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Discussion Starter #1
Why is my Truck getting such low MPG compared to everyone else on this forum? I am one of the people that takes twice as long to accelerate at a stoplight and am always driving like I have tomato under my foot on the pedals... I am just wondering if anyone thinks something is wrong with my truck? What can I do to make this better?
 

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Short trips = 14 MPG - If all I did was drive to Walmart (1.5 miles) I would only get 11 MPG. I also live in a small town where traffic is light.

When I was visiting my father in Raleigh, I barely got 13 MPG (too many red lights and long idle at red lights).

Most of my drives are at 45 to 55 mph which gives great MPG once the truck has warmed up.
 

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Why is my Truck getting such low MPG compared to everyone else on this forum? I am one of the people that takes twice as long to accelerate at a stoplight and am always driving like I have tomato under my foot on the pedals... I am just wondering if anyone thinks something is wrong with my truck? What can I do to make this better?
Please describe your driving habits in detail. How far at a time, how many stops, is the engine warm, how fast, and so forth.
 

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I drive the 2007 Ridgeline and around town, stop and go with the lights, I average about 12.5 mpg. On the highway, I set the cruise at about 76 mph and my average - provided there isn't a gale going on outside - is about 21 mpg. The crazy thing is on the highway anything less than 76 mph makes my mileage drop significantly - down to the 16-17 mpg range.
 

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Why is my Truck getting such low MPG compared to everyone else on this forum? I am one of the people that takes twice as long to accelerate at a stoplight and am always driving like I have tomato under my foot on the pedals... I am just wondering if anyone thinks something is wrong with my truck? What can I do to make this better?
+ 1 LarryR

I drove a Civic Hybrid for 2 and a half years. 48 to 53 mpg. Going to the Ridgeline was a tough choice... What the Civic thought me was to conserve and use the energy that you had already built up (speed), every time you brake you are loosing energy (and mpg), I drive under 2000 RPM as much as possible, get up to speed quickly (not too quickly but definitely not slowly) but get up to speed using around 2k rpm or a little more, maintain your momentum, ease off the gas and coast as much as possible (keeping the flow of traffic). Ease off just a touch on down grades and plan a head for hills (gain a touch of speed).

My one way work drive is 20 miles of 30 mph to 55 mph with 3 pretty good hills 4 traffic lights and 3 stop signs. If it were not for the hills I could have had the Civic consistently well over the 53 mpg. Right now the RL is at 22.1 mpg. And could be higher if not for those hills. I ease off before I creast a hill or knowl, kinda coast down the other side. I let off long before stop signs and lights (again coasting as much as possible). I will add that I drive differently depending on traffic conditions. Fortunately I drive to work early with little to no traffic and I can try to "hyper mile". Other times when I am in traffic I keep in the flow and sacrifice mpg for my own safety. :act027:
 

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I am one of the people that takes twice as long to accelerate at a stoplight...
1. Gasoline engines are most efficient at wide-open throttle where they can breathe and aren't sucking against the restriction of a throttle blade, but...

2. The more power the engine generates, the more waste heat created from fluid shear.

3. The longer it takes to reach cruising speed, the longer the transmission takes the transmission to reach 5th gear. You want to be in as high a gear as possible.

Considering items 1-3, there is a "most efficient" balance point between acceleration times and fuel economy. You don't want to burn rubber, but you don't want to drive like you're on ice, either. The most efficient acceleration point is in the middle. The biggest waste of energy in a non-hybrid vehicle is use of the brakes. It doesn't matter how "hard" or "gentle" you are on the brakes since a light application over a long distance generates the same amount of waste heat as a heavier application over a shorter distance. You're convering the kinetic motion of the vehicle to waste heat with any brake application - this is simple physics.

The highest fuel economy will be obtained by:

1. Combining short trips into one long trip.
2. Using the brakes as little as possible.
3. Accelerating "normally" - not too slow and not too fast.
4. Never running the air conditioner.
5. Always keeping the windows up.
6. Turning as little as possible.
7. Minimizing electrical loads.
8. Eliminating all possible weight.
9. Using ethanol-free gasoline.
10. Avoiding headwinds and preferring tailwinds.
11. Drive only on smooth, flat roads to avoid downshifting.
12. Drive as slow as possible, but at least 45 MPH so the transmission can remain in 5th gear.

The more of these things you can do, the better your fuel economy will be. It is very possible (although very impractical and often unsafe) to achieve over 25+ MPG in a Ridgeline.
 

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I've never seen anything lower than mid 14 on the meter, and that's not common. Mostly high 15s around town.
Then 21-23 on long trips. My fuelly average says it all. Most of my driving is local not highway.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks guys but I have tried these and my MPG has not gotten much better. Should I try cleaning my spark plugs or something?
 

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MPG in the 14's over long period and varied conditions would be unacceptable to me. I would be looking for an equipment problem somewhere, starting perhaps with having the codes read out at the dealer.

Great post by zroger on best mileage tips. Although implied in the post I would highlight a few more things that seem to matter when I'm seeking better MPG.

1. Anytime you are coasting (no brakes) your mileage skyrockets. I try to anticipate way ahead of time for stop signs, slow traffic, and traffic signals. Although brakes are indeed wasted heat energy, the longer you maintain speed coasting, the better your apparent fuel efficiency will be.
2. What we used to call "jack rabbit starts". Never ever unless you are trying to get away from the mob....
3. Tow anything of substance, and watch your MPG numbers tank.
4. Tire pressure at OEM spec as a minimum. Consider higher pressures if better mileage is your main goal.
5. Generally for this truck, mph over 75 and under 45 reduces your mileage.
6. Do all of the recommended services and do them when they are recommended.
7. All bets are off if you are running bigger wheel/tire combos, have racks, windscreens, light bars, bug screens, camper tops, or anything else on the truck that is over and above the basic stock RL configuration.
8. Drive mostly in the city? Consider a hybrid. There is no RL hybrid.
 

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MPG in the 14's over long period and varied conditions would be unacceptable to me. I would be looking for an equipment problem somewhere, starting perhaps with having the codes read out at the dealer.

Great post by zroger on best mileage tips. Although implied in the post I would highlight a few more things that seem to matter when I'm seeking better MPG.


2. What we used to call "jack rabbit starts". Never ever unless you are trying to get away from the mob....
Agree on all the tips, with one possible exception. I'm lately reconsidering the jack rabbit start... but not in town. I'm referencing when you're accelerating with the anticipation of maintaining cruising speed for some time, not jumping up to speed just to slow down again at the next stoplight just up the road.

Results reported by Ourfarm09 appear to support getting up to speed quickly, but not at WOT. As in, say, a spirited manner. ;) I used to think that keeping the rpms at 2000-2500 rpm and below for acceleration was ideal. This may not be the case if you anticipate maintaining cruising speed (TC locked at or above 47mph) for any length of time.

In the above scenario, perhaps 3500-4000 rpm shifts might make economic sense (but not on a cold engine).

Keep in mind this is strictly untested opinion from my perspective at this point.

As usual, YMMV... especially in regards to your trip distances, traffic, terrain, and weather conditions, etc. ;)
 

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Agree on all the tips, with one possible exception. I'm lately reconsidering the jack rabbit start... but not in town. I'm referencing when you're accelerating with the anticipation of maintaining cruising speed for some time, not jumping up to speed just to slow down again at the next stoplight just up the road.

Results reported by Ourfarm09 appear to support getting up to speed quickly, but not at WOT. As in, say, a spirited manner. ;) I used to think that keeping the rpms at 2000-2500 rpm and below for acceleration was ideal. This may not be the case if you anticipate maintaining cruising speed (TC locked at or above 47mph) for any length of time.

In the above scenario, perhaps 3500-4000 rpm shifts might make economic sense (but not on a cold engine).

Keep in mind this is strictly untested opinion from my perspective at this point.

As usual, YMMV... especially in regards to your trip distances, traffic, terrain, and weather conditions, etc. ;)
Correct 3500 to 4000 when getting up to speed.
 

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Take a look at the OP's fuelly. He does mostly city driving.
 

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Good point, but I'm about 80/20 compared to the OP's 60/40 city/highway. It could be short trips for the OP. We simply don't know enough about his driving conditions to say, one way or another.
 

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Hi, SLatz. Are you the original owner of this truck? id it used to get better fuel economy? Do you know the maintenance history including the current state of all fluids?

City driving (and short highway drives) involve so many varying conditions that it is difficult to tell whether there is a real problem. In order to establish a baseline for the truck's condition, try an uninterrupted long drive with little or no passing on a reasonably flat road, preferably at less than 65 MPH (55 is better). If you get 20+ MPG, there is likely nothing with the truck.

The 15 MPG that you get currently would be the expected result of driving in urban areas or taking a lot of short trips (city or highway). It can take 5-10 minutes for the engine to fully warm up and burn efficiently, depending on the temperature when it was started. Obviously, this takes longer in cooler weather.
 

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Just got my worst MPG ever 13.79, I think it was cold temps and bad gas.

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I am thinking about doing a pcm rest then the Idle Learn Procedure. I will tell you how it goes!
 

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It is a truck....
 
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