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Old 01-22-2008, 09:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Newb - better MPGs out of a Dodge Neon?

Hello all. I'm new to the site, and new to the concept of eco-modding. I have a pretty long commute, and the cost of gas was really hurting my wallet. I recently downsized by trading my Jeep Grand Cherokee for a Dodge Neon in hopes of attaining better MPGs and saving myself some money. So far I have noticed I'm getting much better gas mileage with the neon as opposed to with the Jeep. The Jeep was getting on average 18 MPGs on the highway, while the Neon is getting almost 40 MPGs! Granted, I've also changed my driving habits a bit- I try to never go over 60 MPH on the highway, so I'm sure this helps some also.

Anyway, the car is a 95 Dodge Neon, with a SOHC and manual transmission. I opted for this particular model because all the research I did showed that the SOHC and stick shift combo got the best gas mileage. Also because Neons are much cheaper and easier to work on than Hondas and Toyotas.

So I'm now looking for ways to increase my MPGs even more. I want to get into the mid 40s at least.

The car is completely stock, 108K miles. Well maintained. I changed the oil and air filter. The plugs and plug wires appear to be new. There is however a hole in the muffler, so I don't know if thats hurting me or not.

So what are some mods or upgrades, if any, that I could do to maybe increase my MPGs even more?


Thanks!

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Old 01-22-2008, 10:26 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to the site! Sounds like you're doing pretty well already, what is your commute like? Mostly highway?
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Old 01-22-2008, 11:02 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes, all highway. 66 miles each way for a daily total of 132 miles, 5 days a week.

Also forgot to mention, I keep my tires inflated to 44 PSI, which is what the max rating is that is printed on the tires, and I always keep all of the windows rolled up.
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Old 01-22-2008, 11:20 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Hello stevewww. I have a similar commute although thankfully not as long (33 miles one way here). Mine is 50% 65 mph highway, and 45% 55 mph highway, and 5% city. I would first look into aerodynamic modifications as you are doing mostly highway driving. These modifications are cheap and are a proven boost in fuel economy.

As for the Neon being easier to work on then a Toyota... I'll leave that one alone.
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Old 01-22-2008, 08:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hi stevewww - welcome.

You've already hit some of the big topics: proper maintenance, max tire pressure, reduced speed on the highway.

Some instrumentation would be nice to help you fine tune your driving style even more, but of course you already know your car is a year too old for a ScanGauge. A SuperMID may be an option however.

At the very least, I trust you're calculating your fuel economy on every fill? You should consider adding your car to the Ecomodder garage so you can post your results for all the world to see. It serves as a good reference point for people to help you, and as a motivator too.

Other than further refinements to your driving style, I'm with Daox. Aero mods are most likely to help based on your commute profile. Head over to the aerodynamics forum and check the sticky: List of aero mods you can do to your vehicle

Looking forward to watching your progress.
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Old 07-27-2009, 05:30 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I have the same car 95 Dodge Neon automatic I am getting 37 MPG stop and go 50 MPG long trip. I have multiple mods. First I did 3oz acetone in 10 gallons gas. You need 3 tanks to see results and will have to replace your fuel filter after it becomes clogged which it will. It cleans the fuel system and carbon putting car up to closer to new specs. Then cold air intake off ebay $30 delivered. Replaced plugs with halo plugs you can get them online search halo. Put 2 spark plug non-foulers drilled out over the oxygen sensor tricks the computer makes it run leaner. Removed the side mirrors and antenna. Stripped the back seat and carpet out if it was bolted down and I didn't need it I removed it and all extra weight. I would like to get another 10%. It's all adds up the more you do the more you will get. I have a lot more experiments and inventions going on with it. But that will get you started. I also try to drive at 50 MPH.

Last edited by outsidethebox; 08-01-2009 at 11:26 PM..
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Old 08-01-2009, 11:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I am doing some areo mods right now. Cheap and give the car an exotic look like a BMW or Porshe. I will post them soon I know they will increase the MPG and the look is awesome.
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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how much of a difference does the O2 sensor trick do? Im trying to save more and more money now and I've heard that is a good idea. was it a pain in the rear to shape the non-foulers and get it all to fit?

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