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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-22-2017, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by sc489 View Post
Most petrol in the UK has additives to prevent valves clogging up - you must have the same in the US? My current Accord now 11 years old at 75000 miles still runs very sweetly, despite changing up at 2000 rpm! Why are you taking the head off after only 40000 miles?
I see by what you have posted here that you really do need to read up on the SkyActiv engine and it capabilities.
Additives have no bearing on the subject. These engines have direct injection, so the intake valves do not get the needed washing from fuel passing across them. Carbon buildup on the intake valves is an issue for a lot of cars with direct injection. Mazda has engineered a solution for the SkyActiv motor apparently. This involves keeping the valves hot enough to keep deposits from forming. Driving like your grandmother in a 65 Buick will only lead to early engine issues. The car needs to be revved somewhat to operate normally. Letting that silly indicator tell you how to drive is silly and it only exists because the EPA says it has to.
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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-22-2017, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by sc489 View Post
I'm ploughing through the manual for my new 2.0 petrol manual six speed Mazda 3 prior to delivery. I don't see any mention of recommended gear shift speeds for normal driving (no boy racer recommendations thank you). I know you can tell from the car's response when to change and from the gear change indicator, but I thought Mazda would publish the recommended change speeds. Any advice?
I found the following information in the manual for my 2.5-liter motor - perhaps similar data can be found in your manual, too.
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Last edited by dradernh; 02-22-2017 at 06:10 PM.
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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-22-2017, 06:43 PM
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The downside of the gear shift indicator is that it doesn't know what you want to do in the next two seconds. For example, if the car sees you maintaining speed while waiting someone to pass so you can merge then accelerate, it might tell you to upshift which is not what you want.

It's useful though if you're just cruising and wanting to get optimal fuel economy.
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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-22-2017, 06:45 PM
arathol
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dradernh View Post
I found the following information in the manual for my 2.5-liter motor - perhaps similar data can be found in your manual, too.
Yep. I think you will find those numbers quite similar to those displayed on the shift indicator. They are the operational parameters needed to hit the economy numbers required by the EPA, not based at all in reality.
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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-22-2017, 06:58 PM
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I enjoy lots of different kinds of driving, most of all spirited carving of curvy country roads. Obviously when I do that, I keep the revs higher, typically 3,500-5,500 but higher too. But I do not drive that way when running errands around town, probably around 2,000-3,000 RPM. But when on long distance road trips, making 600 miles a day on the interstates, will get into sixth when appropriate, set cruise control and on flat level ground, and I spend the day often in the 1,500-2,000 RPM range, more of course in the mountains.

And from just my Mazda 3 one-hour test drive, I concur with above posts, that the shift light comes on way sooner than I typically drive, being set for maximum fuel economy.

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Last edited by Road Trip; 02-22-2017 at 07:00 PM.
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post #16 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-22-2017, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arathol View Post
Yep. I think you will find those numbers quite similar to those displayed on the shift indicator. They are the operational parameters needed to hit the economy numbers required by the EPA, not based at all in reality.
When I'm using higher revs than I normally would, and the car is on a level stretch of road, my car's shift indicator suggests shifting from 5 --> 6 at 39 MPH - so, somewhat similar to the recommended 43 MPH in Mazda's "Cruising" chart.
My reality is that I shift into 6th at ~34 MPH when on the flat. Your reality is likely quite different.
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Last edited by dradernh; 02-22-2017 at 07:22 PM.
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post #17 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-22-2017, 07:29 PM
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Lugging an engine is really bad for it. The best definition I have seen is being in too low a gear when you are trying to accelerate. If you are going up even a slight incline, and are trying to accelerate in a gear and are under 2,000 RPM, you are definitely lugging your motor. When going up a hill, I personally am at least 2,500 RPM, more if it is a steep hill, and again trying to accelerate when in a lower gear than we should be, is really bad for our motors. Honest drivers will tell you that they have at least a few times lugged their motors, most often when they were either distracted or too lazy to shift to a lower gear.

Conversely, if we are in a top gear, going down a hill and not trying to accelerate, we can be at a fairly low RPM and not lug our motors.

It is important for us all to avoid trying to get that last bit of fuel mileage when accelerating and/or going up an incline.

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post #18 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-22-2017, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sc489 View Post
The car pulls quite well at 2000rpm which is about 75% peak torque so it seems a good speed to change for economy. What's the point of revving beyond 4000rpm when the torque curve drops off so rapidly. I admit it might sound good if you like driving a noisy car.
The problem with that thinking is this- if you shift at 2000 rpm you are less than half way into the torque curve. Shift up and you will be back at the bottom of the curve with very little power available. Get the rpms up above 3k and you'll be well into the power band for the next gear. Keep the rpms low and mashing the throttle results in lugging the engine, not a good situation with a high compression motor like this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dradernh View Post
When I'm using higher revs than I normally would, and the car is on a level stretch of road, my car's shift indicator suggests shifting from 5 --> 6 at 39 MPH - so, somewhat similar to the recommended 43 MPH in Mazda's "Cruising" chart.
My reality is that I shift into 6th at ~34 MPH when on the flat. Your reality may vary.
34 In 6th gear? Really? Does the car actually move like that?
Where is 6th gear anyhow? I was in traffic on the freeway today, 4th gear, between 60 and 80 indicated.
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post #19 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-22-2017, 08:06 PM
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34mph in 6th is a bit less than 1000 rpm ... That's really pushing it! It's not lugging if my foot is completely off the throttle right?
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post #20 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-22-2017, 10:03 PM
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I agree that 34 MPH in sixth gear, less than 1,000 RPM is not where I would want to be, nor would I be unless I was coasting to a stop down a pretty good hill, and as I slowed even a little further, would be downshifting to 4th or lower. If your foot is completely off the throttle and you are going up hill in too low a gear, and you are starting to feel your car starting to gently tug and pull you back-and-forth in your seat, you are lugging your car.

I like @arathol 's earlier post, that he drives not by his car's speed, but by its tach/RPM. The only time speed is important is in traffic, avoiding a ticket and/or doing something unsafe.

Actually having the large tach right in front of me (maybe 10X bigger than the speedometer), is one of the things that initially appealed to me about the Mazda 3 GT. Early race cars, before "pit lane speed limits," did not even have a speedometer, but they had a tach right in front of the driver.

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