1. Just pay the ticket. Logic and justice have no effect in traffic court. It's all about revenue.
2. While there may be some effect on timing, the greater gains will be achieved by enabling the fuel cutoff on decel, which the ecu recognizes by seeing a closed throttle AND vehicle speed above the built in limit. If it doesn't see vehicle speed, it assumes idle conditions, which is a fairly rich mixture. Make sure the TPS is correctly set.
Any engine engineer will tell you that you maximize economy by upshifting as early as possible. A slow turning engine pumps less air, and thus injects less fuel per mile. However, beware of lugging the engine as such practice greatly increases the bearing loading. I use 1k rpms as an absolute lower limit, and 1500 as an acceptable compromise on my I4.
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