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Old 07-27-2006, 11:25 PM   #1
DeMAN
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Question Why does some SC2's get better gas mileage than others (30+)

I see threads sometimes where some DOHC S series are getting >30MPG. I've only seen 28mpg on highway driving. This engine came from out of a 98 and has very low mile on it. All the tuneup things that you would look for are new.

Is my mileage normal? The only thing that I may be doing different is that I'm using 10w-30 dino oil. I'm thinking about using 5w-30 synthetic. I do expect to see some increase in mpg, but I don't know how much.


List your mpg on DOHC W/AUTO only PLEASE. Also grade and type of oil. (synthetic or dino)

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Old 07-27-2006, 11:38 PM   #2
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Default Re: Why does some SC2's get better gas mileage than others (30+)

My 92 SC with the short pipe induction, enlarged TB would still get 30-32 mpg on the highway going 70-75 with the AC on. I always kept 35 psi in all 4 tires. I always used dino 5w-30 oil mostly with Tufoil teflon additive. I would now use Mobil 1 after reading about the benefits it has the the S-series engines. I also always had preminum plugs. Iridium plugs when I traded her in.

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Old 07-28-2006, 03:42 AM   #3
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Default Re: Why does some SC2's get better gas mileage than others (30+)

i have a 2001 SL2 and on a 300 mile round trip averaging 70 mph with the AC on high the whole way, i got 38, and its an automatic. everyone told me to expect no more than 35, well i have yet to see less than 35, i am more than thrilled with my car. but i also must add that alot of my driving is hiway in relatively free flowing traffic. if i ran a few tanks through in the city i imagine i would get close to what you get.

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Old 07-28-2006, 06:22 AM   #4
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Default Re: Why does some SC2's get better gas mileage than others (30+)

Everything comes into play for gas mileage....EVERYTHING. Also manuals usually get better gas mileage then automatics, and I know quite a few people on this board have manuals.

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Old 07-28-2006, 06:45 AM   #5
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Default Re: Why does some SC2's get better gas mileage than others (30+)

I have a 98 SC2 Auto as well. I usually get about 35-36mpg @ 75-78mph, w/out AC. I use 10W-30 Castrol GTX conventional oil.

-Jeremy

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Old 07-28-2006, 09:25 AM   #6
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Default Re: Why does some SC2's get better gas mileage than others (30+)

Comes down to driver and road condition, most of the time.

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Old 07-28-2006, 10:41 AM   #7
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Default Re: Why does some SC2's get better gas mileage than others (30+)

Tires have more friction variance than grade of motor oil.

You might want to ask for tire brands, inflation pressure, speed and treadwear ratings.

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Old 07-28-2006, 12:24 PM   #8
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Default Re: Why does some SC2's get better gas mileage than others (30+)

Quote:
Originally Posted by eljefino
Tires have more friction variance than grade of motor oil.

You might want to ask for tire brands, inflation pressure, speed and treadwear ratings.
Very true as does the driver and their habits and the terrain too. Fuel quality play a roll too. (though some will say otherwise) especailly in hor weather . My daughter 97 SC2 will get close to 40 on a trip at 65 or less even with A/C one some and close upper 20's to around 30 in town/ueban in summer too using 93 octane. If she uses 97, the MPG goes out the window in summer with A/C and it struggles to get low 20's in town with A/C and low 30's on highway and has a LOT less "pep" too.

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Old 07-28-2006, 02:33 PM   #9
Ken Benson
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Default Re: Why does some SC2's get better gas mileage than others (30+)

I wanted to chime in about the effects of A/C on gas mileage as well. I do have a manual transmission, but with A/C off (it was broken earlier this summer), I got ~36 MPG, once the A/C was fixed, I consistently get ~27 MPG. Net loss of 9 MPG with the same driving habits, but with summer in Texas, I'll take the A/C over the mileage most every day!

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Old 07-28-2006, 03:35 PM   #10
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Default Re: Why does some SC2's get better gas mileage than others (30+)

Also I was just thinking, do the drivers with good mileage generally have rear drum brakes, and poor mileage, discs? I ask because discs by their design nature create a little more drag...

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Old 07-28-2006, 07:59 PM   #11
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Default Re: Why does some SC2's get better gas mileage than others (30+)

1999 SL2, 80,000 miles on the clock

I usually get right around 35 with the a/c off with mixed city/highway. with the a/c on it drops to about 32-33, again, mixed city highway. I have the original tires on my car, Firestone affinity touring, with a little over 80,000 on them (and the car). I'm probably going to have to replace them this fall, so if anyone has any suggestions as to which tire gives good mileage, I would be open to suggestions. I was looking at michelin hydroedge or x-radials.

However, lately I have been getting 29-30 mpg, and have no idea why. maybe it was the heat wave that went through California, and the fact that I was running 87 octane. I don't know. it is frustrating though.

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Old 07-29-2006, 05:22 PM   #12
DeMAN
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Default Re: Why does some SC2's get better gas mileage than others (30+)

Quote:
Originally Posted by eljefino
Tires have more friction variance than grade of motor oil.

You might want to ask for tire brands, inflation pressure, speed and treadwear ratings.
OK I have 205-50-16's Kuhmo inflated to 34psig cold temp.

I too stay in hot ass Texas and drive over mostly level road and highway.

The AC is a must here.

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Old 07-29-2006, 06:44 PM   #13
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Default Re: Why does some SC2's get better gas mileage than others (30+)

My dad drives my car most of the time, and gets about 30 mpg on an average day, doing mixed city and highway driving at about 70 mph with a/c. He also drives it rougher than any other car he's had because he's always had trucks. I wish the gas mileage was a lot better but hey, i also let the car idle in the driveway while listening to the radio for an extended period of time.

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Old 07-29-2006, 09:02 PM   #14
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Default Re: Why does some SC2's get better gas mileage than others (30+)

I forgot to mention that I am using the 10w-30 supertech synthetic oil from walmart...but the jury is still out on whether it gave any gains over the 10w-30 castrol I was using...

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Old 07-29-2006, 09:11 PM   #15
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Default Re: Why does some SC2's get better gas mileage than others (30+)

Your mileage may vary. The only way to really compare fuel mileage between cars is to drive the same road at the same time using the same amount of throttle and braking. and using the same fuel from the same gas station.

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Old 08-02-2006, 10:16 PM   #16
DeMAN
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Happy Re: Why does some SC2's get better gas mileage than others (30+)

Just checked the mileage again today and came up w/ 27mpg.
This is combined city and highway. 85%+ highway driving w/ ac on here in hot Texas.

My oil level is down 1/3 quart on 2k miles driving on the used engine I had installed back in april. I guess this is good considering my old engine used a quart every 100 miles or so.

I will be switching to synthetic @ 3k miles. 10W-30 of some brand. I maybe able to get another one or two mpg out this to justify the switch.

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Old 08-03-2006, 12:38 AM   #17
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Default Re: Why does some SC2's get better gas mileage than others (30+)

My Manual 96 SC2 has been getting around 25mpg no A/C, and mostly(75%) New York City Traffic and around 25% Highway, but i also need to do a tune up as I think the previous owner neglected minor maintence stuff.

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Old 08-03-2006, 03:18 PM   #18
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Default Re: Why does some SC2's get better gas mileage than others (30+)

I've been wondering about this too...
My '94 SC1 auto steadily gets 34mpg, my bro's '95 SC2 auto scores 40mpg.
I live in the flatlands of Kansas, my bro lives in Wyoming. Big difference in terrain and altitude and perhaps fuel formula, but neither of us are lead-footed drivers -nor weekend racers.

Oh, uh, we both run 10W30...dino

My compression checks in at 190 or so across the board, bro scores 210.
My ride has 103k while bro's has 64k. His ride has noticeably more punch and power while mine is a 85hp creampuff. His is in great condition and never been MMO'd or cracked open, but he did replace the injectors and rail a while back. Mine has been rebuilt (spun #2 bearing); new bearings and seals, head cleaning and hand-lapped the valves, cleaned the piston grooves and de-glazed the cylinders but I did not replace the rings (lack of funds). It does not smoke or use oil.

Why the variance?
Differences in compression? possibly [very probable]
Differences in driving styles, fuel or terrain? one seems to cancel the other out -if anything, driving in mountains/high altitude should reduce MPG
Driving style? no, we both cruise at legal speeds and we do not hot-rod around town
Tires? no, both on stock sizes
Condition of vehicle/engine? We both keep our machines in peak condition (sort of a mutual competition)

Brakes dragging? possible since mine is 4disc while bro's is 2disc/2drum
**this is a very good point, Eljefino***
This unknown variable could be studied simply by asking the forum members to check their 'coast-down' times, say from 65mph on flat ground, no wind, drop out of gear and stopwatch time the acceleration decay to 30 or 40mph.
"The Maestro" once did this, but as an exercise in determining Cd [drag coeffient] of various models of Porsches.

DOHC versus SOHC? I would expect improved performance in both power and efficiency as a result of DOHC configuration...but 25hp stock over SOHC usually comes at a fuel consumption penalty. I theorize that more efficiency means less fuel consumption due to less demand on engine power -which translates into less fuel needed to accomplish the same amount of work.

By process of elimination, this leaves specific engine characteristics at suspicion.
from car to car, suspect variances in;
Sensor values and linear response.
Engine cylinder pressures (leakdown via rings and/or valves).
Volumetric efficiency as improved by DOHC over SOHC
Mechanical resistances induced by brakes, bearings, and tires

Judging from the stunning fuel economy results cheapybob has acheived thru manipulation of his IAT sensor, differences in sensors from one car to another could be an explanation for mileage differences. These sensors (ECTS, IAT) are cheap, negative temperature coefficient resistors (NTC's) and their response and repeatability in manufacture and application is anything but precise. A similar argument could be made for O2 sensors as the poor narrowband performance of these apparently has prompted powerplant designers to implement wideband and dual sensor configurations to improve sensor resolution and engine management.

When I get my '93 SC2 w/MP3 online, I'm looking for improvements on several fronts. I'm particularly seeking the 40+mpg out of a 125hp powerplant and to get it I will be building this engine new rings to get the compression up to new specs and with polished ports to improve flow.

What I really want is Endyn's 'roller-wave' pistons and combustion chamber/head technology [they dont do S-series saturns], but hypereutectic coated-skirt pistons with a modified quench may be the best I could muster.

If I had better funding this would be a piece of cake [for me]...

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Last edited by charcoal; 08-03-2006 at 03:24 PM..

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Old 08-31-2006, 10:00 PM   #19
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Dizzy Re: Why does some SC2's get better gas mileage than others (30+)

I've read back over this thread, but I can't see where someone has come up with why there is such a swing in gas mileage among the SC2 auto.


27-31mpg would be easy to understand, but not one getting 10mpg over the same equipped model.

I have three cars and on there forums.

My 97 grand prix GTP gets 23mpg mixed driving and 27 straight highway driving 80mph
My 06 Acura TL gets 25mpg mixed driving and 3O straight highway driving 80mph.

Those numbers are close to what other people are getting within 3mpg.

So again, why the wide gap among Saturn SC2 owners

Something here just doesn't sound right.

Can someone chime in with some real numbers.

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Old 08-31-2006, 10:40 PM   #20
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Default Re: Why does some SC2's get better gas mileage than others (30+)

Your mileage may vary. I've gotten close to 40 MPG in my 92 SC on the drive down to Spring Hill. my 96 SC2 got similar mileage which makes sense since they have the same body style. my 02 SC2 hasn't been that fuel efficient.

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