Defensive driving site - your source of information and the place to share your experience
 Home    Save Gas    Forums    Encyclopedia    Articles    Polls    Videos    
Our Videos

Most Viewed Video How
How to sit properly while driving - Low Res

Latest Video Driving
Driving around slippery corner in Croatia

Highest Rated Video Driving
Driving in Moscow

 
Main Menu
· Home
· Articles
· Driving Links
· Encyclopedia
· Forums
· Highway Surveys
· Mapquest Driving Directions
· Sitemap
· Video Library
 
Drivers Info
Welcome, Anonymous
Nickname
Password
(Register)
Drivers Online:
Visitors: 25
Member Drivers: 0
Total: 25
 

View unanswered posts
View next topic
View previous topic
Post new topic   Reply to topic
Author Message
Astraist
Master Driver



Joined: Mar 27, 2010
Posts: 209

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:26 pm Reply with quote Back to top

With the last uprise in gas prices (leastways in my country) in found it to be a good time for writing an essay on economical driving. Yes, I know, so much had already been written on this subject, but this essay differs in two points:

1. Any and all pieces of advice here are both economical and enhance safety, as well as more relaxing.

2 Any and all pieces of advice here are both economical and put less wear and tear on the car's mechanical parts.

Smoothness
Smooth, gentle acceleration is much more economical - as much as 30 to 40% as much.

If two drivers in identical cars were to accelerate from, say, 30mph to 60mph - one with the foot to the floor and one accelerating more gently - the more gentle driver would achieve 40-50% better milleage, although he would reach the SAME speed so his or her arrival time would remain the same.

Smooth acceleration also gives you more control, makes it easier to transient to braking and gives time for other drivers to react (like when you go for a green light and another driver runs red). Also, the engine and the entire drivetrain works much less hard, and oil consumption and contamination (as an example of the labour inside the motor) can be reduced by 25-30%.

Smooth braking has a similar effect. How come? Easy. If you brake more gently, you have to start braking earlier and if you do so, you have to let go of the gas even sooner. Also, brake bads will endure much longer, as well as brake fluid, master cylinder and even the rear brake light.

Early, gentle braking also reduces and even prevents rear-end collisions and can further aid safety and fuel consumption if you reach a traffic jam or even a red light where slowing down early can help you keep moving and AVOID the stop all together.

Preventing the car from stopping and idling helps reduce gas consumption, increase safety, seriously help yourself and others behind you to get to their destination FASTER (helps traffic flow) and reduces wear and tear to the motor and the electrical system. You can easily cut down your idling time by 40% and save a big amount of fuel.

Getting back to smooth acceleration: Use your tachometer more intelligently. In normal conditions, shift gears at 300-600 revs over the torque peak. Also, avoid gear changes that aren't necessary; a gearbox is more economical even if it slightly revs above or below it's effective range of RPM than if it wander back and forth between two gears needlessly.

Also, if you try to accelerate hard (as you need when getting on an access ramp or when overtaking on a single carriageway), it's better to use higher revs and less pedal than lower revs and more pedal. Pull the engine up to the power peak with considerable pressure on the gas - sometimes we need some power!

Speed and Position
Speed is a big consumer of gasoline. When driving in traffic, there is usually a certain pace in which traffic is moving. Driving significantly slower than traffic means reduced safety.

Trying to push faster than traffic, however, means that you will not only burn more fuel through higher speed, but also find yourself slowing down and accelerating again as well as changing lanes - which will all increase the risk dramatically, make the driver more franatic, reduce fuel economy DRASTICALLY and increase wear and tear (mostly soot in the cylinder heads).

Always drive in the speed suitable to the conditions, speed of traffic, law and othe requirements. On highways, limit yourself to 60mph. On freeways, limit yourself to 80mph. Most family cars suffer from a serious drop in economy when they exceed 60-65mph.

Space cannot be seperated from speed and likewise, it seriously reduces fuel consumption and increases safety almost more than anything else. Space between yourself and the car in front creates a "buffer" than helps avoid "ressistance" so that when the driver ahead slows down, even slightly, you don't need to brake as quickly as they do.

This prevents frequent deceleration and re-acceleration that ends up saving a lot of fuel. Also, if the driver ahead nails the brakes, you'd still stop in time, with a good few feet to spare, too!

Many drivers feel safe simply by "staying off" of the other driver's behind, but sadly this is insufficient. A good driver has to maintain at least two FULL seconds (and a bit of extra) up to three second, in any and all conditions from crawling in traffic jams and city streets to driving up an open, free highway.

Either you measure seconds each time you drive, or use one of them electronic gadgets to alert you for any gap smaller than two seconds ahead - and preferably both - I don't care how, just do it! Don't rely ENTIRELY on your own assesment of space!

Some drivers have a habit of sticking close behind a big rig as to get "sucked up" into the vacuum behind it. Well, modern rigs have went through dramatic aerodynamic changes that make it as aerodynamic as most bikes, reducing the vaccum behind it dramatically so it isn't very effective and only works when you have a foot or two to spare.

Even than, the loss of fuel through being so close and going for the brakes whenever the lorriest ahead slows down - easily cuts down the fuel you save through the "slip stream."

Electricity
One last point is using electrical users like lights, radio, A/C and other applications in the car. Do they cost fuel? Do they cause wear and tear?

Yes, they cost fuel. Anything that is turned up in the car increases the wattage which increases load on the alternator and therefore on the motor. How much it costs depends on whatever it is you are using.

Using the headlights, especially the dipped beam, costs very little. So little you probably won't feel it in your annual budget, even if you get into (the very good) habit of using the headlights in the day. Modern cars also have DRL economical lights that reduce this small expense so it's even smaller, and practically none-existant.

However, to the dismay of those of us who live in hot countries, myself included, the air-conditioner is one of the bigger consumers of fuel out there. Modern A/C technology improves this, but the fact remains that using the A/C costs.

However, we CANNOT avoid using the A/C when it's hot or when we need our front windshield demisted. So, use it, but use it wisely enough and you won't feel it too much. Actually, by DO using it, you are lubricating it's rubber seals and preventing leakage from the system, saving money!
View user's profile Send private message
Astraist
Master Driver



Joined: Mar 27, 2010
Posts: 209

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:09 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Appendix A - Car Maintainence
This thread is about the driver more than the car, both since I found the two subject inseperatable, I choose to post another reply as an appendix on car care and maintainence.

Motor oil
Using the right motor-oil is the key to keeping the engine in a good state and even increasing fuel economy. A good oil is an oil from an known oil company and an established brand. The oil should be at the highest quality rating and nowadays - FULL SYNTHETIC! and preferably a "premium"-rated oil and/or one that is recommended by the car's manufacturer.

The oil viscosity is the next important feature: Modern cars have smaller spaces that the oil runs in, so the idea is to go for a relatively thin oil that rusn relatively quickly through the system when you start it in the morning. This means that you can start the car, give it 10-15 seconds of idling max for getting the oil circulated all around and than start going - no deliberate "heat up" or long await necessary.

For most cars, the proper oil is 5W30 or 5W40 (depends on how hot the weather in your country is) and, in the colder countries, 0W30. 20W50 oils, for example, are history for most automobiles. It's harder for the oil pump to move them around and they put an effort on the motor in getting them around.

Replacing the oil in time is just as important. Oils deteriorates more quickly in hard-working conditions and one of these conditions is what we call "urban driving" - cars that only drive in short trips (from work and back, to the grocery and back) and constantly "stop and-go" in traffic. This makes the oil deteriorate much more quickly.

In these conditions, use the best oil you can find and replace the oil and filer each 10,000 miles or eighteen months at most. Give the engine a quick flush at 36,000 miles. At 100,000 miles, open up the valvetrain head and the crankcase to scrub off the sludge.

Oil additives are generally not recommended, but some of them do help. One kind of additive simply contains molybedinium di-sulfit, a rigid substance that forms a protective layer on several parts of the engine and helps improve protection. This is helpfull in gearboxes, power steering mechanisms and in none-turbocharged engines. If you really want to help preserve the motor, use it each 20,000 miles. If not, use it after 100,000 miles.

Another additive helps form a ceramic layer on parts of the engine that already suffer from some initial wear and tear. This additive is also effective as a "long-life" treatment after the engine has exceeded 100,000 miles and applies for the transmission and power steering mechanism, too.

Transmission and power-steering oil also deteriorates, especially in "urban driving" so replace it in good time, even if it's a so-called "long-life" fluid. Usually, these fluids are supposed to replaced only partialy and over a longer period of time, so they don't cost too much to replace. With each third oil replacement to the transmission, flush it and replace the entire amount of oil.

The tires
Now there's a part that interlinks both safety and economy at once. Good tires that aren't very loud, don't wear too early, don't provide too stif a ride, GIVE GOOD GRIP AND HANDLING and reduce rolling ressistance - are important. So choose good tires from a good manufacturer only! Don't go for type-B brands, ever!

Tire pressure is equally important. Check it each week as a default, and with your own tire gauge (a simple "pencil" gauge only costs a penny) and in the morning when the tires are cold. Fill them to the cold pressure required by the manufacturer on the stamp in your driver's door or thereabouts and change it to fit the tire temperature (if it isn't cold) or if the car is loaded with passengers and/or cargo.

Tire pressure can sometimes reduce fuel consumption by 10-15% and reduces wear to the tires themselves by 30-50%! If you further treat your tires by rotating them each 6,000 miles or each year and re-checking their balance and wheel alignment - you will increase your fuel economy and the milleage on your tires even more!

The fuel system
Use fuel from a good station, and the octane fitted to your manufacturer's recommendations (the octane fits your engine's compression ratio). Replace the fuel filter in good time and preferably use fuel additives to clean up soot on the valves and injectors.

A good fuel additive that isn't too aggressive can really help the motor, if you are into preserving it extra-carefully. Pouring some into the fuel tank each 20,000 miles and into the motor itself by infuse each third time - is the best way to reduce soot buildup in the motor.

Also, as another "long-life" treatment after the car did it's first 80 to 100,000 miles - it's a good idea to remove the entire throttle manifold housing and clean it up from the soot that builds up inside it through the PVC piping. Clean the throttle, the step-motor, the passages of the intake manifold and lubricate the axles and throttle cable. This would make for a much better response to your right foot on the throttle.

The air-conditioning system
I have mentioned the A/C as a serious user of electricity and fuel. But using several steps can help improve it's effectiveness both in cooling the cabin in using up less fuel and suffering from less problems.

Using the A/C for at least five minutes each month keeps the seals lubricated. Even in the winter, the A/C should be used with the heating to keep the windshields demisted. Try using it when you need it and preferably after the motor is up to heat and you will waste very little fuel and actually end up saving money and safety!

Also, replace the A/C filter at least each alternating year. This will improve it's effectiveness and fuel economy. Clean the radiator externally at the same time, and clean it internally as part of the "long-life" treatment after 100,000 miles. You might need to replace the gas inside the system some time after this treatment since the gas also suffers from mechanical deterioration over time.
View user's profile Send private message
Astraist
Master Driver



Joined: Mar 27, 2010
Posts: 209

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:37 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Appendix B - Car choice

Choosing a good car also helps in improving safety and reducing fuel consumption.

Size of the engine
A smaller motor and fuel tank is more economical. An engine between 1.6 to 2.00 litres is a good engine in terms of fuel consumption but be warned - it's actualy more sensitive to lubrication problems than bigger engines (which also have more oil).

Technology in the engine
A more sophisticated engine is a more economic one. Modern motors use cam-phasing, variable and constantly variable valve-timing; variable intake and exhaust manifolds; pairs of small turbochargers with changing blade-angles; even a variable compression rate, cylinders that turn off whe not needed, etc...

These technologies make the motor use the fuel more efficiently, burning more of it so it produces more torque and power in less fuel.

Just as important is the achievement in the form of the torque curve. A good motor has a flat torque curve that produces power and a good fuel economy at any effective RPM range.

This brings us to another point which is DIESEL. Diesel engines are usually more sturdy over time, more practical in daily driving conditions due to better torque over the entire RPM range and are more economical. Modern diesels also encorprate advanced technology that makes them more economical or ecological, as well as more effective in the sense of the torque and power they supply.

Gearbox
A plain manual gearbox is the most mechanicaly-simple drivetrain mechanism. It involves the smallest mechanical wear and tear, the longest oil replacement intrevals and the best fuel economy. Also, it produces more torque and thus better acceleration and outright speed.

A normal, planetary automatic gearbox might be easier to drive, but is much more costy in fuel due to weight, mechanical complexity, and oil circulation in the gearbox and mainly in the torque converter. Modern transmissions have turned light, more effective and, for one, have their torque-converter by-passed by a rigid link at slower speeds of even 30mph. However, they still waste torque and fuel and cost more for their increased wear and shorter oil replacement intrevals.

Automated gearboxes are transmissions that work like a manual transmission, but are governed by an automatic computerized system. The newer transmissions of this type, namely VAG's DSG gearbox - works just like a normal manual gearbox, save some more weight and a slightly increased mechanical complexity. As of today, it is the more all-around efficient transmission.

Constantly variable transmissions (CVT's) are also effective, but are yet to reach the reliability of a manual or automated transmission.

The chassis
Now we come to chasis or the type of car we choose. With the exception of pick-ups and rigs used for working purposes, most of us will do best with a family car or a minivan/station-wagon for bigger families. SUV's, "jeeps" and pick-ups as well as family cars that are simply "over-sized" are needless.

A bigger car is more fuel-wasting, takes longer to stop and to accelerate and harder to manuever around. Also, they encorprate stiffer suspension that usually ends up reducing ride quality.

In particular, pick-ups that are intentionally constructed as work-purpose vehicles suffer from poor cabins, seats and even in safety! SUV's are also not all they are cut out to be and usually don't have any more internal space than a good saloon car.

So, go for a smaller, lower, family car - whether sedan or hatchback, and you will find your fuel economy much better.
View user's profile Send private message
newbielearner
Active member
Active member



Joined: Mar 27, 2012
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:48 am Reply with quote Back to top

Astraist wrote:
With the last uprise in gas prices (leastways in my country) in found it to be a good time for writing an essay on economical driving. Yes, I know, so much had already been written on this subject, but this essay differs in two points:

1. Any and all pieces of advice here are both economical and enhance safety, as well as more relaxing.

2 Any and all pieces of advice here are both economical and put less wear and tear on the car's mechanical parts.

Smoothness
Smooth, gentle acceleration is much more economical - as much as 30 to 40% as much.

If two drivers in identical cars were to accelerate from, say, 30mph to 60mph - one with the foot to the floor and one accelerating more gently - the more gentle driver would achieve 40-50% better milleage, although he would reach the SAME speed so his or her arrival time would remain the same.

Smooth acceleration also gives you more control, makes it easier to transient to braking and gives time for other drivers to react (like when you go for a green light and another driver runs red). Also, the engine and the entire drivetrain works much less hard, and oil consumption and contamination (as an example of the labour inside the motor) can be reduced by 25-30%.

Smooth braking has a similar effect. How come? Easy. If you brake more gently, you have to start braking earlier and if you do so, you have to let go of the gas even sooner. Also, brake bads will endure much longer, as well as brake fluid, master cylinder and even the rear brake light.

Early, gentle braking also reduces and even prevents rear-end collisions and can further aid safety and fuel consumption if you reach a traffic jam or even a red light where slowing down early can help you keep moving and AVOID the stop all together.

Preventing the car from stopping and idling helps reduce gas consumption, increase safety, seriously help yourself and others behind you to get to their destination FASTER (helps traffic flow) and reduces wear and tear to the motor and the electrical system. You can easily cut down your idling time by 40% and save a big amount of fuel.

Getting back to smooth acceleration: Use your tachometer more intelligently. In normal conditions, shift gears at 300-600 revs over the torque peak. Also, avoid gear changes that aren't necessary; a gearbox is more economical even if it slightly revs above or below it's effective range of RPM than if it wander back and forth between two gears needlessly.

Also, if you try to accelerate hard (as you need when getting on an access ramp or when overtaking on a single carriageway), it's better to use higher revs and less pedal than lower revs and more pedal. Pull the engine up to the power peak with considerable pressure on the gas - sometimes we need some power!

Speed and Position
Speed is a big consumer of gasoline. When driving in traffic, there is usually a certain pace in which traffic is moving. Driving significantly slower than traffic means reduced safety.

Trying to push faster than traffic, however, means that you will not only burn more fuel through higher speed, but also find yourself slowing down and accelerating again as well as changing lanes - which will all increase the risk dramatically, make the driver more franatic, reduce fuel economy DRASTICALLY and increase wear and tear (mostly soot in the cylinder heads).

Always drive in the speed suitable to the conditions, speed of traffic, law and othe requirements. On highways, limit yourself to 60mph. On freeways, limit yourself to 80mph. Most family cars suffer from a serious drop in economy when they exceed 60-65mph.

Space cannot be seperated from speed and likewise, it seriously reduces fuel consumption and increases safety almost more than anything else. Space between yourself and the car in front creates a "buffer" than helps avoid "ressistance" so that when the driver ahead slows down, even slightly, you don't need to brake as quickly as they do.

This prevents frequent deceleration and re-acceleration that ends up saving a lot of fuel. Also, if the driver ahead nails the brakes, you'd still stop in time, with a good few feet to spare, too!

Many drivers feel safe simply by "staying off" of the other driver's behind, but sadly this is insufficient. A good driver has to maintain at least two FULL seconds (and a bit of extra) up to three second, in any and all conditions from crawling in traffic jams and city streets to driving up an open, free highway.

Either you measure seconds each time you drive, or use one of them electronic gadgets to alert you for any gap smaller than two seconds ahead - and preferably both - I don't care how, just do it! Don't rely ENTIRELY on your own assesment of space!

Some drivers have a habit of sticking close behind a big rig as to get "sucked up" into the vacuum behind it. Well, modern rigs have went through dramatic aerodynamic changes that make it as aerodynamic as most bikes, reducing the vaccum behind it dramatically so it isn't very effective and only works when you have a foot or two to spare.

Even than, the loss of fuel through being so close and going for the brakes whenever the lorriest ahead slows down - easily cuts down the fuel you save through the "slip stream."

Electricity
One last point is using electrical users like lights, radio, A/C and other applications in the car. Do they cost fuel? Do they cause wear and tear?

Yes, they cost fuel. Anything that is turned up in the car increases the wattage which increases load on the alternator and therefore on the motor. How much it costs depends on whatever it is you are using.

Using the headlights, especially the dipped beam, costs very little. So little you probably won't feel it in your annual budget, even if you get into (the very good) habit of using the headlights in the day. Modern cars also have DRL economical lights that reduce this small expense so it's even smaller, and practically none-existant.

However, to the dismay of those of us who live in hot countries, myself included, the air-conditioner is one of the bigger consumers of fuel out there. Modern A/C technology improves this, but the fact remains that using the A/C costs.

However, we CANNOT avoid using the A/C when it's hot or when we need our front windshield demisted. So, use it, but use it wisely enough and you won't feel it too much. Actually, by DO using it, you are lubricating it's rubber seals and preventing leakage from the system, saving money!


----------------------------------------


I actually printed this entire page out.

Man, this just great advice! I'm living in Australia at the moment and here you can get away without using the A/C. Besides, I was avoiding using it anyway cause I felt it used too much fuel, but I see that NOT using it at all isn't good either Shocked
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:       
Post new topic   Reply to topic

View next topic
View previous topic
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001-2006 phpBB Group
:: Theme & Graphics by Daz :: Ported for PHP-Nuke by nukemods.com ::
All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Forums ©
 
Defensive Driving | Contact us | Privacy policy | Terms of Use | Texas Defensive Driving
Forums RSS Feed
NJ Defensive Driving | New York Defensive Driving| Fuel Economy



Page Generation: 0.11 Seconds
Fun and Safe Driving © 2006-2018