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Old 01-13-2008, 12:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Greetings from west Texas

I own a small hotshot/delivery business. I started making a 520 mile round trip run once a week. I was making this run in my 2002 Ford F-150. Just to make the miles pass a little quicker one day, I decided to monitor my FE. 18MPG. OUCH! So, I slowed down (one stretch has an 80 MPH posted limit) to 70, added cruise, started drafting and ran without A/C. All this got me to just shy of a miserable 20 MPG. Dang! Now what?

Suddenly, on the 8th trip it hit me. Out of all 8 trips, I only actually NEEDED my truck once. All the other times, the stuff I was carrying would fit in the passenger seat.

Off I went in search of a hatchback that could fill the role of delivery vehicle and still carry passengers when it wasn't working. The first one found was a Metro. Nice but no A/C. With local temperatures of 115 degrees possible, I wanted to be able to cool off at least some of the time. Next, I found the car I would buy. It's a lime green 2005 Chevy Aveo Hatchback.

I know the Aveo doesn't lend itself to super high mileage but the 34 mpg at 70 MPH (with mods) average that I get is way better than the truck got. It's saving me about 10.75 gallons each trip.

I started at 28 MPG. My mods are, Tires inflated to 45 psi (2 mpg gain), Iridium plugs (1 mpg gain), Synthetic oil (3 mpg gain), CAI (no gain), removed rear spoiler (no gain but it got quieter inside) a new Cruise control (untested) and a scanguageII (untested).

Driving habit changes have had me as high as 38 mpg.

I'm still looking for better. The gearing (manual Trans) of the Aveo makes the FE start to fall off at anything over 50mph. Time is of the essence on the run so 50mph isn't possible. Other times I'm driving like Granny.

Thoughts and ideas are appreciated.

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Old 01-13-2008, 01:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to the site! Bit of a bummer on the aveo over the metro, too bad you couldn't find one with A/C.

Ever thought of doing any aeromods?
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Old 01-13-2008, 09:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi, Green Machine.

Thoughts about cruise control: unless you're driving on perfectly flat roads, the cruise control will not get as good fuel economy as a careful right foot. That said, you may not be up for 500+ miles of closely monitoring the ScanGauge and delicately feathering the throttle.

You already know that slowing down will get you the largest return, but if you can't or don't want to, then Ben's right: aerodynamic mods are the way to go for your Aveo.

I'd start with a partial grille block; consider a passenger side mirror delete; smooth wheel covers, rear wheel skirts. Combined, those might net you a 5 or 6% mpg improvement at the speeds you drive. Next undertray, & then start looking at boattailing the back of the vehicle. Have a look through the List of aero mods you can do to your vehicle.

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Old 01-13-2008, 11:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The grille block, mirror delete, smooth wheel covers and undertray are possible as are some of the more minor aero mods. I have to maintain a more or less "plain" profesional image so the more radical things like boattailing are less possible.

I'd love to lose both side mirrors in favor of something inside the glass.

While installing the cruise, I noticed that there is no undertray or plastic from the underside of the bumper to the underside of the engine as there is on most cars. I don't know if it's missing or never had one. Could this be a factor?

Also, my 500 mile trip has MANY flat straight spots. Probably more than 2/3 of it nearly flat and nearly straight. I coast a lot on the bigger hills. For about half the trip, I'm out of heavy (70-80 mph) big rig freeway traffic and can drive 60-65 or so.

We'll see how the cruise does. I installed it mainly because of the poor position of the Aveo's accelerator. 500 miles with my foot in the one allowable position was just too much. My foot falls asleep and my calve cramps up.
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Old 01-14-2008, 06:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Green Machine -

Quote:
Originally Posted by Green Machine View Post
The grille block, mirror delete, smooth wheel covers and undertray are possible as are some of the more minor aero mods. I have to maintain a more or less "plain" profesional image so the more radical things like boattailing are less possible.

I'd love to lose both side mirrors in favor of something inside the glass.

While installing the cruise, I noticed that there is no undertray or plastic from the underside of the bumper to the underside of the engine as there is on most cars. I don't know if it's missing or never had one. Could this be a factor?

Also, my 500 mile trip has MANY flat straight spots. Probably more than 2/3 of it nearly flat and nearly straight. I coast a lot on the bigger hills. For about half the trip, I'm out of heavy (70-80 mph) big rig freeway traffic and can drive 60-65 or so.

We'll see how the cruise does. I installed it mainly because of the poor position of the Aveo's accelerator. 500 miles with my foot in the one allowable position was just too much. My foot falls asleep and my calve cramps up.

I understand the need to look professional. Here is a picture of an Aveo with wheel covers and a modest boattail/kamm back that I did in MSPaint :

Click image for larger version

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Other Ecomodders will have a better design for aerodaynamics. I just followed the roofline of the Aveo and tried to make it look "cool" according to my aesthetic. I am sure that the side of the boattail should come down farther.

If you put an Ad on the side of the boattail, maybe that could "justify" the boattail. That way, you could tell your customers that you wanted to make the Ad "stick out" and help your aerodynamics at the same time. But, your the person that knows your customer base, so maybe I am barking up the wrong tree.

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Old 04-18-2008, 11:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Green Machine View Post
I own a small hotshot/delivery business. I started making a 520 mile round trip run once a week. I was making this run in my 2002 Ford F-150. Just to make the miles pass a little quicker one day, I decided to monitor my FE. 18MPG. OUCH! So, I slowed down (one stretch has an 80 MPH posted limit) to 70, added cruise, started drafting and ran without A/C. All this got me to just shy of a miserable 20 MPG. Dang! Now what?
An 11% gain is a pretty big gain - nothing to laugh at or be disappointed with at least....

Say you drive 20,000 miles per year

@ 18mpg, that's ~1111 gallons of fuel
@ 20mpg, that's 1000 gallons of fuel
a difference of 111 gallons

At $3.445 (national average 4/18 according to AAA) that 2mpg difference saves you ~382 per year.


Maybe if you air up your tires - you might be able to get closer to 21mpg (~$546 savings over 18mpg)

Extraordinary mileage (or anything for that matter) is for those that put in extraordinary effort in doing so <-- remember, 90% perspiration - some of that will be literal


EDIT: Doh! Old thread!!!

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