(Anecdotal) Fit only getting 27 MPG?

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Canada is the only country in the world that has 5mph bumpers (and one of only TWO countries in the world with any sort of bumper standards at all).
There are no hydraulic rams anymore, just styrofoam atop a rigidly- mounted steel beam. The rams were too heavy and were a casualty of CAFE- derived weight-saving measures.

The whole point of the energy absorbing bumpers was to protect the car's "safety systems" from damage in a collision at that speed. "Safety systems" primarily means the headlights.
The automakers were able to have the US standard reduced in the mid-'80s because they were able to show that there wasn't much practical difference in damage between 2.5mph and 5mph bumpers.
2.5mph bumpers were supposed to be able to be less costly to produce and carry less of a weight penalty.
Also, rigid bumpers tend to carry more of the stress of the collision to the body shell, meaning damage is more likely to go deeper than just the cosmetic. The old non-impact bumpers tended to keep the damage out at the cosmetic sheet metal.
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Tegger

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Tegger wrote:

which is a crock.

also a crock. whatever the propaganda that was used to rationalize this downgrade, it came down to one simple thing. corporate welfare.
5mph bumpers meant that the usual parking lot dings and bumps weren't causing damage, thereby causing a sudden and substantial loss in revenue for repair shops, and most importantly, manufacturers. so it was reduced, with b.s. reasons cited like you say, but they're untrue.
and "deeper" damage, is by design, not accident. the initial yield point of a crumple zone is easily designed, as is the point at which it occurs. frod are ruthless exploiters of this. where's the first point to buckle behind the bumper at 5mph on frontal impact? the bit /behind/ the radiator perhaps? no. the bit in front of the engine perhaps? no. the bit behind the engine and suspension, where repair becomes uneconomic? youbetcha. a necessity of design? no way. profitable? amazingly so.

indeed. and they reduced write-offs substantially too. not as profitable to detroit repair as it is to sell a new car.
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Consider the collisions you have known. Some of them have been at very low speeds - parking lots, creeping traffic that suddenly jolted - but the rest have probably been at much more than 5 mph. Except for the 1-2 mph dings I can't think of a single collision I've ever witnessed that was under 15 mph.
Proposed bumper height standards were the rage for a while because bumpers are pointless if they aren't used. Dunno if any standards were actually passed. The big problem there was (and is) that rear end collisions are notorious for bumper heights not matching. Each car in line nosedives as it brakes, so the lead car raises its rear bumper and the following car lowers its front bumper.
Mike
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Michael Pardee wrote:

I've had several 5-10 MPH 'bumps' in cars with 5MPH bumpers, and was glad of those standards. Instead of serious damage I just had to replace a mounting bracket or two.
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often,the most expensive part of the repair is if plastic tailight assemblies are broken.Those often cost a lot.
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Jim Yanik
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Michael Pardee wrote:

you can do a lot of damage even at that speed. the thing is, what are the /relative/ speeds. if i'm braking and am at 45 the moment of impact, and the guy behind me is doing 55, relative speed is only 10. that's a very common scenario. the dangerous ones are trees and bridges. they're doing exactly zero mph when you hit them and are completely unyielding.

that's a hot button topic. there are indeed bumper height standards, but highway patrol never enforce it. as to dive, most modern cars have anti-dive geometry so it's not the issue it may have once been. maybe perpetuating the myth that "dive makes bumper height enforcement pointless" is the deal with the hp.
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I don't believe autos should be engineered to withstand impacts with trees,bridge abutments,or other immovable objects. They are not supposed to be tanks.

IMO,jacked-up SUVs and PU trucks ought to be ticketed every time for being an unsafe vehicle.
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Jim Yanik wrote:

critter!
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yes,the VW Golf that rear ended my 94 Integra nosed under my bumper and struck the exhaust system,bending the pipe at the "zigzag",and only damaging the bumper cover where the license plate mounted. the VW had far more damage to it's nose than my Integra had to its rear.
Now,if it had been a full-size SUV,I'd probably have been crushed when my roof caved in....when the SUV climbed over it.
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Jim Yanik wrote:

yards and they survive pretty damned well.
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On Mon, 16 Jul 2007 20:39:58 -0700, Michael Pardee wrote:

But a lot of carmakers, esp the Japanese, responded quickly and designed the *car* around the *bumper*.
My 1978 Corolla looked kind of awkward with these big bumpers 'tacked on' to it, the 1980 that replaced it was nice!!
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On Tue, 17 Jul 2007 05:52:25 -0700, jim beam

I don't think nhtsa has any weight or material requirements.
Maybe there are damage-at-speed requirements or even just ratings that would make the composites look bad, until and unless a whole lot more engineering was done as I suggested, with modular replacement.
Never look to the government to help, though they can always get in the way, I just don't know what might be in place right now that's relevant.
J.
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JXStern wrote:

damned straight! a good deal of the modern so-called "safety" agenda does little more than add massive weight to a car, and thereby ruins gas mileage. now, how many oilco lobbyists are there in d.c? a good deal more than there are engineers experienced in matters of vehicle design and safety i'll wager.

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On Tue, 17 Jul 2007 20:46:52 -0700, jim beam

I would like to know how much of that weight is specific to the side-impact standard that simulates getting hit by an SUV. Hey I got a better idea; why don't we require the SUVs to carry a big fluffy bumper so they don't inflict as much damage? And while we are at it, let's require all light trucks to be painted pastel pink. Then we will see how many people *really* need a truck.
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wrote:

to meet the side impact standard,auto makers raised the height of the door and bodywork(to keep another vehicle from hitting the weaker window area);note that today's autos are taller than earlier models.
AFAIK,Audi and Acura are the only automakers to make an aluminum body auto,the Acura NSX is aluminum. IMO,more auto body components could be aluminum,saving some weight,and not rusting,either,although Al to steel will corrode without special coatings/fasteners.
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Jim Yanik wrote:

not true for all new vehicles: http://www.edmunds.com/lotus/elise/review.html
this thing cruises in at under 2,000lbs too.

adds to the price too.
bottom line, i think safe is good, but the weight penalty to "protect" against side impact, the current hot ticket, is pretty much pointless. any time you have your head right next to a nice inflexible piece of bodywork, and no distance in which to decelerate moving objects, you're going to have injury. period. racing bucket seats, 5 point harness and helmets otoh /would/ make a significant difference to side impact safety. but they weigh nothing. just wait another 30 years and see whether they become mandatory! [not.]
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I think that's mostly style.

Aluminium? (love the British version) Nah. Plastics, my man, the high-tech ceramics. You don't see any aluminum tennis rackets now, the composite materials are ridiculously stronger and lighter (and cheaper!?), and they're going away from aluminum to composites now in the aircraft. Aluminum fatigues and fails, so it has to be (mildly) overengineered instead.
J.
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JXStern wrote:

The new 787 is largely constructed of carbon fiber.
The first big aerospace application was carbon fiber rotor blades that were pioneered by Kaman in the 1960's. The company is the world's largest producer of rotor blades today.
OTOH, the L1011 while sporting an aluminum fuselage had no stringers as it was constructed of thicker aluminum sheets which in turn really provided for an airframe that did not have a dated life time expectancy. Construction and maintenance were greatly simplified.
JT
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Gordon McGrew wrote:

like it! but it may not make as much difference as you'd like. my ex was fixated on pink. /any/ vehicle that came with a huge pink fluffy bumper, she'd buy it. i'm not joking either.
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Well, since we are talking anecdotal mileage, I should report that so far I have averaged 35.69 MPH with just over 1065 miles. I have a Fit Sport 5 speed manual transmission. I'm always conscious of driving for economy, and I try to time the stoplight, whenever possible and practical. I am more than satisfield with my mileage, but it would be less if I drove with a heavy foot. Consumer Reports averaged 34 MPH overall with their 5 speed.
Robert A. Cunningham

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