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Old 07-14-2009, 08:28 PM   #21 (permalink)
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sn0w3n -

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gotcha
Yeah, ya gotta have a baseline.

You have a 2002, so you shouldn't have the "plastic ECTS" problem that previous-gen S-Series have before they switch to the brass ECTS (that your 3rd gen S-Series already has).

If you find that your baseline is below EPA, you made need to spend some time here :

Saturn S-Series - SaturnFans Forums

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Old 07-14-2009, 09:13 PM   #22 (permalink)
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to metrompg, I would love to get one of those but I don't think you truly comprehend how broke I am. It would come out of my pocket and I make $60-100 a month doing odd jobs.
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:55 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I don't have fancy instrumentation either.

I think it would help... some... a bit.
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Old 07-14-2009, 10:30 PM   #24 (permalink)
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sn0w3n -

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to metrompg, I would love to get one of those but I don't think you truly comprehend how broke I am. It would come out of my pocket and I make $60-100 a month doing odd jobs.
Ok, an affordable option for you is a vacuum gauge :

http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...uide-3428.html
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...tall-6303.html
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...gauge-368.html


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Old 07-14-2009, 10:55 PM   #25 (permalink)
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So, you're taking 5 mile trips, with a lot of stop signs along the way. Let's say it takes 2 miles for your car to warm up to operating temperature (I have no idea how long it takes, but lets just use 2 miles), then 40% of your trip each time is with the car still trying to get up to temperature, and not giving you good fuel economy. The EPA's 25MPG city rating is based on an 11 mile trip, so the engine is warmed up for a longer time.

Also, it sounds like you usually have several other people in your car. Extra weight might not make a huge difference, but it certainly doesn't help the FE.

So, considering these things, it sounds like you're doing a great job getting anywhere near EPA. Most people who get way over EPA ratings drive mostly highway, or rural roads where they can safely go slower, and practice 'extreme' hypermiling tactics.
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Old 07-14-2009, 10:57 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Short-trip city driving kills FE. I'm lucky to be pulling 20 mpg right now because all I've done is short-trip city driving. It's bad when one's commute starts across from downtown and traverses through the city core to a point on the other side. This from a car that I can yank 36 mpg highway out of.
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Old 07-14-2009, 11:08 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Can you install a block heater? Do you know how to install a vacuum gauge? Do you think you could figure it out?

Being broke isn't a good reason to not do things. Invest more time and thought than money, and you're still going to come out ahead. It just takes longer.

Money tends to be a substitute for thinking and ingenuity... "Why should I think of a way to do this if I can just go buy it?"

Except, that doesn't work when you can't "just go buy it", especially when it's due to lack of funds. You've obviously got internet, so google a few DIY solutions to things.

You could save a LOAD of money by just learning how to fix your own car. Mechanics are rip offs because they can be, and you won't know the difference anyway. Mechanics usually assume that you have no idea what they're talking about when they changed your Kneuter Valve... and thus, they can overcharge you for it, because they're better actors than Mechanics. I think some schools probably teach them to act, so they can get more money with less information. :Rolleyes:
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Old 07-15-2009, 12:17 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Hi,

Someone already mentioned it, but it is critical to have your tires pumped up -- try 38-44psi if your tires have 44psi as the sidewall max.

Also, your tires can tell you if you have an alignment problem -- are they worn evenly?

If you are sitting at traffic lights, and you can see the lights in the other direction -- shut your car off while you are sitting, and start it when you see the yellow in the other direction (or when you see the brake lights go off a few cars ahead of you). Or, at least put it in neutral while you sit.

The trick with ecodriving is to only accelerate up just enough to let you coast to the next stop -- have you tried coasting in neutral? If you need to slow down, downshift to 3 or 2 and let the engine do what it can to slow you down, and use your brakes only when you have to (at the end right before you stop). Think of it as a challenge to keep your brakes cold!
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Old 07-15-2009, 12:32 AM   #29 (permalink)
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The difference in fe between 35 and 44 psi ain't a whole lot. If the passengers want 35, let 'em have 35.

If you aren't ever- or are rarely- getting into top gear and/or overdrive then that's one of your biggest problems. On that note, it is possible to accel too slowly and take too long to get in top gear. Accel briskly but then, as you do, let off at the lowest speed where top gear engages and go from there.

I wouldn't downshift to slow down in town. I coast- usually in D- to a degree that makes minimal braking necessary only at the very end. It's a generally true statement, though, to drive as if your brakes are the enemy.

Block heater, grille block (at least partial), and engine blanket would all help on those multiple short, cold trips. If that is all this car ever sees, it might be beneficial to take 'er out on the freeway once in a while and run the snot out it- get it warm for a while. That is the "Italian tune-up".
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Old 07-15-2009, 11:32 AM   #30 (permalink)
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ok thank you everybody this is a lot of info but a will try to tackle it. Currently I'm letting my grandma drive through the next tank because she behaves like a regular driver. I'll monitor this mpg and keep you posted. Then, I'll look into that block heater buisness as lack of warm up time can be pretty huge. Thing is though keep in mind my parents don't want me to tinker with the car to much so I'll run it by them and see how it goes.

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