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Old 05-08-2013, 03:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Fng (1998 Neon R/T automatic, 40 mpg best so far)

Well, not a terrible much to say. I'm the new guy in the forum.

I drive a 1998 Dodge Neon with just about 140k that's been pretty good to me since I got it a year ago. The best however that I've been able to squeeze out of it is 40 (avg.) I'm curious if anyone has more tips, or if other Neon owners have gotten better than I, and how. I've been contemplating a Prius as of late, and after test-driving one I loved the interactive experience. However, the 15k+ gap in my bank account doesn't seem very delightful.

To make a long story short, my 98 Neon performs well, better if I neutral coast down-hills. Anyone else to offer better advise, modifications (that a semi-noob car can make), or otherwise betterment toward my fuel economy goals?

Thanks!

Edit: Also I forgot to mention I use an OBDII bluetooth adapter, and monitor my MPG as calculated by the equations it uses in Torque (<-app). I average 32 on open high-way driving, 28-29 in rush-hour highway driving, and 30-40 (ranging) in side-streets and county roads.

Being that I monitor this way, would a scan-gauge really help me any more than I am already seeing?


Last edited by nekolai; 05-08-2013 at 03:38 PM.. Reason: Forgot some info.
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Old 05-08-2013, 04:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to EM.
If your averaging 40mpg in an auto tranny neon, it would seem that you are doing quite well, but always room for improvement. Heres probably the most famous neon in our forums thread
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...ods-20741.html

The torque app should be about the same thing as the scangauge/ultragauge just there wired in not a battery
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
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Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

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90 day: 52.07 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 61.98 mpg (US)

Fancy Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 58.72 mpg (US)

Even Fancier Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
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ScanGauge isn't necessary if you're monitoring via Torque. I'm not sure how accurate it is, but even using it to monitor your relative performance would be very useful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nekolai View Post
I've been contemplating a Prius as of late, and after test-driving one I loved the interactive experience. However, the 15k+ gap in my bank account doesn't seem very delightful.
Yep, total nerdmobile geeky MPG entertainment. (You could always buy used if you really want one.)

There are a couple of really detailed Neon projects on the forum. Have a look around. I'm going to add "neon" into your thread title which may get those owners' attention.

Welcome to the site!
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks to the two of ya.

As for the Prius I'd go 2010 or newer but its too expensive for me at the moment. I'll have to wait for a year or two perhaps.

I'm on my phone at the moment, but I'll try to take a look at those mods.
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Old 05-09-2013, 04:05 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I know everyone here loves the Prius, and I get why, but if *I* were going for a hybrid, it'd be a first-gen Insight with a manual transmission. They're pretty rare, but you can get into the 70's without too much effort. Prius's can't touch that without some mods.

Of course, the Insight's a 2-seater, and the Prius isn't.

If you're looking for something economical, but not super-expensive that can get you in the low 40s without engine-off coasting, you might consider a car like mine. Seats 4 adults very comfortably, and though it's not a looker, it's certainly good on gas.

P.S. My car cost me $13k with 29k miles on it.

EDIT: This is assuming you are in the market for a new car.
If not, partial grille blocks, larger tire spats, rear wheel skirts, side skirts, smooth hubcaps (can even be made out of coroplast), belly pan, and antenna delete should get you pretty far.
It'll be especially easy if you're not overly worried about appearances. I mean come on, the Neon's got 140k on it, it's not brand new.
If you are the type that carries hand-wipes in your glovebox to clean blemishes off the car on the go, it might not be for you.

Keeping a fuel log will be a good way to track your progress. I'm hoping to start modding soon, mine will be a good indicator into their overall efficacy, above and beyond the testing I plan on.

</rant>, happy ecomodding!

~Matt
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Last edited by Flakbadger; 05-09-2013 at 05:17 AM..
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flakbadger View Post
I know everyone here loves the Prius, and I get why, but if *I* were going for a hybrid, it'd be a first-gen Insight with a manual transmission. They're pretty rare, but you can get into the 70's without too much effort. Prius's can't touch that without some mods.

Of course, the Insight's a 2-seater, and the Prius isn't.

If you're looking for something economical, but not super-expensive that can get you in the low 40s without engine-off coasting, you might consider a car like mine. Seats 4 adults very comfortably, and though it's not a looker, it's certainly good on gas.

P.S. My car cost me $13k with 29k miles on it.

EDIT: This is assuming you are in the market for a new car.
If not, partial grille blocks, larger tire spats, rear wheel skirts, side skirts, smooth hubcaps (can even be made out of coroplast), belly pan, and antenna delete should get you pretty far.
It'll be especially easy if you're not overly worried about appearances. I mean come on, the Neon's got 140k on it, it's not brand new.
If you are the type that carries hand-wipes in your glovebox to clean blemishes off the car on the go, it might not be for you.

Keeping a fuel log will be a good way to track your progress. I'm hoping to start modding soon, mine will be a good indicator into their overall efficacy, above and beyond the testing I plan on.

</rant>, happy ecomodding!

~Matt
Very constructive reply, thanks for the advice that I was specifically seeking. I'll probably make another thread after searching a bit on new(used) car contemplation. I was considering even a Chevrolet Spark yesterday, and started looking at those; nice for the price, that's for sure. The main thing I like about those Prii is that battery. That is the most fun for me while being incredibly efficient. (Granted it was the on-board computer) I was able to pull 70-80 mostly with the 2010 Prius test drive yesterday on the freeway/city driving, no faster than 55. Those mods are something I will definitely consider, as like you said, it's not new. Anything I modify on it will only turn heads in a positive fashion I'm sure. I'm not sure how comfortable I'd be with a manual, as I've never owned a manual trans car. (I know xD) As for that insight, I'll go do some researching on that real quick.

Thanks!
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Old 05-09-2013, 01:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Fancy Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 58.72 mpg (US)

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nekolai View Post
I was considering even a Chevrolet Spark yesterday, and started looking at those; nice for the price, that's for sure.
Don't get the Spark if you like efficiency. Wait for the new Mitsubishi Mirage this fall. Same price, same size (slightly more "trunk" space), waaaaay better fuel economy.

See: M itsubishi M irage vs. Chevrolet Spark comparison
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Honda mods: Ecomodding my $800 Honda Fit 5-speed beater
Mitsu mods: 70 MPG in my ecomodded, dirt cheap, 3-cylinder Mirage.
Ecodriving test: Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown



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Old 05-14-2013, 10:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
EcoModding Lurker
 
Join Date: May 2013
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Mac Daddy - '98 Dodge Neon R/T
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
Don't get the Spark if you like efficiency. Wait for the new Mitsubishi Mirage this fall. Same price, same size (slightly more "trunk" space), waaaaay better fuel economy.

See: omitted Mitsubishi Mirage vs. Chevrolet Spark comparison[/URL]
I'll keep in mind! Looks very nice. I really liked the Prius' battery and charging style systems, will this mimic that?
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Join Date: Nov 2007
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
Team Metro
Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 52.07 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 61.98 mpg (US)

Fancy Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 58.72 mpg (US)

Even Fancier Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 70.75 mpg (US)

Appliance car - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage ES (base)
90 day: 50.04 mpg (US)
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No, the U.S. Mirage won't have the alternator-based regenerative braking system and engine start/stop that some other countries get.
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Project MPGiata! Mods for getting 50+ MPG from a 1990 Miata
Honda mods: Ecomodding my $800 Honda Fit 5-speed beater
Mitsu mods: 70 MPG in my ecomodded, dirt cheap, 3-cylinder Mirage.
Ecodriving test: Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown



EcoModder
has launched a forum for the efficient new Mitsubishi Mirage
www.MetroMPG.com - fuel efficiency info for Geo Metro owners
www.ForkenSwift.com - electric car conversion on a beer budget
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Old 05-15-2013, 12:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
No, the U.S. Mirage won't have the alternator-based regenerative braking system and engine start/stop that some other countries get.
Because 'Murica

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