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A place for Get Rich Slowly readers to ask questions
and exchange ideas
It is currently Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:57 pm




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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 9:11 pm 

Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 1:29 pm
Posts: 25
I have a manual '98 Mustang. If I ever buy another car (this year a major goal is to go car-free), I would want it to be manual. I just have more control with how I drive, and it makes me very aware of my car, the road, and the conditions around me--whereas I think I might zone in an automatic. I can slow down quickly without tapping the brakes, and more than once I've missed danger because I could kick into a low gear and have immediate power.

But this is about frugality. On that side, I don't know as much, though I've spent very little maintaining my car.

The three big things that will save you gas are:
    1. Dodging wind resistance
    2. Knowing your route
    3. Accelerating without flooring it
I'm not willing to go much further than that since some of the mileage techniques are anti-social or just plain illegal (weaving on the freeway, even at low speeds, to keep from slowing down--or rolling stops).


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:00 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:01 am
Posts: 243
KlfJoat wrote:
Of course, this topic requires me to link the article about the guy JD posted in March.
http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2007/ ... the-world/

And then there's an article from HowStuffWorks:
http://auto.howstuffworks.com/how-to-drive-economically.htm


A device called a Fuel Consumption Display (FCD) or something like that is mentioned in one of these articles. Any possibility of having one of these installed on an '04 Corolla?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 2:37 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:01 am
Posts: 243
Another possibility I just thought of was to connect an OBD-II scanner onto the car while it's running. Im guessing it might be possible to obtain a real-time readout of fuel consumption this way. Anybody know the proper OBD-II code I need to look for to access this information?

squished


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2007 1:07 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:19 pm
Posts: 34
Location: Portland, OR
I bought a gizmo called a scangauge:
http://www.scangauge.com/

that outputs realtime mileage data (as well as other data), and can average it out over a trip, a tank of gas, daily, etc...

As a bonus, it also reads engine codes.

I put together a little writeup of my experiences with it here:
http://www.samerwriter.com/2007/01/07/saving-money-on-gas-with-data/

The scangauge should be compatible with any car newer than model-year 2000 or so.



Sam

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2007 1:37 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:01 am
Posts: 243
Sam,

That's exactly what I'm looking for. (Now I just gotta arrange to have one brought across the border to me here in Canuckistan.)

One question, in your write-up you mention "calibrating" the device for the different vehicles you've used it on. What does this calibration procedure entail?

thanks,
squished


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 10:00 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 2:23 am
Posts: 8
Location: Beyond The Sun.
I commute 1000 miles a week.

I own a 2003 Volkswagen Jetta Turbo Diesel.

Most efficient things I have found, stick shift Transmission, drive the speed limit or no more than 5 MPH over, don't drive like it's a NASCAR Race, and most importantly USE CRUISE CONTROL!!!!!!!

Regular oil changes, air cleaner replacement, and tire pressure checks also a big plus.


I get 690 miles per 15 gallon tank that way, oh and I just turned 195,000 miles and the only service the car has ever needed is brakes, tires, belts, filters, and oil changes.

My goal is 300,000 miles, gotta get that overall life cost per mile down. :D


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:53 pm 

Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 7:19 pm
Posts: 15
I have a scan-gauge. I was using it in my previous mini-van because it was a manufacturing error, 25 gallon tank with an 18-gallon sensor. I used the gauge to use gas more efficiently by running closer to empty in the summer. Now that I've had to get another mini-van (t-boned while crossing an intersection when I had green) I can't find a place to mount the darned thing.

The newer car came with a miles-to-empty feature. The previous owner drove much differently than I do. When I got it two months ago, it estimated 483 miles to empty on a full (25 gallon) tank. I filled up on sunday and the unit had me up to an estimated 611 miles to empty. The number has been rising as the prior owners driving habits fall out of memory. Driving pattern makes a BIG difference.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:16 am 

Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 8:51 am
Posts: 11
We own a 1998 Honda Civic EX (with the spoiler... they're called that because they spoil gas mileage). We are the original owners. The first clutch lasted us 185000 miles. We now have over 230000 miles. Replacing the fluid in the Civic costs about $50, and we've done it about four times. Regular oil changes and tire rotations help.

Slowing down helps gas mileage, and when on flat terrain, as someone else already mentioned. As far as shifting goes, my husband taught me how to drive a stick shift on this car, and while we don't have a "logic," per se, I usually try to stay in a higher gear unless I think I might need acceleration. One benefit I've found is that if I stay in a lower gear on a downhill, my speed doesn't get out of control, so I don't need to brake to keep it under the speed limit. I've found this most useful when the limit is 45 mph and I can stay in 3rd gear on a downhill. The policemen around me always seem to be waiting at the bottom of the hill, and I'd wager this has saved me hundreds in speeding tickets.

I prefer manual transmissions in smaller-engine cars. Our full-sized truck also is a manual, and it is also useful there because you can increase towing capacity by staying in a lower gear. One of the reasons I prefer it is that I owned two large Fords that were made in 1989 and 1990, and I had to rebuild the transmissions in them both at about 100k miles. Rebuilding them cost approximately $1300 each time, and that was before the turn of the century.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. I'll come back if I think of anything else.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 10:28 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:19 pm
Posts: 34
Location: Portland, OR
squished18 wrote:
Sam,

That's exactly what I'm looking for. (Now I just gotta arrange to have one brought across the border to me here in Canuckistan.)

One question, in your write-up you mention "calibrating" the device for the different vehicles you've used it on. What does this calibration procedure entail?

thanks,
squished


The scangauge uses output from your cars computer to determine fuel consumption. While the output from the computer is precise, it is not accurate. In other words, a "correction factor" needs to be applied to the reading for the scangauge to get the accurate mileage.

So all you do is fill your tank, run the car to empty, then tell the scangauge how much gas you put in to fill it. For example if the scangauge had "guessed" 32 gallons, but you actually put in 40 gallons, then after you tell it you put in 40 gallons it will adjust its calculations by 25% in the future.

After the first tank, the mileage is reasonably accurate.

And for canucks, it can report kilometers as well :)


Sam

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http://www.samerwriter.com/


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