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Old 08-09-2014, 02:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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New Chevy Sonic owner here

I've always liked econocars, and now I have one that's quiet, fun to drive and has some serious overhead on the power train for modification as well as more than the usual amount of latitude for good versus bad driving -- a Chevy Sonic 1.4 turbo. Have already been trying out driving it more like a hybrid (i.e. keeping the turbo use minimized except when I'm using the turbo as a hybrid would use e-assist) and this enables it to comfortably beat the EPA rating on the highway. Next step, testing out 93 octane fuel, a lower resistance air filter and ditching the stock tires for some LRR ones. Possible future steps, a performance tune and a different air intake. I think there is a lot of scope on this car for leaving the EPA figures far behind even at posted speed limits.

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Old 08-09-2014, 03:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to the site.

What kind of mileage are you getting with it now?
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Old 08-09-2014, 03:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Congrats on the new car! My fiance has a Sonic 1.8L and I have its big brother- the Cruze 1.8L. I'm jealous though, wish I had the turbo like you. They're really well-built cars. As you probably know, they're the only compacts built in the USA.

We're both beating the EPA ratings pretty easily. I would recommend a grill block before a tune. It's basically free and it's guaranteed better mileage on the highway. GM says the lower grill block is good for +1 hwy mpg on the Cruze.

Here's a thread about that:
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...ead-29124.html

Just take it off before you drive through Death Valley in the summer
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Old 08-09-2014, 03:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Welcome! Be careful about "low restriction" air filters. They almost always let more dirt into your engine
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Old 08-09-2014, 04:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksa8907 View Post
Welcome! Be careful about "low restriction" air filters. They almost always let more dirt into your engine
For example the K&N oiled ones?
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Old 08-09-2014, 04:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daox View Post
Welcome to the site.

What kind of mileage are you getting with it now?
Highway miles, about the best controlled test I've done of it came in at around 41 MPG calculated over a 420 mile stretch, I would guess a 71mph average with the AC on, in other words, 4mpg over the EPA. The main strategy is to lay off the turbo by turning cruise off in the hillier segments of the drive, allowing the car to slow uphill and then regain speed down. Of course that requires a bit of vigilance on the downhill stretches as you can gain speed too fast for other motorists/cops etc. Next time I'll try knocking a few mph off that average, but with the way certain people drive in the summer it's a bit scary to go slow.

City driving, well, we're talking Chicago, so it's a lost cause trying to get a measurement under controlled test conditions. But at least not a lost cause trying to drive better. I have estimated city driving based on short term measurements from the dashboard computer anywhere from the high teens to above 40. It's completely unpredictable; all you can do is time the lights, drive with moderation, leave as much space in front as you dare (not easy in Chicago where everyone cuts in) and hope for the best. What is noteworthy is I had a Prizm 5MT for 12 years -- three hundred pounds less weight, a marginally lower drag coefficient and a manual transmission which I was continually careful to short-shift and never wore out the clutch on -- and this heavy little automatic with a turbo is at least equalling the Prizm's fuel mileage already at only 2000 miles. But I get the sense it is capable of much more.
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Old 08-09-2014, 10:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Changing your airfilter most likely won't change you mpg, the throttle plate unless at full throttle controls the amount of air flow not the filter, remove the filter the throttle plate closes a tiny bit more. Same air flow = same amount of fuel = same mpg.

There are some guys doing tunes and running E85 putting down some good numbers. Increased MPG isn't the numbers there are going after though. Instead of trying 93 ocatane, I'd look for some E30 from a blender pump or mix your own.
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Old 08-09-2014, 11:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shorebreeze View Post
For example the K&N oiled ones?
Yes. If you look at race teams, they either use no filter because they rebuild the engine after every run. Or they use paper filters.
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Old 08-10-2014, 12:20 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Changing to one of those reusable filters means you dont have to replace your air filter or even clean it that frequently. For mpg its unnoticable. For power, maybe but you arent running full boost or having a lack of power?

Some of the kn kits contain parts that replace oem parts that changes the air flow and that results in more power and some times mpg.

I use kn cause I dont want to pay 30 bucks every 5 thousand miles for a new air filter. and at one time I use to drive 300 miles a day, so that would add up fast.
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Old 08-10-2014, 07:48 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm interested in the results of your tune when you get it. You have a lot of options there from optimizing the engine for an octane level of gas and a ton more. Sounds interesting.

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