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Old 08-15-2013, 12:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Berry - '01 Saturn SL1
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New: $800 2001 Saturn SL1 - getting 40mpg

Hi,

I just sold my gas-guzzling SUV (18 mpg) and got an $800 2001 Saturn SL1 with 248k miles. (I wanted to buy a Toyota Echo, but couldn't find a decent one for $3000.) To my amazement, the little Saturn hooptie got 39.96 mpg on the first tank, with open windows and underinflated tires.

Definitely a keeper. So now I brought it to the shop to get everything in shape. And then I will get that thing to 45 mpg, even if I have to push it.

Andy

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Old 08-15-2013, 12:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to the site!

Yeah those little Saturns can really pump out the good mileage with that 1.9L engine. Congrats on the new car.
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Old 08-15-2013, 02:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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45 shouldn't be much of a stretch. Congrats on the find. Long may it run!
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Old 08-15-2013, 02:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Soon you'll be trying to break the 50MPG barrier...
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:23 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Welcome to ecomodder, Andy.

Ditching the gas-guzzler is the most efficient change you can make

Quote:
Originally Posted by andreasschmieg View Post
To my amazement, the little Saturn hooptie got 39.96 mpg on the first tank, with open windows and underinflated tires.

And then I will get that thing to 45 mpg, even if I have to push it.
Push some more air in those tyres, and you'll be halfway to the next target.
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Old 08-18-2013, 03:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I didn't know those cars had such a good MPG! Thanks!
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Old 08-18-2013, 04:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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And aren't those Saturns non-metal on the outside? I'm not sure about Minnesota, but here in Wisconsin, every vehicle seems to have salt rust. Except those Saturns.

Great find!
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Old 08-18-2013, 09:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smurf View Post
And aren't those Saturns non-metal on the outside? I'm not sure about Minnesota, but here in Wisconsin, every vehicle seems to have salt rust. Except those Saturns.
Earlier Saturns had plastic composite body panels, too bad it came to an end when Saturn started to become something like an American equivalent to Opel.
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Old 09-03-2013, 03:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Berry - '01 Saturn SL1
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Correct. The Saturn S-Series (SL1, SL2, SW1, SW2, SC1, SC2) has plastic panels on the sides. Only the hoods and roof are metal. They look great until the driver's seat breaks through the floor (metal).
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Old 09-03-2013, 06:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The single cam (your car) are great at getting 40 on a routine basis. Dual cams, like mine, are a little more thirsty. Even though they look good from the outside the front a rear subframe are prone to rust, as is the rear door sills. I pulled my trim piece off and found rust greater than the size of a dollar bill, might want to check yours. Plastic body panels are great but it gets cold up where you are and the plastic gets brittle, when they are impacted they crack and more likely, shatter.

Arcosine has a SC1 and gets 50mpg with his car. He's done a lot of aero and I think uses some EOC as well. Not sure if his boat tail is currently on or off...

Is yours a manual or auto trans?

saturnfans.com is a great source for keeping that heap running. First thing you should do is make sure the ECTS is the new design, brass, unit. It should be, as the plastic ones usually break around 150K miles. Just keep reading over there, whole bunch of info to be absorbed. DIYguy has a few threads on upping the eco by swapping sensors and fooling others. First investment should be a scangauge or ultragauge...I'm starting to become jealous of you OBD2 people lol.

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