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Old 11-10-2011, 01:24 PM   #1
snevetssd
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1997
Information 97 sl2 fuel mileage. Feedback welcome

Hello to all. I have already gone through the site and was not able to find an answer so I will pose this for response. We have a 97 sl2 manual, 180,000+ miles.
Currently around town we have been getting 25 MPG +/-. Recently, I took the vehicle for a much longer drive (2.5 hrs, each way) and got 37 MPG. I was impressed, but still confused at such a difference in fuel consumption. So my question is, is this typical and could a worn TPS cause such a disparity. Just wanted to get some input before I shotgun $34.00 at it. ECTS & FPR were replaced in the last 3 months. The ECTS brought me from 22 back up to 25. Yes the engine uses its share of oil and we stay on top of that. Car keeps running and I would like to bet better mileage for the local driving that it is used for. 14 mile round trip, usually twice a day. Thanks for reading.

D

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Old 11-10-2011, 01:57 PM   #2
PlasticCarsRock
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1995 SL2
Default Re: 97 sl2 fuel mileage. Feedback welcome

Don't replace the TPS. They don't fail very often, and there are 10-20 other things more likely to effect your gas mileage. If you're concerned, look on youtube for a video by richpin06a, which shows how to test it.

Your observed behavior is not abnormal. Your mileage will always be much worse on shorter trips for several reasons: highway vs "city" driving. Shorter trips often involve more stopping and accelerating, which uses considerably more gas than constant speed on the highway, particularly if you drive aggressively. Even if the short trip is also mostly highway, a much higher percentage of your trip is spent accelerating because there less time at constant speed, but the same amount of time accelerating.

Also, until the engine reaches full operating temperature, it will use a lot more gas. When it's first started, the PCM cannot determine the air fuel ratio, so it adds extra fuel to make sure it's not too lean. Once it warms up a bit, the O2 sensor will start to work, but the PCM still keeps it a bit rich until it reaches full temperature. The PCM also retards the ignition timing until it reaches operating temperature (which further decreases your gas mileage).

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Old 11-10-2011, 02:01 PM   #3
David R
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1997 SW2
Default Re: 97 sl2 fuel mileage. Feedback welcome

I have a 97 SW2 and it can be really awful, by my standards in the city. Really depends on road conditions and your driving style. If you never get out of 2nd gear and you're heavy footed, not good for fuel economy.

I have a driving route that has a lot of badly timed lights, one time I can get 5 of 6 lights, the next 2 of 6 lights. Well you get the idea...

That said, a sluggish Front O2 sensor can also bring down your city economy.

If your TPS is worn bad enough that the PCM can't decide whether to accelerate or not, would likely have an effect as well.

...
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2000 Honda Civic SI 5sp 172K km, AKA EX Coupe - Gone
1997 SW2 DOHC Auto 325K km - Stored for winter, used in summer

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Old 11-10-2011, 02:03 PM   #4
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Default Re: 97 sl2 fuel mileage. Feedback welcome

I would say that your car is not performing far from specs and would not worry much.

...
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Sticker: $13,995 As of 09/30/17: 223,751 Miles - SOLD

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Old 11-10-2011, 02:53 PM   #5
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1997 SL2
Default Re: 97 sl2 fuel mileage. Feedback welcome

If you trust the government...

The original EPA was 27/37 mpg, the new EPA is 23/33

So I'd say your mpg falls within the normal range

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Old 11-10-2011, 07:18 PM   #6
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Default Re: 97 sl2 fuel mileage. Feedback welcome

In my '98 SC2, I am getting:

~31 mpg around town (lightfoot)
~35 mpg highway (55 to 75-ish mph)

and, it has a bad wheel bearing and AM radio static

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Old 11-10-2011, 07:32 PM   #7
mattwithcats
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2002 SL2
Default Re: 97 sl2 fuel mileage. Feedback welcome

Change 5th gear, get one from a SL/SL1. You will go from a .737 to a .607 ratio, (if i remember my ratios correctly)
20-25% better mileage in 5th, and the swap is easy to do.
Look up MP2 / MP3 swap

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Old 11-10-2011, 07:40 PM   #8
ProDarwin
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Default Re: 97 sl2 fuel mileage. Feedback welcome

That sounds pretty normal.

Remember, everyone has their own perception of "city" driving and it varies from area to area, so don't always believe what others say. I find that most people not near major cities think "city" driving means not-interstate.

...
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Old 11-11-2011, 12:39 AM   #9
td1238
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Default Re: 97 sl2 fuel mileage. Feedback welcome

I got similar mileage before I rebuilt my engine. Now I get over 30 in the city, and almost 40 in the country.

Mileage will drop in the winter, when warm-up times are longer and oil is thicker (trans and engine).

Regarding the TPS, don't just blindly replace it, and don't just blindly not replace it. Either way isn't good. There are methods of testing the TPS. Either back-probe the center terminal and watch voltage change with reference to the chassis as the throttle is opened through its range (key in 'run,' engine off), or measure resistance between center terminal and each end terminal, one end terminal at a time, while moving throttle through its range (disconnect plug for resistance test). Voltage or resistance should change smoothly and start and stop in the same place repeatedly. Jumping around indicates wear. Replace control if worn.

Replace only with same number stamped on the back. Some auto parts supply stores have incorrect numbers matched to incorrect models in their computers.

My TPS started acting up at 190,000 miles.

It is also wise, especially on an engine with this many miles, to clean the injectors periodically. If you have never done this to this engine before, start with a few cans of good cleaner on a quarter tank. Then repeat at least once a year following the instructions on the can. Once per oil change is ideal. Injector balance is especially critical with MPI engines. TBI engines are not as critical of injector imbalance. Imbalance in a MPI engine can cause burned valves.

Spraying a healthy amount of throttle body cleaner can clean sludge off of the intake valves.

You can also test the ignition coils. Their secondary resistance should be over 8k ohms when coils have normalized to 70*F. Resistance lower than this is a pretty sure sign that internal shorts have developed, and is good cause for replacement. Passing the resistance test does not surely mean that the coils are fine, but it is likely that they are. Internal winding insulation failure can be caused by improper spark plug use, improper gap, or general lack of maintenance to the ignition system (plugs and wires), or can merely be caused by normal use and aging of the coils.

Weak coils will cause misfiring, especially when under load and at high speeds.

Do not blindly replace parts, but do not blindly ignore parts less likely to fail, either. Perform tests periodically and replace parts as tests warrant.

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