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Old 03-14-2014, 07:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Marilyn - '02 Chevrolet Prizm Base
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new eco driver from CT

Hi, all! I recently gave up my old (not-so-trusty-anymore) '96 Accord wagon guzzler and bought an '02 Chevy Prizm. It's a step in the right direction, but unfortunately, it has the 3-speed auto, not the 4-speed OD. Since I'm going to need new tires soon, I'm giving serious though to changing the wheels (currently steel wheels with the ugliest hubcaps I've ever seen) as well, to reduce weight. I know there are plenty of driving tips to conserve fuel; unfortunately, I haven't found much info on how to utilize a lot of those techniques with an automatic.
So anyway, after lurking for awhile, I'm a registered member, and I look forward to being part of this group.
Take it easy!

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Old 03-14-2014, 07:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to the site mrmojo.

If you're looking to save money, wheels aren't the place to spend on ecomods. But, do make sure you select a low rolling resistance tire for your replacement. They usually don't cost any more than normal tires and they will get you better mileage.

Speaking of where to spend money, instrumentation! Get yourself a scangauge or ultragauge. It'll help out a lot.
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Old 03-14-2014, 08:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Red Devil - '11 Honda Insight Elegance
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Welcome.
Make a garage entry for your car and register the distance and fuel used by each tank receipt, it will be another instrument and motivator to keep improving on your economy and save money.
Pump them tires, read the 100+ hypermiling tips & start modding!
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2011 Honda Insight + HID, LEDs, tiny PV panel, extra brake pad return springs, neutral wheel alignment, 44/42 PSI (air), PHEV light (inop), tightened wheel nut.
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Old 03-16-2014, 11:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Marilyn - '02 Chevrolet Prizm Base
90 day: 33.95 mpg (US)
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Thanks for the information so far.
Re: wheels... The weight difference of alloy vs. steel is 0.83% lighter curb weight. All other factors equal, this would take 15,500 miles to pay me back. Okay, point taken... :-)
Re: my tires... Glove box sticker says 30 psi, tire sidewall says max 44 psi. I've read folks on this forum go a couple psi higher. Is this higher than the manufacturer's suggested or higher than the sidewall rating? Is it okay for the tire to be pressed up higher than the sidewall max? If I blow a tire because it was pumped up too much, I'm not saving anything in the long run, right?
Re: low resistance tires... Any idea what I might expect for fuel savings putting those on my car?
Sorry for my ignorance. Still learning and I want to do what's right the first time around.
Thanks!
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Old 03-16-2014, 06:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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What tire pressure you can use depends om any things. In my car I found a higher pressure made for a better ride, especially improving cornering and reducing side wind sensitivity. I'd raise it for that alone.

The max sidewall rating is way below what the tire can handle, but in your case I would not go beyond that. The biggest gains are in the bottom end; 30 to 35 has a big effect, 40 to 45 much less so.
44 is already 14 PSI above vehicle recommendation.
Better play it safe and take small steps, and keep track of the handling at every step.

Good quality tires pay themselves back over time, not just in economy but improved grip, batter handling, maybe even less punctures.

Alloy rims usually have big gaps between the spokes causing more drag than steelies; it is easy to mount aerodynamic hubcaps on steelies to further reduce air resistance. If you do a lot of highway that may tip the scale despite the weight.
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2011 Honda Insight + HID, LEDs, tiny PV panel, extra brake pad return springs, neutral wheel alignment, 44/42 PSI (air), PHEV light (inop), tightened wheel nut.
lifetime FE over 0.17 Gmeter or 0.1 Mmile.



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Last edited by RedDevil; 03-16-2014 at 06:38 PM..
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Old 03-16-2014, 06:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Marilyn - '02 Chevrolet Prizm Base
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I don't need tires anytime soon (and don't need wheels at all), but I was "window-shopping" at tire rack dot com earlier today. I think I'm sticking with the steel wheels and saving my cash. I read all the forum threads on the dish/pie plate wheel covers; that sounds like a more fiscally-responsible alternative: more effect on FE and (much) less cost.
Honestly, this is the smallest car I've ever owned, and saving fuel hasn't ever been as important to me as now. I've spent the day reading, waiting to put the theory into practice.
(Now if I could only find the OBD II port in this car and had $150 for a ScanGauge...)
Thanks for the kind advice!
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Old 03-16-2014, 07:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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You're welcome
Spend half the money you saved for the SG on fun things and invest the other half in an UltraGauge. I got one and am moderately pleased with it.
A quick search led to this link: 2000 Chevrolet Prizm - Obd location under port - Fixya
It is almost always under the drivers side dash board btw, usually close to the center console.

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2011 Honda Insight + HID, LEDs, tiny PV panel, extra brake pad return springs, neutral wheel alignment, 44/42 PSI (air), PHEV light (inop), tightened wheel nut.
lifetime FE over 0.17 Gmeter or 0.1 Mmile.



Investors woes:
"In hindsight, I should have placed a bet on the horse that won the race"
"In hindsight, I should have bet more on that horse"
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