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Old 06-19-2009, 07:24 PM   #1
Asterixx
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Default Saturn Math

Hokay, here's why I like Saturns for daily drivers:

When I first bought the car a few days ago the gas gauge was showing a needle's width above empty. I reset the odometer, put $35 worth of gas in, and brought the oil up exactly to the "full" line.

Gas was $1.04 per liter when I bought it (it's at $1.10 now).

$35 worth of gas at $1.04 per liter bought me 33.65 liters.

There are about 3.8 liters per US gallon, so that works out to 8.89 gallons.

When I got home today the needle was back at the exact same position it was before I bought gas. I know this is not scientific, as there could be several liters in the difference, but it gives me a ballpark figure. The odometer read 525 km, which works out to 326 miles.

8.86 gallons to drive 326 miles works out to 36.67 MPG. This is with the A/C going the whole time, and a mixture of about 80% highway, 20% city driving. Of course, since I'm going by gauge reading over only one tank there is margin for error, but it'd only be by 1 or 2 MPG (and could either increase my figure or decrease it). That's not too *******' shabby.

It sounds even better when I say it in terms of imperial miles per gallon, because imperial gallons are about 20% bigger than US gallons. An imperial gallon is 4.5 liters. Car companies in Canada advertise their MPG figures in imperial gallons, so we see out-to-lunch figures advertised here (such as 45MPG for Civics and Cobalts, and 30 MPG for F150's).

When doing the math using imperial gallons, my 33.65 liters works out to 7.47 imperial gallons. Using 7.47 gallons to travel 326 miles, my wileage works out to 43.64 MPG. That's not too *******' shabby either. I believe the window stickers in mid 90's Canadian Saturns advertised mid 40's MPG.

This is a 12 year old twin-cam 5-speed car that cost me $1200 and has 172,000 miles on it (just over 276,000 km). And I haven't replaced the ECTS yet (parts store brought me in two wrong ones, but the one in the car is plastic tipped so it will need replacing).

Prius what?

And to make things even better, the oil hasn't gone down a drop. Looks like I may not have to re-ring this one!

...
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Old 06-19-2009, 07:41 PM   #2
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Default Re: Saturn Math

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Originally Posted by Asterixx View Post
Prius what?!
Prius nothin. The so called "Smart Car" is the real joke. Some of our S cars approach its mileage and we've got room to move!

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Old 06-19-2009, 08:23 PM   #3
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Default Re: Saturn Math

Not only that, if you crash in a Saturn you will probably live. The smart car reminds me of a Iseta.

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Old 06-19-2009, 08:30 PM   #4
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Default Re: Saturn Math

Wow, I just looked back at my post. This forum actually censors the word "f r i c k i n"? What are we, three years old here? For Pete's sake (I type this now expecting "For Pete's Sake" to be censored), I saw that word in a Wizard of Id comic about 25 years ago (the Wiz was casting a spell, "Frimmin on the frim fram, f r i c k i n on the krotz"...

Anyway, safe-to-say-to-your-priest-but-not-on-a-Saturn-forum language aside, the Canadian Smart cars were diesel, until they were brought to the USA and Smart decided to lower costs by axing the diesel. The diesel versions were advertised at 61MPG (but again, this was Imperial gallons). I wouldn't drive one if gas was eight bucks a gallon...

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Old 06-19-2009, 08:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: Saturn Math

Welcome to the Nebuchadnezzar! Now.. your real choice is, the red pill or the blue pill?

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Old 06-19-2009, 09:40 PM   #6
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Default Re: Saturn Math

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asterixx View Post
the Canadian Smart cars were diesel, until they were brought to the USA and Smart decided to lower costs by axing the diesel. The diesel versions were advertised at 61MPG (but again, this was Imperial gallons). I wouldn't drive one if gas was eight bucks a gallon...
I think another reason Smart cars went with gasoline instead of diesel in the U.S. is because of the negative connotation connected to diesel in the U.S. no matter if it is the "clean" diesel or not.

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Old 06-19-2009, 10:15 PM   #7
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Default Re: Saturn Math

Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryHughes View Post
I think another reason Smart cars went with gasoline instead of diesel in the U.S. is because of the negative connotation connected to diesel in the U.S. no matter if it is the "clean" diesel or not.
Basically, you can thank all the far leftists in California.

That being said, by that logic to whoever said prius WHAT/WHO?, etc. what about diesel WHO and/or WHAT? is it that bad to develop vehicles that can get better MPG/MPL? (given last I heard Prius'es get like ~48mpg, where the most that's being claimed so far ITT is ~40.)

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Old 06-19-2009, 10:32 PM   #8
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Default Re: Saturn Math

Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryHughes View Post
I think another reason Smart cars went with gasoline instead of diesel in the U.S. is because of the negative connotation connected to diesel in the U.S. no matter if it is the "clean" diesel or not.
And.. not to mention that once diesel was actually cheaper than gas. Hmm, whatever happened to that concept?? It's all part of the design/manipulation rhetoric we are being fed.

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Old 06-19-2009, 10:40 PM   #9
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Default Re: Saturn Math

Off-track, sometimes diesel is cheaper than the gas nowadays

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Old 06-19-2009, 10:59 PM   #10
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Default Re: Saturn Math

diesel fuel used to always be cheaper than gas, even when gas was 17.9/gal. In the first gas crisis there was a large demand for diesel cars and pickup trucks, primarily pickup trucks. This increase in diesel fuel consumption and corresponding decrease in gas consumption resulted in a significant drop in tax revenue. So, in true bureaucratic fashion the tax was drastically increased on diesel fuel. That is why the price of diesel fuel matches or or is reasonably close to gas today.

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Old 06-19-2009, 11:08 PM   #11
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Default Re: Saturn Math

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Off-track, sometimes diesel is cheaper than the gas nowadays
Sometimes, as it appears this week, but not nearly like it used to be. Remember the astronomical gas prices of last? Why was diesel so much higher? All this rampant speculation is the root (my perception) of the problem. Too many people allowed to screw everyone else without actually having any "skin" in the game.

I think it really interesting that all of the grass roots bio's around here have folded lately. Were they absconding with the profits of the big interests, viewed as subverting the lobbies or was it just a failing concept?

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Old 06-19-2009, 11:38 PM   #12
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Default Re: Saturn Math

Bio is not cost effective unless you can get a government subsidy. If you can get the raw feedstock at a low enough price then it works, along with the subsidy for the major producers. When every Ma and Pa Kettle got into squeezing sunflower seeds the price of sunflower seeds doubled and it was no longer cost effective. Bio diesel is easy to make from sunflower seeds. The sunflower seeds here went from $10/50lb bag to a bit over $20 a bag and now is on its way back down.

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Old 06-19-2009, 11:54 PM   #13
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Default Re: Saturn Math

The Jetta now has DPI, Direct Port Injection, which is awesome.

...
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Old 06-20-2009, 08:52 AM   #14
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Default Re: Saturn Math

Quote:
Originally Posted by adventureoflink View Post
Basically, you can thank all the far leftists in California.

That being said, by that logic to whoever said prius WHAT/WHO?, etc. what about diesel WHO and/or WHAT? is it that bad to develop vehicles that can get better MPG/MPL? (given last I heard Prius'es get like ~48mpg, where the most that's being claimed so far ITT is ~40.)
I said "Prius What?", and I meant it. Priuses (Prii?) may get mid 40's MPG, but at what cost? Like I said, I paid $1200 for this car. That wouldn't be a decent down payment on a replacement battery pack for a used Prius. Even when new it would have been about half the price of a Prius. The point of my buying a cheap ol' Saturn was to save money, not to drive a "Look at me, I'm driving a Prius" Prius. Plus there's the fact that I can work on it myself and buy just about any replacement part at any parts counter on the continent.

As far as fuel economy is concerned, given that I achieved ~36MPG during normal driving I'm sure I could approach 40 if I drove for mileage. I once achieved a 34 MPG average over a 60 mile trip according to the fuel computer in my 1988 5.0 V8 Thunderbird (EPA rated at 28 hwy) when "hypermiling". This was about five years ago, I was trying to see just how good it could get, and it was the most boring 60 miles I ever drove. I didn't do anything rash, either, I just made it a point to stay at the 60MPH speed limit, coast down hills, and gently accelerate up them (I would allow myself to slow down up to 6 MPH going up hills, didn't want to try to hold speed too much if it meant a downshift), so I'm certain 40 and probably higher would be achievable in a Saturn when driven carefully. Yes, a Prius would do even better when hypermiling, but again, this is a 12-year-old $1200 car we're talking about. That's something a Prius can't do.

So to sum up: $1200. ~36 MPG. Again, I say: Prius what?

...
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Old 06-20-2009, 09:45 AM   #15
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Default Re: Saturn Math

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asterixx View Post
I said "Prius What?", and I meant it. Priuses (Prii?) may get mid 40's MPG, but at what cost? Like I said, I paid $1200 for this car. That wouldn't be a decent down payment on a replacement battery pack for a used Prius. Even when new it would have been about half the price of a Prius. The point of my buying a cheap ol' Saturn was to save money, not to drive a "Look at me, I'm driving a Prius" Prius. Plus there's the fact that I can work on it myself and buy just about any replacement part at any parts counter on the continent.

As far as fuel economy is concerned, given that I achieved ~36MPG during normal driving I'm sure I could approach 40 if I drove for mileage. I once achieved a 34 MPG average over a 60 mile trip according to the fuel computer in my 1988 5.0 V8 Thunderbird (EPA rated at 28 hwy) when "hypermiling". This was about five years ago, I was trying to see just how good it could get, and it was the most boring 60 miles I ever drove. I didn't do anything rash, either, I just made it a point to stay at the 60MPH speed limit, coast down hills, and gently accelerate up them (I would allow myself to slow down up to 6 MPH going up hills, didn't want to try to hold speed too much if it meant a downshift), so I'm certain 40 and probably higher would be achievable in a Saturn when driven carefully. Yes, a Prius would do even better when hypermiling, but again, this is a 12-year-old $1200 car we're talking about. That's something a Prius can't do.

So to sum up: $1200. ~36 MPG. Again, I say: Prius what?

I totally agree. I look at the overall cost of ownership. I paid $700 for the 98 SL2 that I am currently driving. I figure the cost to drive my car for a year is about 1/10 the cost of owning a Prius when you factor in and purchase price, insurance and maintenace costs. The only advantage a Prius would have is slightly better fuel economy.

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Old 06-20-2009, 10:13 AM   #16
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Default Re: Saturn Math

But, but, the Prius has snob appeal.

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Old 06-20-2009, 10:25 AM   #17
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Default Good point on the bio-fuel not making sense

I read a solid analysis of the cost to produce biodiesel from algae, the most promising source. It was done by a guy with a Russian name but I think he was a professor in Australia somewhere. Anyway, when you crunch the numbers and pay attention to thermodynamics, as this guy did, biofuel only becomes competitive when oil reaches the price of:

$800 a barrel.

Whereever we get energy from in the future it doesn't look like it will be liquid fuels from biomass.

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Old 06-20-2009, 10:58 AM   #18
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Default Re: Saturn Math

Unfortunately, the Russian guy is correct. Now what I was referring to is the small farmer who can raise the feed stock and process it for his own use. I do not think there is any commercial venture that is cost effective with out the taxpayer being quietly gouged to "help out".

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Old 06-20-2009, 12:41 PM   #19
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Default Re: Saturn Math

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But, but, the Prius has snob appeal.
What, you're saying my SL2 doesn't? But... it's Black Gold!

The nerve of some people

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Old 06-20-2009, 01:03 PM   #20
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Default Re: Saturn Math

ROTFLMAO....

I was listening to the local fix your car show and they seem to think a set of Prius batteries will be about $5000.00 and they should last about 100,000 miles. That does not strike me as a cost effective solution. Its just deferring your fuel cost to one big painful bite. That $5000.00 will buy 2000 gallons of gas at todays price.

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