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Old 09-20-2014, 03:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Canada
Posts: 7

Vernon - '13 Toyota Prius V

Percy - '04 Toyota Matrix XR
90 day: 24.62 mpg (US)
Thanks: 1
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Modding: 2004 Toyota Matrix XR

Meet Percy:

(I'll get daytime pics when I have the chance!)

- Automatic
- FWD
- ABS
- Sunroof
- Block heater
- 17" alloy
- Fog lamps
- Summer tires
- Winter tires
- Starting at 138,500km

For reference: mpg (L/100km)

Pre-own fuel economy: 21.18 (11.1) city (rough estimate)

EPA: 25 (9.41) city, 30 (7.84) highway, 27 (8.71) combined

GOAL 1: 26.13 (9)
Goal 2: 29.4 (8)
Goal 3: 33.6 (7)
Goal 4: 39.2 (6)
Goal 5: 47.04 (5)


Current mods:
- Synthetic oil (prior to purchase)
- Increased psi (~44/44) [9/22/14]

Planned mods:
- ScanGauge OBD-II
- Wheel covers
- Lower rolling resistance tires
- Belly pan
- Grill block

Things to consider:
- Cost
- Newbie to all things mechanical with vehicles
- Avoid increasing use of accelerator/brake (knee pain - gonna need that modded)
- Province requires presence of front license plate (going to look into other restrictions)
- Extremes in winter (lots of snow, ice, and -40)
- Some gravel road driving
- Lots of salt and sand in winter


First order of business is to become more familiar with the car and determine its fuel economy as per my own driving. (Combined city/highway.)

One thing I've noticed so far is that the accelerator has a lot of oomph. I touch the pedal by a hair from a full stop and it's like it wants to drag race. If I could find a way to tone it down, I would do it, because what it's doing right now is highly impractical for winter driving.

Any suggestions for further mods? Keep in mind that any technical stuff will need to be explained to me.

Thanks for reading!


Last edited by Orca; 09-22-2014 at 11:13 PM..
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Old 09-20-2014, 07:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
Team Metro
Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 53.56 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 61.98 mpg (US)

Fancy Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 58.72 mpg (US)

Even Fancier Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
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Welcome, Orca. What part of the country are you in?

My parents had a Corolla and I recall the throttle being very touchy as well. The XR being the 'sporty' Matrix, I wonder if it's even worse. Eventually you get used to it. I suspect it's an electronic throttle, so one way to smooth it out might be to add a capacitor in line, but honestly I probably wouldn't mess with it.

Oh also add to your list: block heater, if it doesn't have one (and you have access to a plug).
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Honda mods: Ecomodding my $800 Honda Fit 5-speed beater
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Ecodriving test: Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown



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Old 09-20-2014, 07:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Apple Valley
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Winsight - '00 Honda Insight
90 day: 56.69 mpg (US)

Miaderp - '95 Mazda Miata
90 day: 28.53 mpg (US)
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I got no advice other then a grill block, and you could install a spring underneath the throttle so it requires more pressure to push it down. If there is one thing I love about my insight is the firm throttle. It allows for much, much better throttle adjustments. When I drove my dad's corolla the other day, I hit our fence backing up because I wasn't used to such a soft and sensitive throttle (I didn't damage anything haha, was a light bump).
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Old 09-20-2014, 03:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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There are a number of MATRIX / VIBE owners registered here.

Last edited by gone-ot; 09-22-2014 at 11:43 PM.. Reason: corrected mis-typing of "owners"
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Old 09-22-2014, 10:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Join Date: Sep 2014
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Vernon - '13 Toyota Prius V

Percy - '04 Toyota Matrix XR
90 day: 24.62 mpg (US)
Thanks: 1
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
Welcome, Orca. What part of the country are you in?

My parents had a Corolla and I recall the throttle being very touchy as well. The XR being the 'sporty' Matrix, I wonder if it's even worse. Eventually you get used to it. I suspect it's an electronic throttle, so one way to smooth it out might be to add a capacitor in line, but honestly I probably wouldn't mess with it.

Oh also add to your list: block heater, if it doesn't have one (and you have access to a plug).
Thank you!

I'm from Winnipeg. Hope this coming winter is kinder than the last!

After driving a short bit over the weekend I was able to get the hang of the throttle, though there was a few times where I thought I was close to getting whiplash. My dad said he'll take a look at it when he can, otherwise I'll have to make do.

There is a block heater - it was factory installed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baltothewolf View Post
I got no advice other then a grill block, and you could install a spring underneath the throttle so it requires more pressure to push it down. If there is one thing I love about my insight is the firm throttle. It allows for much, much better throttle adjustments. When I drove my dad's corolla the other day, I hit our fence backing up because I wasn't used to such a soft and sensitive throttle (I didn't damage anything haha, was a light bump).
Oh dear haha, glad no damage was done! That's an idea - I'll see if I can make that possible. I really do like being able to accelerate at my own pace so any advice to get it to not be so energetic is appreciated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Tele man View Post
There are a number of MATRIX / VIBE onwers registered here.
I did go through all of the Matrix profiles and the threads that I could find - that's how I got my mod to-do list started.

I'll admit I forgot about the Vibe... oops. I'll take the time to look at the profiles for the Vibes tonight.
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Old 09-22-2014, 11:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Join Date: Sep 2014
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Vernon - '13 Toyota Prius V

Percy - '04 Toyota Matrix XR
90 day: 24.62 mpg (US)
Thanks: 1
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Small update:

I filled up the tank and started tracking the odometer and the fuel gauge to start getting an idea of the fuel economy. I drove like I usually do - lots of coasting, gradual acceleration (as much as possible with this car), and never exceeding the speed limits. About half was city, half was highway. Roughly a third of the trip on this tank so far had 3 passengers and some cargo in the trunk.

~13% of the tank later, I checked the odometer again and did the math, which gives me 24mpg.

That didn't seem right.

This afternoon I checked the car over as much as I could with what little I know. All the fluids looked good. I couldn't find any dirt on the engine filter. The spark plugs and wires I could find, all looked good (shh I'm short).

Then I tapped and pressed the tires - they were abnormally squishy.

I took the pressure gauge out and measured all of them - they were all around 25 psi. The side wall max on the tires is 44 psi. So I filled them all up to about that number or a bit less (it was my first time pumping up tires so my instincts kept telling me that something was about to explode).

I'll be doing some driving tomorrow and Wednesday so I should start getting an idea of how much improvement the increased psi provides by then.
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Old 09-23-2014, 03:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 1000 Islands, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 22,115

Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
Team Metro
Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 53.56 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 61.98 mpg (US)

Fancy Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 58.72 mpg (US)

Even Fancier Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 64.03 mpg (US)
Thanks: 3,752
Thanked 6,565 Times in 3,403 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orca View Post
~13% of the tank later, I checked the odometer again and did the math, which gives me 24mpg.
Correct me if I'm wrong: you're estimating fuel consumption by looking at the fuel gauge? Not the most reliable method. I wouldn't even try on my car!

Glad you discovered the low tires though.

__________________
Honda mods: Ecomodding my $800 Honda Fit 5-speed beater
Mitsu mods: Oops, I did it again! Bought another cheap, 3-cylinder Mirage. Mods in progress...
Ecodriving test: Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown



EcoModder
has launched a forum for the efficient new Mitsubishi Mirage
www.MetroMPG.com - fuel efficiency info for Geo Metro owners
www.ForkenSwift.com - electric car conversion on a beer budget
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