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Old 12-16-2010, 04:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hello everyone

Hi guys, my name is Aaron, I'm from Michigan, I drive a Saturn Astra, and I suck at hypermiling

I've browsed the forum many times and just decided to join to get some tips on improving my miserable winter mileage, the site has already inspired me to build a grill block and install a block heater, hopefully that will bring me back up a little closer to my Summer mileage.

The car is a 5 door hatch, with a 1.8L and unfortunately a 4 speed automatic, I average about 28MPG during the warmer months, and closer to 24 in the winter, overall average over 30k is about 26.6 which I'd love to improve - I'm just no good at doing it!

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Old 12-16-2010, 04:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to the site Aaron.

Previous to getting the Prius, I had a Matrix. It seems the Astra and Matrix are fairly similar (size and 1.8L engine). A grill block is a great idea for comfort and mileage as is a block heater.
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Old 12-16-2010, 04:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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From a quick search, it looks like I have the only Astra on the site - shocker... lol.

For what it's worth, it has the advanced display with two slots for tracking FE, as well as an instant readout which updates 2-3 times per second, as well as an advanced diagnostics screen which can tell me incoming air temp, cabin temp, and coolant temp, maybe some other useful things if I dig, so I shouldn't need a scanguage - just need to learn how to drive!
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Old 12-16-2010, 05:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks Daox, yeah it was your matrix that influenced me to do the grill block and heater, great writeup and pictures, thank you. I think, according to epa, that the matrix/vibe does a little better than the Astra on FE, which is sad considering it's actually a bit bigger, and has some nicer utility type features.
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Old 12-19-2010, 02:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You're definitely starting with the right mods. Also consider adding a warm air intake of some kind.

Reading through the 100+ hypermiling tips (tabbed above) is another good place to start. Recently I've started shutting off my engine more at stop lights and that small change alone probably gave me a 5% boost in fuel economy. Double check to make sure your car is flat-towable (the owners manual should clarify this). If it is, take advantages of coasting where you can. An automatic is not a death sentence to good mpg; it just makes 20-30% over EPA more common than the 30-50% you can obtain with a standard.
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Old 12-19-2010, 04:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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aearles -

Quote:
Originally Posted by aearles View Post
From a quick search, it looks like I have the only Astra on the site - shocker... lol.

For what it's worth, it has the advanced display with two slots for tracking FE, as well as an instant readout which updates 2-3 times per second, as well as an advanced diagnostics screen which can tell me incoming air temp, cabin temp, and coolant temp, maybe some other useful things if I dig, so I shouldn't need a scanguage - just need to learn how to drive!
That's the best thing about a lot of newer cars, they are giving real-time MPG readouts.

I used to get 30 MPG without trying in my manual tranny S-Series. I like the Astra because of it's 1.8L displacement and a *decent* curb weight of 2850 lbs (decent for today's heavier car standards, that is). I really like your 5-door because of is Matrix/Vibe/SW2 hauling capabilities. But I don't know how to get past that auto-tranny. Do you have a regular route that you drive or are you all over the place? A driving "rut" can be good for MPG because it's like a (slow motion, ha ha) race track that you drive over and over and over again.

There aren't any *Saturn* Astras here, but there are 6 non-Saturn Astras here :

Model=Astra only Garage search

Unfortunately I don't think any of them match your generation or configuration, . I think yours is rare because the Euro was too weak when the Saturn Astra was being imported from Belgium. That made the Astra more expensive than the competition.

Here's a short thread on the Astra :

http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...a-fe-6201.html

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Old 12-20-2010, 10:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Ahh you're right, thanks for pointing out the Garage. The Astra H is pretty much the same from 2004 through 2009, so there are two others that are the same Gen as mine. They were available here with a manual as well, they were just even more rare in that config, so instead of searching for one I ended up with the auto.

My route is pretty regular, however, the traffic is not.

Yeah they did price the car a bit too high at first, and offered no incentives at all on them, I went to look at them when they first came out and the guy basically told me I couldn't afford one and that I'd be better off looking at higher end models that GM actually offered incentives on. I ended up getting mine about a year later, when they were killing off the Saturn name and dying to get rid of them, I paid about 18 for mine, although I've seen people get them even later for as low as 12-14k new... so clearly I'm stuck with it for a while!

Thanks for the info.
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Old 12-20-2010, 11:37 AM   #8 (permalink)
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If you want to see what FE others are getting , look for
Opel Astra or Vauxhall Astra on
MPG and Cost Calculator and Tracker - Spritmonitor.de

You can convert liters/100 km using this online concersion site :
Online Conversion - Fuel Consumption Conversion

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