50 mpg goal on Saturn Sl1

Discussion in 'General' started by Raysp30, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. Raysp30

    Raysp30 New Member

    I've recently become a mpg enthusiast. I have a 2000 Saturn SL1, which was getting about 22 mpg up until a few weeks ago. I went and replaced a slew of sensors, upgraded to synthetic oil, and upgraded to a K&N air filter. That done, I was seeing roughly 40-45 mpg on the highway.

    From there I made an oil catch can and rigged up a fuel heating device using the return coolant line running down most of the fuel line and back (the space around the fuel filter was just too small to try to wrap anything around).

    I have a goal of 50 mpg on the highway, and I would like to see 40+ in the city when using some hypermiling techniques. If there's any other Saturn fans out there, I'm open to trying most anything that won't break my car.
  2. bestmapman

    bestmapman Fighting untruth and misinformation

    Hi and welcome to the site. If I were you, I would concentrate more on the driving techniques and less on the goo-wiz gadgets.
  3. Daox

    Daox Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the site. I'd agree with bestmapman. Refining your driving techniques could probably net you 50 in the very near future.
  4. kngkeith

    kngkeith Well-Known Member

    Welcome Raysp30-
    Without working real hard, I'm doing 50-53 mpg. If I was more disciplined, 60's would be more the norm. Mods: max psi tires and scangauge.
    The rest is technique. Practice DWL, DWB, and slowing down. Work in other skills as you get comfortable.
    Keith G
  5. mimatt

    mimatt New Member

    I'm in the same boat as you. I have a 1997 Saturn SC1 and I'm looking to get 50+ mpg @ 70mph which is a tall order but I think it can be done. I'm at 40+ mpg with minimal mods and driving sensibly about half of the time. I have a Scangauge II, Fram Airhog filter, pcv oil catch can,and I'm running 40 psi in the tires.

    New O2 sensor and motor mounts are on the way as is some smooth hubcaps and some Vortex generators (Vortekz). I'm currently working on a belly pan and grill block (running Water Wetter to help with cooling). I'm also installing an oe SC2 spoiler (believe it or not, but it should net me a .02 CD reduction). I have also have quite a few future mods planned.
  6. auto-xr

    auto-xr Active Member

    I have similar goals and have done some modding myself. Like you, I'm interested in an under belly pan as well. Please keep us posted on your results. :)
  7. auto-xr

    auto-xr Active Member

    Heating up the fuel is something new. Can you explain?
  8. COMP

    COMP Active Member

    it is to help atomize the fuel better,,,warm air intake can do it to
  9. NickfromIL

    NickfromIL Active Member

    I have a 2001 Saturn SL-2 and with no mods just hypermiling I am up to 46.42 MPG with about 75% highway 25% city driving, so it can definately be done.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2008
  10. mintsk8er

    mintsk8er Well-Known Member

    Believe it or not, you're going to be able to get the most gains in the CITY driving, not the highway. Using every technique I know of I can get 60 mpg in 100% city driving. I've actually mustered a short 5 or so mile 70 MPG trip, again, city driving. I wouldn't be able to get close to that on the highway. Maybe mid 40's, maybe.

    I strongly recommend you find back roads (30 - 45ish mph range) if you want serious FE. Just take a look at my mileage log to see... Almost all of the driving recorded on that log was city driving.
  11. slinky

    slinky New Member

    I have a Saturn SL1 with manual transmission and I have been able to get 52 mpg on the highway with regular gas - no alcohol - and keeping the RPM at 2000 or less in high gear. I have done nothing to modify the engine or the car. I replace the spark plugs and air filter at 10,000 miles and am using Bosch spark plugs. I change oil (semi syn) at 3000 mile intervals. I drive this car hundreds of miles typically go 200 to 250 miles without stopping on the interstate and get 48 to 52 mpg.
  12. ksstathead

    ksstathead Moderator

    I've never heard of 10M interval on plugs. What is the normal interval on that car?
    My Prius is 120,000 miles and the pictures I've seen show they can go longer.

    Are you attributing your mileage to 10,000 mile plug changes? What mileage do you get if you only change at recommended interval?
  13. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Slinky:

    Boy was this thread dragged up from ancient history. ;)

    And welcome to the forums. Plus congrats on your numbers!

  14. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    I replace my plugs at 100K whether they need 'em or not.
  15. slinky

    slinky New Member

    I don't know if changing the plugs at 10,000 mile intervals has any effect on the 50mpg or not but the plugs are easy to replace and I think that the Bosch plugs will last much longer than standard plugs so I will go to 20,000 mile intervals. I forgot to mention that this SL1 is a 1997 model and has 150,000 miles on it and doesn't use oil and seems to have plenty of power for its age. Replacing spark plugs at 100,000 miles doesn't make sense as plugs are cheap and the cost of gas and resultant lower fuel mileage is much more costly that $30 for a set of plugs. Alcohol in the fuel seems to reduce fuel mileage. I am considering replacing this car with a newer model car but from what I have looked at nothing seems to be similar in cargo space, mpg, and general utility. Someone suggested Nissan Versa as a similar replacement but I don't think that it will get similar mileage or have the room inside.
  16. ksstathead

    ksstathead Moderator

    Well, I envy the easy to replace part, as I have about 60 bolts to remove to reach mine.
    And mine are not that cheap, but still not a big expense, maybe 60.

    But I do think you are throwing away good plugs. Consider just inspecting/regapping at 20,000 and then every 10,000?

    Anyway, to each his own. Best of luck.
  17. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    That's questionable, in my opinion. As long as it's running well on existing plugs, replacing them may not save ANY fuel, much less $30 worth within only 10,000 miles.

    The same goes for air filters, unless you're in a lot of dust.
  18. Jalen

    Jalen Well-Known Member

    I had been getting 40-45mpg on my SL1 manual, but the milage has been steadily decreasing along with power. I have tried everything from full Syth oil to further tweeking my driving style but it seems to do little for it. Now, I'm lucky to get 36. Drop the outside temp and it gets even worse. I can't seem to generate enough heat to keep the engine hot when it gets below 35f. Even if pre-heated, once I hit the highway, the engine temp drops below operational... and tanks if I open up the heater. I suspect that's where most of my power's going in the cold.

    Digging aaaaall the way back to the original poster, what sensors did you replace?
  19. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    Have you checked the coolant thermostat? That description resembles what happens if the thermostat doesn't close, or opens prematurely.
  20. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    A thermostat is a rather low-tech mechanical device, but they DO sometimes fail.

    I'd check that. Just make sure to capture the coolant and reuse it , unless you think it's time to replace it.

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