Just thought this gas mileage story might be worth noting for some
Honda Accord buyers.
I just took my first long ride with this car this past weekend from
Houston, Texas to Austin, Texas and back. I used cruise control 99
percent of the time and had 2 adults, 2 teenagers and baggage and air
conditioning 100 percent of the time. I locked in the cruise control
at about 66 or 67 mph (speed limit said 70) and just stayed mostly in
the right lane to allow cars/trucks to pass me. Most of the trip is
hilly terrain and weather was sunny and warm and not much wind. Car
is in excellent shape.
I was concerned that gas stations would be closed based on news
reports earlier so I wanted to be sure to do this trip on one tank of
gas tho it turned out gas stations were open. I calculated I got 37.5
mile/gal and I was totally surprised. I'm sure it's not a mistake
too. Normally city driving I get around 24 mile/gal.
Off topic, I noticed many times, the large pickup trucks moved over to
the right lane only to let the prius, focus or honda civics pass them
(guessing they were doing around 75mph or so).
On 9/6/05 7:09 AM, in article
email@example.com, "Elmo P. Shagnasty"
I don't own an Accord; I own a 2001 Odyssey. On one leg of a return trip
several years ago from the Northeastern US (back to Dallas), with four
passengers and quite a bit of luggage and camping cargo in the back, I
somehow managed to get 28 mpg.
This with the 3.5 liter V6 Acura engine, A/C going full bore, and driving
mostly around 80 mph.
I will grant that heading toward Dallas from where we were was aiding us
with a gentle decrease in elevation, but still, I was wowed.
: >> Just thought this gas mileage story might be worth noting for some
: >> Honda Accord buyers.
: >> I just took my first long ride with this car this past weekend from
: >> Houston, Texas to Austin, Texas and back. I used cruise control 99
: >> percent of the time and had 2 adults, 2 teenagers and baggage and air
: >> conditioning 100 percent of the time. I locked in the cruise control
: >> at about 66 or 67 mph (speed limit said 70) and just stayed mostly in
: >> the right lane to allow cars/trucks to pass me. Most of the trip is
: >> hilly terrain and weather was sunny and warm and not much wind. Car
: >> is in excellent shape.
: >> I was concerned that gas stations would be closed based on news
: >> reports earlier so I wanted to be sure to do this trip on one tank of
: >> gas tho it turned out gas stations were open. I calculated I got 37.5
: >> mile/gal and I was totally surprised. I'm sure it's not a mistake
: >> too.
: > Not a mistake at all. I had a 2000 Accord 5 speed; in the summer, A/C
: > on, going through the mountains, I got 35mpg.
: I don't own an Accord; I own a 2001 Odyssey. On one leg of a return trip
: several years ago from the Northeastern US (back to Dallas), with four
: passengers and quite a bit of luggage and camping cargo in the back, I
: somehow managed to get 28 mpg.
: This with the 3.5 liter V6 Acura engine, A/C going full bore, and driving
: mostly around 80 mph.
: I will grant that heading toward Dallas from where we were was aiding us
: with a gentle decrease in elevation, but still, I was wowed.
I once got more than 29 mpg in my '01 Ody, on a 345-mile leg of a trip
between Atlanta and Houston. True, it was over flat terrain, mostly without
the A/C (it was December), and at an average speed a bit lower than my usual
75 or so, but I did have two adults and a child in the van, plus a lot of
stuff. Even given a little margin for error in the refueling process, I was
Around town? Usually about 16 to 18 mpg, unfortunately.
I have a 2003 Honda Accord 4 cylinder with manual transmission. I find that
at 50 MPH, 2000 RPM in 5th gear, I get the best gas mileage. On a trip
from Canton, TX, home of the BIG Flea Market, to Austin, TX, I averaged
more than 50 MPG. On a short trip on IH 35 from San Antonio to Austin,
it averaged more than 50 MPG. To get that economy, I use no air
conditioning, no cruise control and use the built-in navigation system
computer to show me the instantaneous gas mileage number. I find that
seeing the gas mileage number in real-time helps me drive for highest
economy with little effort. Unless the highway is totally flat, the
cruise control does not drive as economically as I can. I routinely
get more than 45 MPG on the highway.
Using the air conditioning, using the cruise control and driving faster
that 50 MPH drops the economy to 36-38 MPG. I always use the lowest
priced grade of gasoline.
In town economy depends on the time of day. Non-peak time driving can
yield as much as 32 MPG. That is a achieved by coasting when possible.
Typically in Austin, during peak traffic times, the number is only
This Honda was bought new and has been driven over 60,000 miles. No
repairs have been needed yet. I change the oil every four months with
Castrol 5W20, clean the leather, wash and wax the paint and that is all.
James D. Howard Austin TX USA firstname.lastname@example.org
Well, it sounds like he is coasting a lot and letting his speed drop
when going up hills also. If you really game the system, you will beat
the cruise control. After all, you can see what's coming up next, and
it can't. It also sounds like he's making his fellow drivers nuts by
going 50 mph and getting in their way. Austin traffic is hellacious,
and I wouldn't want to be behind this guy so he can save $10 a month.
On Fri, 09 Sep 2005 14:21:40 -0400, "Elmo P. Shagnasty"
I say up front i ahven't used cruise control in years, except for once
last week. My vehicles don't have it, i don't use it. I used it on my
wifes work van, a 96 T+C. Before this, my last experiance was with a
03 buick century back in 03 (a rental car).
Basically, whenevre it droped below the set speed, it opened the
throttle to what felt like 20%, and carried on until the set speed was
reached. Personally, i'd fluctuate a bit more, run it 3 or so over,
let it run 3 or so under, and repeat. The vehicle seemed to surge as
well, as it moved into acceleration mode. and it never went over about
2500rpm, avoiding the peak torque area (which is the most efficient
area)) although whether this was more a fact of the cruise control, or
the slushbox, i don't know.
These large and drequent instances of throttle usage are not efficient
However, the wife loves the cruise control. i've asked her to make a
not of how far and how much fuel she used in the van today, and when
we do the route again, i'lm going to go with her, and drive as i
normally do, to compareThat'll be at least a week away though.
So you're saying you have very little experience with cruise control.
I also noticed that you avoided answering my question, so I'll ask it
So you're keeping your throttle at exactly the same position, manually,
and if you go up or down a hill and your speed changes dramatically, so
Is that what you're doing when you drive, to avoid the throttle
movements that are "inefficient"?
On Fri, 09 Sep 2005 18:25:55 -0400, "Elmo P. Shagnasty"
I'm saying i have limited experiance, but with that, i pay a lot more
attention to what its doing - its not something i take for grated, and
ignore as a backgroud part of driving'
no, i'm not. If you read what I said, I vary the cars speed, work with
the grade (and with the road thats comming up - something NO cruise
control can do) anticipate, etc.
Cruise control programming is very simple
10 IF speed<set THEN throttle++ ELSE throttle = 0
20 goto 10
Thats putting how i've seen cruise control operation to be, rendered
into 20-odd year old Basic. If the programming is more conplex, then
it certainly doesn't come across in the driving experiance.
To drive efficiently, you must drive smoothly, with no sudden speed
changes, and in harmony with the othre road users around you. A cruise
control takes no notice of any enviroment except the one its driving
over at that second, and has no way of detecting other road users. It
in no way attempts to use the engine most efficiently, so HOW can it
be driving most efficiently?
I can think of at least one possible way *if* the car is an
automatic. It is possible (though I do not know for a fact) that
the OEM could factor in the CC in the torque converter (TC) lockup
routine. Generally the TC locks up at a certain min rpm and for a
range of throttle positions. It might be programmed to note that if
CC is engaged, throttle-based drivability concerns will not be as
big a deal at lower rpm settings. Thus it might lock it up at
non-normal speeds resulting in a more efficient transmission.
Anyway, it has been my experience that CC probably beats my mileage.
But one factor may be that if I have CC engaged, I'm driving slower
than I would otherwise.
As to the modulating throttle, I think it is a fallacy that this
markedy decreases MPG, unless done so *aggressively*. At
least in a manual where the TC doesn't come into play. Contrary to
what you might infer from your high school driving instruction, an
engine is actually more efficient at higher (but not max) throttle
setting. Accelerating doesn't consume more fuel, braking does!
(well, accel does, but it just stores it in the kinetic energy of
the car where it is available for later use). And yeah, faster
driving means higher rpm and air drag. Both of these result in
increased frictional losses.
On Sat, 10 Sep 2005 12:41:13 GMT, email@example.com (Dave) wrote:
Dunno if this last paragraph was directed at me or not. Engine is most
efficient at arond its peak torque area. (at least for non vtec
engines) I'm not sure about them, having not had much experiance of
them. I personally didn't learn about anything at high school (since
i'm not american, and thus never went to one) but what i learnt about
cars, i learnt in my teens, working on my fathers rally car, and doing
the old economy rally's. Those were fun, slingshotting the car around
the peak torque area, and using a saab freewheeling unit in between.
I think that is close, but at peak torque, most if not all engines
go into fuel enrichment. So, they won't be terribly efficient
there. Highest efficiency is typically about 20% or so below the
peak torque for that rpm judging from the fair number of brake
specific fuel consumption maps I've seen. That's still a very high
throttle setting which you won't see in typical cruise.
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