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Any tips on driving an automatic extra efficiently?

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I'm picking up my new car this week, and going from a 1.2l Punto, getting in excess of 50mpg, to a 2.8l Galaxy, listed as getting 23mpg, I imagine this is going to hurt. Anyone got any tips on drivin… Read More
Penny Saver Avatar
7y, 6m agoPosted 7 years, 6 months ago
I'm picking up my new car this week, and going from a 1.2l Punto, getting in excess of 50mpg, to a 2.8l Galaxy, listed as getting 23mpg, I imagine this is going to hurt. Anyone got any tips on driving an automatic extra efficiently? Just to lighten the impact on my petrol money!

Don't want to be selling the car in a couple of months just because of the fuel costs!
Penny Saver Avatar
7y, 6m agoPosted 7 years, 6 months ago
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#1
smoothly does it, not just on off with the gas :)
#2
It's all dependant on the way you push the pedal ie: accelerator
#3
Take it from me you will not get 23 mpg from that Galaxy, I had exactly the same one.

Around town expect to get around 17-18, on a run 23-24 at best.

Used to cost around £60 to fill (probably £70-75 now and got around 200-220 miles out of a tank)

Please take my advice and pay the extra it will take to buy the diesel version, you will save thousands in fuel and it is a much more reliable car.

I had a mark 3 diesel on loan and got 50 mpg out of it on a run.

A diesel will although more expensive to buy will be much cheaper in the long run. I promise you in 12 months time you will regret getting the 2.8

If you do go ahead and buy it make sure the aircon works perfectly, renowned for going wrong on these (as it did on mine cost over £1K to fix)
#4
greg_68
Take it from me you will not get 23 mpg from that Galaxy, I had exactly the same one.

Around town expect to get around 17-18, on a run 23-24 at best.

Used to cost around £60 to fill (probably £70-75 now and got around 200-220 miles out of a tank)

Please take my advice and pay the extra it will take to buy the diesel version, you will save thousands in fuel and it is a much more reliable car.

I had a mark 3 diesel on loan and got 50 mpg out of it on a run.

A diesel will although more expensive to buy will be much cheaper in the long run. I promise you in 12 months time you will regret getting the 2.8

If you do go ahead and buy it make sure the aircon works perfectly, renowned for going wrong on these (as it did on mine cost over £1K to fix)


The air con has justbeen refurbed, not that I'll be using it as it'll only make the car even less efficient. Too late really, paid the deposit, and really liked the car. It's a cracking deal, almost too good to be true, but it's all legit. The ONLY downside is the mpg. I don't do many miles, just to school and back twice a day and maybe once or twice to ASDA or my parents each week. I know it's going to be a shock to the system, and maybe it'll help make us think more about when we actually use it - like driving half way to school and walking the rest... Just wanted tips on making it work to the best of it's ability really. Be a shame to sell it again in a year, but I've a feeling that's the way it'll go... :cry:
#5
I think you've got to put your thinking cap on nowadays when choosing a motor . Theres lots of so called deals and bargains out there .......big cars with high tax ............big engines with low mpg. Ideally , you want something that's cheap to run , cheap on road tax and good mpg . I regreted getting my Zafira , basic 1.6 model , mpg is not too good ,compared to my Vectra [2.00DI =52mpg ] I still have or the old Astra [ Izuzu1.7=50mpg] I got rid of .
I personally dont want the latest model or flashy motor , I'm more concerned about keeping my expenditure low ,it cost's me enough money running 2 cars as it is . Of course if you have a large family ,you may need a people carrier type vehicle , but I would have choosen a diesel and not an automatic .But , now you have it, I would get a full service ,things like a clogged dirty air filter can lower the milage , oil . filter change etc and see how it goes .
#6
Penny Saver
The air con has justbeen refurbed, not that I'll be using it as it'll only make the car even less efficient. Too late really, paid the deposit, and really liked the car. It's a cracking deal, almost too good to be true, but it's all legit. The ONLY downside is the mpg. I don't do many miles, just to school and back twice a day and maybe once or twice to ASDA or my parents each week. I know it's going to be a shock to the system, and maybe it'll help make us think more about when we actually use it - like driving half way to school and walking the rest... Just wanted tips on making it work to the best of it's ability really. Be a shame to sell it again in a year, but I've a feeling that's the way it'll go... :cry:


make sure you turn the aircon on at least once a month even in winter as the oil in the aircon system keeps the seals etc lubricated. Not using it at all over the winter period is not advised.

The deal is too good to be true because they can't shift them because everyone has done their homework on these and realised what an absolute none starter they are. Personally I'd lose the deposit and still go for the diesel. At the end of the day it doesn't matter how few miles you do you will still save money having a diesel.
Short trips to school and the shops will probably struggle to get to 17-18 mpg.
banned#7
How about an LPG conversion

around 1200 quid but fuel will be about half price
#8
toshapetriji
How about an LPG conversion

around 1200 quid but fuel will be about half price


But then I'd lose the much needed space in the car that sold me on the galaxy in the first place! Nice idea though...
#9
ricko
I think you've got to put your thinking cap on nowadays when choosing a motor . Theres lots of so called deals and bargains out there .......big cars with high tax ............big engines with low mpg. Ideally , you want something that's cheap to run , cheap on road tax and good mpg . I regreted getting my Zafira , basic 1.6 model , mpg is not too good ,compared to my Vectra [2.00DI =52mpg ] I still have or the old Astra [ Izuzu1.7=50mpg] I got rid of .
I personally dont want the latest model or flashy motor , I'm more concerned about keeping my expenditure low ,it cost's me enough money running 2 cars as it is . Of course if you have a large family ,you may need a people carrier type vehicle , but I would have choosen a diesel and not an automatic .But , now you have it, I would get a full service ,things like a clogged dirty air filter can lower the milage , oil . filter change etc and see how it goes .


Yes - three kids all needing car seats, big dog - we need a big roomy car. I know it's going to hurt petrol wise, but I wanted an auto, so made adjustments for it. It's basically the best car I could afford, and we were planning on keeping it for a long time. Now I'm not so sure about the keeping it for a long time part, I can bear the tax/insurance, but the petrol causes me real pain. We'll just take it easy and wait and see. Some things are a gamble, and it looks like I might lose this one. :(
#10
why buy a 2.8l car if you're worried about petrol costs, seems a bit daft to me. loads of other cars with just as much space.
#11
looks like ur hukd name will be going out of the window when buying the galaxy
#12
Should have got something like a Vauxhall Zafira 1.9CDTi
#13
Get a jap import diesel. Toyota Estima or Granvia. Run it on veggie oil (70p per litre)!

They are superb, and the A/C doesn't break down all the time. :)
#14
dataload
why buy a 2.8l car if you're worried about petrol costs, seems a bit daft to me. loads of other cars with just as much space.


It came down to a choice between a really old diesel with loads of miles and quite low spec, or a not so old petrol with very low miles and top spec. I don't imagine to add much to the milage, doing about 4k a year myself, so went for the lower mileage. Got a bit of a shock when I got home and worked out the mpg - hence my question! I think if I can work out a way to keep it above 20mpg I'll be happy - so back to the opening question...
#15
Personally i don't understand your logic on this one.

Even on 4k miles a year you are going to save £1500 a year in fuel if you had a Galaxy diesel.

Spend that £1500 more than you were going to spend on the petrol and you have a top spec diesel (of around or newer is my guess) car. Then from year one you are saving £1500 a year, and as I said above a much more reliable engine.

I have been in that exact position and made exactly the same mistake you are making thinking a bit of 2.8 luxury would be nice. It will soon wear off and you will regret it I promise. I saw the light and now get 45 mpg, nearly triple what I was getting before.
#16
greg_68
Personally i don't understand your logic on this one.

Even on 4k miles a year you are going to save £1500 a year in fuel if you had a Galaxy diesel.

Spend that £1500 more than you were going to spend on the petrol and you have a top spec diesel (of around or newer is my guess) car. Then from year one you are saving £1500 a year, and as I said above a much more reliable engine.

I have been in that exact position and made exactly the same mistake you are making thinking a bit of 2.8 luxury would be nice. It will soon wear off and you will regret it I promise. I saw the light and now get 45 mpg, nearly triple what I was getting before.


I know. But I don't want to lose my deposit, and I've not found a diesel I can afford (a decent one anyway.). I'll have to grin and bear it for now, and see what happens mpg-wise.
banned#17
I don't think you'll lose your deposit by asking for a different engine if you phone them quick.

My personal opinion is you've jumped before looking
#18
lumoruk
I don't think you'll lose your deposit by asking for a different engine if you phone them quick.

My personal opinion is you've jumped before looking


No - I did spend ages looking, I think part of it was impatience at just not finding the right one, and having to make too many compromises. The only compromise with this one is the MPG. I am just hoping now it's not as bad as it looks. :(
1 Like #19
Answering your first question, when driving an automatic for example at 30 mph along a straight road, many auto boxes will stay in 3rd, but if you just tap the throttle it will trick the box and make it change to the higher gear, or you can use a tiptronic manual mode in some cars. There is a nack to it so keep trying. That will help a little.
#20
aircanman
Answering your first question, when driving an automatic for example at 30 mph along a straight road, many auto boxes will stay in 3rd, but if you just tap the throttle it will trick the box and make it change to the higher gear, or you can use a tiptronic manual mode in some cars. There is a nack to it so keep trying. That will help a little.


Thank you. Back to the opening question!
1 Like #21
Penny Saver

Although i have a diesel auto (MB CLK270cdi) the principle should be the same:

1. Going from a 1.2 to a 2.8 - The accelerator will need a lot less pushing to get anywhere (esp the speed limit :-D) , learn to waft along and not stab the pedal to get anything! Pedal should not need more than 1/4 down for town driving.
2. Anticipate the road ahead, as above, gently does it with an auto. If you speed up and slow down in plenty of time, the auto box will work better and change at the right time. Don't and it will be up and down like a wh**e's knickers and your consumption will suffer:-)
3. No use to you but an auto is best on a motorway - once up to top gear, it uses no more than a manual - I get 40-50mpg on a decent journey.
4. I wouldn't worry about the air-con on such a big lump. On smaller engines, yes it can be 10% of the output but your 2.8 will hardly notice and, as has been said, you need to use it at least once a month to stop the seals drying out. Try a month with and a month without - I bet you won't be able to tell the difference in MPG.
5. You're never going to get close to the Punto's MPG but just remember what you get in exchange - more space, comfortable ride, more toys, no more queue causing gear changes (1st, 2nd, 1st, 2nd repeat as necessary) etc etc. (best to chant these phrases over and over whilst filling up :-D)

Hope that helps

Dave
#22
Wirral_guy
Penny Saver

Although i have a diesel auto (MB CLK270cdi) the principle should be the same:

1. Going from a 1.2 to a 2.8 - The accelerator will need a lot less pushing to get anywhere (esp the speed limit :-D) , learn to waft along and not stab the pedal to get anything! Pedal should not need more than 1/4 down for town driving.
2. Anticipate the road ahead, as above, gently does it with an auto. If you speed up and slow down in plenty of time, the auto box will work better and change at the right time. Don't and it will be up and down like a wh**e's knickers and your consumption will suffer:-)
3. No use to you but an auto is best on a motorway - once up to top gear, it uses no more than a manual - I get 40-50mpg on a decent journey.
4. I wouldn't worry about the air-con on such a big lump. On smaller engines, yes it can be 10% of the output but your 2.8 will hardly notice and, as has been said, you need to use it at least once a month to stop the seals drying out. Try a month with and a month without - I bet you won't be able to tell the difference in MPG.
5. You're never going to get close to the Punto's MPG but just remember what you get in exchange - more space, comfortable ride, more toys, no more queue causing gear changes (1st, 2nd, 1st, 2nd repeat as necessary) etc etc. (best to chant these phrases over and over whilst filling up :-D)

Hope that helps

Dave


It does, thanks. I do do some motorway driving, but not as much as I used to. I guess I'll force myself to go on longer journeys just to keep the average up!
#23
As someone mentioned , the Zafira would be ideal , but not my model .........a basic 1.6 club ,it's 7 seater ,easy to maintain , roomy and quite comfortable . It took me ages to find a one to buy , my ideal choice was a black diesel model , but @10K .well over the price I wanted to pay for a second hand model . I settled on a decent low milage model @6K ...............but I should have done my homework .............1.6 is underpowered for the Zafira giving it a low mpg compared to other cars . I get about 70 miles to £10 worth of fuel depending on journey .
I would ask if you change the model NOW ,or even think about loosing the deposit before your spend all your hard earned money on fuel .
#24
The garage might be willing to give back the deposit, some are, if not, try telling them that you or your partner have just been made redundant and can no longer afford to buy a new car.
#25
ricko
As someone mentioned , the Zafira would be ideal , but not my model .........a basic 1.6 club ,it's 7 seater ,easy to maintain , roomy and quite comfortable . It took me ages to find a one to buy , my ideal choice was a black diesel model , but @10K .well over the price I wanted to pay for a second hand model . I settled on a decent low milage model @6K ...............but I should have done my homework .............1.6 is underpowered for the Zafira giving it a low mpg compared to other cars . I get about 70 miles to £10 worth of fuel depending on journey .
I would ask if you change the model NOW ,or even think about loosing the deposit before your spend all your hard earned money on fuel .



Nope, it's not from a networked garage, so there' no pulling out without losing my deposit, and then some. I'll be bound to pay anything they've spent onit since I agreed to buy, like the MOT, TAX etc. It looks like it'll be ready for me later this week, so I'll just have to lump it for now, see how it goes, and learn for next time. I'm just disappointed because I wanted this car to outlive my need for a big car altogether, this doesn't look likely now. Maybe keep it a year or two, then sell it for a smaller / diesel engine.
#26
peodude
The garage might be willing to give back the deposit, some are, if not, try telling them that you or your partner have just been made redundant and can no longer afford to buy a new car.


I doubt it. I rammed him down on the price as it was. Like I said, got a bargain, now just got to run it!
#27
The best tip I know for fuel efficiency is braking = losing money. Imagine that the harder / longer you brake for the more it is costing you, this will make you think about the way you brake and how often / for how long you do.
#28
greg_68
The best tip I know for fuel efficiency is braking = losing money. Imagine that the harder / longer you brake for the more it is costing you, this will make you think about the way you brake and how often / for how long you do.


:thumbsup:
#29
Obviously if heading for another vehicle / brick wall spend away.
#30
Penny Saver
Nope, it's not from a networked garage, so there' no pulling out without losing my deposit, and then some. I'll be bound to pay anything they've spent onit since I agreed to buy, like the MOT, TAX etc. It looks like it'll be ready for me later this week, so I'll just have to lump it for now, see how it goes, and learn for next time. I'm just disappointed because I wanted this car to outlive my need for a big car altogether, this doesn't look likely now. Maybe keep it a year or two, then sell it for a smaller / diesel engine.


How old is the car? Did you negotiate for the garage to pay the tax and to MOT it?
If you didn't negotiate for the tax you'll most likely be expected to pay for it on top of your purchase price.
#31
Goonieman
How old is the car? Did you negotiate for the garage to pay the tax and to MOT it?
If you didn't negotiate for the tax you'll most likely be expected to pay for it on top of your purchase price.


It was agreed he'd get it, I'd pay for it, so if I pull out I just bought someone else's tax disc, and gave some dealer a wad of money for nothing. I'm buying it now. Now going back there. Just keep my foot off the brake and see how the mpg goes.
#32
greg_68
Obviously if heading for another vehicle / brick wall spend away.


Had to read that a couple of times to get it :)
#33
Penny Saver
It was agreed he'd get it, I'd pay for it, so if I pull out I just bought someone else's tax disc, and gave some dealer a wad of money for nothing. I'm buying it now. Now going back there. Just keep my foot off the brake and see how the mpg goes.


I doubt they'll get the tax until you go to pick up the car, they'll probably need your insurance certificate to get it. It may not be as bad as you think if you want to pull out.
#34
Tickle the accelerator, you'll find that with a biggish engine you don't need to give it much welly to get anywhere, enjoy the lazy way it goes about getting you places and let the auto-box change smoothly. It takes a bit of getting used to but you will get to know when the gear changes happen. Most of the time I try to keep the revs low, once moving as near to 2000rpm as poss. On long journeys on motorways, dual carriageways etc use the cruise control, if you've got it, that will keep your speed and fuel consumption steady and be prepared to trundle along at 60 rather than 80-90, you'll still get there and you'll be chilled out when you do. :-D

I've recently had my car converted to LPG, the fuel tank goes in the spare wheel well, so there's no loss of space, I don't know if that's possible on a Galaxy? The conversion was a grand and my fuel costs have about halved, so it is definetly worth thinking about. On 12 gallons of Unleaded costing £62.00 I used to get 340 miles, on 12 gallons of LPG costing £31.00 I get 300miles. It's a much happier way to motor knowing you're not paying anything like as much as most other folk :-D
#35
MrGrumpyman
Tickle the accelerator, you'll find that with a biggish engine you don't need to give it much welly to get anywhere, enjoy the lazy way it goes about getting you places and let the auto-box change smoothly. It takes a bit of getting used to but you will get to know when the gear changes happen. Most of the time I try to keep the revs low, once moving as near to 2000rpm as poss. On long journeys on motorways, dual carriageways etc use the cruise control, if you've got it, that will keep your speed and fuel consumption steady and be prepared to trundle along at 60 rather than 80-90, you'll still get there and you'll be chilled out when you do. :-D

I've recently had my car converted to LPG, the fuel tank goes in the spare wheel well, so there's no loss of space, I don't know if that's possible on a Galaxy? The conversion was a grand and my fuel costs have about halved, so it is definetly worth thinking about. On 12 gallons of Unleaded costing £62.00 I used to get 340 miles, on 12 gallons of LPG costing £31.00 I get 300miles. It's a much happier way to motor knowing you're not paying anything like as much as most other folk :-D



I didn't know you could convert so discretely. Am definitely interested. Who did yours?
1 Like #36
I'll PM you the details :-D
#37
Penny Saver
I didn't know you could convert so discretely. Am definitely interested. Who did yours?


If you put the LPG tank where the spare wheel sits where will you put the spare wheel. It's a big old beast on the Galaxy and will not fit behind the last row of seats.
#38
greg_68
If you put the LPG tank where the spare wheel sits where will you put the spare wheel. It's a big old beast on the Galaxy and will not fit behind the last row of seats.


Most folk who've had an LPG coversion with tank in wheel well tend to leave the spare at home and carry a can of gloop and pump, which seems to do the job. If you think about it, how many times have you needed to use the spare in anger?

I, however still carry my spare as I can strap it to the side of the load area and I lose very little space that way :thumbsup:
#39
MrGrumpyman
Most folk who've had an LPG coversion with tank in wheel well tend to leave the spare at home and carry a can of gloop and pump, which seems to do the job. If you think about it, how many times have you needed to use the spare in anger?

I, however still carry my spare as I can strap it to the side of the load area and I lose very little space that way :thumbsup:


Frankly, as a girly girl, I have no intention of ever changing a wheel. In the event of an emergency, hubby will be calle dout of work and he can pick the wheel up on his way to me. Or, I'll do what some moronic MAN did the other day (I watched him) and drive home on the flat, holding everyone up. But it's ok - he had his hazard lights on...

Am deffo interested in the conversion. Don't even know where the spare wheel is in the Galaxy. Wonder if it can be done discreetly...
banned#40
MrGrumpyman
Most folk who've had an LPG coversion with tank in wheel well tend to leave the spare at home and carry a can of gloop and pump, which seems to do the job. If you think about it, how many times have you needed to use the spare in anger?

I, however still carry my spare as I can strap it to the side of the load area and I lose very little space that way :thumbsup:


Never used the spare, wouldn't trust it anyway as it's a space saver. Think I'll take it out tonight thinking about it, will only carry it on long journeys. Breakdown services charge an arm for toeing you to a garage if you aren't carrying a spare.

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