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Old 08-24-2017, 06:28 PM   #1
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Default A healthy seventeen year old...car...(?)

I've been wondering about my car's fuel economy recently: specifically, had it dropped below the original EPA highway fuel economy estimate of 32 mpg? I've been doing a lot of highway travel lately and I've been by myself with no extra weight in the car. Additionally, it has been a bit cooler recently here in the Greater L A area so I've not needed to use the A/C much, if at all. These conditions seemed to provide the best opportunity to check on that concern.

The result: 32.45 highway mpg. As I see it, the engine management system is functioning well. Only one part has been replaced within it and that is the front (upstream) O2 sensor, and that was by choice to help in dropping emission readings for smog tests not because of its failure. The engine and transmission seem to be aging well as there has been no appreciable loss of power (no, I've not performed a compression test at any time). Following scheduled maintenance has done me well. My only deviation from the factory recommendations has been the use of 10W-40 engine oil (previously it was 20W-50) with a quart of HY-PER LUBE oil additive during each oil change over the last four years or so. I'm happy with this!

...
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The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

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Old 08-24-2017, 09:10 PM   #2
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Default Re: A healthy seventeen year old...car...(?)

I despise you. I can state this without reservation. All my conservative city driving with my 3.0L V6 gets me no more than 19 mpg if I stay under 60 mph (I'll probably get run off the roads if I don't stay up with the slowest drivers. Today's fill up returned a little over 18 mpg. The extra two cylinders are killing me. AC use drops it down a little. My best was just shy of 25 mpg when commuting around 100 miles round trip to NJ and home in hot ac weather. i'll never see 30 mpg in NYC traffic.............

I think Left Coast drivers with 3 million (glass smooth roads?) miles on their cars can't hold a candle to cars in the Right Coast metropolitan areas like NYC where I never got past 150k miles on any car in my possession. Mpg's? Who cares when a gas station is on almost every block with subliminal messages of "GAS UP HERE BEFORE THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE!? signboards. Well, that's what I think anyway, especially when a station can sell their gas for a few cents less than the guy next to him....... If I ever drive across to the Left Coast, I'll bet I can make 27 mpg, maybe more if I can park on top of a flat bed. That's if my car lasts to 150k miles. Winter salting, for some of youse not familiar with R-O-C-K S-A-L-T thrown onto every street in and around NYC to allow us inexperienced drivers to come out of the wood work and damage cars left and right when we lose traction while racing around. I've even seen youtube videos of NYC (orange painted) sanitation bulldozers and graders sliding in tight corners, only to rip into someone's car..... Seriously, I was on an errand, walking from my house to a local bank two blocks away when just after crossing the street I heard the sounds of two cars crashing less than 50 feet away and behind me. I've never seen or heard an accident in all my life in NYC. Omen? Bad mojo? Should I wear a tin foil hat? Start visiting every house of worship? (there are thousands all over NYC) Carry a rabbit's foot? Stay home? The cars weren't gong more than 25-30 mph.

If I buy a Smart car, I'll bet mpg's can easily hit 50. That's if I survive any fender bender.........

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Old 08-24-2017, 09:42 PM   #3
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Default Re: A healthy seventeen year old...car...(?)

I average about 24mpg, but that's 65% freeway and 35% city. This past week I've been watching the instant and average mpg using my Torque Pro. I found that in the city the mpg sucks, big time, like 2 to 6, but on the open flat freeway it's near 35+. For a 14 year old 3300 pound wagon with 175k miles on it, I'm OK with the mileage that I'm getting. Although not a true comparison, my wife's 2015 Kia Optima SXL with a 2.0 turbo and weighs in around 3500 pounds, averages 22 to 23 in eco mode. On a trip to/from Phoenix on the open road with the cruise on it averaged 33 for the trip.

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Old 08-24-2017, 10:57 PM   #4
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Default Re: A healthy seventeen year old...car...(?)

My poor running LW300 got 26 on my 60 mile commute. My L200 A got about 29 on the same commute. My L200/5 gets 29.5 on the same commute with the a/c on in the afternoons. The enjoyment factor is +10 with the leather/ sunroof stick shift car with the Saab wheels!

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Old 08-24-2017, 10:59 PM   #5
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Default Re: A healthy seventeen year old...car...(?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post

I think Left Coast drivers with 3 million (glass smooth roads?) miles on their cars
Over the border in AZ the roads are smooooooth.

Not here.

THe potholes breed.

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Old 08-24-2017, 11:46 PM   #6
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Default Re: A healthy seventeen year old...car...(?)

I can borrow my nephew's CTS-V that runs on premium and was informed the teeny tiny 12 gallon tank likes gas stations and is scared to be a few miles from the nearest pump. He also has a Ducati that I dream of trying out but I'll probably have to hold a hardened steel short jousting lance to keep vehicles at bay, wear steel toed boots to kick blind drivers in NYC traffic. That's if I can still coordinate left hand clutching, left foot shifts, right hand throttle while dodging suvs, cars, trucks and any other four wheel weapons bent on running motorcycles off the road.........This isn't a problem anywhere else in the country.

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Old 08-27-2017, 11:01 AM   #7
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Default Re: A healthy seventeen year old...car...(?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by pierrot View Post
My only deviation from the factory recommendations has been the use of 10W-40 engine oil (previously it was 20W-50) with a quart of HY-PER LUBE oil additive during each oil change over the last four years or so. I'm happy with this!
Not something I would do - I been using 5W-30 syn-blended and had no issues with mileage or oil problems. And I don't use any kinda conditioners or additive to get 26.8mpg nor any oil leaks. The heavier the oil the harder Winter starts are on the engine is how I see it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
I despise you. I can state this without reservation. All my conservative city driving with my 3.0L V6 gets me no more than 19 mpg if I stay under 60 mph (I'll probably get run off the roads if I don't stay up with the slowest drivers. Today's fill up returned a little over 18 mpg. The extra two cylinders are killing me. AC use drops it down a little. My best was just shy of 25 mpg when commuting around 100 miles round trip to NJ and home in hot ac weather. i'll never see 30 mpg in NYC traffic.............
Your kidding me my v6 gets me overall 26.8 mpg and straight hwy 30 (when traveling to see family) you must be doing alot of stop and go to get 19 mpg. AC uses from what I see is a 1 mpg loss and at 65mph cruise - I am getting 26.8 mpg as I do alot of hwy commutes before hitting the cities. Lead foot I get 25 mpg range.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
If I buy a Smart car, I'll bet mpg's can easily hit 50. That's if I survive any fender bender.........
Before that happens I might go for a Telsa instead.

Last edited by Russet; 08-27-2017 at 11:04 AM.. Reason: revise

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Old 08-27-2017, 05:23 PM   #8
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Default Re: A healthy seventeen year old...car...(?)

Well, my mailbu maxx gets 30mpg with it's 3.5v6.
But, I still use the same trick that I used on my SW2 to achieve 36 mpg with an automatic.
I used 2 ounces of 2-cycle (chainsaw type) oil added to each tank fill-up, and every once in a while added like 2 ounces of either acetone or lacquer thinner to a full tank.

Fdryer, My malibu weighs about 200 pounds more than your LW300 so I would suspect your engine needs a cleaning....so why spend alot on these expensive fuel injector cleaners, when a bit of acetone ($15 a gallon at walmart of Lowes) will last a long while and keeps my mileage higher than it should be.

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Old 08-28-2017, 11:01 PM   #9
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Default Re: A healthy seventeen year old...car...(?)

Recently I changed the fuel filter on my 00 LS1. Added a bit of MMO in there and took her out on the highway with some country driving. Averaged about 34 MPG. I probably could have cracked 35 even if I kept it 100 percent highway. It has been relatively mild here in NJ, so the AC and windows have stayed off and shut. I love tracking fuel economy. It is like trying to beat your own high score.

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Old 08-29-2017, 02:03 AM   #10
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Default Re: A healthy seventeen year old...car...(?)

^Excellent - I'm impressed! I think about fuel economy in much the same way. My best fuel economy check was on a round trip from South Orange County to Mid-City L A, about 125 miles with about five miles on city streets in total. Traveling by myself and with no extra weight in the car I got a "one time only" 36 MPG.

The second best fuel economy check was on a family vacation trip to Northern CA seven years ago. The first stop for fuel was at a town outside of Solvang. After filling the tank and doing the math with the miles driven it showed 33 MPG with the car fully loaded down and tire pressures increased because of it. I suspect you can reach that 35 MPG level!

...
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The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

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Old 08-29-2017, 02:27 AM   #11
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Default Re: A healthy seventeen year old...car...(?)

Quote:
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I despise you.
I am truly worthy of your despisalmentishness, o wise and magnificent one , and I un-humbly accept it with all due ingratitude!!

...
275,000 miles-it keeps on rolling!
The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

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Old 08-29-2017, 08:51 AM   #12
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Default Re: A healthy seventeen year old...car...(?)

I wouldn't do this on a modern vehicle but I use to take 1 gallon of kerosene ( when kero was cheap) to 14 gallons of gas in my 4x4 86 Subaru gl wagon with a 5 speed and carburetor. I use to get 35 mpg with kero and only 28 without.
Man I miss that car.

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Old 08-30-2017, 06:59 AM   #13
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Default Re: A healthy seventeen year old...car...(?)

Do the research.
Kerosene/Clear Kerosene, Diesel fuel #1, Off-road (tractor farm stuff) and Jet engine fuel are all the same animal. Only difference is clear has no dye added, On road diesel is a greeninsh yellow additive and farm stuff, they add red dye.
Buy the cheapest (usually farm use diesel) and add to your tank. Altho, I myself have never used a 14-to-1 ratio.

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Old 08-30-2017, 09:15 AM   #14
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Default Re: A healthy seventeen year old...car...(?)

This is odd thread...I used 87 octane since I owned my current Saturn L300 and get 25 lead foot and cruise 27 mpg without any additive to the oil or gas. I do use 5w-30 synblended and have no issue with mileage. All are of the same fuel family and doesn't gain much mixing from either. I keep track of all my mileage past and new and 87 octane and regular upkeep along with using good Wix filters get mileage only that compares to a new model of the same size. And it's all paid off no payments for owning it. I think alot comes down to the environment you drive in and how maintenance will keep it running or in the shop more. Using cruise helps increase mileage far better then foot control and A/C will depress mileage as any extra usage will cost a bit. Also as anything it's in the upper 200K mileage and for past US built auto that would drop in mileage and repair cost would go up but my Saturn isn't following those trends.

Last edited by Russet; 08-30-2017 at 09:17 AM.. Reason: revise

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Old 08-30-2017, 07:29 PM   #15
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Default Re: A healthy seventeen year old...car...(?)

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Not something I would do - I been using 5W-30 syn-blended and had no issues with mileage or oil problems. And I don't use any kinda conditioners or additive to get 26.8mpg nor any oil leaks. The heavier the oil the harder Winter starts are on the engine is how I see it.
Russet, I understand what you wrote here, but I don't understand the relevance to the original post. Would you please explain this?

...
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The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

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Old 08-31-2017, 02:52 PM   #16
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Default Re: A healthy seventeen year old...car...(?)

My 2000 LW1 has 303K and still running! I get around 30 MPG commuting to/from work, (70 % rural, 30 % hiway). Just getting the motor broken in!!
;-)

I run 5W30 Synth changed with filter change every 3k miles. No special fuel adjustment, I run regular gas.

I have replaced the exhaust with 'free flowing' exhaust parts, (Cherry bomb followed by hush thrush). It's quiet enough and no SES light.

However, it uses a quart of oil every 1500 miles, not leaking. I am starting to look for another vehicle . . .

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Old 09-01-2017, 03:21 AM   #17
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Default Re: A healthy seventeen year old...car...(?)

^That's fabulous! Have you replaced any mechanical parts under the hood? Has the timing chain ever been replaced?

...
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Old 09-01-2017, 07:51 AM   #18
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Default Re: A healthy seventeen year old...car...(?)

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^That's fabulous! Have you replaced any mechanical parts under the hood? Has the timing chain ever been replaced?
I had an issue around 200K, replaced plugs, a few sensors and the coil pack, but that's all, (knock on wood!). Fuel filler air return tube, (the small one), rusted out so I replaced it with some large rubber fuel line. But that's about all.

I have not touched the timing chain, and I don't think it was done before I got the car at about 70k miles. But my consistent 3000 mile oil and filter changes may have saved me.

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Old 09-04-2017, 01:50 PM   #19
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Default Re: A healthy seventeen year old...car...(?)

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Not something I would do - I been using 5W-30 syn-blended and had no issues with mileage or oil problems. And I don't use any kinda conditioners or additive to get 26.8mpg nor any oil leaks. The heavier the oil the harder Winter starts are on the engine is how I see it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pierrot View Post
Russet, I understand what you wrote here, but I don't understand the relevance to the original post. Would you please explain this?
I'm tired of waiting for Russet to reply, whether he's aware of what was posted earlier in this thread or not. Here's why I asked the question.

1) This was an informational thread about my experiences and what I've done along the way relative to maintenance, and manners in which I no longer follow the exact recommendations from the factory.

2) Russet, you have a V6 in your car and I have an ECOTEC 2.2L four cylinder engine in mine. A particular concern for my engine which does not exist with yours, is the timing chain rattle at start up. The timing chain tensioner on these engines is hydraulically activated and, apparently, it loses some of the oil in it so that it doesn't maintain pressure against its timing chain guide which then results in the brief clatter/noise from the timing chain at start up.

Therefore I have a need to correct this issue. Happily, the change to a higher viscosity oil and an additive has almost completely eliminated this problem. Additionally, it has restored some lost compression which added power back to the engine. Is that a bad thing? I think not.

3) There was never any suggestion in the message, nor by me anywhere else in SaturnFans that someone should do as I'm doing with my car. I'm at liberty to experiment with a higher viscosity engine oil and whatever additive or other product on my car as I see fit. If it works I continue using it; if it doesn't then I quit using it. Since what was recommended to me has been successful I continue using it.

4) Southern CA just finished almost nine days of very high day time temps. In Glendora we were regularly over 104 and up to 107degrees F at least twice. Russet, do you experience this kind of heat where you live? (This week will have us at least in the 90's and fluctuating within an eight degree range.)

Examine an oil viscosity chart you'll find that 10W-40 weight oil has a higher higher heat resistance than *w-30. This is good for me based on where I live. If I lived in a generally colder climated then I would use a lower weight oil. However, except for those who reside in the local mountain cmmunities within the San Bernardino and L A Counties, winter day time temps in SoCal don't get much below 48 degress F and that's when it's really cold for us. It's fine with me, Russet, if you wouldn't do oil changes as I do them. Remember, no one has ever suggested that you should.

In a nutshell, my circumstances differ from yours and therefore your reply quoted above is basically irrelevant.

...
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The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

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Old 09-04-2017, 07:51 PM   #20
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Default Re: A healthy seventeen year old...car...(?)

Now boys, keep it civil! LOL

...
2002 L200/5 loaded, loving my stick shift car finally on the road!
2002 L200 grandson's car now
2002 LW300 sold.

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