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Old 01-26-2010, 01:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
Saturn Driver
 
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Manitowoc WI
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Peanut - '96 Saturn SL
90 day: 37.27 mpg (US)
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New Saturn-driving member

Just a note to introduce myself. I just joined the forum. I bought a 1996 Saturn SL 5-speed a few months ago that I have had reasonable success with in it's bone stock form. In the warm months I can keep the average above 40 mpg. Winter sucks it down a bit. I am following with interest some of the ideas for efficiency modifications and driving techniques found on this forum. I don't plan any radical mods, but my mind is open to what can be done within reason.

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Nels
Manitowoc WI
1996 Saturn SL, 5-sp manual


2011 Fiesta SFE sedan, 6-sp dual dry clutch Powershift transmission
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Old 01-26-2010, 07:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to ecomodder. You got a great starting point for better economy by owning that Saturn! Those cars get great MPG's

I would start by reading these............

100+ Hypermiling / ecodriving tips & tactics for better mpg - EcoModder.com

65+ Vehicle modifications for better fuel economy - EcoModder.com
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Old 01-26-2010, 08:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: Southern California
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1999 Saturn SW2 - '99 Saturn SW2 Wagon
Team Saturn
90 day: 40.49 mpg (US)
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Nels -

Welcome to EM! Whenever I see an unpainted Saturn bumper, I think, "Oooooh, I can get great MPG in that Saturn". Bone stock with a manual tranny is the way to go for MPG.

Are you lucky enough to also have manual steering?

CarloSW2
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:28 AM   #4 (permalink)
Saturn Driver
 
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Manitowoc WI
Posts: 30

Peanut - '96 Saturn SL
90 day: 37.27 mpg (US)
Thanks: 3
Thanked 6 Times in 4 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by cfg83 View Post
Nels -

Welcome to EM! Whenever I see an unpainted Saturn bumper, I think, "Oooooh, I can get great MPG in that Saturn". Bone stock with a manual tranny is the way to go for MPG.

Are you lucky enough to also have manual steering?

CarloSW2
I had the same impression when I saw this car as a back row queen at the used car lot with no sticker on it. I said, "small 4-banger, manual tranny, and nothing else -- exactly what I'm looking for!" The car does indeed have power steering, but nothing else. I looked into deleting the PS when I replaced the serpentine belt shortly after I bought the car, thinking that would be a good time to get the non-PS belt. However changing out the steering gear was more than I wanted to do at the time. Now that I am more familiar with the car, I am not as put off by the idea. There is nothing difficult about working on this car. It is very simple mechanically compared to many cars built in the last 15-20 years.

There's a 97 Saturn SL as plain as this one at another local lot with only 84,000 miles. We may become a two Saturn family soon.
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Nels
Manitowoc WI
1996 Saturn SL, 5-sp manual


2011 Fiesta SFE sedan, 6-sp dual dry clutch Powershift transmission
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:03 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Black Beauty - '09 Honda Accord EX-L
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Welcome to Ecommoder.com.

Make sure you use the MPG tracking utility to log your gas fillups.

If you are interested in reducing belt/pulley drag, consider running without the alternator. I installed a larger battery in the back of my Jeep TJ and ran without the alternator everyday to work. Once, I came home, I simply recharged with a $20 battery charger from Wal-Mart.
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Old 01-27-2010, 10:02 AM   #6 (permalink)
Saturn Driver
 
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Manitowoc WI
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Peanut - '96 Saturn SL
90 day: 37.27 mpg (US)
Thanks: 3
Thanked 6 Times in 4 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgathright View Post
Welcome to Ecommoder.com.

Make sure you use the MPG tracking utility to log your gas fillups.

If you are interested in reducing belt/pulley drag, consider running without the alternator. I installed a larger battery in the back of my Jeep TJ and ran without the alternator everyday to work. Once, I came home, I simply recharged with a $20 battery charger from Wal-Mart.
I logged 14 fillups in the tracking utility yesterday. I have always kept mileage/maintenance logs on spreadsheets for all of my vehicles. It was just a matter of transferring the information. Keeping the logs allows making better informed decisions about maintaining the vehicle.
Attached Files
File Type: xls 96 Saturn.xls (465.5 KB, 26 views)
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Nels
Manitowoc WI
1996 Saturn SL, 5-sp manual


2011 Fiesta SFE sedan, 6-sp dual dry clutch Powershift transmission
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Old 01-27-2010, 02:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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CM400E - '81 Honda CM400E
90 day: 51.49 mpg (US)

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Team Toyota
90 day: 49.53 mpg (US)

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Welcome to EM Nels.

My neighbor had an SC2 of comparable year. He, while not being a ecodriver necessarily, always got very respectable mileage out of it. I can only imagine a little tweaking could have you getting great mileage.

Nice to see another cheese head too.
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Old 01-27-2010, 02:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Live in Tucson AZ, work and car now in Detroit
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Protege - '97 Mazda Protege DX
90 day: 46.42 mpg (US)
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Power Steering Delete.
I (and a few others here) have deleted the PS. (97 Mazda Protoge) I just looped (hooked together) the input and output ports from the stearing gear. I kept it about half full of fluid. This way as I steer I get some PS fluid moving through the system. If you fill it too full then nowhere for it to go when it gets hot and expands.
Others claim you need to just cap/seal the input and output ports. (There is enough "slosh" to keep everything lubricated.)
Still others go the whole way and change out the whole setup with a non-power steering setup.
The steering force in my opion is the same as my non-powersteering small toyota PU. You may have problems in the parking lot/parallel parking if your wife drives it or you have shoulder problems.

Maybe try the loopback method first and if you are stuggling to steer then change out the gearing.

I manually entered fuel log from Mazda (Only owned two years). I'm waiting for an automatic way to upload for PU. (I have 275 tanks over 15 years of data) -- My inner geek.
---Welcome.
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Old 02-02-2010, 03:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Join Date: Dec 2007
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1999 Saturn SW2 - '99 Saturn SW2 Wagon
Team Saturn
90 day: 40.49 mpg (US)
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Nels -

This morning I complemented a dude that owned a bone-stock 2nd gen SL(1?), stickshift, grey metalic paintjob with the no-paint bumper (a complimentary color combo, IMO). I directed him over to saturnfans.com for care and maintenance. I could tell that he was both happy and confused at the same time, .

CarloSW2
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Old 02-02-2010, 04:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Lake Charles
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Black Beauty - '09 Honda Accord EX-L
90 day: 27.44 mpg (US)
Thanks: 12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfg83 View Post
...I directed him over to saturnfans.com for care and maintenance. I could tell that he was both happy and confused at the same time, .

CarloSW2
Good. We don't want him to come here calling us car nutz!

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