EcoDriving Month on May, 2018: How can I drive my manual shift transmission more fuel efficiently?

May, 2018 is EcoDriving Month 2018. May is "National Ecodriving Month," and the ideal time to launch ... National Ecodriving Month.

How can I drive my manual shift transmission more fuel efficiently?

I get the best mileage shifting pretty early and not revving too high, unless you really need the power. In most cases, try to get to the highest gear as soon as possible without lugging. On flat ground, I usually upshift at 1500-2000 rpm. If you're going downhill, upshift even sooner.

Also try to avoid clutch slip--it turns fuel into unhelpful heat. Practice getting the clutch out pretty quickly before applying much throttle when you start out in 1st. Then once the clutch is out, you can add more throttle. Try not to slip the clutch at all between the other gears.

Try to avoid using the brakes. The brakes also turn fuel into unhelpful heat. This doesn't mean run into the car in front of you. It means leaving more space in front and anticipating stops and slow-downs so that you can get off the throttle in advance and use minimal or no brakes. Staying on the throttle until just before the stop and then using lots of brake wastes fuel.

"Driving with load" is a fuel-saving technique. If you're on hilly terrain, try not to accelerate while climbing--that uses lots of fuel. If you let your speed drop a little on the climb and then pick up speed on the downhill, you're conserving fuel. Be mindful of traffic--you can't always do this.

On level stretches, using cruise control can help improve fuel economy my keeping speed constant. On hilly terrain, you can get better mileage "driving with load" than the cruise control can.

At highway speed, air resistance gets to be a big factor. Wind resistance is exponential. Doubling your speed increases wind resistance by about a factor of 4. Cruising at 60 mph is much more fuel efficient than cruising at 75 mph. Drafting can also be used to a certain extent to reduce air resistance. Although it is unsafe to draft closely on the highway, even keeping a safe distance behind a large-profile vehicle such as a commercial truck or RV reduces your air resistance.

There are a lot of hypermiling (fuel efficient driving) techniques to improve fuel economy. Here's a good list:

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2004 Prius, why was I stuck at 41mpg

2004 Prius, why was I stuck at 41mpg, but can get 55+mpg with the same car just because I believe I can?

It takes some practice but the Prius is a great teacher. One thing that I have found to help is not to use the climate control in "Auto" mode. Keep it off and only use it sparingly, as needed. In "auto" mode, the gas engine needs to run more than normal in order to produce heat and electricity for the A/C.

As Jerry mentioned, different tires have different amounts of rolling resistance. You can look up tires online--rolling resistance statistics are available for many. The rolling resistance of tires can also be reduced by increasing their air pressure. Some hypermilers put 50 psi or more in the tires but I prefer a safer 44 psi front, 42 psi back.

Another tip is to use the brakes as little as possible. Even though the Prius regenerative braking is able to capture some of the braking energy, it's still at about a 40% loss overall. It saves energy to leave extra following distance and anticipate stops and slow-downs so you can use as little brake as necessary.

High MPG averages are easier to obtain in warm weather and with driving trips that are at least 30 minutes each way. The first 5-10 minutes of driving deliver the poorest fuel economy so if all your trips are short, your MPG averages will be lower than usual.

Are you familiar with pulse-gliding? On flat ground or downhill grades, especially at speeds below 42 mph, it's fuel efficient to use the gasoline engine for short bursts and then lift the go-pedal and hold it at that electric glide level. Not all the way up or it will regeneratively brake but down just a little so that regenerative braking stops. Glance quickly at the energy-flow diagram on the screen and try not to have any green arrows when you're gliding, unless you want to slow down. Also, if you're crawling in traffic or moving slowly through parking lots or subdivisions, make use of electric glide (no orange arrows) with light pedal pressure to keep the gasoline engine from starting.

Here's a comprehensive list of hypermiling techniques:

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Holidays also on this date Tuesday, May 1, 2018...