There is a myth about driving manual transmission cars. The myth is:
- Shift from 1st to 2nd and then to 5th gear to save gas.
I spent a lot of time in Europe and I have noticed this trend a lot. I never questioned it until cars became my hobby. My engineering background and interest in cars got me thinking about this years ago.
My theory was that shifting gears on time (not to soon, not to late) and always keeping it in the right/optimal gear (optimal RPM) was the way to save gas properly.
As you know the original automatics used to be only with 3 gears and manuals at that time were 4 or 5 gears. The manual transmission cars always rated better in gas mileage. With recent introduction of 5,6,7,8 speed automatics/double-clutch transmissions, the sides have changed. Nowadays, automatics are being rated better in gas mileage than manuals. The reason is because the car is constantly shifting through gears and finding the most optimal gear for gas mileage.
I still wanted to prove my theory scientifically.
Recently I was able to purchase a ScanGauge device that can track many different things and one of them being the real-time gas mileage.
After driving the car and running it through many gas tanks, the conclusion is that shifting from 1st to 2nd and then to 5th gear does NOT give you the best gas mileage. In my Mini Cooper, the best results are achieved by constantly shifting between 2,500rpm and 3,100rpm and never being in the gear that is too high or too low. This obviously requires more concentration and that's why a lot of shiftable automatics are better if you leave them in the true automatic mode. Leaving it up to the car computer to do your job is most likely better choice.
The myth is proven incorrect.
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