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Old 04-10-2018, 09:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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The New Focus - '07 Ford Focus ZX5
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2007 Focus ZX5

Got into an accident with my 07 Focus Wagon and considering the dead-nuts reliability at 230k I thought Iíd go for another (but less rusty underneath) Focus. Didnít have much time to shop and found a 90k 2007 ZX5 with an auto (for the wife). Itís super clean underneath and I was able to swap my head unit and wheels/tires over to the new car.

The car runs well etc. Iíll do plugs and fluids soon but itís going back when the tags come in because of a ďlow coolant tempĒ light to hopefully have the thermostat and coolant replaced. The difference in these cars between 5spd and an auto is crazy. The 5spd was a decent car; the auto makes this thing a turd...wait for down shifts, wait for upshifts, and deal with upshifting too early.

I need tips on hypermiling an auto. Shift to N at red lights? Can it be coasted in N with the engine on? Is it safe to coast at highway speeds or only at slower speeds? I havenít done any grill blocks yet like it did on the wagon but they are on their way. I know the wagon had the best aero of all Focus because the longer body but I thought the 4door would be second best. Iíve gone from mid-high 30s to lucky to get 32.

Help me please!

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2007 Ford Focus ZX5 - 91k - SGII, pending upper and lower grill bocks - auto trans
1987 Monte Carlo SS - 5.3/4L80E swap - 13.67 @ 106
2007 Ford Focus Estate - 230k - 33mpg - Retired 4/2018
1995 Saturn SL2 - 256K miles - 44mpg - Retired 9/2014

Cost to Operate Spreadsheet for "The New Focus"

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Old 04-13-2018, 11:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have an '07 3 door Focus with auto trans and I don't have the shifting problems you seem to be having. I have added Lube-Gard red to the trans which has made it shift very well. As for gas mileage, I don't hypermile but have achieved as high as 45mpg on the highway and I regularly get 29 or better in town on a car that's rated at 23-31mpg. What I have done to the car is changed the plugs .. go to Focus Fanatics and read the "sticky" on spark plugs. What is suggested about plugs works. Additionally I have also been adding a 50/50 mix of Acetone (must be pure, not the stuff from Home Depot) and Xylene to the gas. The combination of the plugs and gas additive gives the higher gas mileage. The Acetone and Xylene also keeps the fuel system clean and absorbs any water in the system. Will these "tricks" work for your car, it's hard to say as every car is different, but it's worth a try. Good luck.
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Old 04-14-2018, 10:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Chorizo - '00 Honda Civic HX, baby! :D
90 day: 34.82 mpg (US)

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When I had instrumentation I recall my Forester burning .28 GPH in drive and .27 GPH in neutral.

Your mileage may vary.
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Old 04-16-2018, 10:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The New Focus - '07 Ford Focus ZX5
90 day: 32.67 mpg (US)
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Thanks for the thoughts guys. Looking at my SGII, it seems my car idles in drive at about 0.30gpg and in neutral at 0.23gph. I’ve been trying to coast below 25 in neutral to red lights. I think my biggest hurdlle right now is the open thermostat; On the highway I’m running 150degrees. Once I get that addressed I’m interested to see how things change.

Blazr: I plan to switch to the copper plugs and do a trans service even tho factory fill is supposed to be good until 150k miles. I might try a bottle of lubegard when I do that. Tell me more about this cocktail, how much you use and how often.

I think for 35-45mph roads I’m better off in “O/D off” mode. The car seems to lug when in OD and as such I see mileage suffer. The other day I was steady driving and went from 28 to 52 instant mpg just by hitting the O/D off button on my shifter. Gotta work out these nuances and get my grill bocks on at some point but until then I guess it’s the low 30s for me...
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2007 Ford Focus ZX5 - 91k - SGII, pending upper and lower grill bocks - auto trans
1987 Monte Carlo SS - 5.3/4L80E swap - 13.67 @ 106
2007 Ford Focus Estate - 230k - 33mpg - Retired 4/2018
1995 Saturn SL2 - 256K miles - 44mpg - Retired 9/2014

Cost to Operate Spreadsheet for "The New Focus"

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Old 04-16-2018, 10:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Silver Aero (Personal Driving) - '04 Honda Civic EX Sedan Automatic
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90 day: 49.92 mpg (US)

Family Minivan (my driving only) - '04 Toyota Sienna XLE Limited
90 day: 31.96 mpg (US)

Silver Aero (Pizza Delivery) - '04 Honda Civic EX Sedan Automatic
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I've had no problem coasting in neutral with the engine on at any speed up to 70 mph in my Civic and 75 mph in my parents' Toyota minivan. Changing foot position while accelerating instead of keeping it steady (i.e. letting up slightly when it should upshift but doesn't) can fix some of the shifting problems common with automatic transmissions. By doing this I can accelerate in my Civic at 13-17 MPG instead of 8-12 MPG if I let the transmission choose when to shift. It adds up fast and my coasting is able to almost cancel out the MPG losses from accelerating. Honestly it's the warm up time that affects my average MPG more than acceleration. But from what I've read a manual will still crush an automatic in acceleration. It's an automatic. Embrace it's weaknesses and do your best to give those manuals a run for their money.
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My trips driving the stock, non-ecomodded family minivan. Mostly highway driving. I generally average 30 city, 33 highway with it.


Last edited by mpg_numbers_guy; 04-16-2018 at 11:15 PM.. Reason: specified coasting in neutral is with the engine on
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Old 04-16-2018, 11:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Be sure that at least you’re coasting in neutral, engine ON until you know for sure your transmission can take it...
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Old 04-17-2018, 09:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Mike,

Start out with 3 ounces each of Acetone and Xylene. As I mentioned previously the Acetone must be pure. I get mine at a beauty supply shop. The stuff at the hardware store or Home Depot is not pure and will not work. 3 ounces of each is what I add to 10 gallons of gas. The mix is always added no matter how much or little gas I'm getting. Do the math and you can come up with the proper amount to add to fewer gallons. You will have to experiment with the amount of the mix to add as each car is different and ratio that works in my car may not work in yours. Also, be careful not to go too much higher than 4 ounces of each as you will reach a point of diminishing returns. Some guys also add TCW-3 2-cycle oil to the gas in addition to the Acetone/Xylene or in place of it. The oil acts as an upper cylinder lube and it's said it also increases compression. The ratio is 1 ounce to 5 gallons of gas. Experiment with both of the additives and see which one helps improve your mileage. Good luck.

Last edited by Blazr; 04-17-2018 at 09:22 PM.. Reason: Additional info
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Old 04-17-2018, 09:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The New Focus - '07 Ford Focus ZX5
90 day: 32.67 mpg (US)
Thanks: 142
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I don’t plan to do any EOC with the automatic. I’m still trying to get the foot movements in sync with trans shifts but haven’t gotten it down yet. I’ll add a little pressure to try and hold a gear longer and it’ll still upshift on me. Just going to take more time playing with my foot.

Thanks Blazr. Did you run any numbers of chemicals costs vs increased MPG? Wouldn’t the 2 cycle oil eventually clog the cat?
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-Mike

2007 Ford Focus ZX5 - 91k - SGII, pending upper and lower grill bocks - auto trans
1987 Monte Carlo SS - 5.3/4L80E swap - 13.67 @ 106
2007 Ford Focus Estate - 230k - 33mpg - Retired 4/2018
1995 Saturn SL2 - 256K miles - 44mpg - Retired 9/2014

Cost to Operate Spreadsheet for "The New Focus"

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Old 04-17-2018, 10:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Posts: 420

Silver Aero (Personal Driving) - '04 Honda Civic EX Sedan Automatic
Team Honda
90 day: 49.92 mpg (US)

Family Minivan (my driving only) - '04 Toyota Sienna XLE Limited
90 day: 31.96 mpg (US)

Silver Aero (Pizza Delivery) - '04 Honda Civic EX Sedan Automatic
90 day: 37.68 mpg (US)
Thanks: 137
Thanked 75 Times in 65 Posts
Acetone is bad for your engine - read up on it.

Sometimes if you're in overdrive you can shift into neutral, cost down to a certain speed, and reengage the gears and still be in overdrive. For example, my Civic usually shifts into overdrive at 38-41 MPH but today on icy roads I was able to keep it in overdrive down to 35 mph.

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Silver Aero, 2004 Honda Civic EX Sedan Automatic.
Personal driving:

Pizza delivery:


My trips driving the stock, non-ecomodded family minivan. Mostly highway driving. I generally average 30 city, 33 highway with it.

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