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Old 04-19-2008, 01:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Budget chevy lumina project.

Hello. My name is Joe. I'm a a college student getting hit hard by gas prices. I've been riding the bus this semester for my 80 mile round trip to the University of Kansas from Kansas City.

I bought my '96 Chevy Lumina in '05 for $280! Of course I didn't expect it to last as long as it has, but to tell the truth, I think it runs better now than when I bought it. I've put ~30k on the car in the past 3 years. (I don't drive much.)

So far, my mods have been completely stripping the interior in the rear. (Rear seat, carpet, seat belts, spare tire, sound deadening). I also removed the rear spoiler and luggage rack.

I'm getting mid 20's hypermiling w/o a scangauge.

Future mods I hope to accomplish are downsizing tires from 205s to 175s or 190s. I've purchased Megasquirt (engine control module) for another project and I'm looking into possibly programming a lean burn type profile to use with the Lumina, similar to what the Honda Insight uses.

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Old 04-19-2008, 02:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ihatejoefitz View Post
Hello. My name is Joe. I'm a a college student getting hit hard by gas prices. I've been riding the bus this semester for my 80 mile round trip to the University of Kansas from Kansas City.

I bought my '96 Chevy Lumina in '05 for $280! Of course I didn't expect it to last as long as it has, but to tell the truth, I think it runs better now than when I bought it. I've put ~30k on the car in the past 3 years. (I don't drive much.)

So far, my mods have been completely stripping the interior in the rear. (Rear seat, carpet, seat belts, spare tire, sound deadening). I also removed the rear spoiler and luggage rack.

I'm getting mid 20's hypermiling w/o a scangauge.

Future mods I hope to accomplish are downsizing tires from 205s to 175s or 190s. I've purchased Megasquirt (engine control module) for another project and I'm looking into possibly programming a lean burn type profile to use with the Lumina, similar to what the Honda Insight uses.
Welcome to the site. Sounds like you might want to look into areo mods if the commute is a lot of highway. Driver mods will give you the best bang for the buck slowing down and making sure the car is tuned up will show a big improvement.
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Old 04-19-2008, 04:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome to EM, and fellow Kansas City area resident...

What engine do you have in the Lumina -- 3.1 or 3.4?

Also, is the Check-engine light on, by chance? If so, I would diagnose anything that would cause it to run inefficiently, and see if inexpensive fixes are available. Mid 25's are OK -- but if it's the 3.1 averages tend to be a bit higher.

I would look into that first -- great bargain for 30K miles of driving though!

Best FE to ya!

RH77
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Old 04-19-2008, 04:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazarus View Post
Welcome to the site. Sounds like you might want to look into areo mods if the commute is a lot of highway. Driver mods will give you the best bang for the buck slowing down and making sure the car is tuned up will show a big improvement.
Thanks. I keep the engine under 2,000 RPM and do a lot of EOC. As far as aero mods, I'm kind of at a loss. There is no real grill opening on the Lumina, but I am planning to take off the mirrors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RH77 View Post
Welcome to EM, and fellow Kansas City area resident...

What engine do you have in the Lumina -- 3.1 or 3.4?

Also, is the Check-engine light on, by chance? If so, I would diagnose anything that would cause it to run inefficiently, and see if inexpensive fixes are available. Mid 25's are OK -- but if it's the 3.1 averages tend to be a bit higher.

I would look into that first -- great bargain for 30K miles of driving though!

Best FE to ya!

RH77
It does have the 3.1, and the check engine light is on. I've scanned it, and if I remember correctly it was the cat.

I also have a 2001 Lumina in the family and I drive it to Seattle every summer. It averages 32 mpg highway / 23 mpg combined.
*Edit: The '01 is stock, with tire pressure between 45-50.

I'm shooting for 40 mpg highway with the '96. I know I have some work to do.
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Old 04-19-2008, 07:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I had a '95 Beretta with the same engine -- cruised along at 1500-2000 on the highway and high 20's-30 mostly highway. Great car, great engine, bad transmission from the factory. Had to be re-built at 5K miles. Traded it before the warranty ran out.

If your CEL is the 02 sensor, it may be working against you in mileage. Problem is, your monetary value of emissions, and the cost of the part vs. the car is a bit of a paradox.

Anyhoo, best of luck getting up to 40!

-RH77

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