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-   -   How to make my car Eco smart (

ecogypsy 07-28-2011 09:11 PM

How to make my car Eco smart
I am new here and not sure if I am posting in the right place. But here is what I would like to do. I have a 2001 Toyota Echo. I want to make her as Eco friendly as I can since I won't be buying a new car ANY time soon. I'm a chic and kinda car illiterate, but want to learn more. My girl is going for a tune up and I would like to get my own parts for my mechanic to install. I just found out about reusable air filters. But I have read the horror stories over the K&N. Could someone please point me in the right direction? I also recently read about E3 spark plugs. Do these really work? or a waste of money? I also need a radiator flush, any way to make this anymore eco friendly? He mentioned a gas filter, but I heard my gas filter is IN my gas tank, so does this get changed? or is this a lifetime gas filter? If it DOES get changed, again, is there any way to make it Eco friendly? Any other info would be greatly appreciated. OH a little more info, I live in North Western Arizona, about 2 hours south of Las Vegas. It is DUSTY and WINDY and most of all HOT this time of year. We seldom hit freeze 32F in winter. I read about changing the timing belt? IDK if this has ever been done. He did just do two belts on my car, but I'm not sure what they were. Just want my girl tuned up and as Eco friendly as possible. Thank you all very much.

cleanspeed1 07-28-2011 10:03 PM

Welcome aboard.

Do a search here on the site for results of using aftermarket filters, plugs, etc.

Others on the site have your car or a Toyota product and they can confirm or refute the claims by personal experience of said products.

Me personally, using the stock recommended equipment is a safe way to go.

Never go by anecdotal advice, get a service manual and learn about your car, what it needs and where various parts are.

If you don't know if something has been done, do it, especially timing belts and tune ups, and keep records and documentation.

The main thing about eco is adjusting driving habits and technique moreso than just putting parts on a vehicle.

Look at the efficiency mods and hypermiling techniques. Study them. Use them. You will see your mpg go up.

ecogypsy 07-28-2011 10:39 PM

Look at the efficiency mods and hypermiling techniques

What are those? Never heard of them.

cleanspeed1 07-28-2011 10:49 PM


Originally Posted by ecogypsy (Post 252855)
Look at the efficiency mods and hypermiling techniques

What are those? Never heard of them.

Look at the buttons below "ecomodder", right next to "Recent Posts" at the top of the screen.

superchow 07-29-2011 12:20 PM

Hi, and welcome!

Apart from the mentioned tips on following the manufacturer's recommendations on what equipment to use, if your Echo isn't already a light color applying a white vinyl film to the roof would reflect more heat. That should keep the inerior cooler and reduce how much you need to run the air conditioner. Similarly a dark tint on your windows would reduce a hot cabin and therefore the cooling demand on the A/C.

I would recommend the driving technique "driving without brakes" (DWB). Do not take that literally, but more as a reminder for the following: Every time you push on the brakes you are wasting the momentum of your car, thereby converting your money into heat. So look ahead, time stoplights so you don't need to come to a complete stop, give people more room, give yourself a few extra minutes time to drive so you don't need to rush.

Good luck with your pursuits! :thumbup:

euromodder 07-29-2011 12:37 PM


Originally Posted by ecogypsy (Post 252855)
Look at the efficiency mods and hypermiling techniques

What are those? Never heard of them.

Have a look here :

65+ Vehicle modifications for better fuel economy -


100+ Hypermiling / ecodriving tips & tactics for better mpg -

The main things :

- pump up your tires

- start driving slower (6mph makes a fair difference)

- look far further ahead and adjust your speed to whatever situation you see developing (you'll recover the lost time from going slower)

- start coasting down to places where you'll have to slow down anyway (you'll have to look even further ahead)

- track your fuel mileage if you don't already

- easy mods are a grill block (the upper grills gets blocked most often) and an air dam.

- ditch all unnecessary stuff lingering in your car (for me that includes the spare and jack :) )

- look at what other with the same car have done.

Pick up some of the tips, and when they've become habits, re-read the lists and add more tricks to your driving.

Daox 07-29-2011 02:28 PM

What the others have said are good tips. As for the maintenance issues. I'd stick with the OEM type paper filters. You really don't need to change them that often. Forget fancy spark plugs. A coolant flush isn't a bad idea, but I probably wouldn't bother. Toyota uses a coolant that isn't supposed to need to be replaced for a rediculous amount of time. Same goes for the fuel filter. They make em to last forever (unless your manual says otherwise). My 1997 Toyota Paseo still has the original filter and runs like a champ.

99metro 07-29-2011 03:33 PM

I agree with euromodder.

I use SOME of the hypermiling tips. If you decide to drive slower, get used to being passed and some of those people being angry. Just drive your drive and do your thing and don't worry about everyone else. I do a lot of coasting and I time the green lights so I don't have to stop - look for cross traffic waiting which might tell you the light is about to change. It took me a bit to rid myself of lots of bad driving habits. ANYBODY can just punch the accelerator, not everyone can get good fuel mileage.

Stock paper air filters are just fine. K&N give more air flow, but require cleaning and oiling. For ECO driving, paper filters work just as well. You might be able to find some biodegradable antifreeze. Standard spark plugs (cheap) are just fine also.

gone-ot 07-29-2011 06:09 PM

...the one, single-most, important thing you can do is to be "...100% aware..." of your gas milage: as you drive and sit idling!

...and, you can do that by using one of the many MPG meter devices available, such as the ScanGauge II™ (SGII) and the UltraGauge™ (UG)...for you, I'd recommend the UG as it's both less complex and less costly.

...with it there on your dash, constantly "showing" you what your MPG is as you drive, you'll soon become "100% aware" of what HELPs you get better MPG and what HINDERS your MPG.

superchow 07-29-2011 06:43 PM

One trick that makes me more aware of my driving habits is to imagine the brake pedal is wired to a (mild) taser which in turn electrocutes me when I step on the pedal. Now I actually cringe when I should have anticipated a stop/slow-down and didn't and have to pay for it with using the brake pedal.

Yes, we ecomodders are a strange bunch... :D

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