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General Chat Thread, Driving Economically in General; It always staggers me the people here that have Astras the same age or newer than mine (1997 P), with ...
  1. #16
    Sirbendy's Avatar
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    It always staggers me the people here that have Astras the same age or newer than mine (1997 P), with the same or smaller engines (1.6 8valve) and are astounded at the fact that I can drag in excess of 400 miles out of my tank when they struggle to get 250..

    Bear in mind it's an automatic as well..I do follow most of those tips. Gentle acceleration up to 50, when lockup of the torque converter kicks in and it's at it's most economical. If I need to overtake, I keep the throttle light (as usual) and just tap the sports mode button to drop the gears, then turn it off when I'm done.

    I try to judge for minimal braking and "rolling start" at traffic lights (saves the inertia). When I did my "usual week" trips, I could get a fortnight from the tank which was lovely...now I've cut back, I'm managing 3.5 weeks..hopefully a month.

    Most of the car's trips are work trips...BUT..there appears that there may be a bus leaving a few minutes walk up from the house at 7.35am, dropping off right outside here for 8.02am...returning at 4.53pm..which is close enough to my hours to be useable.

    It'll require me leaving early, but if I'll be here earlier, it's little or no odds I say.

    If I used the bus to work...and I manage at least 3 weeks to a tank with work..it could be a 2 month tank or more..we use the local shops as a rule, we've signed upto a "weekly veg box delivery" scheme, there is even a local butcher etc 20 minutes walk away.

    I need to look into getting a monthly ticket, which they apparently do. It also seems I could catch route 44 from the school and get to pretty much anywhere I need to go in Telford..which is nice.

    My mother in law is carless for the next 6 months or so...and it's not affecting family life much, once the kids have adjusted to walking and public transport..

  2. #17
    FreeWill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sidewinder View Post
    I was always under the impression and have read on several sites that the higher the gear the better.
    If I drove my car in 3rd at 30 it would sound awful and the revs would be in the red almost. I always drive it in 5th at that speed, occasionally 4th
    I thought generally the same...

  3. #18
    Ryan's Avatar
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    To a point yep. If you're over-revving in a certain gear at a certain speed, then shift up to lighten the load.

    But you can, as far as i'm aware, start causing damage to your engine, gearbox etc by making it work too hard in too high a gear if the revs are too low. As for pulling away from stationary in 2nd or third, that's just lunacy.

  4. #19

    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreeWill View Post
    I thought generally the same...
    It is better so long as the car is not struggling, using my car as an example I can travel at 50kph (30mph) in fifth without the car struggling at all at low revs (practically idle) as the engine has the torque to keep pulling the car along (2.5L V6).

    This efficiency problem only occurs when the engine starts to stutter meaning that it does not have enough torque to keep pulling at that speed in that gear. Top compensate for this and keep the car moving forward you have to add more gas into the mix and the car engine will kind of rattle and shudder because you are pumping in more gas to the cylinders than it can burn due to the load on the engine. This wastes large amounts of gas as it is pumped into the cylinders but not combusted. This effect is made worse by the fact that when in this state the load on the engine is very heavy and wears out parts quicker, also due to the lack of complete combustion it dirties up the spark plugs which makes your car less efficient.

    So long as your car keeps pulling forward comfortably then your fine and using less gas by lowering the revs, it is only when it stutters or has real trouble pulling forward that you are wasting more gas.

    The same kind of thing happens when you floor the gas pedal. The engine does not have enough air in this instance to fully combust the gas so the extra just gets fed out the exhaust system, most wasteful.

  5. #20
    ICT_GUY's Avatar
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    Ok a general rule, keep the revs above 2000 when the engine is under load.

    The higher the load the higher the revs should be. Going up a steep hill you would want to be higher. Coasting on a low gradient hill you can be lower down the rev range. Mechanical sympathy I think is the general rule.

  6. #21

    TechMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reggiep View Post
    Take a look at Best cars for MPG » Fuel-Economy.co.uk
    It gives you advice on the most fuel efficient cars.

    I ended up buying my citroen c3 hdi after going on the site.
    Nearly 70 mpg and only £35 a year road tax. Nice
    Ohh how are you finding it? I'm thinking of going along the same route. The bike is fab for just me but long journeys and passengers need something else. Haven't found any long term reviews and am abit worried about the stereotype about french car build quality.

    the bike is a great comfort on fuel though. At the moment about £15-£18 fillup and getting anywhere between 144-175 miles Plus tons of spg's

  7. #22

    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by j17sparky View Post
    Actually, new, like for like cars you have to do alot of miles for a diesel to work out cheaper once you take the extra cost of purchase and maintainance into account, and with diesel prices going up faster than petrol it will only get worse.

    Ive got one;

    5th gear is NOT the only gear your car has got
    Driving in the incorrect gear is not only damaging to your engine, mounts, exhaust and other things, it is far less efficient on the juice. 30mph is not the speed at which you change into 5th, infact the only time you should be in 5th is on national speed limit and above roads. Depending on your car 30mph is normally around 3rd gear, possibly 4th in a smaller car or if like my car 2nd gear for any less than 30mph.

    ^ thats one thing which drives me mad. Ill be in a mates car and he will come to almost a complete stop yet insist in pulling away in 2nd or even 3rd. I dont get it, can people not hear the engine crying out for mercy, never mind the clang as bits of exhaust pipe fall off from all the rattling the engine makes at such low rpm!
    I disagree. I'm getting over 150 miles extra to a 60 liter tank now I've got a diesel car. Yes, it's more expensive, but over the course of a month I'm getting an extra 500 miles I otherwise would not have.

  8. #23
    Inbir316's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan View Post
    Hello. As fuel costs continue to rise, it’s getting more and more expensive to run about in our beloved motors. The following are some bits and bobs I’ve picked up, as well as some common sense, that can be applied to make that tank of fuel last that wee bit longer.


    Don’t hammer the accelerator
    See the old lady in the micra you just thrashed away from at the last traffic lights? There she is right behind you again at the next lights. There’s no need to accelerate hard away from junctions, roundabouts and lights – chances are you’re going to have to come to a halt again soon.

    As a rule, the more you press the accelerator pedal, the more fuel you’re putting into the engine. You should never have to floor the pedal. This is opening up the throttle fully and putting as much fuel into the engine as possible. You’ll probably find that you can get similar performance by raising that heavy foot of yours slightly. Try it.

    Accelerating more gently than usual will use even less fuel, and I doubt you’ll notice much difference in your journey times, especially in traffic.


    Drive a little slower
    Driving at 35 or 40? Or 80 or 90 on the motorway? Sticking closer to the speed limit will use up less fuel, as you’re not putting as much into the engine. There are other benefits – you can stop quicker in the event of an emergency, and you won’t get stopped by the coppers for speeding.


    Avoid stop-start driving
    Tying the previous two points together – a smooth journey is a more efficient journey. If you accelerate hard away from a junction, then slam the brakes on again at the next, you’re throwing away all that built up speed and energy (while using up more of your brakes). Smooth acceleration and gentler braking will cause less fuel to be used up, and cause less wear and tear on parts. Obviously don’t drive like a blind/scared 90 year old, but y’ know…


    Close your windows on the motorway
    Cars are pretty aerodynamic objects (compared to, say, a double decker bus or skip). If you have your window open, you’re turning the aerodynamic shell of your car into a parachute, creating drag. This obviously means the car has to work harder to keep at your desired speed, as it’s fighting against more wind resistance.


    Use aircon as little as possible
    Air conditioning systems use fuel to run, so having this hammering away for your entire journey will use up even more fuel. If you're warm, open the windows! (unless on a motorway )

    Obviously summer is upon us, so common sense is required to keep things at a happy medium between 'efficiency' and 'having a small paddling pool under your crotch'.

    We have a little battle here between aircon vs drag vs keeping yourself cool – apply common sense please. If you don’t have any, ask a friend.


    That roof rack box
    The one from your last trip? Is it filled with air? Objects like this affect your cars aerodynamics too, so take ‘em off if they’re not being used.

    Even worse if it’s full of crap. This goes for any extra stuff that you ferry about in your back seat or boot all the time, as you’re paying to carry around the extra weight, making your accelerator and brakes work harder to speed up and slow the car.


    Keep your car well maintained
    Bit of an obvious one this. A well-maintained car will run more efficiently than one that hasn’t had a service in a few years. Keeping oil fresh, changing filters and running on decent tires will all help a car run more efficiently, not to mention safely! Clogged up filters result in wasted power. Keep your tires inflated too – squashy tires are dangerous and inefficient.

    Avoid short journeys
    If you can, avoid using the car for piddly little journeys of a few miles. Walk it or bike it if you can. A cold engine uses more fuel than a warm one. And you might actually give your legs and heart a little exercise.



    Here endeth my blah-de-blah. Hopefully it'll be of use. Feel free to add your own tips and thoughts. Try and keep it constructive

    Happy driving!


    thankyou gordon brown lol

  9. #24
    Quackers's Avatar
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    I did notice my fuel gauge moving fast cruising around 140mph on the M6 Toll last week My engine must be a prostitute, it sucks like one. 2.0i Turbo petrol guzzles round town, i get 250-300 miles off £80

  10. #25
    Ryan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inbir316 View Post
    thankyou gordon brown lol
    Yep - let's all bear in mind that at best he's not helping things, and at worst he's sending this island down the crapper.

  11. #26

    SYSMAN_MK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quackers View Post
    cruising around 140mph on the M6 Toll last week
    Bit of an idiot then really!

  12. #27


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    Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box View Post
    I disagree. I'm getting over 150 miles extra to a 60 liter tank now I've got a diesel car. Yes, it's more expensive, but over the course of a month I'm getting an extra 500 miles I otherwise would not have.
    And like i said
    you have to do alot of miles for a diesel to work out cheaper
    I believe the figure is somewhere above 20k miles pa, which you are obviously doing.


    For the revs thing just have a look at a power graph for your car. As a very general rule just for the sake of arguement the torque peaks at around the 2.5k with +/- 0.5k around it being near enough the same power output. Therefore the most ecconomical (both petrol and not damaging your engine/car) is around 2-2.5k rpm. (Like i said, just for the sake of arguement, but it will apply to most on here. Big american V8s etc can rev alot lower...)


    I have a 14 year old toyota mr2 which when it left the factory did 36mpg by the book, i get around 30mpg which is not bad going in real life driving in a 14year old car. I never let my revs go below 2k, and very rarely drive over 100yards at less than 2.5k. Normally somewhere just below the 3k mark, but my car is a high reving engine.


    Oh and btw i wasnt knocking anyone, thats how we were taught to drive - "get into 5th". But my sister was also taught not slow down for railway crossings otherwise she would fail her test so ive pretty much disregarded everything my teacher told me. I mean WTF?!?!?
    Last edited by j17sparky; 4th June 2008 at 04:25 PM.

  13. #28

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SYSMAN_MK View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Quackers View Post
    I did notice my fuel gauge moving fast cruising around 140mph on the M6 Toll last week
    Bit of an idiot then really!
    A lot politer than what I would have put ...

    As someone who has been first on the scene of a major incident, as well as assisting the local constabulary and MOD Police on incidents where speed has been a major contributing factor to both the incidents happening in the first place and the extent of the carnage it caused ...

    Please do not speed.

  14. #29
    Sirbendy's Avatar
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    I've twice been a passenger in a vehicle going like the whatsits..one MR2 (couple of years old, M6 toll (again), well over the ton..was wobbling like a jelly..not reassuring), and one Pug605SVE (A5 bypass when first opened, and hell did that thing move..real french cruiser )

    In the toyota I had my eyes shut, and in the 605, neither of us even noticed we were "ton+"..it felt like 60. This was in our younger years though..personally, I've always preferred 50-60, and get told I drive like an old fart.

    Even at 45-50, you can have immense fun with roundabouts and cornering. On quiet roads and trading estates of course..heh. I think I must have poor grip tyres..it's quite easy to go sideways on some surfaces, and roundabouts can quite easily produce tortured rubber squealing..

    Maybe it's because I have 155/80/13 wheels..quite narrow. Always seems to surprise garages, that..they're the same as when I bought it..5.5j rims, apparently usually found with wider rubber, and those tyres.

    All good fun though.

  15. #30


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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirbendy View Post
    Even at 45-50, you can have immense fun with roundabouts and cornering.
    Yep. I have absolutely no interest in going fast in a straight line. To me straight line speed is very chav for want of a better word - "ear mate, how much as u got out your car?" Yep, takes great skill to plant your right foot and hope for the best.

    I actually saw myself do over a ton yesterday in my mr2, first time ive done it and it was only due to the fact i was absolutely fuming about something. Slowed down when i spotted it, as like i said it doesnt interest me risking my licence to go fast.

    Now fast round the corners, thats where its at! Its far more exciting to try and average 60/70/80mph (depending on conditions) through the country roads. Theres alot more pleasure in getting your "brake, turn in, accelerate" just right, and is quite satisfying coming out of the corner at a higher speed than you did previously.

    Got some coilovers on my car now which are great for sticking to the road but it actually very hard to make the back end come out unless im being silly, well unless its wet in which case its quite hard not to let it creep out when going fast!

    Oh and BTW i think his MR2 must have been fecked as 100mph in my car feels like 60-70 in a normal car. It certainly doesnt feel "wobbly"!!
    Last edited by j17sparky; 4th June 2008 at 05:35 PM.

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