Learning the route.

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Jocko
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Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:27 am

Learning the route.

Postby Jocko » Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:33 am

I drive the same route, twice a day, five days a week. As a result I am able to refine my driving technique over that route. It has been less than a month since I started to try and improve my fuel figures by employing some of the tricks I have read here and elsewhere.
The first thing I changed was the route I used. In the morning I went the shortest quickest way, but at lunch time I went a longer route, just for a bit of variety. The shorter route has one set of traffic lights, the longer one, eight. Variety was the first thing to go!
What I have been able to refine is the points where I slip into neutral, to do a bit of coasting, and the places I select a lower gear for Deceleration Fuel Cut Off. I use both methods quite a lot, choosing which gives me the best option for the given condition. For example, there is a long gentle downhill section where even 5th would slow me down quickly (my Honda Jazz is light and has very little inertia), so there I coast in neutral. As I approach the end of the slope, and the right hand turn at the light controlled junction, I know when to select 3rd, for DFCO and the management of my speed before making the turn.
My entire route is like that. Places where I know if I go into neutral I can reach a turn at the correct speed and other spots where in gear coasting is the best option. My selection points are pretty precise as well. I know if I slip into neutral at the white gate I have enough speed to crest the rise and if I select 3rd at the big house I can use DFCO right up to the roundabout at the bottom of the hill. I refine these points with experience.
My lunch time trip is not so simple. Traffic is much heavier than it is at 06:30 and the best laid plans as they say! It is much more a case of forward observation and trying to second guess other drivers.
What really scunners me are the drivers who sit at a red light and are never ready to move off when they change. Let’s face it. You have only the one thing you need to do at a traffic light and that is watch for it to turn green. While you are sliding slowly up behind them they are staring into space, oblivious to all around them. Now I know that with auto stop and the like some cars are not ready to go the moment the green light comes on but at least, here in the UK, we have red and amber to let them get ready. Get three dawdlers ahead of you at a set of lights and you are lucky to get through before the amber, never mind without needing to stop.
And don’t get me started on roundabouts!
I never coast with the engine off. In my car that is downright dangerous. Okay, my brake servo is good for three or four applications before I need Bigfoot but my steering has electrical power assist which requires the engine running to operate. Now I am a big fella, but to turn the wheel without the power steering I would need arms like Garth. It is like the steering lock is on. I have never known a car with such heavy steering without the power assist.
Well I say I never coast with the engine off. I do when I bring the car out of the garage. I always leave my car in 1st gear, wherever I park, so it is foot on the clutch, start engine, clutch up, start rolling, clutch down and engine off. The car can then roll clear of the garage ready for me to go and lock it back up.
I follow that initial procedure all the time. My start is always everyone belted in, check for other traffic, once all clear start engine, clutch up and off. No unnecessary idling.
So that is what I have learned so far. A long way still to go for probably little extra mpg, but it is a good game, and I enjoy playing it.
What about you?

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frv
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Re: Learning the route.

Postby frv » Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:14 am

Sounds like you've got it pretty well sussed Jocko 8-), in our Jazz I too use a combination of DFCO and neutral coasting. There's one particular hill near home where I drive up slowly losing speed to the crest at maybe 20 - 25mph where I use DFCO in 3rd on steepest part, then 4th then N to the mini roundabout. This ensures I never have to press the brakes (other than due to the actions of other drivers :roll:). I don't think I could improve on what you've said you do apart from I push my car out of the garage then jump in and apply handbrake before shutting the garage door. Our Jazz's steering is fine with engine off at slow speeds.

When I get home in my car, I drive past the end of our drive at right angles, turn engine off and reverse (roll) round the corner and back then stop at the top of the drive. I take my belongings into the house and then making sure the garage door has opened ;) (remote!) I handbrake off, give an extra push with right foot out the door, close door and roll backwards down the slight hill on our drive straight into the garage (with judicious use of both mirrors to line it up) with just enough momentum to go all the way in with just a slight application of the brakes.
'15 Audi A3 Sportback SE CoD S-Tronic - 5+ year average 55+mpg
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(Retired) '06 Honda FR-V 2.2 i-CTDi - Best/longest tank: 67.92mpg (+51.6%) / 815.5 miles.

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Jocko
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Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:27 am

Re: Learning the route.

Postby Jocko » Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:37 am

My garage is too narrow and as I have said, I'm a big fella, so pushing it out is not practical. And pushing it in is uphill, so that doesn't happen either.

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frv
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Re: Learning the route.

Postby frv » Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:40 am

Ahh ok. Our old garage was a bit narrow too and I had to fold the mirrors in on the FR-V to get it in!
'15 Audi A3 Sportback SE CoD S-Tronic - 5+ year average 55+mpg
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(Retired) '06 Honda FR-V 2.2 i-CTDi - Best/longest tank: 67.92mpg (+51.6%) / 815.5 miles.

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