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Underbody braces, turbos and more!

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 5:39 pm 
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Location: North Miami Beach, Florida
I just recently figured out the mpg that i'm getting on my
1993 geo metro 3cyl sohc 1.0 l
i'm getting 26 mpg here in miami, that's kind of low huh?
i figgure i should be getting 30 to 40 right ?

thanks

Jose


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 7:28 pm 
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Yea thats pretty low. Try doing a tune up an oil change see if that helps any.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 7:55 pm 
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Yeah, Tune up.... Plugs, Wires, PVC, Air Filter, Oil Filter, Oil Change, Cap rotor, Fuel Filter, ect.... Also make sure your tires are inflated correctly as Low Air Pressure will increase rolling resistance. Also make sure your timing is set correctly too.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 8:46 pm 
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Two things that I see causing noticebly bad MPG

#1 Bad oxygen sensor

#2 Stuck open thermostat.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 9:52 pm 
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Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
and alignment as well... after my car is alginment and i save like 10% save... but i will find out for sure later.

Quote:
#2 Stuck open thermostat.


i odn't know what this is... is it in or with engine? if yes then i don't have to be worry about it because my engine is already less than 10k km.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 10:17 pm 
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Location: ontario
the thermostat blocks coolant flow between the rad and the engine until the engine reaches operating temperatures. usually thermostats are 180 degrees F to 200 degrees F, which means they open to let coolant through once the coolant temperature reaches 180, 200 or whatever preset temperature the thermostat has. the one in our cars (i have the g10t) i believe is a 180 degree F thermostat. once your engine has been running for awhile and the coolant gets too hot, coolant from the engine and the rad is swapped so your engine doesnt overheat. the cold coolant from the rad goes into the engine, and the hot coolant from the engine goes into the rad to be cooled.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 10:34 pm 
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that's REALLY low mileage, i'd expect that from someone running 17" wheels, fouled spark plugs, bad o2 sensor, and.... a big hole in your gas tank
if you're not that mechanically inclined towards doing a tuneup and checkover yourself, take it in to a shop, you'll save enough in fuel to pay for almost any repairs, esp at todays costs. you should be getting 40-50+mpg

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2005 6:46 am 
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n1tr0 wrote:
that's REALLY low mileage, i'd expect that from someone running 17" wheels


Now that's an interesting comment - because, in most cases, as the wheel size increases, so does the gas mileage, albiet at the expense of acceleration. I've always suspected that there was a point at which the loss of acceleration would force the use of the lower gears for longer periods of time, and actually increase the fuel consumed, especially in "non-highway" driving.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2005 9:36 am 
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not at all, accelerating accounts for a big % of your gas consumption, and the 3cyl's are going to be hit really hard by 17's, stock wheel size is only 12 or 13" with narrow lightweight tires, eg 165/70/r12, while a set of 17's are going to weigh at least double, have a much wider tire profile (greater rolling resistance), and with most of that weight considerably further out, the power required to turn them has grown exponentially....
unless you go with some forged 17's and skip the tires, the difference really is huge, a 12" wheel/tire combo is typically under 15lbs & 21" tall, while a typical 17" wheel is over 20lbs by itself & often 35-40lbs as a wheel/tire combo & 25" tall.
if you don't believe bigger wheels/tires kill fuel economy ask your local 4x4 owners who've swapped their 30" oem tires for 35's, mileage is often cut in half.

if you could find some narrow 17" bicycle tires and mount them on superlight forged wheels, it might be another story.

off-the-mpg-topic, running 17's even on a gti w/ 4whl discs is going to also kill your braking ability as you exponentially increase the torque and the kinetic energy.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2005 11:36 am 
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Check your clutch. My MK2 used to only get about 250 kms per tank of gas. As soon as I changed the clutched it jumped right up to 350 - 375 kms.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2005 11:54 am 
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not to off topic this, but when i had stock wheels, i would avg about 40-45 mpg....i then went to 205/40-16's that weighed in at about i think 30lbs?....i would fight for 40mpg....so, check to make sure you have the stock 145r12 tire size....thats what stock 89-93 3cyl 5spd's shoudl have.....also, im going to go with the oygen sensor needing to be replaced as well, and do the normal like the said, plugs, wires, cap, rotor...oil change, and the fuel filter im sure is clogged as well, but thats nothing easy if you dont know what you are doing, so like n1tr0, i would take it to the shop for that, but everything else you should be able to do yourself.....another note, while you arde doing all of this, i would check your coolant....it should be a nice green color, if its brown or anything not very light green.....replace that as well!

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2005 12:23 pm 
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Nitro

I'm not arguing at all - it's simply confirmation of a theory that I hadn't gotten around to putting serious time and thought into.

I'm thinking that a moderate increase won't have that big an effect, let's say from 12 to 13s, but if you're going to go from 14 to 17s, that is a big jump.

I went from 155/70R13 to 185/60R13, which is within I believe 0.25" on the diameter, and almost 1.25" wider, without noticing any significant change.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2005 9:50 pm 
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fair enough, a moderate increase will give you a moderate change in fuel economy, but there's nothing moderate about 17's under a metro :P

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 3:33 am 
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n1tr0 wrote:
that's REALLY low mileage, i'd expect that from someone running 17" wheels, fouled spark plugs, bad o2 sensor, and.... a big hole in your gas tank
if you're not that mechanically inclined towards doing a tuneup and checkover yourself, take it in to a shop, you'll save enough in fuel to pay for almost any repairs, esp at todays costs. you should be getting 40-50+mpg


I found out that mine is worse!?! I get on average 22.13 MPG (10.63L/100KM) city!!! I didn't really pay much attention to my mileage until I got a 5 speed Sprint that gets double the mileage that my Firefly has ever gotten.

My Firefly is an auto, and I do drive it kind of hard, but I try to take good care of it (oil changes, tire pressure, tranny fluid, coolant etc.).

I've finally gone and done what I should have done when I purchased the car 2 years ago, and changed the plugs (NGK), wires, fuel filter (old one looked to be full of crud and debris), distributor and rotor, and of course the air filter.

Prior to doing this, my car was stalling on other people when they would drive it (It would only sputter on me if it was raining heavilly outside or if I accelerated too hard) I guess I was just accustomed to pressing the accelerator in such a way that it wouldn't die out.

I don't know too much about the complex mechanics involved with engines. I can however do the basic stuff like spark plugs, oil changes, brakes, fuel pumps, filters and bearings and such, but when it comes to sensors and stuff on or in the engine, I usually shy away from it because I don't want to screw up my daily driver.

I am now sort of stumped and a little frustrated as to why my mileage is so terrible, especially now with the ever increasing gas prices. I no longer own the Sprint for I sold it to my old man so he can get good milage and save money (as opposed to driving around in a large 4 litre engine Ford Aerostar). I didn't want to sell him the Firefly because I didn't want to give him a problematic car; the Sprint is in better hands with him for he also has a huge appreciation for Swifts and he has already done some amazing things to it. For now, while I am still learning, I would like to focus my attention to one car.

The Firefly has been great to me, it has already far exceeded everything that I have ever expected from it. It was only supposed to serve as a temporary beater while I got my "First car" running, I only expected it to run for 2 years at most, but it ended up proving itself to be a very good car and now I love these things.

Still, I would like to get the most out of it. Like I had mentioned, I have just recently changed the plugs, wires, fuel filter, air filter, distributor, and rotor and it seems to have made a difference in the performance of the engine. It appears not to stall anymore, though I only just did this a couple of days ago, so I haven't been able to see if it will affect my fuel efficiency yet. I definitely believe that these things needed to be done, and it has made an improvement, though I have a feeling that it's not going to be this simple.

I am currently running 185/60 R13 mags filled to the max 35 psi, I changed the brakes all around last year; although, they do need bleeding. As soon as I got the mags, I took the car in for an alignment and a ball joint had to be replaced (if I let go of the wheel while driving, it tracks perfectly straight). I did my rear bearings myself this year when the grinding noise from the rear became far too noticeable.

I change my oil and filter religiously and had my transmission flushed this past spring. I don't know how many miles are on the tranny as it was a wrecking yard special and I must say that it feels a bit tired when shifting (don't know if this might affect mileage). My engine now has 126000 KM on it and appears to be in good running condition. If you listen to it carefully, it makes a clicking noise perhaps indicating that the valves need adjusting again (they were adjusted one year ago). My exhaust is brand new, excluding a catyletic converter. I stopped using my parking brake when I became suspicious of it sticking, possibly causing the rear brakes to be partially engaged most of the time. I find the car is slightly more difficult to push when in neutral than the 88 Sprint.

Other than all that, it is a 3 cylinder automatic 4 door that has been through a lot. It has always sort of "lacked power" and has gained the nickname of "THE SLOW AND THE FURIOUS" for it is rather "moody". It seems to be quick at random times and slow most of the time and loves the cold.

I could take it to a shop, but in this case, I would like to learn so that I can fix these kinds of problems in the future, plus I like the fact that if I do it, I have peace of mind knowing that it is done the way I want it.

I have a week off in late September that I can use to get it into shape for the winter. What's next then? PVC? O2 sensor? Coolant could maybe use a flush, though is still green. Thermostat seems okay. I don't smell or see any gas leaks. Are there any apparant problems from what I have listed that I am perhaps not taking into consideration? Does the carb possibly need rebuilding? Or have I already done enough for now?

Thanks for all the information already posted in this thread. All this knowledge is definitely helping me learn about my car and how to properly maintain it. Any additional information would be very appreciated,

-Trev.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 12:29 am 
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Location: Magalia, CA
Try this:

jack up one corner at a time and spin the wheels. If it's harder to push in nuteral, something might be draging. Perhaps one of the calipers has failed and isn't allowing the pads to rest after breaking or maybe a spring has lost tension and not pulling the shoes away from the drum. Or maybe a bearing has failed... First thing to do find out what wheel is anchoring you down.

Let us know what you find


CityCon

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 11:07 pm 
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Hi CityCon,

I briefly checked out each wheel last night, just while the car was on the ground. I put it in neutral and then grasped each wheel and gave it a turn in each direction to see if there was any noticeable friction.

The car seemed to roll back and forth with ease. I have yet to look further into it, but I did notice that the passenger side front wheel did make a very slight grinding noise. Perhaps you might be right about the caliper or bearings to which I have never replaced before on the front.

I did rear bearings after noticing that when I grabbed the wheel from the side and shook it, it would move toward and away from me while making a clunking noise. It felt like the wheel wanted to come off, whereas my front ones don't have this same symptom.

As for now, I have to finish tending to fuel-robbing problem #1; carbon and sludge.

I've cleaned out the packed EGR valve, replaced the PCV valve, was going to replace the O2 sensor but soon realized that my car doesn't have one, and am in the process of making new gaskets for the carb to intake manifold and EGR valve. Then, it will be time to clean out the combustion chamber and take her for a rip!

See http://www.teamswift.net/viewtopic.php?p=130456#130456 for more details.

Thanks for the advice!
-Trev.


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