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Premium Member
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2,717 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I drive my NBC 1.8T daily, about 70-80 miles total. Most of the driving is mixed city-highway. I've been averaging tanks of 24-25mpg and was wondering why it was so low! I wasn't used to getting that poor of mileage.

Then I tried a few things, and was able to bump that to... 29.5mpg! :D

Helpful hints:

  • Don't speed! Doing such wastes fuel.
  • Use cruise control when possible
  • Don't whup everyone else off the stoplight
  • Keep your tires properly inflated (check recommendations on your doorjamb or fuel filler)
  • Shift early / be in the right gear for the speed
I admit, I used to speed - anywhere from 5-15mph over. It's hard to go 65mph (posted) when everyone else is doing 70-75, but it does help your wallet. Using 3/4's throttle when accelerating reduces waste, as well as shifting early (try 2.5-3k for 1.8Ts and 2.0Ls, 2-2.5k for TDIs).

I'm still testing this to see if I can make it consistent. So far so good.

I find it funny to see how many people speed. With rising fuel prices and the general griping, you'd figure we'd be more in tune to save, but alas. It seems 80% or more of the driver speed - wasted fuel?

Take your time and leave a little early. Keep to posted, and watch your trip meter rack up more miles before the low fuel light comes on. :)]

-Des
 

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180 Degrees out of faze
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841 Posts
Yea, I have noticed a couple of odd items. The people in the econo-box cars are driving the speed limit, and the giant SUVs are speeding along. When the gas prices spiked, people switched back to the backup car from their SUV, and slowed down. When gas prices came back down, everything went back the way it was before the higher prices. People have such short memories.
 

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Premium Member
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4,319 Posts
Good stuff to remember but to be honest, I have been putting about 1500 miles a year on Pomelo and when I take her out its to have fun. For me I don't really care if she is getting 22 or 30mpg other than that it would indicate problems with the engine,

However we are practicing these controls with our Focus and average about 35mpg .. not bad considereing its a 4 door automatic :D
 

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<-----No More Beetle :(
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18,312 Posts
I got 30mpg this past weekend and it was all highway but I was doing about75-80 mph on average with my windows open. Not too bad I think.
 

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Write it like it's hot!
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2,556 Posts
In the words of the immortal big hair rocker whose name escapes me and updated for new speed limits;

"I can't drive 65!!!!!!!"

***Throw much headbanging, hair tossing,(if I had any :rolleyes: )stageromping and mic-humping here***

:guitar: :rockband:

For dramatic effect of course.

:curtsey:
 

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Just having fun!!!!!!!!!!
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333 Posts
We watched a show on T.V. recently about how to get the best fuel mileage and they recommended not using the cruise control and driving with your windows shut. I guess that would be okay sometimes , but, it sure isn't as fun as driving with the windows down on a beautiful day:) :)
 

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2.5L 5 Cyl. killer bunny
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575 Posts
I did a two week experiment

During a period when I did 55 - 60 mph only for a whole week. I actually got worst gas mileage, than I normally do when I speed.

My numbers:

27mpg during the 55 - 60 mph weeks

30mpg doing 70 - 75 mph

difference of 3mpg...seems odd to me.
 

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Diesel Inside
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359 Posts
Just an opinion, but I think people care enough to complain...but not enough to make lifestyle changes.

Windows up or down will depend on the speed. Once you get faster than about 35-45, the drag will begin to decrease the benefit you have of not using a/c. Windows down at 70 is a bad idea for fuel efficiency.
 

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Diesel Inside
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359 Posts
VW2.0Driver said:
I did a two week experiment

During a period when I did 55 - 60 mph only for a whole week. I actually got worst gas mileage, than I normally do when I speed.

My numbers:
27mpg during the 55 - 60 mph weeks
30mpg doing 70 - 75 mph
difference of 3mpg...seems odd to me.
Unless you went through 4 or 5 tanks in that 2 week period, I would say these numbers aren't terribly relevant. For experimenting like this you should control the environment a little more, or as much as you can. Check tire pressure, oil levels, how many miles are on the current oil, driving distance, average speeds, driving routes, windows down/up, a/c usage, etc... But you will need at least 3 but preferably 4 or 5 tanks to really get a good average reading.

Of course, make sure you are filling to near the same line each time you fill up. And make sure your calculations are consistent. One tank performance does little to prove actual average performance. For instance, in my TDI I have gotten 50 mpgs on one tank, and 42 on another tank. Niether one by themselves are a good representation of what I could expect from my car on the next tank.

If anyone is really interested in tracking this, gasbuddy.com has a pretty cool tracking system. You just have to register and then enter each fill from your receipt. It's a pretty helpful little system.
 

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Super Moderator
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14,714 Posts
angelworks said:
"I can't drive 65!!!!!!!"


:guitar: :rockband:
You're thinking of Sammy Hagar, and he couldn't drive 55.... :lol:
 

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2.5L 5 Cyl. killer bunny
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575 Posts
jpdeuce said:
Unless you went through 4 or 5 tanks in that 2 week period, I would say these numbers aren't terribly relevant. For experimenting like this you should control the environment a little more, or as much as you can. Check tire pressure, oil levels, how many miles are on the current oil, driving distance, average speeds, driving routes, windows down/up, a/c usage, etc... But you will need at least 3 but preferably 4 or 5 tanks to really get a good average reading.

Of course, make sure you are filling to near the same line each time you fill up. And make sure your calculations are consistent. One tank performance does little to prove actual average performance. For instance, in my TDI I have gotten 50 mpgs on one tank, and 42 on another tank. Niether one by themselves are a good representation of what I could expect from my car on the next tank.

If anyone is really interested in tracking this, gasbuddy.com has a pretty cool tracking system. You just have to register and then enter each fill from your receipt. It's a pretty helpful little system.
Quite Frankly, it shouldn't make a difference. If driving 55 or 60 is supposed to dramatically improve mileage, I should've done better than 30mpg immediately. So as far as I am concerned, an extra tank or two would've made no difference in my results, it would've just reaffirmed that I get worse gas mileage at a slower speed than I do at a higher speed.
 

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Premium Member
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355 Posts
saving gas

Using cruise control to save fuel is really only effective when driving on flat terrain.
The cruise setting on hilly and mountainous roads cannot adjust to the changing elevations and the throttle is always late in compensating.
Drivers who make their way on varied elevations know to give the throttle that little extra oomph before the hill in order to maintain velocity.
 

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5/23/10 <3
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10,920 Posts
I don't have cruise control in my car...kinda sucks for the long drives I make to Raleigh and the drive I'll be making home in the winter and summer. But, even so, I get really good gas mileage on the highway. Its about 120 miles from here to Raleigh and I use about half a tank to get there and back. I have noticed that slower driving does get better gas mileage. The last time I went there, it was later in the day near traffic time so I had to drive the speed limit (a lot of people do here in NC on the not-so-major highways like I-40, which is odd...but nice). I used a quarter of a tank getting there. On the way back, it was night time so I was practically alone on the road. I had class the next day and had to unpack from the trip and stuff so I was speeding some to get back and make good time. I ended up using a little over a quarter of a tank on the way back.
 

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a.k.a. porkchopzz4
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890 Posts
hannaco said:
Yea, I have noticed a couple of odd items. The people in the econo-box cars are driving the speed limit, and the giant SUVs are speeding along. When the gas prices spiked, people switched back to the backup car from their SUV, and slowed down. When gas prices came back down, everything went back the way it was before the higher prices. People have such short memories.
Oh lordy.. no kidding. I usually do about 75-80 on the interstate. Had a guy in a suburban come up on me so fast the other day, he had to be doing a little over 100 mph. That's gotta be giving him about 8 or 9 mpg. :)
 

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Diesel Inside
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359 Posts
VW2.0Driver said:
Quite Frankly, it shouldn't make a difference. If driving 55 or 60 is supposed to dramatically improve mileage, I should've done better than 30mpg immediately. So as far as I am concerned, an extra tank or two would've made no difference in my results, it would've just reaffirmed that I get worse gas mileage at a slower speed than I do at a higher speed.
Well like I said, I've had tanks that vary as much as 8 mpgs. So a single tank results don't prove much. I know the circumstances for each of those tanks though and know for a fact the driving is what caused the differences. But even on my tanks for my regular commute they vary from 42 to 46/47 on the same roads, same stop lights, same cruising speeds, etc...

Anyway, just pointing out that it could be something other than the speed that caused your variance. If it was just 2 tanks it could be something as simple as not filling up to the same spot each time. What if you filled up at 2 different gas pumps that shut off on the first click at different times? I'm not saying this is what happened to you, but it easily could have. I'm just saying it takes more than 1 tank to determine anything.
 

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Premium Member
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110 Posts
VW2.0Driver said:
I did a two week experiment

During a period when I did 55 - 60 mph only for a whole week. I actually got worst gas mileage, than I normally do when I speed.

My numbers:

27mpg during the 55 - 60 mph weeks

30mpg doing 70 - 75 mph

difference of 3mpg...seems odd to me.
I've had a similar experience in the last month. Ever since I got a speeding ticket in my MINI, I've been driving near the limit with the cruise control. In my NB I've been getting 27 on my normal commutes whereas in the past, with no ticket hanging over my head and occasional blasts up to 80+, I've gotten in the 29-30 range. I guess I spent more time coasting with the cruise control off! :D
 

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2.5L 5 Cyl. killer bunny
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575 Posts
jpdeuce said:
Well like I said, I've had tanks that vary as much as 8 mpgs. So a single tank results don't prove much. I know the circumstances for each of those tanks though and know for a fact the driving is what caused the differences. But even on my tanks for my regular commute they vary from 42 to 46/47 on the same roads, same stop lights, same cruising speeds, etc...

Anyway, just pointing out that it could be something other than the speed that caused your variance. If it was just 2 tanks it could be something as simple as not filling up to the same spot each time. What if you filled up at 2 different gas pumps that shut off on the first click at different times? I'm not saying this is what happened to you, but it easily could have. I'm just saying it takes more than 1 tank to determine anything.
I got 2 tanks of gas in that 2 week period, both were 26.9 and 27.1 (rounded of course). That means, I would've had to get 35 mpg on my next 2 tanks of gas to get over 30 mpg. Trust me, the likely hood of it changing that much is unlikely.

Also, 90% of the time my refilling occurs as so:

* At the end of the week (Friday or Saturday)

* When my needle is just above the red line (approximately a 12.5 gallon fill up)

* Mileage at around 370 - 380

That's 29.6 - 30.4 mpg if it's exactly 12.5 (it fluctuates a few tenths each week)

I also drive 95% highway, I do maybe 2 miles out of 35 on a daily basis on city streets. I rarely use cruise, except on long drives. I have one specific area I sit in traffic at constantly.

So there is background. I know it seems odd that in 2 fill ups I did worse, but it's just fact. Also in times past when I did slower speeds I got lower mileage. I don't know why, but that's the way it calculates out, and I usually fill up at the same time all the time.
 

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Senior Member
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On that TV show "Mythbusters" they tested the myth that windows up and air conditioning on got better gas mileage than windows down because of drag but the air conditioning got much worse gas mileage and the windows down was the winner by far. I am a windows down by nature kinda person so this has served my gas mileage well throughout my life.
 
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