unclear--definitely intended for those already "in the know" and not for newbies like me who just want great MPG and who don't want to do tons of research and learning in order to pull out of the driveway. What are PIDs anyway? Why can't the pdf on ScanGauge's web site with all the values for XGauge and the various vehicles simply tell you "for SoC readout, do this"? I have no idea what to do with those numbers.

    Again, thanks for the responses. I will have to do some more reading when time permits...perhaps I will even write a "Hypermiling for Dummies" article.:)

  5. DebbieKatz

    DebbieKatz ФЕХ Царйца

    Hi Andrew --

    Welcome, & congratulations on your '05 FEH - it is a great little SUV :) :) :)

    Are you sure yours doesn't already have an EBH? I drove mine for a year before I took a close look at the sticker & found mine had one that came standard :) I had to ask a tech at my dealership where it was - & it took *2* of them to find it :D The plug tucks up under the front license-plate. There's a little ledge up there where it fits while not in use, & even stays clean in rain & snow :) :)

    If you have the sticker for it, check there, or ask at your dealer. (I apologize if you've already done this :eek:)

    I can tell you from experience, the EBH *does* make a difference - so does a grille-block :)

    Beyond that, read & re-read GaryG's & Wayne's articles & just keep adding new techniques to your hypermiling repertoire. We look forward to hearing about your progress :) :)
  6. CarlD

    CarlD Well-Known Member

    In the gallery I have a list of xgauges for the FEH. The entries for TXD,RXF,RXD,MTH, and even NAM are there, but you can make up any NAM that you like.

    There are many,many more possible xgauges, but not that many that are useful for every day driving. In fact, a lot on the list above I rarely ever use, but they could be useful in debugging if the need arises.

    For me, SoC is ALWAYS there, MxC, CHT, Tav are usually there,depending on what conditions I'm driving in. I also have current fuel economy as an xgauge.
  7. OttawaFEH

    OttawaFEH Member

    Thanks Carl,

    That did the trick. I now have Current MPG, RPM, SoC, and eCVT Temperature on the Gauge. I think that's all I need until I get used to the car a little more and actually do some driving.

    For the moment I've only been making 10 minute trips and it's quite difficult to get above 30MPG with little chance to warm up. I did get 46 MPG on a return trip this morning, so something is working right!

    Going to try the grille block next and double check to see if I do or don't have a block heater.


  8. OttawaFEH

    OttawaFEH Member


    Thanks so much for that info about the Block Heater! I checked today and my FEH does indeed have the plug tucked up under the front plate just as you said.

    Was cruising around today at 60kph (37mph) in EV mode--Immensely satisfying.


  9. CraigG

    CraigG New Member

    I just got a new '08 Escape Hybrid and am loving it. I do a lot of highway driving in very mountainous country. I drive 60+ miles roundtrip just about every day and average around 30 mpg on the highway (31-32mpg on the way to town, 28-29mpg on the return trip). I am very pleased with the city fuel economy, the other day I was getting an average of 55mpg in town using some of the techniques mentioned here, though I can consistently average 45 mpg in town.
    I had a couple of questions regarding highway fuel economy in particular. Going up steep hills, I have to keep the engine going at around 3,500 to 4,200 rpms to keep my speed at 60-65 mph (speed limit is 65) and the FE dips to 20 mpg or a little below. Going downhill, that immediately jumps way down to under 1,500 rpms, and my fuel mileage meter suddenly jumps to maximum. The mileage meter on the navigation system only goes to 60 mpg, and the sudden jump all the way to max that tells me that I may be getting better than 60 mpg while descending hills. Does the mileage gauge actually measure above 60 mpg even though I'm not seeing it? If it doesn't, would the average mpg the computer shows me be lower than the actual mileage I'm getting? Do you have any tips for maximizing FE for the type of terrain I drive in on the highway? How much better mileage can I expect once the vehicle breaks in (it has 380 miles on it now)?
    Thanks very much for your help!
    Last edited: May 22, 2008
  10. GaryG

    GaryG Well-Known Member

    Hi Craig

    Yes, the Max Econ is measuring your average above 60mpg, it just will not display your mileage above 60mpg unless your in the metric readout. Most of us use the scangauge that will confirm mileage up to 9,999mpg averages.

    You are getting exceptional mileage with only a few hundred miles on your MMH, so keep up the good work. Try to stay away from RPM's between 3,000 and 3,500 climbing hills because the torque curve is flat in that area.

    When climbing hills, keep your speed and RPM's as low as possible, and read about driving with load (DWL) on this site. Shift to "N" to glide down hills and use "L" to slow if needed. I recommend at least max 44psi sidewall tire pressure, but I use 50psi myself with great MPG and tire wear. Their are many other tips to improve MPG, so read some of our post in the Ford section and articles on the home page. We will be happy to respond to questions and learn how your doing.

  11. CraigG

    CraigG New Member

    Thanks Gary,
    I have one more question. Does the odometer only measure miles travelled on the gas engine? I got this with a little over 300 miles on it and now the odometer reads 420mi when I know I've driven further than that.
  12. GaryG

    GaryG Well-Known Member

    The odometer measures all miles traveled in both EV and with the engine on or even off with the key in the run position (FAS).
  13. Sustainable Guy

    Sustainable Guy New Member

    Hi I'm a newbie here. Bought a used 2006 FEH 2 weeks ago with 44K on it from the dealer. A side story is that there was a noise in the rear that they said they would fix under their warranty. Turns out they had to replace the entire rear end! Bad bearings in the rear diff. Anyone have that happen on their FEH?

    Anyway I'm not new to hybrids, my wife got the Honda Insight back in 2001 and we are very experienced with that. At 88K we have an average of 57.6MPG. Not bad for hilly + frigid Maine! I am quickly learning from experience -- and this forum -- that all the tricks I learned on the Insight aren't so relevant to the FEH. So I have read way back through this forum to learn how to drive this baby. I just love EV mode - I call it "Stealth Mode"! :)

    I have ordered a ScanGauge II and will put it in next week and will stay in touch.
  14. bruski1959

    bruski1959 Well-Known Member

    Hi Gary,

    Just curious about speed set plus 1% and set the CAN speed high. I notice that my SGII vs my computed numbers for miles, mpg, and gallons is always off by around 1% per tank. Was wondering if these settings might have something to do with these anomalies. Most of the time I have to run some type of RFG in SE WI, but occasionally I will get some straight gas when I travel outside of the area. I tried to find the FEH information in the SGII area of the hardware without much luck. If this is already covered there, I would be glad to read it there if you can point me in the right direction.

  15. Sustainable Guy

    Sustainable Guy New Member

    I don't understand the reference to "speed set plus 1%" -- can someone explain what this means, and why it needs to be set? I totally geeked out with the SGII, and have set it to show stuff like when the AC is activated etc. As an electrical engineer I can say that this Gauge is one elegant piece of design and I would be very proud of it if I had designed it.
  16. GaryG

    GaryG Well-Known Member

    Ron Delong is the inventor of the SG and many here have met him in person at the '07 Hybridfest event. Ron had a booth and held classes on the SG where we had a chance to ask question. CarlD who is a member here ask me to give Ron information he came up with in order to program SoC. Ron said it was the information he needed and we all could program SoC in the new X-Gauge chip and program. Carl, an EE, and Ron live and work within a few miles from each other and as a result have given us a large volume of different gauges to be added to the new X-Gauge programming in your SG.

    I personally don't alter my gallons reading at fill-up, but Carl and I agreed the trip OD and the SG TANK mileage never match. In order to get them to match as close as possible, we tested our mileage at different % of speed increases. We both found our '05 FEH was between 1% and 2% off. The 2% plus speed adjustment caused the SG Tank mileage to be more than the OEM Trip OD. The 1% plus adjustment caused the SG Tank mileage to be lower than trip OD. Carl and I agree that the SG speed adjustment should be around 1.5% plus, but the SG will not adjust in tenths.

    Changing brand tires will sometimes require a different change in speed because of the height of the tire. Also, the '08 model may need a different % adjustment than the '05 model. The best way to find out if you need to adjust the SG speed % to match the Trip OD is to compare the Tank mileage to the Trip mileage at fill-up. If your SG Tank mileage is lower than your Trip OD, start adding 1% until they match the best. Once the Trip OD and the SG Tank mileage are adjusted to match the mileage, the speed will match also for a better MPG reading. The OEM MPG gauge does not store enough data for an entire tank, therefore the SG MPG with never match the OEM MPG gauge. I rely on the SG solely because gas pumped at each fill can be off as much as three gallons. When I hear people post about adjusting their SG to the gallons they pump, I assume they are getting incorrect MPG readings all the time. I read on GH that posters are adjusting their SG up to 7% tring to match the gallons pumped. I'm not saying the gallons should not be recorded, but I am saying you should not adjust the SG to match those gallons pumped in the FEH/MMH.

  17. bruski1959

    bruski1959 Well-Known Member

    Appreciate the thorough answer Gary!

    Wow and I have been adjusting at every fillup! Depending on the outside temperature and type of fuel, I have seen wide variances, sometimes adjusting it by nearly 10%. I generally don't mess with the OEM MPG gauge, as I was unaware that it couldn't store enough data for an entire tank. Thought I could reset it between oil changes. Any idea how much data the OEM MPG meter can store, as in how many miles driven is it reliable for? I can see adjusting my speed % by 1% as that seems to be how much I am typically off. When I can I try to get gas at the same station, same pump, same direction, etc., but that isn't always feasible.

  18. GaryG

    GaryG Well-Known Member

    Sorry Bruce, I didn't see your response till now.

    My Nav Sys MPG average starts to drift from my SGII Tank reading at around 200 miles. I reset my Nav MPG at fill-up and reset the SGII Tank at the same time. No one that I've talk to knows how much data can be stored or how data is dropped in the OEM MPG average.

    I'm hoping the new 2nd Generation Nav Sys in my ordered '09 will store more data so we can get a real Tank average.

  19. Sustainable Guy

    Sustainable Guy New Member

    As a side note to this thread, we've had the Honda Insight since 2000 and it has a life of the vehicle MPG average display (currently at 58.6 at 82000MI) and then 2 trip meters that show miles and averaged MPG per trip. Lately on our hilly Maine back roads we are getting 60-64 MPG on short trips averaging 45MPH.

    So the SGII seems to fit the same needs for me and I'm used to thinking in per trip terms, but I miss the "life of vehicle" average MPG.

    Thanks for pointing out the +1% speed correction for the SGII I was wondering which gauge to trust the vehicle or the SGII, now they are both pretty much in agreement.
  20. hobbit

    hobbit He who posts articles

    I realize this is a very old thread. Unfortunately I had not
    studied up on it *before* going out to tool around in an FEH
    this afternoon, or I would have had a vaguely better notion on
    how to fake-shift my way to engine shutdown ... but the larger
    issue is this: coming from the Prius world, I simply cannot
    believe the twisted rationale behind the fact that normally,
    the ICE does *not* shut down on a low-speed glide as a matter
    of course. Everything else operational is so similar to the
    Prius and other Toyota offerings ... where you take your foot
    off the pedal at < 40 MPH, and boom, the ICE comes to a standstill
    and you're ghosting along on a little bit of electric, not
    burning any gas. WHY does the FEH not do this, as it's such a
    basic thing?? The bit about tapping the brakes is fairly useless,
    as it seems to take a *substantial* bit of slowdown to trigger
    ICE-off and pretty much throws away any advantage the subsequent
    rest of the glide might have given.
    I'm really disappointed here. If it was my vehicle to pork with
    I'd be in there figuring out what piece of signaling from the
    braking side of things tells the HV ECU to kill the engine, and
    wiring up something to fake that without actually applying the
    brake pedal. Or I'd trade the thing in for a car that actually
    works right...

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