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Old 12-08-2016, 12:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
0.29 Cd and decreasing
 
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2008 Mazda 3 Road Trip (what mods can I do for a long trip?)

Hello Ecomodders!
My girlfriend and I will be going on a road trip from Sacramento, Ca to Georgia, 5000 miles roundtrip and we are going to drive her 2008 Mazda 2.3L Automatic. Her avg is ~25MPG and freeway gets up in the 30's.

I'm looking for some options on modifications that I can do. Generally any visual aero mods are going to be a NO because she doesn't want any visual differences to her car.

Tire PSI is at 40PSI, will increase to 50 for road trip
Have a Scangauge II in car
Will block off upper and/or lower grille
(Maybe) I'll fold the mirrors while I'm driving
There is no roof rack currently on car
There are some stock underbody panels
New 5W-20 oil (Dealer changed oil, don't know what they used)

Trying to figure out how to make a WAI on this car, have made one on truck
Maybe ways to reduce weight other than removing spare?

Any help is appreciated, we have a budget of $500 for gas and any extra $$$ will go towards Christmas!

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Last edited by MetroMPG; 12-08-2016 at 01:37 PM.. Reason: (added info to title)
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Old 12-08-2016, 12:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Perhaps an air dam?
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Old 12-08-2016, 12:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
0.29 Cd and decreasing
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daox View Post
Perhaps an air dam?
There's a stock air dam that has been worn down a little from scraping. I'll have to take another look underneath.

I'm assuming the stock air dam isn't enough?
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Old 12-08-2016, 01:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If there is one and its worn you probably won't gain much from adding a bigger one.
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Old 12-08-2016, 01:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
0.29 Cd and decreasing
 
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I'll have to post pictures when I get them. It's small compared to the lawn edging on my car and truck.
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Old 12-08-2016, 01:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
I'm looking for some options on modifications that I can do. Generally any visual aero mods are going to be a NO because she doesn't want any visual differences to her car.
That kind of limits you.

A larger air dam MAY help, but the problem is you wouldn't know for sure without testing. It helped my Metro, actually hurt my Prius. Big A$# air dam really helps a Miata - but it's all about the starting point, right?

Quote:
Tire PSI is at 40PSI, will increase to 50 for road trip
Have a Scangauge II in car
Will block off upper and/or lower grille
(Maybe) I'll fold the mirrors while I'm driving
There are some stock underbody panels
New 5W-20 oil (Dealer changed oil, don't know what they used)
Of course driving style is going to have the biggest impact. Take it easy and stick to the right lane.

Question: have you done the math? Is it worth the time/effort to you for 5k miles worth?

Let's say she's used to getting 33 mpg on freeway trips (it's rated at 29). Over 5000 miles, that's 143 gallons * $2.10 / gal = $318.

Let's also guesstimate the handful of mods you listed are good for 5-10% better MPG. Average it to 7.5% * $318 = $24 in savings.

If I had time, I'd do it just for the fun/principle. But don't spend a lot of money on materials!

Of course the biggest factor is speed. http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...you-15182.html
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Old 12-08-2016, 06:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
0.29 Cd and decreasing
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
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Red Rocket - '90 honda CRX HF
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90 day: 53.46 mpg (US)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
That kind of limits you.

A larger air dam MAY help, but the problem is you wouldn't know for sure without testing. It helped my Metro, actually hurt my Prius. Big A$# air dam really helps a Miata - but it's all about the starting point, right?

Of course driving style is going to have the biggest impact. Take it easy and stick to the right lane.

Question: have you done the math? Is it worth the time/effort to you for 5k miles worth?

Let's say she's used to getting 33 mpg on freeway trips (it's rated at 29). Over 5000 miles, that's 143 gallons * $2.10 / gal = $318.

Let's also guesstimate the handful of mods you listed are good for 5-10% better MPG. Average it to 7.5% * $318 = $24 in savings.

If I had time, I'd do it just for the fun/principle. But don't spend a lot of money on materials!

Of course the biggest factor is speed. http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...you-15182.html
Thank you!
I have some coroplast on hand so I'd probably do a lower grille block at the least.
I did the math for the cost in gasoline @ 30MPG and $2.5/gal = $417 (conservative figure) but I didn't do the calc for the materials which if I'm buying materials that probably won't be worth it.

With materials I have all i could really do is upper/lower grille block, small air dam (taking off of other vehicle or an old air dam off a cruze), and maybe some small side skirts.

I'm just going to have to keep her speed down. She want's a short driving time, I want a mix of time and cost.
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Old 12-08-2016, 07:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Using an app like GasBuddy to optimise fuel costs may save more for less effort...

Also, what fuel are you using - do some research on what works best in the vehicle because higher octane may save money over that distance.

Simon
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Old 12-10-2016, 02:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
0.29 Cd and decreasing
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 184

Red Rocket - '90 honda CRX HF
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Team "Old SKOOL"
90 day: 53.46 mpg (US)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleBlackDuck View Post
Using an app like GasBuddy to optimise fuel costs may save more for less effort...

Also, what fuel are you using - do some research on what works best in the vehicle because higher octane may save money over that distance.

Simon
I have gas buddy, and I think I'm going to print out their "Heat map" which shows gas prices by color. yes, that would be the easiest way to safe is planning our route.

I've been putting 87 Octane in the car, I haven't read the owners manual yet. It'll probably be reading material for when I'm the passenger. I wouldn't think mazda is one of those cars that needs 91 or up but I could be wrong.



I have a Upper grill block that is a perfect size that was used on my Civic and just need to make a lower grill block.

Another question for you all. We will pack up the car with clothes/food/ect. so there will be some extra weight. Other than the extra weight lowering the car fractions of an inch could the extra weight help us? Maybe when we're driving hills and use the downslope to gain speed? Or on flat terrain the car would have more momentum which would make the car able to roll farther?

I know generally extra weight is not beneficial but my best tank in my CRX was packed up to go camping W/ ~400-500 extra lbs on a freeway with lots of grade changes. Just curious if my mind is thinking correctly or not!

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