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Discussion Starter #1
I never drove a manual before I got my smart. So I was excited that it didn't have a clutch, that made it so much simpler for me to learn. And I'm not doing too badly with it, either using the shifter or the paddles... Except going from first to second, at intersections, but I'm guessing that just takes timing, and practice.

But I can't get the really good MPGs that my hubby can, and I don't know what I'm doing wrong, or what he's doing right. I've done weeks of driving it in manual, and gotten around 35. Weeks of driving it in Drive and gotten around the same. But when he ends up being the main driver for the week, he'll get like 45! So I know the car's capable..

So I'm asking here for tips on how to amp up the MPGs. What can I do? I don't have the tach & clock pods, so I've been shifting when the arrows tell me to... But I hear that maybe I should let it rev more than that? How the heck am I supposed to "know"? I can hear it, but once the arrows start blinking, it sounds good to me, so why shouldn't I shift right then?

Please, any help would be really appreciated...:eek:
 

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How many miles do you have on the car?? until about 1500+ the mpg may not be real good. Until I got 2000 on mine I did not check the mpg. Now I am getting 46-50 mpg on my base model Pure. Best advise is look up 'hypermileing' on the internet and follow that.....good luck!
 

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Theres quite a few things you can do to improve your fuel mileage, it just takes a little shift of your driving habits. Try to not accelerate as hard from a stoplight or stop sign, and if you travel at 70mph on the highway, try going 65 or 60 instead (wherever possible).
Keep in mind that everytime you push that gas pedal, you're using fuel. So the less (or lighter) you press the gas pedal, the less fuel you use. I've found it easy to keep in mind you want to drive as smoothly as you can, imagine you've got a tipsy bag of groceries on the passenger's seat.

Hope this advice helps, but don't forget to obey all your traffic laws and stuff, and make sure your safely operating your lil' smartie without potentially hurting yourself or others.:bigthumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
How many miles do you have on the car?? until about 1500+ the mpg may not be real good. Until I got 2000 on mine I did not check the mpg. Now I am getting 46-50 mpg on my base model Pure. Best advise is look up 'hypermileing' on the internet and follow that.....good luck!
I've got over 3000 miles, and I've been keeping track of every fillup, the MPG each time, and even which gas station we go to, in case *that* makes a difference...

*lol* Maybe it's because it's a cabrio, and Hubby likes to drive with the top down, and I'd rather leave it up and have the AC on (I'm fair-skinned and burn easily)... Definitely going to have to try a week of no AC, come to think of it....

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Theres quite a few things you can do to improve your fuel mileage, it just takes a little shift of your driving habits. Try to not accelerate as hard from a stoplight or stop sign, and if you travel at 70mph on the highway, try going 65 or 60 instead (wherever possible).
Keep in mind that everytime you push that gas pedal, you're using fuel. So the less (or lighter) you press the gas pedal, the less fuel you use. I've found it easy to keep in mind you want to drive as smoothly as you can, imagine you've got a tipsy bag of groceries on the passenger's seat.

Hope this advice helps, but don't forget to obey all your traffic laws and stuff, and make sure your safely operating your lil' smartie without potentially hurting yourself or others.:bigthumbup:
:eek: Drive.. without.. a lead foot...:eek: Is that possible? *lol* Kidding. :D Thank you, I will try to learn the art of the featherfoot!
 

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It seems to me you have the perfect resource to figure this out - your Husband! Talk to him, ask about HIS tips, ride with him, watch how he drives, have him ride with you and give you a critique your driving style.

You'll get better answers to these questions than most of us, because your husband is getting great mileage with your car already. Lucky you!

Let us know when you get it figured out.

Cheers!

Suze
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It seems to me you have the perfect resource to figure this out - your Husband! Talk to him, ask about HIS tips, ride with him, watch how he drives, have him ride with you and give you a critique your driving style.

You'll get better answers to these questions than most of us, because your husband is getting great mileage with your car already. Lucky you!

Let us know when you get it figured out.

Cheers!

Suze
Welll... I'll ask him, although I can't say that he'll ride with me willingly. He *hates* how I drive, and wishes that the smart had more "oh sh**" handles so he could hang on for dear life, on the odd occasion when he does happen to be my passenger. *eyesroll* I think he's rather melodramatic about my driving, actually. Last time, he kept his eyes closed the entire time so he wouldn't have to see how I was driving. He pretended he was napping, but kept cracking an eyelid and making remarks about how close I was to other cars and the like...:mad: It's frustrating.

And I do ride with him, but I can't tell what he's doing that's different. I notice the arrows blinking several times before he shifts, but I can't tell what is prompting him to decide to shift when he does. He says that he does well with the MPGs because his buddies taught him to drive stick back in the day, and they taught him well, and he's been driving the Prius, and worked his way up to 50MPG on *that* this year, too! I'm not sure if it's something he can put into words, but dagnabbit, I'll try to make him!! :)

Thanks!
 

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Welll... I'll ask him, although I can't say that he'll ride with me willingly. He *hates* how I drive, and wishes that the smart had more "oh sh**" handles so he could hang on for dear life, on the odd occasion when he does happen to be my passenger. *eyesroll* I think he's rather melodramatic about my driving, actually. Last time, he kept his eyes closed the entire time so he wouldn't have to see how I was driving. He pretended he was napping, but kept cracking an eyelid and making remarks about how close I was to other cars and the like...:mad: It's frustrating.

And I do ride with him, but I can't tell what he's doing that's different. I notice the arrows blinking several times before he shifts, but I can't tell what is prompting him to decide to shift when he does. He says that he does well with the MPGs because his buddies taught him to drive stick back in the day, and they taught him well, and he's been driving the Prius, and worked his way up to 50MPG on *that* this year, too! I'm not sure if it's something he can put into words, but dagnabbit, I'll try to make him!! :)

Thanks!
Well, you've convinced me - it's your driving style. :burnout:

A heavy foot on the gas and/or break is a mileage killer. Not to mention a very uncomfortable ride for your passenger. :eek:

You might try sticking with the the auto mode for a while. Practice smooth starts and stops. Once you get used to that and your mpgs improve, go back to manual mode and try to emulate the way the car felt driving in auto mode. Once you master this you'll love driving your smart all the more. :smartje.rd.zw:

Also, if you show to your husband that you are an open minded, eagar learner, he might agree to helping you, much like his buddies taught him back in the olden days. Just MO, ya know. :)

Good Luck.

Suze
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, you've convinced me - it's your driving style. :burnout:

A heavy foot on the gas and/or break is a mileage killer. Not to mention a very uncomfortable ride for your passenger. :eek:

You might try sticking with the the auto mode for a while. Practice smooth starts and stops. Once you get used to that and your mpgs improve, go back to manual mode and try to emulate the way the car felt driving in auto mode. Once you master this you'll love driving your smart all the more. :smartje.rd.zw:

Also, if you show to your husband that you are an open minded, eagar learner, he might agree to helping you, much like his buddies taught him back in the olden days. Just MO, ya know. :)

Good Luck.

Suze
I don't know- no one else I've driven with complains as much as he does. *lol* When we test-drove the smart, actually, he freaked out when I was pulling a 3-point-turn and I had to just park it and get out and let him drive it- and we were only like 100 feet from where the car needed to be parked. :mad: Ah well.

But I'll try, I'll work on being a smoother driver, for my little smartie, if not for the hubby. *lol* :p
 

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Sylvan - Do you shift with the tach or by engine sound or by speed? Do you accelerate quickly or slow and smooth? Is the A/C on all the time on the coldest setting and high fan?

You might try just putting it in 'D' and forgetting about the shifters. Run the A/C sparingly, keeping it on 'Vent' as much as possible. Drive smoothly and accelerate slowly but enough not to interfer with the traffic flow. Good Luck...I think you could beat your husbands milage with practice!!!
 

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My wife drives very similar. The best advice, which is something Ive been trying to but into words for my wife, is drive like you don't want something to fall out of the front seat. Smooth. I drive with my big toe, if that helps. My foot is firmly grounded, and I only operate the throttle with my big toe. Same with my breaking, except in an emergency. I think what helped me was I had an automatic as my first car, but I sold it and used my girlfriends stick shift geo. From then on, my driving has improved. Does that help?
 

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I don't know- no one else I've driven with complains as much as he does. *lol* When we test-drove the smart, actually, he freaked out when I was pulling a 3-point-turn and I had to just park it and get out and let him drive it- and we were only like 100 feet from where the car needed to be parked. :mad: Ah well.

But I'll try, I'll work on being a smoother driver, for my little smartie, if not for the hubby. *lol* :p

'atta girl!

Many people are giving similar advice here an on many other threads - smooth driving is the golden key to smart happiness... :sunshine:


Suze
 

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Sylvan, from your descriptions of yourself and your hubby, it seems like there's a huge difference in your driving styles. If you can't tell the difference, you may be the driving equivalent of tonedeaf. Perhaps you need to rely on non-tactile clues, like counting to 3 before pushing further on the pedal, or pushing the accel no more than 2" down, ever. Some ppl just can't rely on kinesthetic clues, so find a different way.
 

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I would bet 50% of the difference is AC, the other half is driving style. One of the few good things to come out of the "Defrost turns on AC" thread is a pretty across the board confirmation that AC takes about a 10% hit (3-4mpg). So, thats part of it.

I'm betting the rest is just driving style. One thing to try is driving w/ a small inflated ball in the passenger seat. (A kids bouncy ball will do.) The goal is to not have it leave the seat. Slower/earlier breaking, and less bouncy acceleration is a plus.

I also shift into neutral and coast up to stop lights unless I know they're going to go green soon. Leaving the car in neutral at the light helps a little I'm sure. There are tons of little tricks to do, but I do few of them and am getting ~40ish.

Another thing to consider is what the two of you do in the car. Is your driving mainly city driving, where his is mainly highway? Thats a big factor there too.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Sylvan - Do you shift with the tach or by engine sound or by speed? Do you accelerate quickly or slow and smooth? Is the A/C on all the time on the coldest setting and high fan?

You might try just putting it in 'D' and forgetting about the shifters. Run the A/C sparingly, keeping it on 'Vent' as much as possible. Drive smoothly and accelerate slowly but enough not to interfer with the traffic flow. Good Luck...I think you could beat your husbands milage with practice!!!
Well, my smart has no tach. I've gone by the arrows, I've noticed that they start blinking at certain speeds, and I try listening and maybe letting it rev a little more.. But all this paying attention to the shifting takes my eyes off the road, and that's not a good thing.. *lol*
I accelerate as quickly as I can, because I'm not trying to get people behind me all pissed off. Plus sometimes around here, you have to GO when pulling out of a stop sign or else you'll be stuck sitting there forever.
And I usually have the AC on, low fan, coldest setting, with the air on recirc, and then I'll shut it off when it gets really cold and then turn it back on when it's just too hot. :p

I'm just gonna have to work on this, I think.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
My wife drives very similar. The best advice, which is something Ive been trying to but into words for my wife, is drive like you don't want something to fall out of the front seat. Smooth. I drive with my big toe, if that helps. My foot is firmly grounded, and I only operate the throttle with my big toe. Same with my breaking, except in an emergency. I think what helped me was I had an automatic as my first car, but I sold it and used my girlfriends stick shift geo. From then on, my driving has improved. Does that help?
Thanks, I'll try that!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Sylvan, from your descriptions of yourself and your hubby, it seems like there's a huge difference in your driving styles. If you can't tell the difference, you may be the driving equivalent of tonedeaf. Perhaps you need to rely on non-tactile clues, like counting to 3 before pushing further on the pedal, or pushing the accel no more than 2" down, ever. Some ppl just can't rely on kinesthetic clues, so find a different way.
*lol* He's actually tonedeaf and can't sing to save his life... Ah well. I wish I could be a passenger when I drive, so I could see what has him so bothered...
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I would bet 50% of the difference is AC, the other half is driving style. One of the few good things to come out of the "Defrost turns on AC" thread is a pretty across the board confirmation that AC takes about a 10% hit (3-4mpg). So, thats part of it.

I'm betting the rest is just driving style. One thing to try is driving w/ a small inflated ball in the passenger seat. (A kids bouncy ball will do.) The goal is to not have it leave the seat. Slower/earlier breaking, and less bouncy acceleration is a plus.

I also shift into neutral and coast up to stop lights unless I know they're going to go green soon. Leaving the car in neutral at the light helps a little I'm sure. There are tons of little tricks to do, but I do few of them and am getting ~40ish.

Another thing to consider is what the two of you do in the car. Is your driving mainly city driving, where his is mainly highway? Thats a big factor there too.
Yeah, I'm sure my preference for the AC doesn't help. I don't understand what braking has to do with the gas, though. :confused:

:) I have a bell on the purse I take to work.. I wonder if I could drive all the way to work with it on the front seat without the bell ringing? Well, excluding any chimes from potholes and generally crappy roads...

As far as where we each are driving, it varies.. Though he does tend to "get" to drive highway, mostly, while I'm driving to work, backroads and then only going up one exit on the highway. Ugh. :p
 
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