I have a problem with some of the hypermiler techniques, personally I feel they are dangerous
First and most importantly, I would *never* purposely turn off a conventional motor while in motion to boost my fuel economy. The moment you do so, you lose the power steering assist, and with a few brake applications you also lose your power brake vacuum reserve
In controlled conditions, perhaps the only person at risk is the person trying to squeeze every nickel out of gallon. In urban areas, imagine the hypermiler gliding along with the motor off, and suddenly a little kid darts out of a driveway. The steering is heavy due to no power assist, and you've already used up or lost your vacuum brake reserve. A tragedy is the result
"Drafting" big trucks is illegal and if it were up to me, I'd slap a $4,000 fine on any hypermiler who tried such a stunt. Naturally, if the semi has to suddenly slam on the brakes, and the hypermiler crashes into the trailer, the hypermiler will then sue the trucking company for a gazzilion dollars and no longer worry about saving a few bucks
Also, the constant shifting D-N-D-N is going to increase transmission wear. The clutches are always applying and releasing, there will be heat buildup. You could put in a big transmission cooler, and frequently service the transmission, but were are the savings after all that?
If you want to get a vehicle that automatically turns off the motor when there is no load, and with average driving technique returns the best possible fuel economy, but will keep the power steering and brake assist active, consider a Prius. It already does all that, in a safe manner. The power steering and power brakes are electric assist, so they don't depend on the gas motor running. Even the A/C is electric, so it keeps working too
The hypermiler technique is also bound to increase Road Rage incidents. I drive my Prius at the flow of traffic, I don't hold it up and I don't blow it away either. One thing I have noticed, with fuel prices here $1.32 a litre and going up, folks *are* slowing down. That raises fuel economy too
Wonder what that guy will do next time he holds up a guy in a pickup, then honks the horn at him as he passes, only to face the barrel of a gun? Oh right, he'll be back on CNN complaining about how all guns should be banned
Speaking of Road Rage, I was passing a trash truck today, going 5 over the limit in the left lane around the truck, and before I could merge back in a pickup truck pulled in front of the trash truck dangerously close to go around me and then quickly pulled back in front of me to give me the finger. Been a long time since I got the finger from another driver. Folks need to chill out. Seriously.
Well said jayman. When I watched the story on CNN, all I could think about is how dangerous the "hyper-miling" techniques are. Power steering and power brakes are safety advnces that have saved countless lives (no I don't have any real stats). Maybe it's just me, but I will gladly trade a small amount of gas mileage for control of my FJ in an emergency situation. As gas prices increase, my solution is to simply drive less miles whenever possible.
What I'm waiting for is a hypermiler to get caught in a Road Rage incident, such as getting the s*** beat out of him or even shot, and then making a media circus out of it. Especially if he gets shot: "ban guns, they're evil, blah blah blah"
I agree the best way to save fuel is driver input, especially to slow down. However, if the hypermiler is doing stunts that hold up traffic or danerously confuse traffic - eg no brake application, just a sudden swing of the steering wheel, so the person behind rear ends him - that is illegal and should be heavily prosecuted
Whatever happened to manners? Drive on high speed autoroutes in Europe, there is a slow lane and a "passing" lane. You never, ever hog the passing lane, otherwise expect a Mercedes or BMW on your tail flashing the brights, with the left turn signal on - indicating "excuse me, I'm in the passing lane, get out of the way"
For some reason here, there are a lot of doo-fus drivers who drive in the passing lane at the flow of traffic or even SLOWER, as if they have taken the personal responsibility to enforce traffic laws
Jayman I was getting ready to post the same thing.
In addition to the the systems dependent on the engine running like brakes and power steering, you also disengage other safety systems like airbags.
Also you lose the ability to be able to accelerate away from danger at a moments notices. So the reflex to punch the gas to get out of a dangerous situation in a split second now requires you to remember to turn the engine back on to then apply gas.
I think CNN was very careless in this report not mentioning the dangers of this method.
I saw that too. But it'll be a cold day in hell before I start pushing my FJ to get it started. I do apply some basic gas saving techniques already:
1) Use brakes as little as possible.
2) Coast to stops and sometimes the light changes back to green before you get to them.
3) California stops when safe to do so. Those first few seconds of getting the FJ moving are what suck up the most gas.
4) Accelerate slowly, trying to keep the RPM below 1200.
5) Stay below 70mph. Every 5mph over 65mph is like paying 25 cents more per gallon according to the feds.
Using those techniques last month I averaged 21.5 MPG on one tank, towing a 12' aluminum boat and trailer at 65-70mph for half the 300mi trip. It's hard to beat that for towing MPG.
Geez. I completely agree about the airbag thing, never even thought of that.
So I thought I'd try the turn-the-motor-off thing in a large parking lot today, at a safe 35 km/h. Guess what happened? I turned the key too far and went to LOCK.
So not only do you lose the power steering and potentially the power brakes (The FJ has electric assist power brakes, same as a Prius, so perhaps they will still work), and the airbags, you also run the possibility of turning the key too far and locking the steering wheel
No f***ing way. If I want the motor to shut off under low load conditions, in a safe manner, I'll just drive my Prius. Scary.
Every so often you see a person doing this. I had a guy nearly hit me the other day because he couldn't be bothered to stop for a STOP SIGN.
My quick fix for better mileage: Use those six gears wisely. The FJ is not a sports car don't drive it like one. Keep the rpm's low and take it easy on the acceleration. I also find myself in neutral on big hill I guess the days of engine braking are over for me:mecry:.