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Old 08-19-2011, 10:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hey all!

I recently had to get into car research because my old one effectively had a stroke (the car's electronics pretty much stopped working on one side, including half of the dash lights) which, on top of some looming mechanical problems, made my 1998 Dodge Stratus' retirement time very obvious. I found a 2007 Mazda3 (the s sport, so unfortunately it has the slightly larger, less efficient engine) with great mileage for a great price so that's what I'm working with now.

Along the path of research I ran into this site, and I have to say it's intriguing the length that you guys go through to squeeze out an extra percent or two of fuel economy. I've always tried to drive more conservatively (brakes are the devil, I try and avoid excessive speeding, engine maintenance, etc), but after reading around here for a while, I've decided that I'm going to take some more concentrated measures to improve my mileage, as well as correcting some behaviors I thought were already corrected.

I have a sort of meager budget, being a student, but I can afford things that will pay off in relatively short order. I've already decided to purchase a Scangauge, and I'm going to employ P&G on my commutes to work/school whenever I can. What other easy, relatively affordable adjustments could I make to my car/driving to boost those MPGs?

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Old 08-20-2011, 02:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Dusty - '98 VOLKSWAGEN Beetle TDI
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Hey Fatcat, nice car , if your mazda S models are anything like the vw S models (180hp) you have yourself a pretty quick car. Right off the bat you should increase your tire air pressure to their max rate(or beyond) that will improve your mpg right away, Also use neutral as often as possible, You will find that there are plenty of spots along your route that can be coasting on, Also coast up to the stop lights and signs. You will notice how much fuel you have been wasting in the past, right after your first commute using neutral as often as you can.
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Old 08-21-2011, 10:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Grill blocks are the other low hanging fruit. I use shrink wrap plastic used to cover your inside home windows in the winter. Others here use plastic pool "noodles", or the foam tubes you use to insulate hot water pipes. Others use cardboard or the ever poplular left over signs from political adds. As soon as voting is over in the fall collect a couple of signs from your street corner and fashion a grill block.
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