Better Mileage - was<VV> Re: No Corvair Opinions Wanted

FrankCB at FrankCB at
Sat Oct 8 15:46:51 EDT 2005

        My 1995 Trans Sport with the 3800 engine (232 cubic inches) has 
recently gotten 28 mpg on long highway trips (with A/C on).  But I drive at 60 to 
65 mpg and try to stay in top (4th) gear as much as possible, keeping the revs 
from exceeding 2000 rpm except for very brief periods.
       Generally, at highway speeds it's better (mpg wise) to keep ALL 
windows closed and use heating or cooling as necessary to keep comfortable.  That 
minimizes the wind resistance and the power required to move the vehicle.
       Stay in as high a gear as possible, even though the manifold vacuum 
reading will be LOWER than it would be in a lower gear.  Don't worry about 
"lugging" the engine as long as you keep a reasonable position on the accelerator 
pedal.  I remember decades ago driving the Corsa 140 through small towns late 
at night on the way to Lime Rock at around 1500 rpm in 4th gear with light 
throttle pressure to minimize the noise since one of the 2 mufflers had fallen off 
the car halfway on our trip.  The idea was to keep the noise level down to 
avoid alerting the local constabulary and getting a ticket.  It worked and the 
engine survived so it could get us back and forth to the KY CORSA Convention 
(about 1500 miles roundtrip).
       The other secret to better mileage is maintaining a BIG space between 
you and the cars ahead of you.  This enables you to simply "back off" the 
throttle in response to disruptions in the traffic flow ahead of you instead of 
having to jam on your brakes. When you take your foot off the "go pedal", modern 
EFI cars will actually shut off the fuel injectors at highway speeds so until 
the car slows down to around 35 mph you are actually getting INFINITE miles 
per gallon.  Every time you use your brakes you are converting the momentum of 
the car into HEAT which is wasted gasoline energy that contributes NOTHING to 
your mpg.  If you can get 100,000 miles to a set of brakes you are getting the 
best possible mileage from your car.
       "Anticipatory driving" as Bob Marlow succinctly puts it, is an 
extension of the "big space" concept since it enables you to respond as soon as 
possible to 
disruptions in traffic by increasing the TIME you have to react so you can 
hopefully avoid over use of the brakes.
       Frank "frugal" Burkhard
In a message dated 10/8/05 9:34:09 AM Eastern Daylight Time, pp2 at 

> EPA 21/27 mpg for the Diesel ? Doesn't sound that great to me, our 1992 
> 3800 TranSport can do that (I get 24+ mpg at 70+ with air on down the 
> Interstate, would be considerably better at the EPA test which never 
> exceeds 60 &air is off.
> TranSport has a current book values of $2k-$3k, can seat seven (our usual 
> trip configuration is as a 2 seater) and tow is rated at 3,000 lbs. Has 
> carried 1800 lbs of tile without exceeding any capacities.

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