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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After a particularly crappy week of commuting I decided I needed to try a bit harder at improving the fuel efficiency of my Cobalt.

Every day I drive 50 miles into Queens from Long Island. On average my fuel economy has been about 27.5 MPG. Not terrible, but nothing to write home about either.

I knew I had to be disciplined to successfully improve my MPG.

First step:
Leave earlier in the morning and go home later at night in order to avoid most traffic. I was already doing this some of the time but I decided to do it ALL the time.

Second step:
Accelerate lightly from a stop and anticipate stopping as far in advance as possible.

Third and most important step:
Maintain a constant highway speed between 55-60 MPH.:( That was a tough one.

I just filled up for the first time since I started this experiment. The results were stunning.

I got 32.67 MPG! That is almost 2 MPG better than the EPA HWY estimate for the 08 Cobalt 2.2L auto and over 5 MPG better than my average.

According to my DIC I still had approx. 118 miles left before empty. That means I could have gone four days per fill up as opposed to the usual three days.

If I can keep this up with the average fill up costing $40, I will save over $1,200 in one year.

I hope I can keep it up.:yup:
 

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But let me ask, is the money gained worth driving like a grandpa? I would have to say that I wouldn't be able to do it with a vehicle that has any sort of fun factor to it.....

-Chase
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
But let me ask, is the money gained worth driving like a grandpa? I would have to say that I wouldn't be able to do it with a vehicle that has any sort of fun factor to it.....

-Chase
Yes, it's worth it. With a mortgage, car loan, twins and their stay home Mommy it is very worth it.

Of course it is hard getting into that mindset but, I try to treat it in a competitive way. I try to beat my best MPG numbers every time I drive and I try to keep the DIC's instant mileage hovering around 40 MPG as much as possible.

The GTO is a tough car to drive slowly and get huge MPG gains, but it is much easier in the Cobalt.

You can't argue with a gain of over 5 MPG.:)

Thats what I was thinking... 2 mph for all of that? I know it wouldn't last with me.
Not 2 MPG. Over 5 MPG.
 

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Second step:
Accelerate lightly from a stop and anticipate stopping as far in advance as possible.

Third and most important step:
Maintain a constant highway speed between 55-60 MPH.:( That was a tough one.
Both of which I've done for a LONG time ... and are part of the reason why I get such "good" gas mileage with my daily driver '87 MC LS, that usually shocks/stuns people to think that I'm getting better than their newer car/SUV.... I average anywhere from 17-20 mpg, depending on how I'm feeling any given day about "fighting" traffic, etc.

I haven't tried much in the way of your Step 1, only because around here, really isn't much of a difference within a half hour or so either way and my job isn't one that I can arrive early AND stay late anyway....


CONGRATS on the wonderful results of your experiment :).



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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Woops, sorry. Read to the part about 2 mpg and went "what??" and never really did the math or keep reading. ;)

Five mpg is definitely more worth it. Still don't know if I could stick to it or not though.
No problem.

I'm not sure if I can stick to it either, but I will try my best.

Both of which I've done for a LONG time ... and are part of the reason why I get such "good" gas mileage with my daily driver '87 MC LS, that usually shocks/stuns people to think that I'm getting better than their newer car/SUV.... I average anywhere from 17-20 mpg, depending on how I'm feeling any given day about "fighting" traffic, etc.

I haven't tried much in the way of your Step 1, only because around here, really isn't much of a difference within a half hour or so either way and my job isn't one that I can arrive early AND stay late anyway....


CONGRATS on the wonderful results of your experiment :).
Thank you!

What do you have your tire pressure set at?
According to the DIC, my tire pressure is at 37 psi.
 

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Nice gain! I showed my skeptical sister that her G6 is capable of over 30MPG on our road trip, even at 70MPH.
 

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Way to go sharkypoo!!!!

I don't see how so many people have such a problem making small changes in their everyday habits.

And if $1200 doesn't sound like a lot to some of you, think if every month you didn't have to pay your cable and cellphone bill. Or the bank took $100 off your car repayment.

I once took my son's Diesel Jetta on a road trip to Florida, and on the way home to New Orleans, pegged the cruise exactly 70mph and didn't do any sudden accelerating... I got over 50mpg (can't remember the exact fig)...
 

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Way to go sharkypoo!!!!

I don't see how so many people have such a problem making small changes in their everyday habits.

And if $1200 doesn't sound like a lot to some of you, think if every month you didn't have to pay your cable and cellphone bill. Or the bank took $100 off your car repayment.

I once took my son's Diesel Jetta on a road trip to Florida, and on the way home to New Orleans, pegged the cruise exactly 70mph and didn't do any sudden accelerating... I got over 50mpg (can't remember the exact fig)...

Hey t-rex, where does your 328 get its best milage? I used to be able to get about 32+ at around 80+ MPH...

-Chase
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Way to go sharkypoo!!!!

I don't see how so many people have such a problem making small changes in their everyday habits.

And if $1200 doesn't sound like a lot to some of you, think if every month you didn't have to pay your cable and cellphone bill. Or the bank took $100 off your car repayment.

I once took my son's Diesel Jetta on a road trip to Florida, and on the way home to New Orleans, pegged the cruise exactly 70mph and didn't do any sudden accelerating... I got over 50mpg (can't remember the exact fig)...
Thanks T-Rex. It is not too hard to make these changes if you are serious about it.

I used to work with someone that got 50+ MPG in his Jetta diesel. We need more cars like those on the road. I know they'll be here soon enough.
 

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Congrats on the improvement. After you do this for a while and really pay attention you realize that it add minimal time to the commute if any. I have noticed on my daily drive that it doesnt matter if I drive fast or conservative, the lights are still what determines how long it takes me to get to work.
 

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It's amazing to see how much better our vehicles do at lower speeds. I guess that's why many states had lower speed limits back in the 80's. When I was growing up, the NY thruway was chugging along at 55 mph. Now it's 65-70.

I can get pretty decent mpg if I drive my truck around 55 mph. I also accelerate without letting the engine rev past 2k rpm. That'll help too.
 

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I used to set the cruise at 119 km/h (73 mph) on my V6 Vue and was getting about 23 mpg on the highway. I tried setting it at 109 km/h (67 mph) and could not believe my eyes when I filled up.....33 mpg! Though that was the best I ever got (the conditions must have been perfect that day) I found subsequent trips at that speed were more in the 27 range. Still, a 10% drop in speed is not enough to make me feel like grandpa and puts enough in my pocket to make it worth it to drive slower.
 

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yeah...accelerate lightly from a stop. can't do that...i dunno why. i guess i'm just afraid the soccermom or grandma next to me might beat me off the line. =)

i'm getting about 17 mpg average, and that's with my driving habits. that's pretty good for a 5.7L wagon.
 

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In our Cobalt I can still do 70mph and return 31-32 on the highway. I don't think you need to go that slow. Everything else works though.
 
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