Newbie Questions

Discussion in 'Start Your Journey Here' started by Hypochondriac, Jun 13, 2017.

  1. Hypochondriac

    Hypochondriac Member

    Hi guys I've read several posts here but still have questions hoping you can help. I have a 2000 Honda accord. My daily drive is usually 3.5 miles in city traffic.

    I'm confused about FAS. I recall reading something about not all cars being able to handle it? Something about gears when going downhill and needing to restart the engine. If you don't do it right you can ruin the automatic transmission?

    Does putting the car in neutral when going downhill help? I've heard it might be more efficient to keep the car in drive, since at neutral you need to burn gas to keep the engine from stalling.

    Turning engine off at red lights? Some posts said turn off if you are going to be idle for 10s others say only turn it off if you are going to idle for more then 30 seconds.

    When accelerating is it better to quickly reach cruising speed, then just cruise or take a much longer time to reach cruising speed?

    Any tips for city driving. Most hypermiling techniques are hard to do in slow city traffic. Thanks
  2. ksstathead

    ksstathead Moderator

    Most automatics don't lubricate the transmission when the engine is off. A few do so when the car is moving, and are considered flat-towable. You can search for list of flat towable cars at RV sites.
    In any event, FAS is not ideal with automatics since you have to key start, and some automatics are also slow or awkward to re-engage while moving.
    I think 10 seconds is closer to breakeven with modern fuel injected systems, but only you can decide the right balance for how much savings you want before messing with shut-down/restart.
    We call the downhill in neutral 'NICE-on' for neutral, internal combustion engine on. It is helpful at times. Idle fuel consumption should be less than that in Drive, UNLESS your car and conditions provide DFCO (fuel cutoff).
    Your commute is about the same as mine, and that hurts fuel economy and emissions since the car is just getting warm when you arrive. Still less fuel burned vs longer drive, but mpg won't be stellar from a cold start.
    I'm a modest accelerator, but most cars will give good results with brisk acceleration, too, withing reason. You don't want WOT because you go open loop and you don't want to reach a speed higher than that which lets you roll through the next stoplight.
    You can experiment with acceleration rates, but remember that braking converts good kinetic energy to waste heat.
  3. Hypochondriac

    Hypochondriac Member

    How do I know if my car has DFCO
  4. ksstathead

    ksstathead Moderator

    I'd be surprised if a 2000 Accord didn't have it. You can tell by plugging in a scangauge and watching fuel consumption while slowing in gear.
    Vehicles vary in how willing they are to cut the juice, but most have it.
  5. Hypochondriac

    Hypochondriac Member

    Can't afford $150 for a scangauge. Is there something else I can use?
  6. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

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