Jul 10 2008
Name: Dan Kroushl
Occupation: Professional Slacker (You don’t really need to know, do you?)
Weapon of Choice: 1992 Honda Civic VX (Stock)
For months Dan has been a bit of an icon around ecomodder.com and I thought it fitting that he receive proper mention here and he has driven so many people to look for new heights in their quest for gas mileage.
When Dan first came to the ecomodding game he was making 50 MPG tanks in his Del Sol S. This doesn’t seem like much now, but at the time it was amazing. In the end Dan managed to hit mid 60s in the Del Sol and is now pushing past the 70 MPG barrier in his Civic VX.
You might not know Dan, but he’s already become a mini-star on the internet for his contribution to the quest for fuel economy. You can check him out on the Toyota website here where his efforts with four partners set a world record for fuel economy. This has since been topped, but who knows how long any of these records will last?
However you look at it, Dan’s really paved the way for great fuel economy; first in the Prius and now in his fifteen year old Civic VX.
In order to share a little bit about his technique with everyone, I asked him a few questions about his adventures with hypermiling.
Ben: How did you first learn to hypermile?
Dan: I started hypermiling in 1985 when I bought the CRX HF. I did just what made sense to do to save fuel. Turns out that those things match up pretty well with what now turns out to be accepted hypermiling techniques.
Ben: What difference has the superMID made in your driving practices?
Dan: It helped the Prius Marathon team learn to go from 107ish to up to 120MPG. It (and the scangauge) is the single best investment in FE improvement. I guesstimate that it was good for 20% improvement in the Del Sol FE, from 55 to 65 MPG.
Ben: How does your Civic VX compare to the Prius in terms of comfort, usefulness, and FE?
Dan: The VX can carry up to 5 passengers, but more cramped than the Prius. The Prius has much more cargo room, quieter, smoother ride and has A/C. The VX gets much better highway FE and similar city FE if driven properly. The VX was about 1/10th the price of the Prius.
Ben: Do you see any obvious advantages or disadvantages to driving the VX?
Dan: The VX is the highway cruiser. The Prius is much easier to drive in the city, EV mode being very useful.
Ben: Do you feel cooler when you drive the Honda?
Dan: I feel like a geek in both. But if I had the rust repaired and a nice new shiny coat of red paint, I would feel cooler in the VX.
Ben: Could you give us a short description of your route and common segment FE?
Dan: My commute is 40 km (25 miles) each way. Ten km city type driving, then 20 km highway in 45-55 MPH zones and then 10 more km of city type driving. Lots of hills. [Dan regularly gets 75 MPG on his commute.]
Ben: What are your three biggest FE driving tips?
Dan: Get a SuperMID or Scangauge, drive such that you don’t need to use your brakes, leave early and take your time, the speed limit is the maximum, not the minimum.
Ben: Three biggest modifications?
Dan: SuperMID/Scangauge, LRR tires, full belly pan.
Ben: For all those driving a non-FE car, how hard was it to pick up the VX?
Dan: Just watch ebay for VX’s. You want a 49 state version, not the CA version. Be prepared to do some repair work to get it in top shape. Most likely it will need an O2 sensor for $315 at Autozone [You can get these much cheaper if you have a warning that you will need it!]. Other likely repairs will be axle replacement and front rotors as they tend to warp. Most have rust at the rear wheel wells but not to worry, FE isn’t effected that much by rust. Don’t be too concerned about high mileage, Honda’s last forever. If you do find one on ebay, try to get a test drive before bidding.
If you can’t find a VX, a CX will do quite nicely.
For those interested, here’s his gaslog with the VX:
Thanks very much to Dan for sharing with us, hopefully his example will lead us that extra little distance to superb fuel economy!