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Gas mileage experiment

I read an article a couple months ago on ways to improve your gas mileage. Besides regular car maintenance like engine tune-ups and proper tire pressure the article said that taking the car out of gear while going down hills can also improve your mileage. It's easier to do with a manual transmission since you just use the clutch. If you have an automatic transmission you need to be very careful shifting from neutral back to drive, needing to slightly rev the engine up getting it back in gear.
My preference has always been with the "four on the floor" or 5-speeds nowadays and I've been experimenting with my Neon. Over a 2 month period I've averaged an extra 4 MPG. I've also been surprised to find that some very slight downhill areas manage to maintain my speed and others that don't seem much steeper actually increase my speed.

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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
zebulen
Aug. 11th, 2007 09:03 pm (UTC)
But will the gas savings make up for the extra wear and tear on the brake pads?

:)
katsurian
Aug. 12th, 2007 01:19 am (UTC)
Yep, I can usually coast along 'til I start losing speed. The really steep hills with the stops at the bottom I leave the car in third gear so I don't go too fast!
I never noticed before how many people hit their brakes as soon as they start going down an incline.
zebulen
Aug. 12th, 2007 09:13 pm (UTC)
Which is hillier, Vancouver or Portland?
katsurian
Aug. 12th, 2007 11:43 pm (UTC)
I'd say Portland.
I'm only familiar with the eastern half of Vancouver which has some very steep inclines, especially coming up from the Columbia River, but Portland has Rocky Butte, Mt. Scott, and the West Hills. Not to mention Mt Tabor, a supposedly extinct volcano. (How do they know it's extinct? Maybe it's just taking a very long nap!)

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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