Quest for Better MPG

Messages
1,904
Location
Bay Area, CA
I drive a fairly innefficient 95 Mitsu Montero for my 25 mile commute to work. I carpool so I only drive two days a week. Through the past year I have been trying to maximize my mpg. In this quest I have done the following. -Replaced the 60k old sparkplugs and wires.(NGK double platinum)-Result; absolutely no improvement in driveability or mpg -Replaced the 165k old oxygen sensor. Result; absolutely no improvement -Installed 5W20 motor oil. Result; No detectable improvement. -Increased tire pressure from 30-35psi. Result; no improvement. Although the ride was noticeably harsher. -Made sure I kept my max speed under 70 mph (normally go up to 80 sometimes). Result; 1-2mpg improvment. Vehicle runs great. Always has. I guess in the end it all makes sense. Slow down to save gas. However, I thought maybe the new Oxygen sensor would help. You would think it would get weak after 10 years and 165k miles.
 
Messages
5,785
Location
Dixie
I'd actually try a low restriction air filter,even though the silicon levels may be marginally higher. The K&N I used with my old 2.4L Tacoma did improve performance quite noticably.... The other thing I'd do is run a strong dose of Redline SL-1 fuel injector through the system once a year or so.... A very thin oil in an older motor, with larger ring/cylinder clearances, may result in a loss of compression and more than cancel out any performance gains from reduced intrafluid friction. TS
 

JAG

Messages
5,320
Location
Fredericksburg, VA
My VW 1.8T engine with 70k miles on it (always used synthetic) got better gas mileage when I added a maintenance dose of Auto-RX. Your results may differ but it's worth a shot.
 
I drive 220 miles a day (110 miles each way) to work. I found better MPG by having my tires at 35-37 psi (recommends 30psi). Also, my MPG went up a few MPG when I took the manual transmission fluid to synthetic. What I noticed the best MPG gain came from was my driving habits. Doing 90mph isn't going to get you as good mpg as 70mph. Try to keep a constant speed - don't slam on the breaks when you see people slowing down. When speeding up - speed up slowly. When the light turns green don't mash the gas. When you see a light changing to red - coast to a stop. When going up a hill - use as little gas as possible (doesn't hurt to lose 10mph in the process) - when going down the hill you can regain your speed for very little gas. Using these methods and several others (synthetic oil, keeping car in mechanical shape, waxing) I can get 37-40mpg. It is hard work to keep a gas saving mindset while driving... I compared it to when I drive normally I averaged 30-35mpg in my 2004 Pontiac Sunfire.
 
Messages
3,398
Location
Midwest, Illinois
Slightly off topic, but along the same lines. A professional MX racer once said that he observed a lot of amature racers spending gigantic sums of money for go fast goodies like pipes, titanium fasteners, cylinder mods, etc., and seeing little, if any, improvement. He said the best mod he ever made to his bike was getting in the gym, and losing 15 pounds. Moral of the story is, look close to home for improvements before spending big bucks for a mile or two better MPG.
 
Messages
9,427
Location
Pensacola & Vero Beach FL
quote:
Originally posted by Winston:
quote:
Originally posted by Pat M.: Also if i'm looking correctly, the EPA has your car listed at about 18mpg highway, maybe it's just the car?
Yes, I get about 17.5 to 18mpg. Highest ever was 19.5. However, since I carpool I drive only 2 days a week. That works out to 45 mpg. [Big Grin]

Simple solution: replace it with a Prius! That did wonders for my out-of-control fuel habit. My running average mpg is just now nudging above 50 mpg. It got up above it a couple times on the trip back from work today, but alas, when I parked it, it had dropped (waaaaaaa) back into the 49s. Oh well, there's always tomorrow. . . [Wink] [Razz] [Cheers!]
 
Messages
5,785
Location
Dixie
ekpolk, Yeah, but how sad is it to having a big tough Marine drive like my dearly departed grandma just to save a little fuel... [Wink] Try driving that Prius like your old G35 and I bet the mileage drops like a stone. Car and Driver never manages to get more than about 40 mpg with the hybrids they road test. [Smile]
 
Messages
1,463
Location
CA
iridium > copper > platinium > dirt dude, it's a Montero, AKA a flyin brick. take the side mirrors off, slammit, get skinny tires, put tape over the headlights and any openings in the front, tape ove the door deams, etc. I guarantee your mpg's go up.
 

Winston

Thread starter
Messages
1,904
Location
Bay Area, CA
quote:
Originally posted by Pat M.: Also if i'm looking correctly, the EPA has your car listed at about 18mpg highway, maybe it's just the car?
Yes, I get about 17.5 to 18mpg. Highest ever was 19.5. However, since I carpool I drive only 2 days a week. That works out to 45 mpg. [Big Grin]
 
Messages
9,427
Location
Pensacola & Vero Beach FL
quote:
Originally posted by TooSlick: ekpolk, Yeah, but how sad is it to having a big tough Marine drive like my dearly departed grandma just to save a little fuel... [Wink] Try driving that Prius like your old G35 and I bet the mileage drops like a stone. Car and Driver never manages to get more than about 40 mpg with the hybrids they road test. [Smile]
The Prius is pretty "flexible" in its mileage response, but not really all that bad. I still cruise at around 80 mph, give or take on the highway, though I am now more inclined to pull off some power now to keep the mpg reading up. As for acceleration, it's really no worse from a feel persepctive than an I-4 Camry (no, it's not a G). With just me on board, I've been unable to push the mpg below 40 (I've tried... [Wink] ). With five people, some stuff in the cargo area AND the AC on MAX COLD, I did manage to drop to 38 mpg. If you put the AC back to a normal, set temp, back over 40. All in all, surprisingly normal. Look at the mileage postings at priuschat.com. The folks who really do the "hard core" hypermileage thing (closer to your idea of "grandma") frequently achieve or beat the EPA ratings for the car. [Cheers!]
 
Messages
2,387
Location
Chicago area
If there was no improvement or loss measured with more air in the tires, that means that you had an improvement. The tires are now slightly larger, but the speedometer/odometer doesn't know this. You are travelling slightly farther than indicated previously.
 
Messages
7,256
Location
USA
Personally seems like you are thinking a lot about spending maybe $10/week. I am guessing at worse it gets 15MPG and fuel is $3.00/gallon. So 2 days * 25 Miles = 50 50miles/15MPG = 3.33 gallons of fuel (your not going to improve this remarkedly) 3.33 gallons * $3/gallon = $10/week I would not worry and you are doing a great service to your pocketbook and world air by carpooling. Kudo's to you.
 
Messages
36,419
Location
ME
I agree with the above posters. Knocking off miles is the best thing you can do, and carpooling is also helping the freeway run less congested, which saves everyone gas. Run the creature comforts you have, 3 people in an air conditioned SUV are the same as one guy going 55 in a metro with the windows down. [Smile]
 
Messages
12,385
Location
Northern CA
quote:
Originally posted by jimcor: 470 mpg at real highway speeds. Over 100 mpg on a Harley Sportster. You can read about these accomplishments of the 80s on Craig Vetter's webpage. He's not selling anything here, and I'm not affiliated in anyway, just some dog gone interesting mileage stories. BTW my old '68 250 single cylinder BSA used to get about 85 mpg. http://www.craigvetter.com/pages/470MPG/470MPG%20Main.html
Craig is selling things there, but that's a good thing. [Cheers!] High Mileage Fairing Edit: Another interesting page from that site. Early Vetter Streamliner Thanks for reminding me of Vetter and his work, I hadn't seen his website.
 
Messages
50
Location
Lexington, KY
OK, what I meant was on the page I linked to there was nothing for sale it was just a place to link to the stories. Just (for once) trying to abide by the rules. Don't want anybody thinking I'm hawking $1500 fairing blanks. [LOL!] I think the accomplishments of these riders is commendable and is something for everyone to think about. [Patriot]
 
Top