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Old 05-16-2008, 10:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 30

Reds' Bucket Mobile - '01 Chevrolet Cavalier 4 Door Sedan
90 day: 33.46 mpg (US)
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Originally Posted by JohnnyGrey View Post
Do you know exactly what was replaced? How about the fuel filter? Air filter? Coolant?
At the time he did air filter, spark plugs, wires, oil/fitler, and I think that was it. Around October of last year I took it to Goodyear to get new front tires and alignment and they called to up-sale me on the fuel filter (which I did). They said it was original and should have been replace 3 times already. I just did the coolant flush 2 weeks ago when I got my oil changed at Jiffy Lube.

I'd recommend changing your own oil if at all possible.
I can do that. I used to change my own oil but such as hassle since I didn't have a good jack. I'm sure I could convince the wife spending a jack to save money to do my own oil change would be acceptable.

PLEASE get this done soon! I wouldn't wait longer than 60K miles to change the transmission fluid. I did mine and noticed a good pile of metallic sludge on the pan magnet. It involves unbolting the transmission pan, which then drops most of the fluid at once, so you need a large pan. Then you have to replace the fluid filter, which is a large, flat assembly that costs around $30. After that, you put a new gasket on the pan (included in the filter kit), bolt it back on to the transmission, put about 4 quarts in the transmission, take out the overflow plug, put the handbrake on, idle the car in drive, and keep adding fluid untl it starts to come out of the overflow hole. Then reinstall the plug and you're done. A few quarts of the old fluid will be stuck in the torque converter. If this, or any part of this procedure bothers you, I'd suggest taking the vehicle to a shop. Note that you can use synthetic fluid here too, but it will cost you about $6/qt, and your transmission takes about 8 quarts. Please avoid B&M trick shift fluid at all costs. It contains abrasive particles.
This scares me but I need to do it and would love to be able to do it on my own. I'm not terribly mechanical and this doesn't sound too hard. Where do I get the filter kit? At Pep Boys or similar store? So if I go in there asking for a filter kit for my car they will know what I'm talking about? Where is the overflow hole?

If tire inflation is all you're going to use it for, one of those compact 12v units work great. Plus you can keep it in your trunk if you'd like.
I saw this one at Wal-mart:

If it's portable I would be more likely to use it.

What pressure in the tire do you recommend?

Depending on your highway percentage, those numbers could be pretty decent. The SG gives you a rough estimate of fuel usage. Injector based units are far more accurate and it looks like they'll be cheaper. There's an open source one that's under development right now in the Instrumentation forum. Also, I'm working on developing one.
Right, I forgot out the Open Source tools out there. I'll start looking into those as well.

My 98 is running a stock 14.7:1 mixture, my 02 is leaned out. I've been asked this question a lot, so if the mods are willing, I'll post a sticky thread. In short, it involves a wideband 02 sensor, a fairly simple circuit and some routing of wires. Total project cost is under $300, but my car responded quite readily with a 10% economy gain across the board.
$300 at these gas prices is good. I think I'll start with the less expensive mods first.

Also for what it's worth some specifics about your powertrain...

-Your transmission will lock into overdrive at 40+mph at low load.
-Your car achieves its best steady-state mileage at 53mph.
-Your engine burns no fuel during decelleration in most circumstances, so maximize coasting and stay in drive.
This is great thanks. You've been a huge help. So are you saying I need to coast in drive to take advantage of your last point? I was experimenting with this yesterday on the way home and noticed that while coasting in drive i tended to slow down, but in neutral there seemed to be less resistance and I was able to accelerate coasting even on a modest down slope. Should I just leave it in drive or shift to neutral?
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