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Old 01-07-2013, 02:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: Surrey, BC
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The Matrix - '07 Toyota Matrix XR Auto
90 day: 27.52 mpg (US)

Wee - '06 Suzuki DL650 VStrom
90 day: 50.35 mpg (US)

Si - '98 Honda Civic Si
90 day: 38.19 mpg (US)
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Project: Do you believe in the Matrix?

Introduction
It's my wife's car, technically. Now that the Electric Booger is basically finished, I think it is time to redirect my efforts to the Matrix.

The Car
2007 Toyota Matrix XR-B.
Automatic. I tried to teach my wife to drive stick with a previous car (Toyota Echo) but just thinking about what the clutch endured makes me shudder. Actually...there was some actual clutch shuddering going on too...

Goals
Right now it is averaging right around EPA mpg. My super duper hypermiling attempts are thwarted by my wife's driving. She refuses to do anything "out of the ordinary" to increase economy.

My goal is an increase in economy of 15%. This with a normal looking car without extraordinary driving techniques.

It will be interesting to see results of various modifications, as there shouldn't be skewed results from changes in driving style. I will simply do modifications (hopefully with A-B-A testing for my own satisfaction) and see what the fuel mileage graph does with my wife in control.

Current Modifications
I will edit this list with links as they occur.
1. Toyota Matrix Defrost Mod
2. Mud Flap Delete.
3. Tire pressure increased to 45 psi (40 psi with my winter tires).

That's it so far....
I ordered a block heater kit today from my local parts store. $35.49, which thought was quite reasonable.

Planned Modifications
1. Lower Grille Block.
2. Belly Pans - under engine and under rear of car - very dirty aero spots on this car.
3. Rim Aero - I am still dreaming up ways to do this without a full pizza pan cover. I doubt my wife would agree to that. I am thinking of "behind the alloy spoke" inserts to keep air from getting through the rim to the inside.
4. HAI - I will start with some ducting. If that works, I may use engine coolant for heating like t vago: Recovering lost heat energy in engine coolant...
5. EGR Addition - expanding on Daox's idea: Increasing EGR flow for better mileage
The Matrix does not have an EGR valve but I would like to experiment with the effects of pulling exhaust from the tail pipe through an intake vacuum port.
6. LRR tires.
7. Switchable alternator with ON/OFF switch. Experiment with a deep cycle battery and charger. Eventually go with a 48V lithium pack (electric bicycle?) and DC-DC converter. Can you say "super ultra mild hybrid"?

Suggestions are more than welcome.


Last edited by mechman600; 01-07-2013 at 03:18 PM..
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
 
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Surrey, BC
Posts: 1,204

The Matrix - '07 Toyota Matrix XR Auto
90 day: 27.52 mpg (US)

Wee - '06 Suzuki DL650 VStrom
90 day: 50.35 mpg (US)

Si - '98 Honda Civic Si
90 day: 38.19 mpg (US)
Thanks: 182
Thanked 252 Times in 156 Posts
Regarding planned mod #6: I am going to need a set of tires in spring once the snowies come off. The current tire size (215/50R17) is not ideal for economy but I cannot do much about it considering my rim size - 17X7.

The 215 size is the smallest size where many aspect ratios are available - 50, 55, 60, etc.
215/50R17 = 25.46" - Stock
215/55R17 = 26.31" - 3.24% increase
215/60R17 = 27.15" - 6.23% increase
215/65R17 = 28.00" - 9.08% increase

It might look kind of dumb with too tall of a tire. Not to mention the ill handling effects.

Will buying a taller LRR tire to decrease my overall ratio (and lower engine revs), affect aero (because of increased ground clearance) and offset any gains?
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Germantown, WI
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CM400E - '81 Honda CM400E
90 day: 58.77 mpg (US)

Daox's Grey Prius - '04 Toyota Prius
Team Toyota
90 day: 53.03 mpg (US)

Daox's Metro - '99 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 73.52 mpg (US)
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Fun project. I know we were able to do pretty good in our Matrix. My wife probably drove it 60% of the time. Lifetime average was just under 36 mpg. But, it was manual. My wife also was open to altering her driving style to some degree and normally does beat EPA when she is driving anything.

For the grill block, in winter you might be able to get away with a full grill block. In summer I'd recommend blocking the top and leaving the bottom open.
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Current project: 2002 Honda Civic LX auto - repair & modding
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 3,004

The Q Sold - '02 Infiniti Q45 Sport
90 day: 23.08 mpg (US)

Kia - '06 Kia Sportage EX
90 day: 23.63 mpg (US)
Thanks: 1,183
Thanked 483 Times in 364 Posts
Increase the psi.

I increased the diameter of tires on both my cars:
2002 Infiniti 45 andKia Sportage.
Both showed ains in mpg.

Remember to see how close your current tires are to any hard suspension parts.
remember 25.46 (current) - 28.00 = 2.44 inchs TOTAL.
2.44 / 2 = 1.22"
1.22" is how much taller the newtire is measured from the top of the old tire
__________________
MetroMPG: "Get the MPG gauge - it turns driving into a fuel & money saving game."

ECO MODS PERFORMED:
First: ScangaugeII
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...eii-23306.html

Second: Grille Block
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...e-10912-2.html

Third: Full underbelly pan
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...q45-11402.html

Fourth: rear skirts and 30.4mpg on trip!
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...tml#post247938
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
 
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Surrey, BC
Posts: 1,204

The Matrix - '07 Toyota Matrix XR Auto
90 day: 27.52 mpg (US)

Wee - '06 Suzuki DL650 VStrom
90 day: 50.35 mpg (US)

Si - '98 Honda Civic Si
90 day: 38.19 mpg (US)
Thanks: 182
Thanked 252 Times in 156 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daox View Post
For the grill block, in winter you might be able to get away with a full grill block. In summer I'd recommend blocking the top and leaving the bottom open.
I am trying to decide what to block. A close inspection of upper and lower grilles reveals that both seem to have an equally good shot at the radiator. Here is the rad with the hood open:

A lower grill block would certainly be easier. I wonder if an angled upper block would give more improvement than a full lower block. I am thinking of doing a full upper block out of a nice piece of black plexiglass that I have (the bit leftover from the rear battery pack cover in the eBooger) and a partial lower block.


The fog lights also need aero help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcrews View Post
Increase the psi.

I increased the diameter of tires on both my cars:
2002 Infiniti 45 andKia Sportage.
Both showed ains in mpg.

Remember to see how close your current tires are to any hard suspension parts.
remember 25.46 (current) - 28.00 = 2.44 inchs TOTAL.
2.44 / 2 = 1.22"
1.22" is how much taller the newtire is measured from the top of the old tire
I edited my first post to show that I run the summer tires at 45 psi and winter tires at 40 psi.

I doubt that taller tires would cause rubbage, but I will have to take a closer look. Thanks for the feedback on your "increasing tire size" experience.
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 3,004

The Q Sold - '02 Infiniti Q45 Sport
90 day: 23.08 mpg (US)

Kia - '06 Kia Sportage EX
90 day: 23.63 mpg (US)
Thanks: 1,183
Thanked 483 Times in 364 Posts
this is the 'new' clearance on the KIA:
at the lower base of the strut tower:


At the front edge of the bumper:
__________________
MetroMPG: "Get the MPG gauge - it turns driving into a fuel & money saving game."

ECO MODS PERFORMED:
First: ScangaugeII
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...eii-23306.html

Second: Grille Block
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...e-10912-2.html

Third: Full underbelly pan
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...q45-11402.html

Fourth: rear skirts and 30.4mpg on trip!
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...tml#post247938
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
 
mcrews's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 3,004

The Q Sold - '02 Infiniti Q45 Sport
90 day: 23.08 mpg (US)

Kia - '06 Kia Sportage EX
90 day: 23.63 mpg (US)
Thanks: 1,183
Thanked 483 Times in 364 Posts
I used black vinyl on the front of the KIA:

__________________
MetroMPG: "Get the MPG gauge - it turns driving into a fuel & money saving game."

ECO MODS PERFORMED:
First: ScangaugeII
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...eii-23306.html

Second: Grille Block
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...e-10912-2.html

Third: Full underbelly pan
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...q45-11402.html

Fourth: rear skirts and 30.4mpg on trip!
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...tml#post247938
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 1000 Islands, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 16,945

Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
Team Metro
90 day: 73.54 mpg (US)

ForkenSwift - '92 Geo Metro EV
Last 3: 95.68 mpg (US)
Thanks: 1,105
Thanked 2,936 Times in 1,562 Posts
Take the blue pill! TAKE THE BLUE PILL!

If you're getting a bit of "push back" from your better half on using a block heater... fun times ahead, no?
__________________
Latest mods test: 15 mods = 15% MPG improvement: A-B test, 2007 Honda Civic 1.8L, 5-speed
Ecodriving test:
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EcoModder
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Surrey, BC
Posts: 1,204

The Matrix - '07 Toyota Matrix XR Auto
90 day: 27.52 mpg (US)

Wee - '06 Suzuki DL650 VStrom
90 day: 50.35 mpg (US)

Si - '98 Honda Civic Si
90 day: 38.19 mpg (US)
Thanks: 182
Thanked 252 Times in 156 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
If you're getting a bit of "push back" from your better half on using a block heater... fun times ahead, no?
Yeah....
Yesterday I installed the block heater and got the "please don't touch my car" speech.
I have this feeling that she will never plug in an hour before driving like I have been [carefully] suggesting.

Here is the block heater as viewed through a mirror. It is on the back side of the engine block, sticking in the end right above where the transmission bolts up on the drivers side:

It was a bit of a pain to install because there are some metal vacuum pipes that run past it, as you can see to the right of it. I had to remove one bolt to flex these pipes out of the way a bit to slide the block heater past.

I really had no idea they make engines block heaters that do not require the draining of the coolant. It was nice to be able to install it in about half an hour with no accompanying mess.

Now…where to put the plug. Somewhere EASY to access (better chance that my wife will comply - if she has to bend over, it won't happen). Somewhere where it won't keep rubbing up against the paint.

I plugged it in through the Kill-A-Watt and it draws 384 watts. Next I might experiment with how long it needs to be plugged it in to make a difference to startup temps, monitored with the ScanGauge.
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Germantown, WI
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CM400E - '81 Honda CM400E
90 day: 58.77 mpg (US)

Daox's Grey Prius - '04 Toyota Prius
Team Toyota
90 day: 53.03 mpg (US)

Daox's Metro - '99 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 73.52 mpg (US)
Thanks: 534
Thanked 1,050 Times in 689 Posts
I normally set mine to be on for ~2 hours.

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