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Old 10-03-2012, 01:02 PM   #1
tech10002
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Break in period and fuel economy

I searched for all the fuel economy threads I could find and couldn't really find an answer to this. I was curious if anyone has noticed any significant fuel economy increase after you get some miles and if so how many miles it takes.

I'm more than a little disappointed in the fuel economy on my new 2012 5 speed hatch. I realize the automatic does better, but I still expected better than 31 MPG for an almost all highway commute at speeds below 70 MPH the whole way. My 16 year old 5 speed Civic with 200,000 miles that the Focus replaced averaged 34 MPG on the same commute, and the city/highway ratings of the Civic were lower than the Focus.

I'm hoping it will get better with time. I've got a little over 1k on it now.


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Old 10-03-2012, 01:08 PM   #2
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What MPG are you getting? You might see some increase over time but probably not more than 1mpg.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:19 PM   #3
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My quick analysis of fuelly.com user data a while back showed most folks generally do not see huge increases in mileage after break in. Maybe within the 1st 1 or 2 tanks, but not after that.

Do a test: get to where you can maintain a certain speed for a good 10 minutes, reset one of your mpg readouts, and see what mpg you get. Should roughly match the curve below which I also did and which roughly agrees with one done by one of the car magazines a while back. If it doesn't maybe you have a mechanical problem. If it does you may be underestimating your lead foot or something. Although your comparison to your previous car suggests it's not you.





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Old 10-03-2012, 01:24 PM   #4
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First tank on the all interstate 240 mile drive home from the dealer was 32.68 hand calculated, 32.4 on the trip computer. The second and third tanks which were all 55 MPH back road and interstate commute to work with very little city driving were 31.5 and 31.2 hand calculated with the trip computer reading pretty close each time. I just didn't write the readings down. Almost all interstate driving is with the cruise set at 68 MPH.

All of those are with one occupant and no cargo windows up A/C on with temps ranging from high 50s to mid 80s.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:32 PM   #5
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Those are not horrible mpgs, probably about average, AC is probably costing you a bit, but I wouldn't expect more than a mpg or 2 better without doing some mods or switching to 93 octane gas.
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:15 PM   #6
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MPGs.. More questions about MPGs than anything else IMO.
Seems to be some folks get horrible MPGs, the some get great MPGs.
I m in the great camp, with an average of 35 mpg with 70% city driving.
That is city with few stoplights and no traffic congestion.
Add in a LOT of stops at lights, and plenty of congestion, and my MPGs would drop like a STONE. (30mpg)
So that is my opinion on it.
Every stop and moving back up to speed kills fuel mileage. A LOT of stops, or even hills, and you have bad MPGs.
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:46 PM   #7
Berlin Bill
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That does sound good, Elizabeth. And I'll bet you also have a soft touch on the gas pedal when you do have to have to return to speed. That seems to make a big difference in the cars I drive.
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elizabeth View Post
MPGs.. More questions about MPGs than anything else IMO.
Seems to be some folks get horrible MPGs, the some get great MPGs.
I m in the great camp, with an average of 35 mpg with 70% city driving.
That is city with few stoplights and no traffic congestion.
Add in a LOT of stops at lights, and plenty of congestion, and my MPGs would drop like a STONE
. (30mpg)
So that is my opinion on it.
Every stop and moving back up to speed kills fuel mileage. A LOT of stops, or even hills, and you have bad MPGs.
that's right. stop and start + heavy foot will eat you up. in town only i get maybe 22 mpg. i just drove home from monterey and took it easier than i normally drive. i averaged 37.2 mpg for the 70-mile drive.

at over 1500 miles i'm averaging 24.5 or so. i'm cool with that. that's double what i get in my tundra.

Last edited by GoldenHour; 10-03-2012 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berlin Bill View Post
That does sound good, Elizabeth. And I'll bet you also have a soft touch on the gas pedal when you do have to have to return to speed. That seems to make a big difference in the cars I drive.
Yes. i just barely press down on the gas pedal, and shift at 2,000rpm 90% 0f the time. So i am in 5th gear at 32mph.
An occasional freeway ramp with a heavy throttle and zooming hard up the 65 does not seem to harm MPGs at all.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elizabeth View Post
I m in the great camp, with an average of 35 mpg with 70% city driving.
That is city with few stoplights and no traffic congestion.
Add in a LOT of stops at lights, and plenty of congestion, and my MPGs would drop like a STONE. (30mpg)
That is FABULOUS gas mileage for 70% city driving. I have a fair number of stop lights in my daily drive (and a lot of slow/clueless drivers around me), and I'm very lucky to attain an average of 25 mpg. I've only had the car a bit over a month so far, so we'll see.

The presence of lousy drivers and lots of lights makes it very difficult. I am VERY conscious of stop light signals. I'll drift up to reds and intersections that I clearly will not get through in time. But I get stuck behind drivers who obliviously drive very slowly to intersections that we could all clear but won't because the driver won't speed up a tad. So we end up stuck at the red. Or worse, slow driver barely clears and everyone behind him gets stuck. And sitting at stop lights absolutely massacres MPG. Consequently and ironically, this makes me a more aggressive driver, which of course hurts mileage. I also fight to get past and around large cars with poor accelaration as they will inevitably mess up my timing.
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Last edited by gambit293; 10-04-2012 at 09:02 AM. Reason: add
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