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Ford Escape Hybrid - Driving Tips & Tricks

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Comments

  • peraltaperalta Posts: 94
    If you are using the aircon or the windshield defogger, then the A/C compressor is running which require power directly from the engine. Honda's and toyota's have electric motor driven A/C's.

    Make sure the AC or the fan is turned off and if things changed.
  • I believe the reason the engine runs when first started is to warm the oil to about 160'F. After that threshold has been reached you are more likely to be able to operate on pure electic motor, provided the AC is not ON, and yur foot is a size 5.
  • bubkisbubkis Posts: 10
    I am very interested in the 2008 FEH. They are in limited supply in the Denver area and I have not been able to test drive one yet. Ultimately I will test drive one. I wanted to know if anyone can comment on the acceleration on steep inclines with the FEH.

    Also, can anyone comment on snow/ice driving with FWD vs AWD assuming I put Snow tires on the the vehicle. The Mileage seems to be considerable better with the FWD. (ie. do I really need AWD??)
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,719
    I just got my FEH last week, 2008 AWD, no nav, no sunroof, most of the other options.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: I always consider traffic behind me when I am doing my "tricks". I do not advocate holding up the normal drivers because I'm trying to squeeze out an extra 1 MPG. I think that we as hybrid owners should consider NOT impeding traffic as part of the "parameters" within which we try to maximize MPG.

    I have noticed a couple of things about how the FEH uses the electric motor.

    1. Upon starting up in the morning, the FEH will run the engine until it is warm. However, if you notice, the vehicle is actually running ONLY on electric propulsion initially. You can tell because while the vehicle is moving, the RPM is steady at around 1400. When the gas engine is propelling the FEH, the RPM guage goes up and down based on useage. The other clue is that the power guage moves over to "assist". The third indication is that I can hear the electric motor whine (very faintly).

    In practice I have found that I can go up to about a mile and 35 MPH without the RPMs increasing. I have found that if I subsequently stop (at a light or anything), the gas engine will then kick in to supply propulsion when I start back up.

    If you stomp on the accelerator (perhaps thinking that the gas engine is running anyway), the RPMs will go up and the vehicle will not be propelled by electric motors.

    2. The FEH is programmed to turn off the engine when the system goes to "Charge" under a set speed (I think around 40 MPH). You can use this knowledge to enhance MPG by lightly tapping on the brake for about 1 second when you are approaching a red light and below 40 MPH. The RPM guage will hover for 1/2 second at 1000, then the motor will quit and the RPM guage will go to "EV". So long as you don't accelerate too hard, the FEH will stay in EV mode. This technique is useful when you would be slowing down anyway, so as to avoid "rushing to a red light".

    The same thing will happen if you simply let off of the accelerator when approaching a red light, but it takes longer for the computer to figure out that you are not going to use the gas pedal again. Basically, it appears to be tied to the "charge" setting - once the computer decides to charge the batteries (because there is no load on the gas engine), it will shut down the gas engine.

    3. On my daily commute, I choose a route that goes down an almost deserted residential street for about a mile, rather than the busy main road (the distances are the same, though the main road is 40 MPH and the residential street is 30). Then I take it easy on the accelerator and can get up to the speed limit of 30 MPH on all electric mode - no engine at all.

    4. I always try and keep my instant MPG meter at 6 bars. I have found that the FEH goes to 2 bars under gas acceleration initially (ZERO bars if you really hit the pedal), but I can get that back to 4 bars above 25 MPH by easing off of the accelerator briefly, and then lightly applying pressure. From that point I can accelerate on up to 40 MPH at 5 or 6 bars. Once at speed I am almost always at 6 bars.

    So far I am getting around 31 City and 30 highway, per the guages. I'm still on my initial "dealer supplied" tank of gas.
  • dhuang2dhuang2 Posts: 15
    The other EASY and QUICK way to improve mpg is use "L" (low gear) instead of "D" as often as possible. I gained 1MPG by using of "L". The drawback of this trick is you have to accommodate the feeling of "dragging" when the gas paddle is released, which is OK with me. And, I found it is easier to stop FEH, too. I personally feel the FEH has weaker braking.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,719
    "The other EASY and QUICK way to improve mpg is use "L" (low gear) instead of "D" as often as possible. "

    Yes, I've read similar comments. I may give it a shot for one tank. However for the moment I'm in the "break-in" period, so I'm just keeping it on D.

    One of my tricks is to release the pedal to cause the instant MPG to go to 6 bars. I'm not sure how well that would work with "L".
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    A lot of what you have posted was documented by the "early adopters" that bought the FEH in late 2004 early 2005 when it first came out. It is most thoroughly documented on cleanmpg.com. [lots and lots of reference material to read posted there] :D

    It will be interesting to see what changes are observed later this summer as the 2009's hit the street.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,719
    "A lot of what you have posted was documented by the "early adopters" that bought the FEH in late 2004 early 2005 when it first came out."

    Well, a lot of new people don't read that far back, and I think that a validation that the 2008 still works the same has some value...

    I have gone to several other "green" sites, and seen some of these techniques (after I found them myself), but I don't write about anything I haven't tried myself. So far I have not been tempted to try the extreme "tricks". :)
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    Yeah, some of those tricks are rather extreme. The one that has an almost immediate impact is keeping the tires inflated to approx 40 psi. (but not in the winter when it is not safe). :D
  • I have a 2008 FEH with about 8900 miles.
    Over the last several fillups my RPM indicator never show EV Mode.
    My mileage ranges from 26 (local)-29(highway).
    My concern is I do not appear to be in EV Mode ever. I think my Mileage seems to reflect this.
    Why do I appear to be running on IC engine 100% of the time (even when stopped at lights).
    On only several fillups when my mileage was about 5000 did I get the confidence from the RPM indicator that I was in total EV mode.
    Any thoughts? I haven'y discussed this yet with the dealer & maintenance people.
  • Is your airconditioner or defrost on? The electric engine will not kick in if either of these are on. Do you have the econ button pushed? What is the temperature outside? Have you tried running in town in the low gear? Have you tried giving the break a tap, then coasting? Does your display say that electric energy is ok?There are several things that could be happening, but we need more information.
  • AC was NOT on. ECON was not on. Defrost was NOT on, but heat is/was operating when cold outside. Outside Temp is 40-75 (F) varies (lately). Fan is ON most of the time (whether in heat or AC mode).
    Are you implying that I can not set a comfort environment and be in EV Mode? Woe, that's crazy.

    PS to moderator: I checked the prior messages but listing this under "Driving Tips" seemed to bury the issue. That seemed more concerned with "technique" instead of some overall systemic isssue with EV Mode. Sorry!
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    The modes that prevent full EV are discussed in the owners manual.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,719
    "AC was NOT on. ECON was not on. Defrost was NOT on, but heat is/was operating when cold outside. Outside Temp is 40-75 (F) varies (lately). Fan is ON most of the time (whether in heat or AC mode).
    Are you implying that I can not set a comfort environment and be in EV Mode? Woe, that's crazy. "

    If you are in ECON mode the engine should have shut off ENABLED except in the following conditions:

    1. When the engine is warming up.
    2. If the defrost is on, or the "defrost and floor" is on.

    If neither of these is true, something is wrong with your FEH.

    I say shut off EV mode is ENABLED, because if you keep pressure on the gas pedal, the engine will run. However, it should always shut off when you are stopped at a light or in traffic.
  • dyoungmdyoungm Posts: 2
    I have an 06 Chev HHR with the larger motor and all the bells and whistles(no hybrid). I consistently get 28.2mpg even with my heavy foot but with the wife in the car or her driving we can get 30.1mpg. I was looking at the FEH for better gas milage but after reading the messages here I probably ought to get another HHR gas-ser. I wanted the tow capacity of the FEH but the upfront cost and less out the door gas milage are discouraging and not worth the difference in towing power.
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    Towing capacity of the FEH is only 1000 lbs., not the 2500 of the V6 Escapes. If you are getting over 30 mpg in the HHR you will not get much better in the FEH, even FWD, especially if towing a lot.
  • Has anyone heard good/bad about this?

    http://www.fitchfuelcatalyst.com/
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    This is not correct. Towing IS NOT RECOMMENDED for the FEH. What this means is that if you tow, and you have a problem with the vehicle that Ford decides to say is related to the towing then you get no warranty coverage.

    DO NOT expect to use the FEH to tow.

    Mark
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,719
    "This is not correct. Towing IS NOT RECOMMENDED for the FEH. What this means is that if you tow, and you have a problem with the vehicle that Ford decides to say is related to the towing then you get no warranty coverage.

    DO NOT expect to use the FEH to tow. "

    NO, YOU ARE NOT CORRECT.

    Do you even own an FEH? Pages 180 - 184 of the 2008 FEH owners guide provides the towing limits, how to calculate gross vehicle weights, suggestions on driving while towing, what to do after towing, etc. It is a pretty complete description.

    One note indicates that the FEH cannot accomodate electric brakes on the trailer.

    Max towing load is 1000 lbs.

    Having said the above, I still do not recommend that people tow with the FEH - get the ICE Escape V6 for any serious towing.
  • When i drive my car i what position must the switch be of the High-Voltage Battery Pack LOCK or UNLOCK ?

    High-Voltage Shut-Off Switch Located Behind Jack Access Panel must bo ON ?

    Please help i buy the car today ford escape 2005 hev.

    mr_pitbull
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