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Old 01-22-2013, 03:53 AM   #1
Hammelcamel
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Default Fuel Economy question

Hey all,
Just as a forewarning, I am new to:
a) the Subaru family,
b) manual transmission cars, and
c) forum-based communities,

so please bear with me.

I know that you don't buy a Subaru for gas mileage, you buy it for reliability, AWD, and in many cases, speed, but I am curious - do you get better gas mileage (in your experience) while in low gears (1-3) or high gears (4 and 5)? Just trying to optimize my fun-ness and spend less time at the pump. If I can't, I'm fine with having to fuel often, just wonderin'.

Also, thanks for being my Subie brothers / sisters!

-Gunther
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:19 AM   #2
Frankh21
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If you're driving in city traffic with stop lights/signs you will get poor gas mileage, that's a given. You'll get the best mileage driving on the highway where you can use the higher gears.

Bottom line is, you gotta pay to play.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:36 AM   #3
mfmunh
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I own '12 WRX hatch; I find it that i get better milage shifting under/around 2500 rpm And staying under 2800 on high ways. I get 26/27 mpg thats with 80% highway 20% city.

OEM crossbar +yakima forklift + fairing = 23/24
OEM crossbar + forklift = 25

Ive recently got the Perrin wing riser and I've notice i get better milage when i "let loose". I will test this theory a bit more.
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:03 AM   #4
Hammelcamel
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Sounds great guys, thanks for the insight.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:32 AM   #5
Loyale93
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If you learn about how a transmission works, the answer will be obvious. I recommend checking out www.howstuffworks.com and read their article on how a manual transmission works.

Bottom line, in higher gears, your engine makes fewer revs per tire rotation (speed) when compared to the lower gears. So it's using less fuel per mph. That said, if you start in 5th gear, the engine will lug about until you get up to speed, which isn't going to work well. Driving with my revs somewhere around 2800 (regardless of gear) nets me the best mpg.

However, you should fill out your profile, so we know what type of car you have. If it's a turbo, that all goes out the window. well, the 2800rpms anyway.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:38 AM   #6
Mattygb2128
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I have an auto trans and was wondering if there was any kin of regearing i could do to get better MPG?? Not that mine terrible..just curious.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:40 AM   #7
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If you are interested in MPG, google hypermiler and look for tips. In the end, your right foot dictates your MPG. http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/usercp.php? needs to be filled out as we have no idea what you drive. KNOW that cruise control should always be used as it is 7000% smarter than you in most cases. Know the sticker highway MPG figure? They get that from using cruise control. This is especially true in turbo models as high gear + boost is more fuel effecient than low gear + no boost which is contrary to what 98.5% of Subaru owners think.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattygb2128 View Post
I have an auto trans and was wondering if there was any kin of regearing i could do to get better MPG?? Not that mine terrible..just curious.
No. The cost would kill you if it could be done which it can't. The only thing you COULD do is to change tire size which will affect your apparent final drive. By size I mean height of tire, so if you had 60 series tires and swapped to 55 series this would affect MPG, but I'm not smart enough to how taller or shorter tires will affect MPG, but shorter ones make you accelerate faster is all I know.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:45 AM   #9
Loyale93
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I'm sure there is. Probably gearing you could swap, or solenoids you could change. But honestly, the amount of money you'd spend on that probably wouldn't pan out for an extra 1mpg.

Quick and dirty calculation: at $3/gal of gas, driving 20,000 miles per year.
If you increased your gas mileage from 23mpg to 25 mpg, you would save $100 a year.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:54 AM   #10
Mattygb2128
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I figured it was something like that. Thanks guys!
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:58 AM   #11
Aknight55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loyale93 View Post
I'm sure there is. Probably gearing you could swap, or solenoids you could change. But honestly, the amount of money you'd spend on that probably wouldn't pan out for an extra 1mpg.

Quick and dirty calculation: at $3/gal of gas, driving 20,000 miles per year.
If you increased your gas mileage from 23mpg to 25 mpg, you would save $100 a year.
Actually a bit over $200 a year.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:03 AM   #12
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At the end off the day. It all depends on your right foot. Yes, You can change shift at 2500 to help but how fast do you get there... that's what makes the difference.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:09 AM   #13
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$208.70 (approximately)


Subaru autos (non-CVT) suck down the gas. For 3 years, my wife drove an 08 Outback n/a auto and I drove an 08 LGT manual. Although I had an extra 75hp, I regularly got 27mpg. She's almost never broken 22. Autos are not mileage options.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:18 AM   #14
Mike05wrx
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back on my stage 2 tune, i averaged about 26-28 mpg on the highway. now that i'm stage 3, on the highway i average about 24-26. still fairly decent. it really depends on how you drive, staying out of boost is the best way to save on gas
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:21 PM   #15
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The most my car has ever gotten was 28 mpg, I was driving at 45mph the whole tank basically and never stopped. Indian reservation highway speed limits are deathly slow. On my commute for school at stage 1, I would get 22-23mpg and at stage 2 I get 24-25mpg
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:22 PM   #16
Loyale93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack ffr1846 View Post
$208.70 (approximately)
Damn my WPI education!!
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:24 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Loyale93 View Post
Damn my WPI education!!
Musta gone downhill after I left......
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:26 PM   #18
Bluefoton
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Subaru Fun = (fuel consumption) x arbitrary constant. They're uttermostly and directly proportional.
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:40 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattygb2128 View Post
I have an auto trans and was wondering if there was any kin of regearing i could do to get better MPG?? Not that mine terrible..just curious.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loyale93 View Post
I'm sure there is. Probably gearing you could swap, or solenoids you could change.
Gearing and mileage with an auto - hmmm, without going too deep, the answer is: yes and no. Depending on what trans, year, and model you have (I'm going to assume a non-CVT) there are various final drive ratios that will fit the transmission. There is nothing in the control system (solenoids, valve body, or TCM) that can change the ratios. But, the question is, what type of driving do you do? If you do primarily highway, you select a gear that will allow the engine to run at it's "happy" RPM for the speed you drive. Put that same ratio into a car driven primarily in stop and go city traffic, and your mileage will suffer. Don't forget, you'd also have to change your rear differential to match the front, or bad things happen. Very bad things.

Can it be done? Sure. Is it worth it? No. Good driving habits will yield better MPG numbers a lot cheaper than gearing changes. You may not want to go to the extremes of some of the hyper-mileage drivers (and I know one) but just following some of their suggestions for throttle management will surprise you.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:58 PM   #20
mhoerath
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I get 25 mpg city driving, and a heavy foot and 350 ft lbs/280 whp. Did not buy and mod the car for fuel efficiency.

My wife's brand new CVT 2.5l outback gets 24 city driving. Haven't been on a road trip yet but think it will get 30-32. My daughter wanted gas mileage and she has a Yaris, great design if you want 40-45 mpg.

big diff is premium vs regular gas, turbo vs. NA.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:18 PM   #21
comeshot731
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Not sure if mentioned before but

TIRE Pressure is very important to check.

This can reduce mileage alot not to mention tire wear.
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