Fuel economy

simon_wall69

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After reading some bumff on the subject of driving more economically, I thought I would give it a go. So, on some long motorway journeys I just kept her steady at 70, where I would normally be doing 80ish.

I couldn't believe it when eventually the fuel light came on, I found that I had done 560 miles on the tank, about 80 miles more than normal, so about a 17% gain, or about 42mpg insted of around 35mpg. Didn't quite expect that much.
 

S.Speed

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I quite agree its surprising the difference it makes..
Sometimes though I love to give it a generous squirt through the lanes or away from traffic lights.
 

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You may find that at 70 you'll arrive at your destination much more relaxed. I tend to drive at about 70 these days for this reason, whereas I'd usually have done 85.
 

whitenemesis

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You may find that at 70 you'll arrive at your destination much more relaxed. I tend to drive at about 70 these days for this reason, whereas I'd usually have done 85.

Agreed! Much less stressful. Sometimes though I speed up, just to break free from the pack that seems to gather doing the same speed.

Strange how on the motorway there are packs of cars with significant empty road between. Get into that gap and it's really relaxing
 

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Well I went a stage further and drove at 60 for the best part going from Lyme to Duxford, mainly A 303 and A34 and after 175 mile I got the magic 31 MPG. Interesting thing was that it only took 10 mins longer for the 2 hour first stretch that I know so well
 

Alex M Grieve

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Well I went a stage further and drove at 60 for the best part going from Lyme to Duxford, mainly A 303 and A34 and after 175 mile I got the magic 31 MPG. Interesting thing was that it only took 10 mins longer for the 2 hour first stretch that I know so well

Well done Malcolm. There are probably very few 5L cars achieving more than 30 mpg - I am now staring to feel anxious that you will also become the exemplar for economy on the Forum! :shock: My first SAAB 99 (1850 cc) struggled to do much better, even during the speed/fuel restrictions of the mid 1970s.

All this, and no points either!! :rolleyes:
 

Dosco

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Agreed! Much less stressful. Sometimes though I speed up, just to break free from the pack that seems to gather doing the same speed.

Strange how on the motorway there are packs of cars with significant empty road between. Get into that gap and it's really relaxing

Absolutely driving in this way becomes somewhat pleasurable again.
 
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simon_wall69

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I think I'm a convert now. It is definitely more relaxing.

Won't be turned into someone who sits in the middle lane pootling though!
 

Alex M Grieve

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I think I'm a convert now. It is definitely more relaxing.

Won't be turned into someone who sits in the middle lane pootling though!

Well done Simon. There is a health warning with this as well however.

As you will now be spending more time in lanes 1 and 2 of the motorway, you will become aware that the drivers in lanes outside you who are catching up with you do not seem to realize that you too may be catching up with the vehicle ahead of you in your lane.

You are in lane 1. You are quickly approaching a slower vehicle in lane 1. Sadly, the driver coming up behind you in lane 2 does not realize this (he may live in lane 2), so whether lane 3 is vacant for his/her use is irrelevant - they will continue blindly and drive you into the back of the car in front of you. If you indicate that you wish to pull out - they may well flash their lights and sound their horn. Giving way, or moving to lane 3 do not seem to be in their repertoire.

The same factors can affect you if you are in lane 2 and would like to use lane 3. When you are in lane 1, the vehicle in front might be going very slowly, so the differential between you and them might be a lot (30 mph).

If you are in lane 2 and want to use the third lane, vehicles behind you (and they might still be lurking behind you in lane 2 at that moment) may also be going much faster than you are.

In either case - mirrors, anticipation, judgment are everything.

I guess there is no perfect answer. You just need to assume that all other motorists are pillocks, and avoid them accordingly. Occasionally you will be pleasantly surprised when another driver demonstrates competence, courtesy or both, but you can not rely on it!
 

jberks

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Well done Simon. There is a health warning with this as well however.

As you will now be spending more time in lanes 1 and 2 of the motorway, you will become aware that the drivers in lanes outside you who are catching up with you do not seem to realize that you too may be catching up with the vehicle ahead of you in your lane.

You are in lane 1. You are quickly approaching a slower vehicle in lane 1. Sadly, the driver coming up behind you in lane 2 does not realize this (he may live in lane 2), so whether lane 3 is vacant for his/her use is irrelevant - they will continue blindly and drive you into the back of the car in front of you. If you indicate that you wish to pull out - they may well flash their lights and sound their horn. Giving way, or moving to lane 3 do not seem to be in their repertoire.

The same factors can affect you if you are in lane 2 and would like to use lane 3. When you are in lane 1, the vehicle in front might be going very slowly, so the differential between you and them might be a lot (30 mph).

If you are in lane 2 and want to use the third lane, vehicles behind you (and they might still be lurking behind you in lane 2 at that moment) may also be going much faster than you are.

In either case - mirrors, anticipation, judgment are everything.

I guess there is no perfect answer. You just need to assume that all other motorists are pillocks, and avoid them accordingly. Occasionally you will be pleasantly surprised when another driver demonstrates competence, courtesy or both, but you can not rely on it!

This is why I normally start with the best of intentions but end up doing 90 with the others in the outside lane. I end up working just as hard to anticipate the muppets and act early enough to pull out anyway. They often just sit on my bumper instead of overtaking but as the phrase goes, stuff 'em. They're too stupid deserve any sympathy. I ensure that I'm out of the way of others, often finding myself moving to the outside lane so the car in the inside can move to the middle lane, only to see the muppet wait until the last second, brake, and stay there. Speed doesn't kill, uncourteous stupidity does.

That said, I learned the economy lesson in the 80's. I used to fly back and forth between Leeds and Leicester several times a week. I'd fly up and down the outside lane in my Escort and would arrive back with 1/8 of a tank. One day I got stopped on the way there, just outside Nottingham. I did the rest of the journey at 70. Arrived back with 1/2 a tank.
 

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Makes a big difference how you drive. On a Friday night I just want to get home, so the ML at top speed whenever I could get it, 14.9mpg; at the weekend over 153miles, when times was not critical, managed 25.3 generally cruising around 60mph but going up and down Alps!

The C220 Im getting 35.7 driving flat out on a Friday night, but I saw a magical 70mpg over an 8mile journey after coming from a car wash!
 
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simon_wall69

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Well done Simon. There is a health warning with this as well however.

As you will now be spending more time in lanes 1 and 2 of the motorway, you will become aware that the drivers in lanes outside you who are catching up with you do not seem to realize that you too may be catching up with the vehicle ahead of you in your lane.

You are in lane 1. You are quickly approaching a slower vehicle in lane 1. Sadly, the driver coming up behind you in lane 2 does not realize this (he may live in lane 2), so whether lane 3 is vacant for his/her use is irrelevant - they will continue blindly and drive you into the back of the car in front of you. If you indicate that you wish to pull out - they may well flash their lights and sound their horn. Giving way, or moving to lane 3 do not seem to be in their repertoire.

The same factors can affect you if you are in lane 2 and would like to use lane 3. When you are in lane 1, the vehicle in front might be going very slowly, so the differential between you and them might be a lot (30 mph).

If you are in lane 2 and want to use the third lane, vehicles behind you (and they might still be lurking behind you in lane 2 at that moment) may also be going much faster than you are.

In either case - mirrors, anticipation, judgment are everything.

I guess there is no perfect answer. You just need to assume that all other motorists are pillocks, and avoid them accordingly. Occasionally you will be pleasantly surprised when another driver demonstrates competence, courtesy or both, but you can not rely on it!

And then there are also those who sit in your blind spot...
 

kth286

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but I saw a magical 70mpg over an 8mile journey after coming from a car wash!

Crickey, you must have had a lot of dirt on your car to lighten it that much !!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Jensen

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Well I went a stage further and drove at 60 for the best part going from Lyme to Duxford, mainly A 303 and A34 and after 175 mile I got the magic 31 MPG. Interesting thing was that it only took 10 mins longer for the 2 hour first stretch that I know so well

After watching a TV programme with Quintin Wilson, I too now find myself driving at 60 mph instead of 70, as he said above 60 and fuel consumption increases by 20%.

On further thinking I guess this must be the optimal speed for economy as fuel figures are all based on speeds of 56 mph by all manufacturers. I assume that this must be the best speed for maximum fuel efficiency, as both greater and less than 56 increase consumption due to weight and various other physic issues.
 

whitenemesis

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Makes a big difference how you drive. On a Friday night I just want to get home, so the ML at top speed whenever I could get it, 14.9mpg; at the weekend over 153miles, when times was not critical, managed 25.3 generally cruising around 60mph but going up and down Alps!

The C220 Im getting 35.7 driving flat out on a Friday night, but I saw a magical 70mpg over an 8mile journey after coming from a car wash!

Amazing what one can achieve if one resets the trip once the engine is at operating temp! :lol:
 

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Amazing what one can achieve if one resets the trip once the engine is at operating temp! :lol:

Yes true Peter,when I start mine up its says 6.7 mpg, as it is all hills to get out of my home town some 3 miles later I am up to 14 mpg, and things get better from then on.

One the 303 I pushed the reset and sway 37mpg for a few seconds, but I do not count that
 

youspurs1

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I'll be driving to the alps in a couple of weeks and am going to have a serious try at economy. My ferry bookings have been timed for me to be able to stick to 60mph (ish) and reach my destination at approx 11am.
The problem I have is when my wife drives so that I can have a rest. She drives at a constant speed, but never plans her overtaking! She will wait until she is 20 yards behind the lorry in the inside lane before she looks for a gap in the outside lane. If the outside lane is busy at that moment, she then has no option but to hit the brakes to slow down suddenly while she waits for space to move out.
There's poor old me trying to get some shut-eye, and I'm woken by being slung forward in my seat when she brakes, then flung backwards again as she floors it to get past the 'blocker'.
I've tried and tried to tell her, "Look earlier! you can see that you are going to need to pull out...just adjust your speed smoothly and blend in!" but to no avail.......
Anyway, it's almost exactly 800 miles each way - two up, with average luggage - so I'll be very interested to see how we do.
 

television

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I'll be driving to the alps in a couple of weeks and am going to have a serious try at economy. My ferry bookings have been timed for me to be able to stick to 60mph (ish) and reach my destination at approx 11am.
The problem I have is when my wife drives so that I can have a rest. She drives at a constant speed, but never plans her overtaking! She will wait until she is 20 yards behind the lorry in the inside lane before she looks for a gap in the outside lane. If the outside lane is busy at that moment, she then has no option but to hit the brakes to slow down suddenly while she waits for space to move out.
There's poor old me trying to get some shut-eye, and I'm woken by being slung forward in my seat when she brakes, then flung backwards again as she floors it to get past the 'blocker'.
I've tried and tried to tell her, "Look earlier! you can see that you are going to need to pull out...just adjust your speed smoothly and blend in!" but to no avail.......
Anyway, it's almost exactly 800 miles each way - two up, with average luggage - so I'll be very interested to see how we do.

I think that you will find the driving slightly better over there, if you avoid the rush hour of folk going to work, I got my best ever figures drive through Germany. I also had some 8 hours to do the 550 km distances to the ferry terminals.

What messed me up was that on Comand I could not find the ferry terminals, but when I got home they were listed under "landings"
 

psmart

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Amazing what one can achieve if one resets the trip once the engine is at operating temp! :lol:
True, but with the C220, Sequentronic (ie. Manual) I could get 66mpg from cold going to Manchester Airport from Leeds. The actual figure during the 8 mile drive was well above 70, but given the small hillocks (a few thousand feet) where I live, the economy came down :(

Still, 25.3 on an ML500 from cold over 153 miles just shows what good driving does (and if you override the 7G and force it to change up).
 

psmart

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Yes true Peter,when I start mine up its says 6.7 mpg, as it is all hills to get out of my home town some 3 miles later I am up to 14 mpg, and things get better from then on.

One the 303 I pushed the reset and sway 37mpg for a few seconds, but I do not count that
The ML starts at 21.1 when you first start it :) ... goes down but then works its way back up unless Im in full speed ahead mode :)
 


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