Most economical gear for town driving?

greenman
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Most economical gear for town driving?

Postby greenman » Fri May 04, 2012 10:18 pm

I was talking to a friend today and he asked me what gear I drove in when in town. I reckoned with my diesel engine mostly third or fourth -depending on the conditions. He replied in his petrol car (Chevrolet Spark) he drove in second gear so as not to go over the 30 limit. I feel his 30 limit paranoia is using him a lot more fuel, what do you think?
I know that my last petrol car (Ford Fiesta) I was able to cruise a lot of time in 5th gear.
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frv
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Re: Most economical gear for town driving?

Postby frv » Sat May 05, 2012 6:40 am

Wow, in second the revs will be way too high! You need to be be in the highest gear possible without labouring the engine. I'm quite often in 6th on the flat if not accelerating but if pulse and gliding, I'm in third.
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greenman
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Re: Most economical gear for town driving?

Postby greenman » Sat May 05, 2012 12:11 pm

I agree that as high a gear as possible is the best. Very often I can cruise in 5th without my foot on the accelerator especially down a hill. I think town driving is a bit of an art requiring anticipation and concentration - moving through the gears when appropriate.
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ishtmail
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Re: Most economical gear for town driving?

Postby ishtmail » Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:27 am

Might as well revive this oldie.


When driving around town, if the stretch of road is at least a couple hundred meters, I drive in 5th gear, whether the speed limit is 50 km/h (30mph), 60 km/h (40 mph) or more.
I have discovered with my Octavia that the engine starts pulling on its own when driving on the lowest limit of the current gear.

For example: 3rd gear lowest limit is 25 km/h (15mph): this is the lowest speed for 3rd gear, going slower and the engine starts pulling on its own.
4th gear at 35 km/h (22 mph)
5th gear at 45 km/h (28 mph).


So, when I'm cruising down a classic 50km/h (30mph) lane (that is pretty much horizontal, no hills), I drive in 5th gear at a steady 50, and my momentary consumption at that moment can be around 2,8 l / 100km (100 mpg UK).


If I see a red light ahead, I turn the engine off and cruise to the red light in neutral gear with the engine off.


As soon as green light turns on, I turn the engine on and drive off. Funny that: as I'm concentrated on what I'm doing, I can actually turn the engine on and drive off faster than everyone else (who have their engines on constantly :) ).


Generally, I can keep my city driving average consumption below 4,2 liters per 100km driven (65mpg UK), even with lots of red lights, as long as the traffic isn't too heavy, and in best case scenarios (hitting the green lights constantly and minimal traffic), I've even managed a solid 3,9 l / 100km (72 mpg UK).

So, it's possible to keep your mileage above 65 mpg UK, with the right approach, and first and foremost by selecting the right time of your commute, if your situation allows that.
Škoda Octavia Combi 1.9 TDI 90HP, 2004

Best trip: 100,89 mpg (2,8l / 100 km) / 6,8 miles
Best tank: 83,55 mpg (3,38l / 100km) / 990,1 miles
Longest tank: 82,06 mpg (3,44l / 100km) / 1001,4 miles
Average: 72,73 mpg (3,88l / 100km) after 16.452 miles

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frv
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Re: Most economical gear for town driving?

Postby frv » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:27 am

If I see a red light ahead, I turn the engine off and cruise to the red light in neutral gear with the engine off.
I do this as well all the time!
As soon as green light turns on, I turn the engine on and drive off. Funny that: as I'm concentrated on what I'm doing, I can actually turn the engine on and drive off faster than everyone else (who have their engines on constantly :) ).
I have also found this 8-)
'15 Audi A3 Sportback SE CoD S-Tronic - 5+ year average 55+mpg
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Karl
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Re: Most economical gear for town driving?

Postby Karl » Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:50 am

haha - this made me chuckle!

a little while back a guy at work said he'd been trying out some Hypermiling with some FAS. He did it coming up to a roundabout and switched the ignition off too far. This locked his steering wheel and panic ensued... oh I did I laugh. (no one was in danger or hurt btw)
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ishtmail
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Re: Most economical gear for town driving?

Postby ishtmail » Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:30 pm

Haha.... Yeah!
When going into FAS, it's wise to remember: release gas pedal, press clutch fully (and keep it pressed), ignition key to OFF and immediately to ON again. With my car, Lock only happens if I pull the key out. Anyway, the OFF+ON method keeps your wheel unlocked, your lights on etc, and allows for a quick response if needed (just step off the clutch and you'll either slow down to stop, or the engine will start, giving you full control).

Well, I use FAS only on really straight stretches of the road, never on tight turns, because my Škoda in FAS has a really heavy wheel and quick tight turns are impossible.
So, basically, know the limitations of your car and don't try to push it too far. I wouldn't FAS through a roundabout, that's for certain, at least not with my Škoda.


This reminds me: when driving in FAS, or in Neutral Coasting, do you just step on the clutch and hold it, or do you actually shift to neutral? I find it safer to leave the gearbox in gear, and just step on the clutch to actually release the engine drive (and make it neutral). Shifting into neutral could cause problems if you have to react fast and you need to add another operation to reviving your car.
Škoda Octavia Combi 1.9 TDI 90HP, 2004

Best trip: 100,89 mpg (2,8l / 100 km) / 6,8 miles
Best tank: 83,55 mpg (3,38l / 100km) / 990,1 miles
Longest tank: 82,06 mpg (3,44l / 100km) / 1001,4 miles
Average: 72,73 mpg (3,88l / 100km) after 16.452 miles

greenman
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Location: Wales

Re: Most economical gear for town driving?

Postby greenman » Sat Sep 21, 2013 8:25 am

ishtmail wrote
For example: 3rd gear lowest limit is 25 km/h (15mph): this is the lowest speed for 3rd gear, going slower and the engine starts pulling on its own.
4th gear at 35 km/h (22 mph)
5th gear at 45 km/h (28 mph).
You are very lucky that you can cruise at 28mph in 5th gear and 22 mph in 4th gear. If I try to do this the engine protests and starts juddering! I can just about manage a mixture of 3rd and 4th gears when I am cruising. I am loathe to turn the engine off - I always used to with petrol engines but not so sure with the diesel engine.
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IanLorenc
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Re: Most economical gear for town driving?

Postby IanLorenc » Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:45 am

Just to toss my two penneth in, my Fiesta (and the previous one, for that matter) is so low-geared, that 30 in 5th is absolutely no problem. On the flat, 25 in 5th is possible, but I'll pop it in 4th instead.

To respond to original thread, 30 in 2nd is just ridiculous. That's the kind of thing I used to do when I was a tearaway approaching a N/S/A sign and I was getting ready to floor it.
The only thing more ridiculous than 30 in 2nd, is 30 in 1st.
Cheers.
Ian.

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