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My experience at 20,000 miles with my C-Max and how to get the best mileage


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22 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Recumpence

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 11:45 PM

Hey Guys,

I was asked to start a thread with a description of various methods I use to maximize my MPG. So, I will begin a thread containing what I have learned here.

First, I programmed My View to show the Empower left side screen with the gas/electric threashold and the right side shows the 3 brake/accelleration/cruising scores. I pay attention to those and let them teach me.

Second, if I nees the AC, I only turn it on until the car cools. Once cool, I turn it off. Then I turn it back on for a few seconds occasionally to keep the car cool without killing my mileage.

Third, I pulse and glide whenever it is convenient. There are a couple methods for this. The first is to accellerate briskly, then glide for a long time. The second is to accellerate slowly to maximize recharge time. I do a Mix of both. Much depends on the terrain, speed limit, traffic, and other variables. I have found both methods work well. The best method is something each person must work out on their own based on their own driving style and area they are driving. The biggest advantage to pulse and glide is that you gain MPG (under the right conditions), while maintaining a high battery state of charge. The higher the state of charge, the more efficient the engine is when running, because it does not have to add more charge to the battery. Plus it is nice to have a high battery for those times when you run into that perfect EV road and want to maximize electric running. I hate being stuck with a low battery when I hit a really great flat EV road. :)

The single greatest thing for high MPG is being aware of your area. I know what is coming on nearly every road I drive. This is a great advantage because I can anticipate the road to maximize upcoming smooth flat roads for EV running.

I run 51 psi in my tires. The tire is rated for 51psi max. So, that is what I run. I get around 1.5mpg better with high pressure.

One thing you can do to maximize mileage is to try and arrange your errands so you are out for as many miles at one time as possible, rather than 3 miles to the store, then 4 hours later you run a 2 mile errand. You want to keep thd engine temp up and the battery warm. So, if I know I have a few errands to run, I run all of them in one trip if at all possible.

I know these are hypermiling tricks ans not everyone is willing to be so disciplined. But, I have had many questions about how I achieve such high mileage. So, I started this thread to explain a few things. I have more to share, but this is a good start.

Oh, and I do get decent mileage on the expressway too. I just drove 200 miles at 70mph and arrived at 43.4mpg for this trip...... :)

Matt
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#2 OFFLINE   Jus-A-CMax

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 11:55 PM

Hallelujah...thats almost like the way I drive as well. I run my tires at 45 psi and they heat up to about 49-50 psi, I checked. Big difference between that and the regular pressure imo, especially in the glide phase. I actually prefer the ride quality about it, almost "sporty" in the feel and not the limousine feel like my Jaguar VandenPlas.

 

High battery is key, and never drain to low if possible :rockon:

 

Great post Matt, independently confirm some of my thoughts and saying some while back as well :)



#3 OFFLINE   Riddley

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 12:20 AM

Nice write up Matt!!

 

Good point about the PSI increasing when tires warm up Jus!!  That didn't even occur to me!  But luckily for the tires, I run at about 46 and do not live in an overly hot place.

 

One tip I'll add is one someone else suggested on the forum: Keep your view further down the road to anticipate the flow of traffic. This will help you maintain the kind of cushion that you want for optimal braking, and to anticipate the terrain and how to take advantage of it.

 

I totally agree abut the importance of keeping the battery levels up. When I was first learning to drive this thing I was OCD about keeping the gauge blue (EV). After reading about the importance of keeping the battery charged, I started to pay just as much (if not more) attention to that. Three things happened as a result (of focusing on the battery level)

  1. I'm far less stressed out about not being in EV mode
  2. The higher battery level forces me into EV more often
  3. MPG improves  

I actually found myself grumbling a little bit when trying to top off the battery and it kept wanting to switch into EV mode. When I realized that this was just another form of anxiety, I let it go.

 

Now my new rule is: "EV is good, or the ^ is good, it doesn't really matter which!"


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#4 OFFLINE   grggwlkr

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 05:28 AM

I agree fully with keeping the battery a full as possible, and inflate the tires to at least 44psi.  Also, if it is available,  purchase 0% ethanol gasoline. The 0% ethanol gas and the temperature staying above 50 degrees is what got me in the 600 club.

 

I have tried P & G and it works but I have the attention span of a flea so now I use eco cruise actively. By that I mean I control when to come out of EV mode after eco cruise puts me in it. I use the empower screen and when I am in EV Mode I try not to let the battery usage climb higher than the first white marker on the gauge.  When this happens I simple apply enough pressure to the gas peddle to active the ICE.  It seems that that more demand than the first marker just drains the battery to darn fast and then your in 20 mpg range while the ICE propels the car and aggressively charges the battery.

 

I also believe in EV+ mode. Use that battery up on the way home and or work. The car is going to run ICE when it first starts to heat the emissions junk. Full battery or not that mileage sucks.

 

Gregg


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#5 OFFLINE   Recumpence

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 05:57 AM

Yup, you guys are on the right track.........

Remember, it is not bad to stay in EV mode for a very long time. You just need to make sure it is something you are purposely doing for some specific reason. for instance, if I know I am about the pulse the AC for 20 seconds anyway, I will run an extra 1/2 mile in EV to get that extra 1/10 of a mpg in that glide phaze, then when I hit the AC, the engine will run and charge the battery that extra bit, or if I know a hill is approaching and the engine is going to kick in to climb it, I will keep it in EV mode for that extra bit. when you do that, it is like you are forcing the car into "Smart Eco-Cruise Plus" mode where you are doing exactly what the car would do in Eco-Cruise or EV Plus if it somehow knew the terrain and traffic you are in at that moment.

Another thing you can do is drive the car in Eco-Cruise through a certain, known area at a specific speed, and note your mileage through that area. Then run through that same area manually and see if you can beat the computer in mpg through that stretch of road. That will teach you alot more than just always doing this or that technique. You need to learn the car and how to exploit its technology as much as is humanly possible. I thought I was driving the most efficient way possible, until I tried Eco-Cruise and found I was not as good as the car computer. So, I observed what the computer did, and when. Then I used that observational data to alter my driving technique and I add my own techniques to it and have come up with my own combination driving style that consistantly hits the same numbers as cruise in many areas and is far better in some areas that I drive.

I think an awesome software upgrade would be a way to teach the car what the elevation is at verious locations on the GPS, so it can better compensate and maximize your mpg. Of course, it will not know the direction of the wind and other factors like the driver does. But, it would be cool none the less. ;)

Matt
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#6 OFFLINE   RachelnLa

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 06:53 AM

So glad to be a part of this awesome group.
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#7 OFFLINE   C-Maxgo

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 05:22 PM

So glad to be a part of this awesome group.

 

Ditto RachelinLa!



#8 OFFLINE   SnitGTS

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 08:46 PM

I'm so glad I stumbled on this thread!  Your tips are in line with what I've discovered myself about my car and I even had the same My View as you.  I started out with just the coach and did everything I could to keep the bars full, but then I was noticing how the car reacted different depending on how the full the battery was and I couldn't figure out why.  Eventually I played around with the gauges until i found the Empower mode, drove with that for a while before I figured out that I could customize the My View with both the Empower and Coach, and that has been my setting ever since.  I've really gotten a feel for my route to and from work, while it doesn't always play out the way I want every day I've been figuring out better ways to traverse different sections of road maintaining my speed and charging my battery.  I also look much further down the road then I ever have.  I've gotten more comfortable with the engine running, as Riddley said I'm happy as long as I see EV or ^.

 

The only thing I haven't tried yet is inflating the tires to a higher pressure, not sure I'm willing to trade off wearing down expensive 17" tires for another mile and a half per gallon.  With a little less than a half a tank left on my very first tank of gas I seem to have settled in around 49 mpg, I really can't complain about that!



#9 OFFLINE   colea

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 07:21 AM


I think an awesome software upgrade would be a way to teach the car what the elevation is at verious locations on the GPS, so it can better compensate and maximize your mpg. Of course, it will not know the direction of the wind and other factors like the driver does. But, it would be cool none the less. ;)
 

 

Now there's an idea for the next generation of the car. A wind sensor!  :)

 

Great tips. Thanks.



#10 OFFLINE   Riddley

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 09:48 AM

With a little less than a half a tank left on my very first tank of gas I seem to have settled in around 49 mpg, I really can't complain about that!

 

SnitGTS, you are getting the highest FE I've ever heard of in the first tank!! If you keep that up, you will not only be in the 600 club, but should be gunning for the 700 club not too far down the road.


Edited by Riddley, 24 May 2013 - 09:50 AM.


#11 OFFLINE   salsaguy

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 10:51 AM

@Snit- did you use the partial fill and trip settings from dealer/test drivers, or your own full fill and trip reset?

I would think for new owners, the best would be to drive it for a day or two then fill it up, reset trips and lifetime avgs, and THEN start tracking your mpg numbers as im sure dealers may not full fill to clickoff point or trips are messed up by the test drivers playing with the dials/buttons before a purchase. and was that 49 mpg hand calculated (miles driven divided by gallons to fill tank at pump) or going just by what the dash showed showed you got?

 Also can you show show a pix  your screen with the coach AND empower at the same time and describe how to get that mode for us future cmax owners.thanks


Edited by salsaguy, 24 May 2013 - 10:54 AM.


#12 OFFLINE   SnitGTS

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 06:24 PM

IMG 20130524 082308

 

I took this shot today to post on the 50+ mpg trips forum, but it also shows how my MyView is set up.  When you go into the Empower and Engage section of the left screen, keep scrolling down till you get to the MyView, then press to the right and you can pick the view you want there.  I took that shot because I got a short 95.5 mpg trip (probably 3 miles of that trip was on a road that was a nice long downhill slope), posted it to the 50+ mpg trip forum and some guy said it didn't count because it was only one way.  The 50.3 mpg average above is over 10 days and about 300 miles, so I kind of did your drive around for a few days and reset before measuring idea on that average.

 

IMG 20130522 201711

 

The tank of gas I'm on now is the same tank that the dealer gave me, I haven't been to a gas station yet and I bought the car 2 weeks ago tomorrow.  I still have maybe 1/3 of a tank of gas left.  So all my averages and mileages are from the car's computer, I haven't filled up yet to get any hard numbers to calculate!!!

 

I posted on the 600 mile tank forum too, long story short even though I reset my trip gauges after driving my car for 37 miles I may still be able to hit a 600 mile tank on my first tank.  If the 50.3 holds, in theory I could still hit 617 on my trip gauge. (would be 654 if I didn't reset the gauges but oh well...)

 

One other thing, the weather's been decent here in NJ.  It's rained a lot over the past couple days but the temperature has been between 50 - 80 since I bought the car, outside of a trip with the girlfriend where she required AC, I haven't had to use the climate controls much.


Edited by SnitGTS, 24 May 2013 - 06:35 PM.


#13 OFFLINE   Adair

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 08:03 PM

That's really impressive for a first tank....................HELL..........for any tank! Way to go SnitGTS!!  :worship:

 

BTW, do you know the build date for your car? There is a theory that something was changed along the way by Ford that caused a major upswing in MPGs in the C-MAXes built after the first of the year.



#14 OFFLINE   SnitGTS

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 08:57 PM

I don't know the build date, do you know how to tell?

 

What type of driving do you do typically?  My commute to work is about 5 miles of 35-40 mph zones and 8 miles of 50-55 mph zones.  I don't drive much on the freeways, maybe 25 miles combined from all my trips at 65-70 mph.  The trips where I was on the freeway were my worst trips, I think in the 40 mpg range.



#15 OFFLINE   Recumpence

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 03:02 PM

My car was purchased in November. So, the first of the year theory is not correct.

 

That being said, however, some cars seem to be better than others.

 

Oh, as for tires wearing more wuickly with higher pressure, I have not encountered that. I have always overinflated my tires since I began driving 25 years ago and have always gotten far more miles out of a set of tires than they were rated for.

 

Matt



#16 OFFLINE   Spitinuri

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 07:19 AM

Hey Guys,

I was asked to start a thread with a description of various methods I use to maximize my MPG. So, I will begin a thread containing what I have learned here.

First, I programmed My View to show the Empower left side screen with the gas/electric threashold and the right side shows the 3 brake/accelleration/cruising scores. I pay attention to those and let them teach me.

Second, if I nees the AC, I only turn it on until the car cools. Once cool, I turn it off. Then I turn it back on for a few seconds occasionally to keep the car cool without killing my mileage.

Third, I pulse and glide whenever it is convenient. There are a couple methods for this. The first is to accellerate briskly, then glide for a long time. The second is to accellerate slowly to maximize recharge time. I do a Mix of both. Much depends on the terrain, speed limit, traffic, and other variables. I have found both methods work well. The best method is something each person must work out on their own based on their own driving style and area they are driving. The biggest advantage to pulse and glide is that you gain MPG (under the right conditions), while maintaining a high battery state of charge. The higher the state of charge, the more efficient the engine is when running, because it does not have to add more charge to the battery. Plus it is nice to have a high battery for those times when you run into that perfect EV road and want to maximize electric running. I hate being stuck with a low battery when I hit a really great flat EV road. :)

The single greatest thing for high MPG is being aware of your area. I know what is coming on nearly every road I drive. This is a great advantage because I can anticipate the road to maximize upcoming smooth flat roads for EV running.

I run 51 psi in my tires. The tire is rated for 51psi max. So, that is what I run. I get around 1.5mpg better with high pressure.

One thing you can do to maximize mileage is to try and arrange your errands so you are out for as many miles at one time as possible, rather than 3 miles to the store, then 4 hours later you run a 2 mile errand. You want to keep thd engine temp up and the battery warm. So, if I know I have a few errands to run, I run all of them in one trip if at all possible.

I know these are hypermiling tricks ans not everyone is willing to be so disciplined. But, I have had many questions about how I achieve such high mileage. So, I started this thread to explain a few things. I have more to share, but this is a good start.

Oh, and I do get decent mileage on the expressway too. I just drove 200 miles at 70mph and arrived at 43.4mpg for this trip...... :)

Matt

 

I am an old Prius guy.  I used to run my tires above recommended PSI.  I think running at max rated is a smart move.  Has anyone switched to an 0W-20?  I have not checked out the specs yet for this car but it met all the requirements for my 04 Prius.  It definitely helped me add an additional 1-2 mpg on the Prius.



#17 OFFLINE   JAZ

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 09:39 AM

 

 

Goofy transcription, ignore.


Edited by JAZ, 05 October 2013 - 11:17 AM.


#18 OFFLINE   drdiesel1

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 02:52 PM

I don't know the build date, do you know how to tell?

Open the drivers door and look near the door hinge, on the body side of the opening. You'll see a white label with black print.

That's the label that holds your vehicle info. The build date is on that label and it's marked, DATE!

 

Here's an image of mine.Attached File  DSC_0001.jpg   109.13KB   2 downloads



#19 OFFLINE   drdiesel1

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 02:57 PM

I am an old Prius guy.  I used to run my tires above recommended PSI.  I think running at max rated is a smart move.  Has anyone switched to an 0W-20?  I have not checked out the specs yet for this car but it met all the requirements for my 04 Prius.  It definitely helped me add an additional 1-2 mpg on the Prius.

I switched to 0W20 after 1500 miles.

 I always change my oil after 500 miles on my new vehicles, so the 1500 mile mark was showing close to 500 ICE miles.

I'm using Royal Purple 0W20 with a MotorCraft OEM oil filter. Filter number FL910S


Edited by drdiesel1, 05 October 2013 - 02:58 PM.

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#20 OFFLINE   Recumpence

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 08:57 PM

So, I am at 37,000 miles at this point and still loving this car!

Matt
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