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post #1 of 91 (permalink) Old 02-15-2013, 02:37 AM Thread Starter
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JeepPatriot.com gas mileage tips

Over the past few years I have seen many posts with members complaining about poor mpg, and asking for suggestions. Most of these threads start off with a few tips that ultimately don't help the member resolve their issue, and then subsequent posts are members posting what poor mileage they are getting, followed by other members posting how great of mileage they are getting, then it becomes a thread full of numbers between 16 and 35. What I would like to do is create a go to thread with suggestions, and would like to hear back to know if the suggestions helped. Instead of a bunch of replies with how good or bad your MPG is, how about those who try these tips post how much their MPG improved?

I am one of those members that is getting just average MPG. My Jeep is rated at 20/23, and I usually get about 19/21. Coming from an xB that was rated at 22/28 and consistently getting 28/32, the Patriot was a bit of a shock for me, and I have been determined to find out what I am doing wrong, or what is wrong with my Jeep that I can't seem to exceed EPA estimates. Sure my MPG's haven't been terrible, but I would always like better. I would like to at least hit EPA estimates every now and then.

I think I may have recently discovered the golden nugget in my situation:
  • If you have a CVT, don't use the tachometer. Don't look at it, don't drive by it, don't pay attention to it at all, and don't listen to the engine revs. Sounds silly, right? Before getting the Jeep with a CVT, I was used to driving the xB with a 5-speed manual, and tried to keep the RPM's low. In the Jeep, I tried doing the same thing, but found I was either getting no acceleration and poor MPG, or too much acceleration and poor MPG, which negates the higher MPG's when cruising. In my situation, I believe the problem is I'm trying to figure out what the Jeep is doing, while the Jeep is trying to figure out what I am doing. The truth is you can't drive it by RPM's, because the RPM's tell you what the engine is doing, not the transmission (I find it more difficult to drive by RPM's in the FDII than the other models). While you are accelerating, the CVT is trying to go into a higher ratio for better MPG, but if you are cutting the throttle to keep RPM's lower, it confuses the computer. The Jeep may optimize driving by using lower RPM's with higher throttle inputs, higher RPM's with lower throttle inputs, and everything in between.

  • So what do I do now that I drive without paying attention to RPM's? I drive looking out the window, and feeling the pull in the seat. Too much pull, and I ease off, not enough pull and I give it more gas, with nice smooth throttle adjustments.... simple as that. Looking out of the window and paying attention to the surroundings I can better tell when other cars are driving too fast or slow, and how I am doing compared to traffic. This may sound really stupid and like a no brainer, but coming from a 5-speed manual has made it a challenge. Making this slight change in driving style, the computer is finally able to figure out how I am trying to drive. I've noticed the engine is quieter, the CVT is shifting smoother, and I don't feel like I am out pacing traffic or holding anyone up. According to the EVIC my combined city/highway driving is up to 23 so far, which is a 2 MPG improvement in my 20/23 rated FDII.

    For best results, I recommend resetting the fuel mapping first since your driving style might change.



Other general tips:
  • Reset the fuel mapping. This can improve your Jeep's performance by allowing it to start fresh, learning your driving habits. This is especially useful if you bought the Jeep used, or have changed your driving habits
  • COLD tire pressure. Make sure your tires are at the recommended PSI, at the coldest time of the day, before you drive anywhere. I found that for every 2 lbs of psi that the tires are below the recommend pressure, I lose about 1 MPG
  • Do not use remote start! Anytime the engine is running and the Jeep is not moving, you are getting 0 miles to the gallon! Lets say you have a 30 minute drive, and you would normally get 20 miles to the gallon, but first you let the Jeep idle for 10 minutes to warm up. Doing some quick fuzzy math, your 20 MPG trip could end up being as low as 13 mpg. If its cold out and you need it, by all means use it! Just don't expect good MPG that tankful.
  • Keep to the speed limit! The Patriot seems to take a hit on MPG's over 70 mph for FWD and FDI, and a bigger hit on FDII's over 65 mph
  • Weather plays a factor. If you are going 60 MPH and have a 20 MPH headwind, your Jeep is fighting an 80 MPH wind! There is nothing you can do about the weather (except follow a rock slinging, window chipping semi truck), so unless you can avoid driving in strong winds, plan on taking an MPG hit. If you have a 20 mile an hour tailwind, then your MPG's should go up dramatically (That 60 MPH speed now feels like 40 MPH to the Jeep)
  • USE your A/C! I haven't seen much difference in MPG when leaving the A/C off, and it is actually bad for your A/C if you don't use it. The air conditioner has oil in the system that needs to circulate to keep the system working. Leaving A/C off for months at a time will cost you a compressor, negating any benefit you would have received from saving 0.5 mpg for 3 months (Page 284 of the 2011 Owners Manual, 6th Edition, "Vacation Storage")
  • Change your Copper sparkplugs every 30k miles, and check your air filter. Dirty air filter and fouled plugs keep the Jeep from running as efficient as possible
  • Get an alignment! Hitting curbs and driving over potholes messes with your alignment. If you have one wheel that is straight and another that is pulling away or pushing in, this is causing drag and hurts your Jeeps efficiency.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeP View Post
  • Braking wastes fuel. Every time you put your foot on the brake pedal, you are getting rid of kinetic energy that you had to burn fuel to gain. *Now I'm not saying 'never brake' as that is obviously a stupid idea; what you need to do is think far enough ahead so that, where possible, you can slow down enough by simply taking your foot off the gas.


YMMV,

-MrJeepR

Last edited by MrJeepR44; 02-17-2013 at 08:52 PM.
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post #2 of 91 (permalink) Old 02-15-2013, 04:03 AM
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You missed the biggest, most basic, absolutely fundamental tip.

Braking wastes fuel.

Every time you put your foot on the brake pedal, you are getting rid of kinetic energy that you had to burn fuel to gain. Now I'm not saying 'never brake' as that is obviously a stupid idea; what you need to do is think far enough ahead so that, where possible, you can slow down enough by simply taking your foot off the gas.

PS, check my fuel usage stats below if you want any confirmation.

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post #3 of 91 (permalink) Old 02-15-2013, 04:07 AM Thread Starter
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Good tip and good explanation. I ran out of oomph, and got tired of re-reading my own post to continue

Last edited by MrJeepR44; 02-15-2013 at 04:37 AM.
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post #4 of 91 (permalink) Old 02-15-2013, 06:23 AM
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Good idea for a thread. Hopefully they sticky it for you.

The ONE thing most people can do to improve their MPG is to just slow down and take it easy. Stop taking off from every stop sign and traffic light like you are at the drag strip. Also, slow down on the highway. People that drive 70, 75, 80 MPH+ are going to take a HUGE hit in their fuel economy.

I am one of those guys who sees 35 MPG( highway )and I do it by setting CC at 60-62 MPH which seems to be this vehicles sweet spot. I average 24-25 MPG and I do 70-80% city driving usually. You can drive along and not hinder others( based on posted speed limit at least - hinderance to crazy lead foots )and not have to floor it all the time. My MPG always goes down in the winter but that is due to colder temps( vehicle takes longer to warm up and runs richer until it does )and the winter fuel blend we are forced to run which is less efficient. Also, I will at times use the remote start and that just destroys your MPG average. Idle time + zero miles being driven = MPG drop.

It is also a very good idea to keep your vehicle properly maintained which includes keeping the tire PSI set( I run mine 35-36 PSI cold as the factory recommendation of 30 PSI is just too low - mainly for tire life but increasing it helps MPG ), new plugs and air filter on a reasonable schedule, use some quality fuel injector/fuel system cleaner once a month/every 3000, and so on. I also run synthetic fluids where I can and that helps a little( .5-1MPG depending on how many places you can use it ) Also, don't use your vehicle for storage. Weight adds up when you keep all kinds of crap in there and that impacts MPG.

Here is some very good info from the EPA's fuel economy web site. I try and basically follow their advice and I almost always exceed the EPA rating by a significant amount.


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Last edited by NHPATRIOT; 02-16-2013 at 08:26 PM.
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post #5 of 91 (permalink) Old 02-15-2013, 07:38 AM
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I learned to use the brake as little as possible mostly from a lot of winter driving. I laugh at people I see on the 2 lane highways, they are heavy into the gas up the hill, and on the brake for the entire downhill portion. While I gas up the hill, and let off as I crest and just drift the downhill part. I also look far ahead and let up on the gas early for stops and slow downs, while other folks around me seem to wait to the last minute and slam on the brakes.

One thing I'll add, is as you accelerate, at some point once you get to speed, let up- slightly on the gas, you'll maintain the speed, but RPMs will drop quite a bit.


You can go fast, but I can go anywhere
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post #6 of 91 (permalink) Old 02-15-2013, 08:38 AM
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MrJeepR44's gas mileage tip

Stuck for now maybe later ill move it to the knowledge base and refer any questions to this thread.

*ill delete this post shortly***


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post #7 of 91 (permalink) Old 02-15-2013, 09:07 AM
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Re: MrJeepR44's gas mileage tip

I really need to try these suggestions. Also, I should track my mpg..

Sent from my Galaxy S III using Autoguide. Please excuse my spelling.




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post #8 of 91 (permalink) Old 02-15-2013, 09:14 AM
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I rest the trip meter every time I fill up, and write the mileage on the receipt. Every so often I check the MPG. Usually with a new vehicle I'll check it every time, just to get a good idea of the actual MPG. I always fill up, never just a partial fill. It's actually easier for me to just look a the miles on the trip meter to determine when to get gas too. I know how many miles I can go until I need gas, which helps in knowing where and when to stop for gas. Comes in handy in the country where the gas stations are few and far apart.


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post #9 of 91 (permalink) Old 02-16-2013, 04:53 PM
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Been using feully to track my use n have noticed quite a hit in the last few fill ups this winter.

Must be that leaner mix makes more winter cash for the big oil ceo's.

P.s. i have even removed by roof racks n basket.



http://www.fuelly.com/driver/eastbeach/patriot

You have to be very careful if you don't know where your going, because you may not get there.
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post #10 of 91 (permalink) Old 02-16-2013, 06:03 PM
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I agree with everyone!

Me and brakes get along real well...I don't replace them and they don't wear out...my XL7 has had 3 front pad sets over 11 years, same rotors from new and nothing done to the back drums. They are at 40% last time we looked. It has 300,000+ kilometres on it.

To my Pat, I constantly get 30+ mpg overall with my daily run being 30% what most would call off road, 30% highway and 40% stop and go town driving.

The difference between driving the XL7 and the Pat on my job is almost $200 a month less in fuel and one less fill up a week despite the smaller tank on the Patriot.

No secret, all I do is drive like MrJeepR, JoeP and NHPatriot write about above.
With particular emphasis on JoeP...drive like you have no brakes and your mileage will climb.
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post #11 of 91 (permalink) Old 02-16-2013, 06:42 PM
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I'll quarrel just a little on the cruise control. On a straight and level expressway cruise control probably helps; it at least minimizes human fluctuations on the pedal.

However, in hilly terrain and on curves, cruise control will not save fuel at all: to the contrary cruise control will use more fuel.
  • On the way up, cruise control will keep you going at its preset speed, revving to wherever it needs to keep your speed constant.
  • On the way down the cruise control will hold you back (having the same effect as braking) and prevent any increase in speed and momentum.
Instead,
  • Anticipate a hill; gradually build speed & momentum as you approach it
  • As you ascend the hill, let off the the gas and let the vehicle lose a little speed during the incline. (Keep those fuel-wasting RPMs down)
  • After cresting the hill, let the decline rebuild your speed. (No fuel needed, nature does it naturally)
Similar principle on curves:
Cruise control will just yank you (unnaturally and uncomfortably) around a curve at its preset speed. Instead, anticipate curves and decelerate as you approach and gently accelerate after coming out of the curve. Added bonus: going easy on curves saves tires, wheel bearings and ball joints (apparently a weak point in some Patriots) Thankfully Jeep cruise control has that handy little lever you can just cancel the cruise for the curve and nudge it back on after the curve.

Frankly, in my part of the country, cruise control is almost useless except on freeways. There are just too many hills & curves for it to be practical.
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post #12 of 91 (permalink) Old 02-16-2013, 07:51 PM
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re: cruise control.

Most of us on this forum actually drive everywhere, so I'd agree with Ignatz's take on cruise.

However most folks out in vehicles aren't driving anywhere...they are going some where.

"I'm going to the mall"
"I'm going to visit grandma"
"I'm going to..."

They pay little attention to the actual driving part...cars are too dependable and do to much these days, no one has to worry about the brake pedal going to the floor at a stop sign anymore...that was a common occurrence when I began driving.

For all those folks, the cruise control tip is probably a pretty good one.

I am constantly behind a vehicle or most often a line of vehicles being held back by someone who jumps between 20 under and just over the speed limit. Up, drift back down, up, drift back down.

So you yo yo down the road, on the gas, off the gas.

This is an 80 kmph highway. 50 mph.
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post #13 of 91 (permalink) Old 02-16-2013, 08:42 PM
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Anyone notice on Fd1 the car does a engine or tranny brake. I notice it because of driving truck and engine braking often. When coasting to a traffic stop, see if it does it. This can help factor in stopping distance. Also my rpm is at 2000 at sixty mph and it is at 2000 rpm at 70. So going slower doesn't always help.
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post #14 of 91 (permalink) Old 02-16-2013, 09:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaxa View Post
I am constantly behind a vehicle or most often a line of vehicles being held back by someone who jumps between 20 under and just over the speed limit. Up, drift back down, up, drift back down.

So you yo yo down the road, on the gas, off the gas.

This is an 80 kmph highway. 50 mph.
Now Metaxa, you weren't thinking of me when you wrote about those crazies that can't maintain a consistent speed, were you? No, my feelings aren't hurt much, and, No, I certainly wouldn't slow down a line of cars behind me because I'm trying to maximize my fuel economy. But by myself on a rural road I'll do my best to drive fuel-efficiently.

Then again I know a guy who says he always drives around 55 or 60 . . . over the limit.
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post #15 of 91 (permalink) Old 02-16-2013, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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Good point on cruise control. In my last car, cruise seemed to be great for highway economy, but not in my Patriot. As was mentioned earlier, the CVT seems to slow the Jeep down a LOT when letting off the throttle... very similar to engine braking in a 5-speed manual. That plus the lack of overdrive on the FDII really seem to keep cruise control from helping on the highway with MPG's. When I drive in to work in traffic, I find I usually get better mileage because I am going at a decent speed, then have to let off the gas a bit and coast, then gradually pick up speed and then coast again. When there is no traffic, cruise keeps it right at the speed limit with no fluctuation.
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