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Xist 06-30-2012 06:37 PM

1999 automatic Subaru Forester
I usually purchase old Japanese cars. My favorite was my first, a 1987 Honda Prelude Si, similar to what I have pictured, which is, or was, for sale in New Jersey from a place called JC Auto with only 23,000 miles!

The exceptions were the two times that I bought my dad's old Focus. The first had 250,000 miles and the second 200,000. After three months, someone drove into the first one. After three weeks, someone put a motorcycle inside the second one. I was about to start two summer classes, seven credits in six weeks.

Five years ago I bought a 1997 Nissan Altima in 2,007. I paid $3,400 and it had 97,000 miles. When I went looking six weeks ago, Altimas started at five thousand for the same year!

I went to the dealership where I bought mine to look at another, but they did not have it. I am 6'2", so their high-mileage Sentras did not interest me, when they pulled up in the Forester, which only had 93,000 miles. They showed me the inspection and they had repaired almost everything listed. I knew that it would get poor mileage, but I was running out of time, and I had not seen anything that I wanted.

The car is rated 18/24. I might be able to use the freeway half of the time, but I was consistently getting 18 MPG. I have made two trips to my parents' house, about 350 miles round-trip, and had 28 MPG coming down the first time. I posted before that I should be playing World of Warcraft. People talk about that being addicting, but I spend more time on this website. I need to start working with a temp agency until I have things settled with school. Meanwhile, I have very little money to try any of these modifications.

On my last trip from my parents' house I noticed that cruise control downshifted when going uphill, so I killed it, and drove as fast as I could without changing gears. I think that one time I dropped to 40 MPH, but then I coasted downhill. I had also used injector treatment and went 32 MPG that trip.

I had extreme difficulty paying attention in Anatomy and withdrew after four weeks. I need to find work, but most jobs for which I am qualified only pay minimum wage. I have a Bachelor's degree!

Note: Study something useful (not Spanish!)

I want to cover up my fog lights, which are dead or something. I am going to remove the cross members on my roof rack today. I also want to install that lawn edging. Besides that, everything else sounds too expensive.

When I can afford it, I want to start looking for something more economical, I just do not want to swap repairs for gasoline.

Well, I tried to keep that from being too long...

Mustang Dave 06-30-2012 10:01 PM

Welcome to Don't worry about mods that cost money yet. The mod that makes the biggest difference in fuel economy is free. We refer to it as "adjusting the nut behind the steering wheel".

brucepick 06-30-2012 10:48 PM

Kudos on the improved mpg! Not easy to do in an auto Subie, from what I hear.

Another low cost "mod" is increased tire pressure. Because Subies require wear-matched tires all around, I'd set the pressure equal all around. Or perhaps just a tad lower in the rear if the weight on rear wheels is substantially less than in front.

In any case, start with the tire's imprinted max. That's my suggestion.

Look up the lowest weight (thinnest) oil allowed by the Subie owner's manual. Make sure you're not using anything thicker. The only exception as I see it, would be if it's burning or leaking oil.

JRMichler 07-01-2012 11:55 AM


Originally Posted by Xist (Post 314631)
On my last trip from my parents' house I noticed that cruise control downshifted when going uphill, so I killed it, and drove as fast as I could without changing gears.

Get good at this (we call it DWL), and you will pick up another 3 or so MPG.

Xist 07-01-2012 06:37 PM

Brucepick, I checked my tire pressure before making each trip and again before returning. I do not know what my tire's maximum is, but I was at 40 PSI all around last time. I have read about people inflating their tires to sixty or even eighty PSI, but the chart on shows diminishing returns after 45, although if I can do 44, I had better!

Actually, when I had my car checked out they told me that I had a small leak. The dealer's inspection had recommended a head gasket replacement, so I guess that I had better learn how to fix that with my Boy Scout knife.

Back when Zerohour had a Subaru I believe that he replaced his transmission fluid, too. How much of a difference would that make?

JRMichler, I have read the term many times. Now I understand it. Hopefully I will continue to improve!

By the way, I did remove my rack's cross members. They were actually teardrop-shaped, so I guess that one part of my car was aerodynamic.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Xist 04-02-2015 06:32 PM

I do not remember the dealer recommending I replaced the head gasket! Now it is leaking oil badly!

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