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Old 01-11-2021, 10:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NY state
Posts: 497

XJ Cherokee - '00 Jeep Cherokee Sport
90 day: 12.96 mpg (US)

FoFO - '11 Ford Focus SE
90 day: 36.78 mpg (US)
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Thanked 49 Times in 37 Posts
Forester 6MT - Throw some ideas at me!

So 3 years on this car and I mostly like it. Apart from the AC that hasn't worked since day one and still doesn't work after 6 warranty trips. I do miss the easy 43MPG of my old Focus. I also think gas prices will be headed back up, high and quick so trying to toss some ideas around.

In the summer I get about 25MPG commuting, winter 18 or so. In the summer I can eek out 34 or so if I take it easy on the round trip to my parents. That's a 140 mile round trip, state highways with a max speed of 55. Seems that once I exceed 55, the MPG drops sharply.

The AWD system in the MT subarus doesn't decouple and there are three differentials doing their thing. It also has 4.44 gears, so even with the .6xx 6th gear ratio, it's still screaming on the highway.

The transmission and differentials don't use "light" oil (ATF, etc) but I did switch out the gear oil for 75w80. Which is acceptable as a replacement for the factory 75w90. I am running the spec'd 0w-20 engine oil.

I'm thinking about a grille block. I can monitor coolant temps via torquepro. I can't find operating temperatures of the FB25 engine, so I'm not sure at which point I'd be overheating the engine by getting the coolant too hot. These engines are externally plumbed for coolant, so they shouldn't blow the head gaskets as easily. I did consider a block heater for winter, but it's a pretty major install that I'm not sure I want to get into with this car.

I've done my best to try to chart shift points. This engine does NOT like running below 1500RPM under any load. Even cruising, it'll use less fuel at 45MPH in 5th gear than 6th gear.

Ultimately I know I should probably trade it on a used Mirage which would probably have working AC, but I do fit the Subaru marketing image so it works well. I travel off the beaten path with this and it's a pretty suitable replacement for my Cherokee which is now a dedicated trail rig. It also serves as pickup duty and I've towed 2000 or 3000 pounds with it a few times. Not sure a Mirage would like that.

Can't quite go electric yet. My house just doesn't have the electrical service to charge a car.

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