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Old 03-08-2012, 09:53 PM   #21 (permalink)
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There must be something wrong with that car. My V8 4x4 F150 is beating his fe.

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Old 03-08-2012, 10:07 PM   #22 (permalink)
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In stop & crawl traffic? Really?
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:14 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I don't think I could MAKE my car get 17 mpg unless I poked a hole in the bottom of the gas tank.
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:18 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post
There must be something wrong with that car. My V8 4x4 F150 is beating his fe.
Do you do mostly city driving? And have winter tires? :P

And rooster, maybe you're right about me not getting the mpguino. I do love my car to death but I'm probably going to replace it in 2 years with something more roomy and economical. I'm 6' 3", (1.91m).
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:29 PM   #25 (permalink)
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If i seriously had the will to, I would commute to school at 6:30 and pretty much miss most traffic on my route to school but that would require me to wake up really early and at this point, I dont see myself commuting that early. That could change though soon. I could always bring a pillow with me to school and nap in my car when i get there.
Financially leaving early is your best bet.

Something I strongly recommend is a block and transmission pad heater or even an irritating magnet one if you don't mind sticking it and unsticking it every day. You can easily raise city fuel economy 4 or 5 mpg using one of these if its a relatively short trip on cold days. I would use it year round but get a timer to set it off 1-4 hours ahead of your trip depending on how cold it is out.

I would also recommend that if you encounter a long stop light that you estimate to be longer than 10 seconds that you consider shutting your car off until the light is ready to turn. Just take care to monitor your battery level.

Something else I would recommend (unless you have tons of unavoidable massive potholes) is to up your PSI to 50 or 60. Tires are rated by the MAXIMUM speed they are rated at, you driving 35mph or less in City is different and less stressfull than 105mph on the tires. Sure its bumpy but if you speed up swiftly then coast your FE will jump the most from this single modification. If you plan on a highway trip, just air it down or suffer the ride, only takes a few minutes to change air pressure.

Anyway I owned a car of similar stature and transmission to yours (just a bigger motor), in town was difficult to say the least to get good fuel economy, I was able to get up to almost 30mpg pure city on occasion but not always, 22-25mpg was also common in the winter, I had plenty of rural city that could bring the average up into the mid 30's. On the highway I could top out near 40mpg.

Something I was able to do that you likely cannot safely do is EOC, most every FWD GM product can safely coast up to 45mph for 100 miles. But you need to be very skilled and used to driving a car with no power steering or brakes, not something to be testing in mid day traffic and not something I recommend to a youth either.

Unfortunately EOC isn't an option in bumper to bumper much of the time, its also murder on your battery.

Good Luck
Ryan
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:18 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Love'n a Lumina, low expectations. just wait, once you get out of college and a job. My Malibu which is nice step above my dads 93? 6000 STE, my wife's Impala, is 3x times better ride and gets better hwy MPG. Do what you can, pump up the tires, adjust you schedule as you can. It's tough with city driving to really evaluate how the car's really running.

You could take it for a run down the highway and see what it does HWY at 55, if it doesn't beat epa HWY maybe something wrong, most likely O2 sensors or brakes. How's the tail pipe look, black soot is bad.

Make some personal ajustments, track a few more tanks, see what you can do without spending any money. The biggest gains are free. Check your front brake rotor temps once you get to school by feel, do both feel the same temp. One hotter is a symptom of brakes dragging. As hoses get old they can restrict the return of fluid and cause the caliper to drag.

My 30 yo year younger brother lives over there, idiot bought a 2012 Focus tititanium, nice car, but not 26k nice. I wasted 26.6 k once on a Montero, then a 19k Suburban, guess you have to learn for yourself, some times it takes 2 mess ups in a row. Learn from other people as you can, you'll be ahead.
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:05 AM   #27 (permalink)
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rooster beat me to it; I've been thinking about that 17mpg Chevy and the first things I would do are check highway mileage, it should be close to 30. Then, especially if it isn't, I'd look for a dragging brake(s) both by jacking up each wheel and giving it a whirl, and by going for a test drive out in the stix so that you can get up to speed then coast to a stop USING NO BRAKES then get out and feel for a hot one. Maybe it's time for sparkplug clean n gap or replace, and other tune-up items. rooster is also right about the colossal waste of money new vehicles are.
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:56 PM   #28 (permalink)
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So today I had my winter tires switched back to all seasons so I should be seeing my fuel economy improve, hopefully back to 20mpg as I had last recorded in 2010.

I manged to do some pulse and gliding down a really long stretch of road with a few stop signs. I p&g between 30 and 35mph with it taking aproximately 15 seconds to drop down to 30 each time. 15 seconds to drop 5mph is good or bad at 35mph. Any ideas?

PS. I had the rear left hub bearing replaced for $140 today. ;( It was quite loose and ready to snap at any moment which would have resulted in my wheel flying off of my car at any moment so it's a good thing it got fixed.
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Old 03-10-2012, 07:06 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Regenerit View Post
So today I had my winter tires switched back to all seasons so I should be seeing my fuel economy improve, hopefully back to 20mpg as I had last recorded in 2010.

I manged to do some pulse and gliding down a really long stretch of road with a few stop signs. I p&g between 30 and 35mph with it taking aproximately 15 seconds to drop down to 30 each time. 15 seconds to drop 5mph is good or bad at 35mph. Any ideas?

PS. I had the rear left hub bearing replaced for $140 today. ;( It was quite loose and ready to snap at any moment which would have resulted in my wheel flying off of my car at any moment so it's a good thing it got fixed.
15 seconds is pretty good but not really long enough to justify wear on components. Also make sure you have a charger at home and recharge the battery each day.

I was thinking with your FE as low as it is that you probably have bad bearings and the thing probably needs alignment.

For P&G its up to you but I wouldn't bother too much with it, just swiftly get to speed let off the gas and push it in just enough to maintain speed. My auto didn't really respond to real P&G as much as lifting my foot and pushing in just barely enough to keep moving.

If you insist on true P&G (e. off) you will need a wider speed differential (at least 15mph probably 20mph speed difference at speeds below 45) to see any real results, especially since your odometer wont record distance for a while during cycles. EOC to long stoplights works best in an auto. P&G Engine On is much safer in an auto but with the motor you have much less effective since you are burning at least .45gph at idle.

As others have alluded to it may be worth having the bearings all around a once over and get the thing lined up with as little toe as is reasonable.

Good Luck
Ryan
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Old 03-11-2012, 01:50 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Blue - '93 Ford Tempo
Last 3: 27.29 mpg (US)

F150 - '94 Ford F150 XLT 4x4
90 day: 18.5 mpg (US)

Sport Coupe - '92 Ford Tempo GL
Last 3: 69.62 mpg (US)

ShWing! - '82 honda gold wing Interstate
90 day: 33.65 mpg (US)

Moon Unit - '98 Mercury Sable LX Wagon
90 day: 21.24 mpg (US)
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Thanked 3,384 Times in 2,128 Posts
I KNEW there was something wrong with it! Was the bearing shot enough to cause the brake to drag?

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