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Old 07-22-2014, 09:33 AM   #1
PeterXR
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Default XR Gas Mileage 33.8MPG!?!

I decided to commute to work from the cottage this week(56 miles each way). With 95% highway, plus and some road construction delays I'm averaging 33.8 MPG on regular fuel! I have 60K miles on a 2008 3.6L, and other than a bong removal, the engine is stock. Are all XRs doing this kind of mileage? How high can I expect the mileage to climb with pure highway driving? My colleges who run 4 cylinder cars are just blown away by what this full sized Aura is doing. If this trend continues I'll be pushing over 500 miles to a full tank!! Really?? And here I was thinking maybe I should get a Passat TDI....

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Old 07-22-2014, 10:13 AM   #2
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Default Re: XR Gas Mileage 33.8MPG!?!

According to fuelly.com when I last checked to compare my 2.4L to the V6 cars, the V6 cars were averaging 22-23 or there about, the 4 cylinder cars were averaging 26-27mpg.

I'm not sure about a 95% highway commute though. For this size of car, and that engine, you should be very pleased with 30+mpg! Congrats!

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Old 07-22-2014, 11:26 AM   #3
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Default Re: XR Gas Mileage 33.8MPG!?!

my 07 3.6 always got 30 mpg or a little over on all highway driving. averaged abt 24 mpg.

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Old 07-22-2014, 01:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: XR Gas Mileage 33.8MPG!?!

That's excellent gas-mileage.

The attached pic is of my XR July 4th weekend driving back to VA from NC right after filling up while still at the gas station. According to the DIC, my average speed was 26.9 mpg. Actual mileage was 30.04 mpg. I was driving ~65 - 70 mph. All highway mileage. At the time, my 2008 XR had 12k miles on her. Here's the mileage according to the DIC and my actual, calculated mileages as I entered it into mpgtune.com (scroll down until you reach the date of 07/03/2011

I usually only do local city / some hwy. driving and rarely get to mpg. This road trip serves as an excellent measuring stick, as well as the mpg's such as yours in your 08 XR. Despite my overall "crummy" mpg's, I know from 1st hand experience that I can get great mileage with my V6.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 100_0871.jpg (148.9 KB, 55 views)

...
2008 AURA XR
Ocean Mist
Sunroof
Loaded!
Built: 07/19/07

2008 SKY RL
Silver Pearl
Black on Black
6 Disc w. Monsoon
Chrome Wheels
4 Pedals
GMPP Turbo Upgrade & CAI
Built: 09/20/07

Last edited by gpartrid; 07-22-2014 at 02:02 PM..

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Old 07-22-2014, 02:08 PM   #5
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Default Re: XR Gas Mileage 33.8MPG!?!

BTW, I always allow the gas pump to click off rather than squeezing the trigger to get as much fuel into the tank as possible.

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Old 07-22-2014, 02:25 PM   #6
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Default Re: XR Gas Mileage 33.8MPG!?!

I'm in the same situation where, living in the city, I very rarely do extended hwy trips. This commuting back and forth sure does serve as a measuring stick. So far I'm 260 miles into my tank and still at 3/4 full. I'll take a pic like yours at the gas bar when it's time to fill-up. I hope to see 500+!! This car never fails to amaze me at it's capabilities. I wonder if running mid-grade or super would improve things further? Maybe its my new tires? I just put on some new generation low RR 225/50/18 General RT43s. We'll see how this week progresses.

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Old 07-22-2014, 03:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: XR Gas Mileage 33.8MPG!?!

Those are very good numbers. What's your average highway speed (rpm's) as it influences mpg's. My L300 doesn't get anywhere near 30 mpg as I'm not crawling at 55-65 mph. At 73 mph (in OD) and 2900 rpm, I don't expect my mpg's to be very high.

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Old 07-22-2014, 03:42 PM   #8
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Old 07-22-2014, 03:52 PM   #9
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Default Re: XR Gas Mileage 33.8MPG!?!

I set the cruse to around 60MPH which puts my RPM at around 1600. So yes I'm crawling, and yes it is "painful"....The only upside is the $ I'm saving, and so far I'm not sure it is worth it.... This coming from a guy who would normally do 75 to 80MPH. I only hope I can keep up this crawl pace for another 3 days....

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Old 07-22-2014, 06:57 PM   #10
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Default Re: XR Gas Mileage 33.8MPG!?!

^ Very understandable. ^ I used 73 mph on CC to get to school some years ago on the NJ Turnpike. Traffic in and around NYC is horrible before leaving the city to more open highways. It would have taken longer to make a 2-hour 100 mile trip so I justified the higher (illegal) speeds. I can't imagine crawling at 60 mph unless I didn't care how long a drive would take and was in 'leisure' mode. I consider 73 mph my leisure speed as long as light to moderate traffic allows it without having to dodge cars. Everybody else was flying at around 70 mph with speed limited to 65................... I still wonder what mpg's I would get if and when I cruise between 55 and 65 mph. My best was just under 24 mpg's.

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Old 07-23-2014, 08:11 AM   #11
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Default Re: XR Gas Mileage 33.8MPG!?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterXR View Post
I'm in the same situation where, living in the city, I very rarely do extended hwy trips. This commuting back and forth sure does serve as a measuring stick. So far I'm 260 miles into my tank and still at 3/4 full. I'll take a pic like yours at the gas bar when it's time to fill-up. I hope to see 500+!! This car never fails to amaze me at it's capabilities. I wonder if running mid-grade or super would improve things further? Maybe its my new tires? I just put on some new generation low RR 225/50/18 General RT43s. We'll see how this week progresses.
Very cool! Keep an eye on your fuel gauge, however. If you're already 260 miles into a full tank and it's still showing 3/4 full, my guess is that you're either going to see the fuel needle drop quickly or you're on a world record setting pace for gas mileage in an unmodified 7 year old GM V6.

Definitely update us, please.

...
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2008 SKY RL
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:33 AM   #12
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Default Re: XR Gas Mileage 33.8MPG!?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gpartrid View Post
Very cool! Keep an eye on your fuel gauge, however. If you're already 260 miles into a full tank and it's still showing 3/4 full, my guess is that you're either going to see the fuel needle drop quickly or you're on a world record setting pace for gas mileage in an unmodified 7 year old GM V6.

Definitely update us, please.
LOL, That's what I was afraid off, the gas gauge miss-reading and then end up sputtering to a stop on the highway!!

Latest update is as follows:
  • 34.1MPG Average
  • 40 MPG Instant on the flats...
  • 45MPH Average
  • if I add the M-driven
+ the M till empty (as displayed on the DIC) I'll be well over my 500Mile target. 578 Total!?!?!?


I'll let you know if I end up stranded!!

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Old 07-23-2014, 09:39 AM   #13
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Default Re: XR Gas Mileage 33.8MPG!?!

You guys using cruise control aren't doing yourselves any favors!

I've found the idea that cruise control is so much more beneficial than using your own foot to be somewhat wrong.


Living in KY and when on extended drives anywhere south, I never use cruise control because of all the hills/mountains I'll encounter. When I used to drive to Cleveland or Toledo a lot, I'd almost always use cruise control because Ohio is so darn flat.


A common theory - on hills, cruise control cannot predict them, so going downhill it is maintaining speed by limiting fuel/air. Not taking advantage of gravity to build speed as you roll downhill. Then on the uphill it has to downshift several times to maintain your speed.

If you were to do it yourself, you'd coast down the hills, build up an extra 5-10mph for free, then even if you have to push the pedal down to climb the hill, you're at a higher speed and the car may not need to downshift to maintain your desired speed.

Also - not sure how common this is in cars - but there is what is called "decelerative fuel cut off" and it's usually programmed into an ECU whenever it senses coasting at a certain RPM, it cuts fuel and lets the engine drive itself. If you're using cruise control, you will likely never benefit from that programming as the cc will be modulating the fuelling to keep the set pace.


I'm extremely curious though - what driving an Aura in M mode will do to fuel economy. It would appear, if the ECU will allow it, that using M mode to quickly get up through the gears and then bogging at say 4th gear at 30mph would be far more beneficial than allowing the automatic transmission to do all the work and hold out the gears to GM's shifting set points.

Since my 4 cylinder Aura has the 6speed, I've noticed it is WORKING it's butt off. It surprises me a lot at just how often this thing is shifting up or down. Can't help but think M mode might save 10-15% fuel, but I also wonder if bogging it would do any extra harm to it.

...
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'09 Saturn Aura XR 2.4L
Previous - '01 SL1 daily driver and '96 SL2 auto 40+mpg hypermiler.

Last edited by Project84; 07-23-2014 at 09:45 AM..

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Old 07-23-2014, 10:27 AM   #14
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Default Re: XR Gas Mileage 33.8MPG!?!

I agree with you if I was driving in hilly terrain, but in my case, all I have are a string of very gentle inclines and declines with flats between them, and maybe an overpass or 2. Also, and most important, my 6 cylinder has something to maintain constant speed that your 4 cylinder doesn't have ---> Torque>> . Once I sent my CC at 60, even the torque converter remains locked, let alone shifting gears. This engine has enough torque at a low enough RPM so to maintain speed without any gear changes (within reason...). I'm sure if I had the Passat TDI I'd have even more torque and even less shifting if/when I encounter a hill.

With respect to costing, or letting gravity do some work, I'm thinking that somehow the engine management system is starving off some fuel while on CC. My indication to that is that my "Instant" MPG goes from 40 to 50+ then settles back at 40 as I hit the next flat, all along not changing speed. I see the opposite when I hit an incline, as MPG will drop to the low 30s then recover and no change of speed. I suspect the more torque you have at the low RPM the better this behavior would be..

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Old 07-23-2014, 11:29 AM   #15
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Default Re: XR Gas Mileage 33.8MPG!?!

Good points on the torque making up the difference and preventing a downshift.

I'd be curious to test in cruise control going downhill to watch instant MPG and record (say it reads 52mpg coasting downhill).

Then repeat the same test with cruise off and watch instant MPG. If it shows 99, you know that the vehicle is demonstrating the DFCO I mentioned and it will in fact be more beneficial to not use cruise (or at least disengage it) while going downhill.

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Previous - '01 SL1 daily driver and '96 SL2 auto 40+mpg hypermiler.

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Old 07-23-2014, 12:31 PM   #16
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Default Re: XR Gas Mileage 33.8MPG!?!

My OBDLink on tablet shows instant mpg's and the reality of averaging mpg's over long term use by the tank more accurate as opposed to instantaneous numbers; 999 mpg's or digitally pegging the needle (as it were) due to the way EFI systems work and how data can be misinterpreted. I can get this number by deliberately going faster downhill and letting up on the pedal to let the EFI system know it doesn't need fuel to go down hill with closed throttle and speed building up. Its correct but may not be useful for real world fuel economy unless understood in the overall perspective. The same for acceleration; instantaneous readouts will show higher fuel consumption/lower mpg's due to higher loading on the engine using more fuel. If used intelligently, a driver can read between the (digital) lines and may learn how to increase fuel economy. Like EFI systems, electronics is new for some but the way an engine operates remains the same as it did when the first 4-stroke engine was invented. Learning how electronics operate EFI systems takes some effort just as much as reading and interpreting scan tool displays.

My V6 using CC will downshift (has lock up torque converter too) when the tcm knows the engine bogs down. Its automatic and due to specific circumstances like a steep uphill and just outside the torque band to cause an automatic downshift. I've had it occur many times and its alarming but normal. If I set CC to a lower or higher speed, downshifts may not occur but flat roads is where CC operates the best - to maintain a specific rpm/speed to allow the best mpg. Its not as effective on hills. Remember, CC holds speed to within 3-5 mph and this means if the car is on CC and goes downhill faster than the set speed, DFCO will occur to reduce speed to the set speed, negating any advantage to speeding up and taking advantage of the momentum of built up speed to use it for a leg up on the uphill side. The speed drop going uphill now requires more pedal and if outside its torque band, downshifting occurs and losing some mpg's is inevitable. Again, overall tank fills and mpg's is more accurate to spread out the inconsistencies. Anyone can do this but now there's the question of over speeding well beyond speed limits and police radar traps in these hills. It would take an experienced driver to use the downhill speed build up to allow a higher return uphill, avoid traffic, and re-engage CC to make better mpg's. A worthwhile effort for anyone willing to juggle between CC and gravity................except for those simply wanting less effort and letting a computer control speed while allowing the rest of us to simply steer the car. Previously, I had doubts that this has certain merits to better mpg's but I understand it better now. Is it worth the effort? I would have to agree with manually controlling mpg's with advantages but only with hills that cause a major upset in CC range when downshifting is required. Personally, I use CC for the benefits that reduces my driving stress so I can just steer the car on long highway stretches without having to deal with speed. The one steep hill I found on the Jersey tpke has a nice clear grassy area that comes into view right where the speed trap catches anyone speeding downhill.

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Old 07-24-2014, 08:52 AM   #17
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Default Re: XR Gas Mileage 33.8MPG!?!

Well, according to the DIC I was ontrack to hit my goal when I arrived at the cottage last night. 34.4MPG, 410 Miles driven, and still just over a 1/4 tank to go.... Then we made 2 trips to the local town for groceries, supper, and sight seeing... Now back at the office, my numbers are not that good. 470 miles driven, 33.4 MPG and I'm just under a 1/8 tank.... At this point I'm not sure I'll make the "500", but there is a gas bar 1/2 way between the office and the cottage... I may give it a go...

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Old 07-24-2014, 10:08 AM   #18
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Default Re: XR Gas Mileage 33.8MPG!?!

I hope you make it! Congrats anyway on the great mileage!

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Previous - '01 SL1 daily driver and '96 SL2 auto 40+mpg hypermiler.

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Old 07-24-2014, 11:38 AM   #19
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Default Re: XR Gas Mileage 33.8MPG!?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterXR View Post
Well, according to the DIC I was ontrack to hit my goal when I arrived at the cottage last night. 34.4MPG, 410 Miles driven, and still just over a 1/4 tank to go.... Then we made 2 trips to the local town for groceries, supper, and sight seeing... Now back at the office, my numbers are not that good. 470 miles driven, 33.4 MPG and I'm just under a 1/8 tank.... At this point I'm not sure I'll make the "500", but there is a gas bar 1/2 way between the office and the cottage... I may give it a go...
From what I've read over the years, once the "Low Fuel" warning comes on, depending upon your driving / mileage, you may have up to a 50 mile range. I would guess that that would be true in your case due to the high mileage you've gotten, thus far. I too, hope you can get the 500 miles in your XR on a single tank of gas!

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Old 07-24-2014, 01:38 PM   #20
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Default Re: XR Gas Mileage 33.8MPG!?!

Hey gpartrid, thanks for the vote of confidence, by the way nice spreadsheet! I see that you started recording mileage very early on when the car was new. My own experience is that even though the dealer will tell you that the engine is fully broken in when you get your keys, I have found that the mileage takes a dramatic turn to the up side after 10 to 15K miles. I'm thinking that although broken in, internal frictions are much higher with under 10K on the clock then say at 30K. I wonder if your mileage has improved now over the figures in your spreadsheet?

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