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Hey All,

I'm a relatively long time reader, first time poster. I have been trying to find a post that answers my particular question. If one is already out there, I apologize and would appreciate a link to the existing post.

So my post has to do with gear ratios. My question isn't a general "what do all the numbers mean?" because for the most part, Google and Wikipedia have taken care of that. I want to know something a bit more specific.

I once read that the optimum shift points for any car (in terms of performance, fuel economy, anything) can be extracted from looking up and knowing your car's gear ratios.

Can anyone help me interpret what my optimum shift points are for performance based on the gear ratios below? If this isn't a valid question, because perhaps my understanding of ratios may be flawed, can you at least tell me what the ratios translate to in terms of actual driving experience?

I drive a 2001 Elantra GLS 5-speed manual. Here are the ratios off of vehix.com:

First Gear Ratio :)1): 3.62
Second Gear Ratio :)1): 2.05
Third Gear Ratio :)1): 1.39
Fourth Gear Ratio :)1): 1.06
Fifth Gear Ratio :)1): 0.84
Reverse Ratio :)1): 3.25
Clutch Size (in): 8.46
Final Drive Axle Ratio :)1): 3.65

I appreciate your time guys.

Cheers!
 

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Im better at video games
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1,440 Posts
Well since no one has answered this, and I am interested in this too, here is a bump.

In addition, I have been doing some searching, and I am interested in possibly swapping trannys in the future to a higher gear ratio to give it a little more get up and go in the lower gears.
Please chime in and give a noob(Me) some info!
 

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Acountabilibuddy
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You just have to drive by feel.
 

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Where's My Boomstick?
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here's a gear ratio to speed calculator.
http://www.kabamus.com/garage/gears.html

pop in your numbers, and keep in mind the car makes makes its best power between about 3500-6000. Figure out from there what gear you need to be in to put yourself in that RPM range based on your current speed. IE - you're going 55, you need to get to 75 in a hurry, dropping it to 3rd will get you there the fastest.

for fuel economy, you pretty much want the highest gear you can be in without lugging the engine. shifting 1-3-5, skipping 2/4 will get you the best results on flatish ground.
 

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turbo envy
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^what? skipping gears will NOT get you better mpgs...

shifting at about 2500 for ever gear and touching the throttle lightly will. I have also found coasting to help me out considerably...to stop signs, down hills, and to stop lights.
 

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Truckie4Life
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I kinda wish that I had a six speed that had the same gear ratios as the 5, but with a 6th gear that was like 1:0.62 so that I could cruise on the highway doing 80-85 while still keeping the revs at 2500 or so. That would be sweet. :D
 

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Where's My Boomstick?
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^what? skipping gears will NOT get you better mpgs...

shifting at about 2500 for ever gear and touching the throttle lightly will. I have also found coasting to help me out considerably...to stop signs, down hills, and to stop lights.
Please explain your reasoning.
 

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Acountabilibuddy
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Really? Because it's going to make the engine work harder taking it higher in first than to shift to second.

If skipping gears got you better gas mileage, we would all be driving 3 speed transmissions, and the auto companies wouldn't be producing 8 speed transmissions.
 

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Where's My Boomstick?
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Really? Because it's going to make the engine work harder taking it higher in first than to shift to second.

If skipping gears got you better gas mileage, we would all be driving 3 speed transmissions, and the auto companies wouldn't be producing 8 speed transmissions.
I dont take it any higher in first to go straight to 3rd than i do going 1-2. works just fine. more often than not, i skip 4th more than 2nd, if i hit my speed before needing 4th gear, why go into it? The engine's not working any harder, and Im not reving any higher, and im accelerating less, and varying engine speed less. The sooner you get the engine to a consistent speed, the better your fuel economy is going to be. All of these things add up to increased efficiency. This is a pretty common technique, im not the first or the only one doing this...http://thegasmisers.com/driving_techniques.htm

Ive also reported some of the best MPG of anyone on this forum, so i think i know wtf im talking about.
 

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Where's My Boomstick?
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um....so you shift at 2500 rpms in 1st gear and go to 3rd? your bogging it down big time! it drops the rpm's way low.
did i say 2500? do you have any common sense?
 

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Acountabilibuddy
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If you can skip the gear, then shifting to the next gear sooner would have been a better idea.

And are you saying that flooring it to get to speed faster will get you better mileage than accelerating slowly?
 

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Where's My Boomstick?
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5,486 Posts
If you can skip the gear, then shifting to the next gear sooner would have been a better idea.

And are you saying that flooring it to get to speed faster will get you better mileage than accelerating slowly?
No, im not saying im flooring it. 1st gear at 2-3k rpm speed, shifting into 3rd gear, the car will still accelerate just fine. same with 3rd to 5th. Just try it before blowing off a common fuel saving technique.

Like i said, i skip 4th more than i skip 3rd. I'll only skip 2nd if there's no risk of me having to accelerate quickly and unexpectedly. Think of it this way, you're in traffic, target speed is like 40-45. you go 1-2-3 up to 30-35, leaving you well below 3k rpm in any of those gears. Why use 4th to go that extra 5-10mph, just to have to shift again into 5th when you get there? If you go straight from 3rd to 5th, you'll be at a lower RPM longer, meaning less fuel used. 35-40mph in 5th gear is less than 2k rpm, but still moving enough to accelerate you just fine.
 

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Where's My Boomstick?
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Please explain.
Dude, really? How hard is it to understand? If you shift, you're going to be accelerating twice, vs once without....

You know what. Here's my answer. 33mpg with 60/40 highway/city. And I am talking serious city, down town, stop light every block city driving. And my highway driving in the morning is on the interstate with fairly heavy traffic.
 

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Acountabilibuddy
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So why not take it all the way through first then just skip to fifth?
 

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Where's My Boomstick?
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So why not take it all the way through first then just skip to fifth?
really grasping at straws there to continue the argument arent you?
 

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turbo envy
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sorry dude...i tried this yesterday and the rpms go way too low and the car barely moves...at that point my safety is more of an issue then saving fuel. not to mention all of the other people that were honking and going around me
 

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Crazy Imaginative
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410 Posts
I've heard of skip-shifting to be a very common fuel-saving technique, and used with rather high success levels.

No, im not saying im flooring it. 1st gear at 2-3k rpm speed, shifting into 3rd gear, the car will still accelerate just fine. same with 3rd to 5th. Just try it before blowing off a common fuel saving technique.

Like i said, i skip 4th more than i skip 3rd. I'll only skip 2nd if there's no risk of me having to accelerate quickly and unexpectedly. Think of it this way, you're in traffic, target speed is like 40-45. you go 1-2-3 up to 30-35, leaving you well below 3k rpm in any of those gears. Why use 4th to go that extra 5-10mph, just to have to shift again into 5th when you get there? If you go straight from 3rd to 5th, you'll be at a lower RPM longer, meaning less fuel used. 35-40mph in 5th gear is less than 2k rpm, but still moving enough to accelerate you just fine.
Yeah, if the engine is moving at least 1750rpm it'll still accelerate (albeit not with the most vigor). I've done light-footing with my auto trans and found I can feather it up to 2200 then let off a little to force an upshift and it'll go down to 1800 or so and accelerate. If I am correct, the manual trans has more closely spaced ratios than the autotragic, right? If that's the case, just get the car just shy of 3000 rpm and a skip-shift will do just fine. He has some points behind this argument...
 
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