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Old 03-11-2013, 03:43 PM   #21
bobyjones
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Default Re: mpg this as good as it gets or can it be better?

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Originally Posted by underthehood View Post
OP depending on your fuel and driving conditions it probably is fine (your MPG). The twin cam cars have a stupid gear ratio that has the engine beating cheeks at 70+. Stay 65 under. You got a lot of advice here some good some not.
1. Don't waste your money buying special "cones" for your filter. Waste of $$$ with no effect other than to possibly REDUCE economy and power. These are not deep breathing engines. In fact they are rather plebeian.
2.As for your tires here too yeah in the old days of bias ply tires. Today run them at door spec or just a TINY bit above. I think spec is 30 front 26 rear.
You could go 32/28. If you want to know the truth of overinflation check the mythbusters episode that proved it false. These cars are so light they don't take well to much over inflation before they get bouncy and squirrely.
3.Lose the Bosch platinums. Go with the NGK for your car.
4.Keep it in good tune, get that bearing and CV fixed and a good alignment.
5. Make sure your t/stat and ects are good too.
Use only Mobil 1 trans fluid (or better i.e. transynd or the amsoil stuff old nuc recommends). Watch your oil level
Come summer you should be able to see mid to upper 30's for MPG but cold weather really takes a toll on these engines (worse than almost any other car I have ever owned).
Synthetic oil can help a TINY amount too. Not because (as some think) of less friction but because it flows faster and with less effort when cold.
I have seen as good as low 40's but only with very judicious driving, staying right around 60 no a/c and summer with no bad wind or weather. But 35 to 38 is more the "norm".
Anyway as I said lots of advice, some old wives tales some true.
32 and 26 is way to low psi for your tires
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Old 03-11-2013, 04:49 PM   #22
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Default Re: mpg this as good as it gets or can it be better?

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32 and 26 is way to low psi for your tires
30/26 is specified by the factory. In winter I run them 2 lb higher. There is absolutely no need for higher pressure on a car this light. Running around with 36 or more is worthless and makes the car handle and ride far worse.
I get over 100k on a set of tires and never have a speck of uneven wear. I rotate them between 8-10k and watch my pressures.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:59 PM   #23
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Default Re: mpg this as good as it gets or can it be better?

I've seen some really good info on this thread, but also some that I would consider misinformation at best.

There is no "must use" part that will net any significant gains in MPG on these cars, or any "must use" tire pressure. My car has none of the suggested "must use" items and consistently gets very good real world MPG. I have little or any doubt that I could pull 48-50 MPG at lower highway speeds and no traffic. I've had tanks well into the 40s on a trip using AC and hitting stop and go traffic jams for 1/2 or so.

My last years MPG average is almost 38 MPG, with the longest single distance trip at right around 50 miles, and the car was also used around town for errands and quite a few short trips. The mix leans towards highway driving with speeds at 65-70 most of the time.

I don't use NGK plugs
I don't overinflate my tire
I don't need some super dooper tranny fluid
My best MPG return is consistently on cheaper gas and I've tested many
I run conventional oil in the engine
I don't drive like a granny


By far the biggest factor in an auto tranny twin cammer is general state of tune, and keeping the highway revs down. Certainly regular maintenance items such as not having hosed alignment specs and such some into the picture, but don't look for any single magic bullet either.
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:06 PM   #24
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Default Re: mpg this as good as it gets or can it be better?

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30/26 is specified by the factory. In winter I run them 2 lb higher.
.
You OVER inflate your tires and admit it. That coming from someone who thinks overinflation is a 'waste' tells you a lot.

I've experimented with it. Overinflation by 4 - 6 psi helps increases my MPG about 2 MPG. Not a myth.
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Old 03-12-2013, 03:27 AM   #25
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Default Re: mpg this as good as it gets or can it be better?

Awww man what's wrong with the Bosch plugs? I have a set of +4 platinums coming from RockAuto, they wear out quickly or does the DOHC not like them? They were cheap enough (with rebate)
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Old 03-12-2013, 07:09 AM   #26
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Default Re: mpg this as good as it gets or can it be better?

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Awww man what's wrong with the Bosch plugs? I have a set of +4 platinums coming from RockAuto, they wear out quickly or does the DOHC not like them? They were cheap enough (with rebate)
The fine wire plugs tend to have a much higher failure rate in these cars. There are exceptions at times, but most who use them seem to have spark plug related problems at some point. This is due to the nature of the ignition system in the cars. Some of the "normal" tip double platinum plugs work just fine as will some of the normal tip single plats, but they might experience shorter life with the single plats.

Overall no plug gives real gains or advantages over stock, but a few will results in earlier failures. I'd attempt to return your plugs if it is cost effective and go pick up some standard copper core conventional plugs. You'll here a million bazillion times to buy only NGK part number XXXX, but personally I think that is just something repeated that many times by people who have not tried other plugs. In our car NGKs were the shortest lived as well as the only plugs tried in the car that caused a slight ping under certain conditions.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:16 AM   #27
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Default Re: mpg this as good as it gets or can it be better?

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You OVER inflate your tires and admit it. That coming from someone who thinks overinflation is a 'waste' tells you a lot.

I've experimented with it. Overinflation by 4 - 6 psi helps increases my MPG about 2 MPG. Not a myth.
It is a myth. I don't do it for MPG I do it because of the very wide temp range we see here (sometimes to well below 0) and I find that a SLIGHT over in inflation at a NORMAL temp keeps me at a safer level when we have a severe temp drop. In spring
Again mythbusters (not me) did a whole fully scientific experiment on the myth of severe over inflation. They measured fuel to the tiniest fractions by weight on a closed course and controlled environment so everything was equal. They found that if the tires were SEVERELY under inflated they burned a tiny fraction more fuel on the course (but they noted the car was nearly on the rims and squishing around). They than severely (60 psi) and again took fuel use readings and so NO DIFFERENCE from normal pressure.
In the old days of bias and bias belted tires there was a difference. But modern tires no. If running them too high makes you feel good so be it but I did experiment with my own and all I got for my trouble was a car that was ill handling and bounced off every little bump all over the road and rattled my fillings out. Maybe TX has nicer roads than we do. But again in NORMAL temps my cars sit at stock inflations
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:05 AM   #28
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Default Re: mpg this as good as it gets or can it be better?

When these cars were built the general run of the mill OEM tire was rated at a max inflation pressure to support the stated max load was 30 to 35psi cold. The tire is rated for a max load of about 3x the actual static load. If you go look at the tires you have on the car and they have a similar max inflation pressure and load capacity as the original OEM tire then the door sticker is still a decent starting point and if they are different then the door sticker no longer applies.
The door sticker was not carved into stone tablets delivered by Moses from the top of a mountain. It is only related to a specific brand and design of tire that is no longer available.
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Old 03-12-2013, 01:05 PM   #29
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Default Re: mpg this as good as it gets or can it be better?

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The fine wire plugs tend to have a much higher failure rate in these cars. There are exceptions at times, but most who use them seem to have spark plug related problems at some point. This is due to the nature of the ignition system in the cars. Some of the "normal" tip double platinum plugs work just fine as will some of the normal tip single plats, but they might experience shorter life with the single plats.

Overall no plug gives real gains or advantages over stock, but a few will results in earlier failures. I'd attempt to return your plugs if it is cost effective and go pick up some standard copper core conventional plugs. You'll here a million bazillion times to buy only NGK part number XXXX, but personally I think that is just something repeated that many times by people who have not tried other plugs. In our car NGKs were the shortest lived as well as the only plugs tried in the car that caused a slight ping under certain conditions.
Thanks for the explaination. I'll pick up some different plugs then and use the Bosch for one of my family members' cars. Happy that the plugs are so easy to get to vs on my current daily driver.
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:57 PM   #30
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Default Re: mpg this as good as it gets or can it be better?

I drive about 70/30 highway split I guess, and get about 34 MPG combined in the NJ winter. I warm my car up for about 15 minutes before I leave for work at 315AM...Do about 75 on the highway. 5 speed 99 SL
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Old 03-12-2013, 05:37 PM   #31
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Default Re: mpg this as good as it gets or can it be better?

You will get much better mileage once you get past the cold weather and do not have to allow the 15 minute warm up period.
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Old 03-12-2013, 05:41 PM   #32
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Default Re: mpg this as good as it gets or can it be better?

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I drive about 70/30 highway split I guess, and get about 34 MPG combined in the NJ winter. I warm my car up for about 15 minutes before I leave for work at 315AM...Do about 75 on the highway. 5 speed 99 SL
Thanks for posting! I did about 230 miles highway and 80 city and got 33.6mpg. I has been raining and in the 40's mostly, with a couple of frosty mornings where I let it run a bit while I defrosted the windows.
I have a'98 SL2 5 speed, the tranny seems to be geared for drag racing...spinning 3K RPMs at 70mph...
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:11 PM   #33
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Default Re: mpg this as good as it gets or can it be better?

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I warm my car up for about 15 minutes before I leave for work
Wastes 15 minutes of fuel - the only a dvangtage is youget intoa warmer car in cold weather.

The Saturn was designed as an economy car. The specified tire pressure was based on the best compromise between safety, economy, handling, and tire life. While lower pressure can result in a significant increse in fuel use and other issues such a slower speed hydroplaning, higher pressure will NOT provide a corresponding improvement in fuel consumption - but it may compromise handling and tread life. The specific tire in use enters in to the pciture here.

On the pure energy content basis, 10% ethanol should reduce MPG by about 3% (around 1 MPG) compared to the same "pure" gasolene, but YMMV. Keep in mind that the energy content of gaolene varies with specific seasonal and product blends by around plus or minus 4% of the nominal average, that is about as much as the 10% ethanol penalty. My experience in a 10-mile suburban commute is that MPG will peak in spring and fall, and bottom in winter and summer (see the chart among my photos, based on 14 years of data).
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:02 PM   #34
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Default Re: mpg this as good as it gets or can it be better?

Alright just filled up this morning and got 31.7mpg on that last tank. I didn't use the defrost but like 2x's and just for a couple of minutes.

5spd cars will do better than a slush-a-matic.

Checking out the revised ratings for my saturn (dohc/auto) on fueleconomy.gov and it showed 32 highway. 26 combined and 22 city.

So the 4 tanks I have put in it already have been 30.7, 30.3, 31.1, and 31.7.
It would probably do the actual sticker mileage of 35mpg highway, if I used 100% real gas and not the ethanol blended gas.

I did take the Bosch platinums out last night and installed some ngk but they were nickel not copper. Anyway, not too bad for a car I gave $650 for and have installed a radiator, a valve body, and a temp sensor.

I guess power windows are the next fix unless I convert them to manual.
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:22 PM   #35
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Default Re: mpg this as good as it gets or can it be better?

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When these cars were built the general run of the mill OEM tire was rated at a max inflation pressure to support the stated max load was 30 to 35psi cold. The tire is rated for a max load of about 3x the actual static load. If you go look at the tires you have on the car and they have a similar max inflation pressure and load capacity as the original OEM tire then the door sticker is still a decent starting point and if they are different then the door sticker no longer applies.
The door sticker was not carved into stone tablets delivered by Moses from the top of a mountain. It is only related to a specific brand and design of tire that is no longer available.
old nuc knows it all, anyhow my sl2 says 32-34 psi on the door, i havent seen any other numbers ever for an sl2, there is some misinformation out there about everything and anything out there, so just do what works best for your tires and type of driving, i have 205 60 15s and they are way too soft below 32psi, i got a wider tire so i could put more psi in them safely, ive gotten 45 mpg in a 95 sl2 automatic, your point is?
there are so many variables that control mpg, for example i have done aero mods to my car that make it more efficient at 70mph so i can get the same milage id get at 60mp, why should i have to drive like grandma to get good mileage? i can easily get 40mpg in a 99sl2 5spdd at 70mph

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Old 03-15-2013, 10:26 PM   #36
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Default Re: mpg this as good as it gets or can it be better?

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for example i have done aero mods to my car that make it more efficient at 70mph so i can get the same milage id get at 60mp,
Show some proof - like a picture or two.
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:45 PM   #37
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Default Re: mpg this as good as it gets or can it be better?

well as of now my memory will serve as this proof you speak of

it was 60-70degrees out and i was driving 71mph average to ct from ma for 4 hours in one day, this was in my gassavers.org days

flat road i measured 220miles on 5.5 gallons of gas i have always had 34-38psi in my tires and from time to time 40
I also may or may have not had a wai at the time, but i did it i even took pictures that are probably lost, except this one

best proof i have that was on a trip to hartford I somehow figured out if i dont go under the full fuel line before 60miles im getting 45mpg or more or around there, the trick is stay under 3000 rpms or 3150 after 3200 fuel is sucked down like a toilet
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:49 PM   #38
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No no. I'm talking about the aero mods - a picture or two of what you did to the car.
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:01 PM   #39
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its easy I covered the two front bumper ports on either side of the radiator with plastic and got some plastic buttons to hold it into place, i drilleed holes for the buttons to go into and then caulked it by like tapering the edge with the high grade paintable caulk-im a remodeller so i can use this stuff like nothing, basically to allow air to flow well over it,then I cut out the bottom portions of my rear bumper in 2 cuts that bring the rear bumper up to the pastic mesh behind/under the bumper and evenly cut down the middle and left a big piece of the bottom lip rear bumper in the middle intact making two curved opening on each side instead of just a flat bumper, it passed inspection for like 4 years like that no problems, the cut extend to where the side of the rear bumper meets the back on each side of the car, and kind of looks like the rear of a prius-i kind of took ideas from it, my neighbor had a prius too, so that made it very easy to visualize for me
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:12 PM   #40
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Default Re: mpg this as good as it gets or can it be better?

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No no. I'm talking about the aero mods - a picture or two of what you did to the car.
wow, I didn't know you can make a car all transparent and have flip 3D windows...
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