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Old 12-07-2012, 01:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Road trip coming up.

I have been taking public transportation to school, so I usually only drive once a week to my sister's house and every morning to the gym. Driving to the gym sounds counter-productive, but I pick up a girl. Anyway, that is an entirely different issue!

I live in Mesa, AZ, and my parents live in a town called Show Low, in the White Mountains, 163.7 miles away, according to Google. I drove up every week for part of the summer and I never felt like I figured out when to shift to neutral and when to coast in gear.

I do not know how many times I have been told to purchase a ScanGauge. I understand that one would pay for itself, it was just difficult to get over the short-term loss, especially when I worry that needless spending could keep me from purchasing a house, but one of these times that I actually study enough to need a break I will go ahead and order one.

I put in a fence for my father over the summer. That was a nightmare. He wants me to fence the other side, which is somehow longer, over Christmas break--the first fence took six weeks!

I remember driving up for Thanksgiving in my Prelude, wearing a t-shirt and shorts, with just my vent running, no heater, and passing a bank that said that it was 30°F. Then I would hug my mom and she would scream.

I would do the same thing for Christmas when it would be 25°F.

I got tired of hurting, though. Also, I recently read a post pointing out that if you take heat away from your engine, you take gas out of your tank. I guess that I will be dressing warmly.

A grill block did not make sense in the Phoenix area in summer, but I would be happy to try one in the winter. I try to minimize braking anyway, so with the cold I do not have an argument against wheelcovers although, to be honest, I think that most of the solutions that I have seen on this site are ugly, and I am trying to find a wife...

How do I show my vehicle on the left? I have a 1999 Subaru Forester (automatic). I know that I have read about successful Subaru modifications. I plan on doing a search later, but would ScanGauge, grill block, wheel covers, and a Kamm back be too much to try all at once? I know that with everything except the ScanGauge you guys would want me to do individual A-B-A testing, well, how poorly would those things need to be done in order to hurt mileage?

Even though it sounds amazingly boring, I would be willing to try pulse-and-glide, but I already deal with more road rage than I like. I would be more willing to try it late at night, but I would have some explaining to do if I hit black ice on a mountain curve or another elk.

So, is there lower-hanging fruit than the items that I mentioned? Would the simplest grill block be with Justin Beiber duct tape?

Everybody likes pizza pans, but I remember someone using plastic serving trays. It would be easier to punch holes in those for zip ties.

Boy, my car is going to be ugly...

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Old 12-07-2012, 08:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xist View Post
I think that most of the solutions that I have seen on this site are ugly, and I am trying to find a wife...
You got it wrong! Definitely ecomodded car brings attention to the owner, and if you are driving an ugly car, everybody will think that you have some advantages as a man and you don't have to use your car as a substitute of .... (you know what I mean)
So maybe that's better way to find a wife than driving Ferrari? I mean a real girl that won't look at your wallet only

Anyway good luck with Justin Beiber duct tape
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Gerhard Plattner: "The best attitude is to consider fuel saving a kind of sport. Everybody who has enough money for a strong car, can drive fast and hit the pedal. But saving fuel requires concentration, self-control and cleverness. It's a challenge with the nice effect of saving you money that you can use for other more important things."
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Get the scan/ultragauge or my favorite combo , the torque app w/ a Bluetooth adapter off amazon ($25 total) if you have an android enabled device. You'll be amazed at the savings you can get adjusting your driving habits alone!
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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How do I show my vehicle on the left? I have a 1999 Subaru Forester (automatic). I know that I have read about successful Subaru modifications.

Click on the "Garage" link on the top of the page. Then you can add a car and begin your all-important fuel log. The easiest way for you to get better mileage is to buy a more efficient, 2WD car.

I plan on doing a search later, but would ScanGauge, grill block, wheel covers, and a Kamm back be too much to try all at once? I know that with everything except the ScanGauge you guys would want me to do individual A-B-A testing, well, how poorly would those things need to be done in order to hurt mileage?

You can do a grille block and wheel covers in an hour if you have some coroplast handy. Paint the wheel covers satin black and (probably) no one will notice.

ABA testing is for the hard-core. If you just want to see benefits, read up on others' test and read up on aerodynamics. Use the Template. You'd have to screw up pretty badly to make a grille block and wheel covers hurt your mileage, but a kammback will need a bit more thought. Worst case is that it flies off on the freeway.


Even though it sounds amazingly boring, I would be willing to try pulse-and-glide, but I already deal with more road rage than I like. I would be more willing to try it late at night, but I would have some explaining to do if I hit black ice on a mountain curve or another elk.

If your brakes are in good, working order you should have no problem P&G'ing. You didn't mention EOC, especially being an auto, so braking shouldn't be an issue. Don't P&G if you're going around a twisty mountain road in the winter. Or, if you're going to, at least be confident in how your car handles outside the traction circle. I get the tail out on my Probe every morning without batting an eye.

So, is there lower-hanging fruit than the items that I mentioned? Would the simplest grill block be with Justin Beiber duct tape?

Slow down. Add a grille block and wheel covers. Add an air dam (I made a semi-professional looking one for $20). Block your grille with coroplast and zip tie it on. If you're going for classy, duct tape is your enemy.

Everybody likes pizza pans, but I remember someone using plastic serving trays. It would be easier to punch holes in those for zip ties.

Again, cut some circles of coroplast. You can try trays if you like, but they'll be more expensive and more time consuming. Man up and buy a drill.

Boy, my car is going to be ugly...

In the eye of the beholder. I'm in the same boat of trying to find a woman and have been told multiple times that it doesn't depend on your car. Well, boat tails tend to alienate you. But be yourself but have fun with it.
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Modding my car helps weed out the women who just want my cash. Ones I am interested in, see the value and the goal/ they mod as well
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If a woman is impressed by your car and makes a mate choice because of it, she will be impressed by the next guys car. The a word for a woman like that is trollop.

Most cars with mods on here are done by folks who do not care what the car looks like. If that matters to you select tasteful mods, hidden grill blocks. Use plexi for smooth wheel covers. Under body pans are not seen.

Road Ragiers gonna rage, be it at you, or at something else. Slow down and let the high blood pressure knuckle daggers pass. Pulsing and gliding is not recommended in traffic though as folks have a reasonable expectation to travel near the speed limit, and at a steady pace, so speeding up and slowing down if someone can't get around you is a bit rude.
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Old 12-07-2012, 05:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My wife is impressed at the mileage my Saturn gets with the mods, but were already married, so maybe it doesn't count.
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:32 AM   #8 (permalink)
Prime Directive Violator
 
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Well, yes, if a woman does not understand intelligent improvements to my car, she definitely would not understand me. My current gym partner seems disappointed that I do not watch television and that I do not have a smartphone--and not because cannot use the torque app!

I guess that I would only pulse and glide on the straight stretches.

Yes, replacing my car with one that is only two wheel drive, as well as manual, and certainly something not pretending to be an SUV, would increase my mileage. After I bought my car my mom kept telling me to see how much a certain used dealer would offer me, which sounded absolutely insane!

NADA and Kelley both say that my car is worth around $3,700. I think that I lost a little because someone keyed my car when I was visiting my parents, so if anything, it was for something that my parents did, not me!

Okay, searching Autotrader for four-door, front-wheel-drive cars with manual transmissions within twenty-five miles from private sellers made me feel too picky, but I found a 1999 Mazda Protege LX for $3,300.

Honestly, I feel like calling on Monday. Thanks to Gasoline Fumes, I checked the VIN. It says that it was registered salvage, but the listing says "Clear title."

It looks good, as long as it is not a clear, salvage title. I winced at the picture of the front seats, wondering how far back they went.

Here is the listing: Cars for Sale: 1999 Mazda Protege LX in Phoenix, AZ 85023: Sedan Details - 323693713 - AutoTrader.com

The EPA rates the Forester 18/24 and the Protegé 25/31.

Last edited by Xist; 12-10-2012 at 01:24 PM..
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I just called on the Mazda. I may look at it this afternoon, but I should study and look at it tomorrow after my two tests. I know that you guys purchase cars in other states, but this one is thirty-three miles. I think that would involve two hours of me trying to study on a bus, hoping that the car is worth purchasing, so that I can drive it back.

The guy did lower the price to $3,150.

I am not eager to tie up money right now, considering that I am trying to purchase a house, but I would start saving as soon as I sold my Subaru. I guess that I have two options, I can try to sell it for the price of the Mazda, or I could fix some things and try to get $3,700 for it. The main problem is that a power steering hose is leaking and the shop said that it would cost $495. I planned on ordering a replacement and doing it myself, but now I am thinking that I will go to a junkyard.

The other problem is that my tires have dry-rotted--I had two blow during consecutive trips over the summer and the shop was closed, so I needed to go to Walmart, which did not sell the same brand. Either I will see which of the two brands is cheaper and replace two, leaving the best old tire for a spare, or I will replace three, leaving the mismatched one in the trunk. Maybe replacing them would not be necessary, but I would feel better about it, and it might make a difference to a potential buyer.

They might never notice, but the left front wheelwell came lose and was rubbing on the tire, so I cut it off. The shop did not say anything about it, but I cannot imagine that a used one would cost that much, I just do not know how easy to replace it would be.

There are probably one or two other minor things that I would try to find.

Do any of you have suggestions on any of these things or something about selling a car? I have never sold a car! The first one wore out and the next three were wrecked!
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thinking about dry rotted tires, I work for Michelin and just read a study on nitrogen gas fills and its advantage to tire life. The gist of it was if you live in a hot area (southern Europe or US) and your tires will be used more than 2-4 years, nitrogen may preserve the rubber and cord life by preventing aging (oxidizing) of the rubber. For those of us up north or wearing out tires in a couple years, nitrogen fill has no advantage to rubber life.

Interestingly, they also studied purging the tires with nitrogen vs just filling with residual air and didn't find a significant advantage. Refilling with air added more oxygen, but running tires low is also a significant wear and heat factor.

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