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Old 03-10-2013, 08:48 PM   #1
lilredxj99
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Dizzy mpg this as good as it gets or can it be better?

I bought a 99 sc2 dohc/auto 154,xxx on it $650. Thanks to this website and a little bit of research, I have fixed the major problems w/ this car.

ECTS and t-stat. Power windows switch repaired, and replaced the valvebody w/ sonnex sleeve.

This thing runs good, and I'm excited that I'm averaging approx 30.7 mpg. I am not a leadfoot. It doesn't see anything over 3k rpm. I drive 42 miles one way to work. 20-22 miles of it I run 70mph. I've tried w/ cruise and w/o cruise.

The plugs look good, but they're bosch platinum. It is going to need a RF wheel bearing as it growls a little when turning to the left. The tire press is 30 all around. It does run at 3/8 on the temp gauge.

Anything else? And what is your real world average?

I'm currently scrapping a 97 sc1 w/ sohc and 5spd and keeping any usable parts for my 99. Wonder if I should try to swap an O2 sensor and see if it helps...
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Old 03-10-2013, 08:54 PM   #2
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Default Re: mpg this as good as it gets or can it be better?

30 all around is not right check the door inside there is specs i belive the front is 32 and the back is 34 i may be wrong but i know the front and back is different for psi
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Old 03-10-2013, 08:56 PM   #3
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Default Re: mpg this as good as it gets or can it be better?

Also at 55 to 60 miles an hour i drove 100 miles and saw 38 mpg a year ago but havnt drivin that far in awhile at one sitting and mine is also a SOHC but every 5 miles an hour over 60 the tac goes up hire and hire and wind is displaced more its a proven fact that every 5 miles over cost a aditional 23-53 cents in gas doing that.
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:00 PM   #4
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Default Re: mpg this as good as it gets or can it be better?

if you get a cone air intake too its less restrictive and the engine doesnt have to work as hard to pull air in and when driving is your ac or front deffogs on this guy awhile ago took his windshield wipers off and always had the windows up and removed alot of weight on his s series by removing spare tire and the tow thing in the back and saw 40 mpgs with a dohc i belive but the more electronics you have on the more your engine has to create electricty the less gas and few miles that gas takes you. So driving with only what you need will also come into effect.
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:02 PM   #5
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Default Re: mpg this as good as it gets or can it be better?

ALSO TOSS THE BOSCH PLATNIUMS GET THE NGK PLUGS THE PLATINUM IS HORRIBLE OTHER PEOPLE WILL CHIME in on that too. just warning you they are crapp. Also tire alignment can help and having a nice set of tires that arnt for winter and are a decent brand helps alot too.
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:03 PM   #6
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Default Re: mpg this as good as it gets or can it be better?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicktheviperman View Post
30 all around is not right check the door inside there is specs i belive the front is 32 and the back is 34 i may be wrong but i know the front and back is different for psi
The specs say 30 in front and 26 in the back, but I wouldn't recommend that for optimum MPG. I believe those specs were set for 'comfort' in mind.

1) You will get better MPG with tires over inflated. I've been setting mine at 34 - 37 PSI on all fours.
2) You will get better MPG if you drive slower. I've found for optimum fuel economy, that 60 MPH is as fast as you want to go - the slower the better.
3) The next best thing you can do is anticipate traffic lights (and traffic). The biggest loss in MPG is when accelerating from a complete stop. I often am able to avoid this by taking my foot of the gas when approaching a red light and coasting. Do the same when people tap their brakes in front of you.

There are lots of things you can do to improve MPG - just depends on how far you're willing to take it.
...
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:05 PM   #7
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Default Re: mpg this as good as it gets or can it be better?

ditch the bosch platinums for basic NGK coppers.

you'd get better mileage with a 5-speed.
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:24 PM   #8
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Default Re: mpg this as good as it gets or can it be better?

No ac. But, I have been running w/ defrost on windshield.

It's hard to not run defrost when there's frost and when you get into your car right after a shower w/ wet hair and all... I don't start it and let it idle.

I think the flex joint needs replaced also.

So much for not running defrost this week. Supposed to be low 30's the next 3-4 days.

I am not a fan of Bosch platinum. They were in it.

I keep a 1/2 gal of AF, a quart of atf, a quart of oil, and some washer fluid in the car. Nothing extra really in it. A bag of dirty work clothes and my lunch box are the only other things that are in it.
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:54 AM   #9
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Default Re: mpg this as good as it gets or can it be better?

With the auto and/or manual in the twin cam engines cruise RPM is a big factor, and you can only expect but so much. Driving types and cycles is also a big factor, but if you are pulling 30+ you are doing OK. My last tank on my manual SL1 was over 38.

I'd agree with others on the plugs. The Bosch in particular seems to erode quickly. I'm not nearly as biased as most towards NGK, it was the shortest lived plug in our Saturn. But either way conventional tipped copper core plugs are just fine, as are some of the double platinums with the more conventional tip design.
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:07 AM   #10
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Sad Re: mpg this as good as it gets or can it be better?

you must do these things for more mpg
ngk plugs
34psifront 36 psi rear at least
65mph no more i now keep it at 34psi all around, these day maybe up to 36

then your next step is synthetic oil and an alignment

and trust me i know alot about mpgs

i have a 5speed sl2 1999 and ive gotten 45 mpg with warm air intake at 60mph with 40psi rear and something like 36 front, i had spacers on so that helps relieve the crappiness the extra psi provided, and have lifetime alignment coverage at firestone(though i willl never buy their tires)$150 I also removed the ac for less bs in the engine and dropped 100lbs

also you will get worse mpg in the winter

Last edited by bobyjones; 03-11-2013 at 07:15 AM.
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:21 AM   #11
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Default Re: mpg this as good as it gets or can it be better?

30.7 MPG is actually pretty respectable around here. I have a 1999 SW2, and have been able to pull about 30 MPG regularly. Best has been 33MPG on winter blend, and looking to see if the changes I made will have an effect this summer.

From my observations of people's reports here, you should be able to pull 30-40 in a DOHC and 40-50 in a SOHC. Transmission type has been reported to have little effect between comparable cars (there are mods you can do to improve MPGs, but depend on the car type you have).

Several things will affect mileage:

(A) Using cruise is supposed to decrease mileage, for a variety of reasons. DFCO (Deceleration Fuel Cut Off) is what happens in an electronic fuel-injected system when you take your foot off the gas while at speed. Fuel is cut off to the injectors during "coast." So learning to coast down off ramps, coming up to red lights, down hills, etc. will help you take advantage of this.

(B) Cheap gas will affect MPG. Cheap (Costco, Sam's Club, etc.) use an ethanol blend which will cost you 10-15% in mileage. Try to hit name brand dealers (BP Mobil, Marathon) for best results (some states mandate ethanol blends and you may have no choice).

(C) Winter blend fuel costs you MPG. Expect a bump soon when summer blends start to kick in. (Cold weather will also have an affect, as colder air is more dense and the PCM will increase fuel delivery to compensate)

(D) Keeping the drive train in tune and car well-maintainted. Plugs, wires, ECTS, thermostat, good fluids, working sensors will all help the PCM to maintain the engine in optimal condition.

(E) Speed you drive at. There are studies that you can look up which confirm that the faster you drive, the more your mileage suffers. The break-even point for wind resistance is well below 55 MPH, so going slower is supposed to help. Try not going 80, but 65 (Don't piss off traffic too much, or getting out of the ditch may rob you of your gains.... )

(F) How much highway driving. The amount of highway vs stop-n-go driving will affect your mileage. Also, taking many short trips never lets the engine get up to temp for optimum efficiency. When making a series of stops, hit the farthest one out first, which gets the engine to temp, and makes it easier to get back to temp for each run. If start with the closest, the engine "stays" cold as there is never enough time to get to temp before you have to make a stop.

All that being said, there are many here who claim to have gains in all conditions that throw the above out the window. You will hear many who get near 40MPG in their DOHC SW. But it is hard to verify, exactly, what they are doing to get such good numbers. Too many things can factor in, including exact condition of the car (theirs might, for whatever reason, be in better condition in a key way). The average for a DOHC SL, as I have seen on the forum, is low to mid 30's. Maybe more in the summer, maybe less in the winter. Some of the high claims for MPG seem to be in the summer.
...
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:00 AM   #12
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Default Re: mpg this as good as it gets or can it be better?

My real world average is 34 mpg right now, 5 speed SL2, most of my 17 mile one way commute is at 55 mph or so
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilredxj99 View Post
I'm currently scrapping a 97 sc1 w/ sohc and 5spd and keeping any usable parts for my 99.
So, what you are saying is you have all the parts to swap to a manual trans

http://www.differentracing.com/tech_...anny_swap.html

In theory, should bring you up to a tick under 40 mpg in straight hwy, though with half your drive being city, you'll likely see less in real world. There's a thread started by ShawnV in the Mods forum where some people have reported the effects of just swapping out the 5th gear in manual transmissions
Gear ratios
http://www.differentracing.com/tech_...gearratio.html
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:17 AM   #13
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Default Re: mpg this as good as it gets or can it be better?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilredxj99 View Post
No ac. But, I have been running w/ defrost on windshield......It's hard to not run defrost when there's frost and when you get into your car right after a shower w/ wet hair and all... I don't start it and let it idle. .....So much for not running defrost this week. Supposed to be low 30's the next 3-4 days. ... .
Cars with front windshield defroster with a/c turns on the a/c compressor to help dehumidify quicker. A simple work around to have defrost run without a/c would be to disconnect the compressor power wire. No more a/c load affecting fuel economy. Reconnect for summer use.

The heater core does not have a shut off valve so coolant is circulating 100% of the time while the engine runs. Think of this as free heat as its wasted energy that cannot be used so use your defroster all you want. Adjusting the temperature control allows you to direct how much this air flows through the heater core to vary the heat coming into the cabin. You can leave the temperature on HOT and adjust the fan speed or any combination of temperature/fan speed. The heat is there to be used at any time while the engine is running.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:18 AM   #14
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Default Re: mpg this as good as it gets or can it be better?

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.
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Old 03-11-2013, 12:37 PM   #15
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Default Re: mpg this as good as it gets or can it be better?

A/C only engages automatically on third gen cars, so the OP can use the defrost all he wants with no ill effects on economy, as long as the a/c button is not pressed.
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Old 03-11-2013, 01:01 PM   #16
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Default Re: mpg this as good as it gets or can it be better?

Quote:
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A/C only engages automatically on third gen cars, so the OP can use the defrost all he wants with no ill effects on economy, as long as the a/c button is not pressed.
I don't mean to hijack the thread, but are you saying with absolute certainty the AC compressor will not turn on when I have the defrost selected on my '97? I bought my car this winter and just assumed that the AC was low on refrigerant because the compressor doesn't kick on with defrost selected. It hasn't been warm enough to see if the actual AC works itself.
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Old 03-11-2013, 01:05 PM   #17
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Default Re: mpg this as good as it gets or can it be better?

Thats about what I get but I have more weight in my trunk. The fluids you listed plus tools.
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Old 03-11-2013, 01:25 PM   #18
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Default Re: mpg this as good as it gets or can it be better?

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I don't mean to hijack the thread, but are you saying with absolute certainty the AC compressor will not turn on when I have the defrost selected on my '97? I bought my car this winter and just assumed that the AC was low on refrigerant because the compressor doesn't kick on with defrost selected. It hasn't been warm enough to see if the actual AC works itself.
If outside temps are below (approximately) 40F a/c is disabled by the pcm regardless of whether in a/c or defrost mode.

Wait for a warmer day say, 50F and try using a/c; if the compressor won't run then a leak most likely occurred where the a/c pressure switch detected too low a pressure to allow compressor operation
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Old 03-11-2013, 01:26 PM   #19
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Default Re: mpg this as good as it gets or can it be better?

Oh, and to get back on track

My average mpg is 31. I keep track on fuelly. I can get 35mpg on a tank that's mostly on the highway as long as I stay around 55-60. Only things that stay in the car permanently are 2 car seats. Trunk is empty other than spare tire and a couple quarts of oil. I use basic 5W30 oil and standard air filter. I replaced ECTS and thermostat in January. I don't drive very aggressively, partly because my clutch needs to be replaced soon. I can slip it in 4th and 5th if I floor it, so I just take it easy.

Things I know I need to do to the car that would help.
- alignment
- replace some worn out steering and suspension parts
- replace plugs and wires
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Old 03-11-2013, 01:28 PM   #20
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Default Re: mpg this as good as it gets or can it be better?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
Wait for a warmer day say, 50F and try using a/c;
Thanks.
Still waiting for that day to arrive
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