Looking for top FE in GM sedan/compact.

Discussion in 'GM' started by pdw, Jul 6, 2008.

  1. JohnM

    JohnM Well-Known Member

    So PDW, does that mean that the wasted gasoline during warmup is (2x-4x) or 1.5 lbs to 3 lbs of gasoline. So that would equate to 1/4 gallon to 1/2 gallon of gasoline (at 6 lbs/gallon) wasted during each start up?

    Hence a block heater would save (very optimistically) up to 1/2 gallon of gas every day the car is started.
  2. pdw

    pdw Well-Known Member

    The average is 1.5lbs (2x) ... that's on a '94 single-cam Saturn 5speed Sedan.

    In the summer (right now) the thermosing materials keep the engine warm all day. Thermosing (I found) was only safe for hypermiling/FASing.

    Your block heater idea is great, but I would only need it for 20 minutes in my case. Oil heating at the same time. What seems to work good for FE on the '94 is oil heat. The truckers say their oil runs at 250degF (higher than the boiling point of water). I suspect that once the oil is hot ... the real savings begin.

    ( In daily driving the engine was off 90% of the time in the city, approx average 33% of the time in hilly country, about half the time on the highway where its gradually rolling country ... and over flat prarie against wind at night (lights on) what worked best was steady cruise.)
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2008
  3. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    A Co-workers wife bought a new $16,000 Cobalt a couple of weeks ago for a about $10,600 out the door. They gave several discounts and they got an additional discount for being a repeat finance customer through some GM finance arm.
  4. sailordave

    sailordave Well-Known Member

    Keep in mind that a Pontiac Vibe is actually a Toyota Matrix and a Chevy Aveo is actually a Daewoo.
  5. pdw

    pdw Well-Known Member

    At the dealership I saw the GM G5 ..... the equivalent of a Chevy Cobalt. There are a limited number of 5 speeds (none on the lot ... go figure).

    If indeed they are a scarce commodity, ... then it's easy to assure the salesperson that putting our name on an early order for the new 1.4turbo car from Ohio is the way to go.

    The Aveo and Vibe (Matrix and Daewoo equivalents) were all lined up there too.
  6. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    The Aveo is also sold in Canada as the Pontiac G3, too.
    Try this link and see if it works - http://apps.gm.ca/app/GMCanada/NewVehicleLocatorCriteria.do?lang=en&nav=0&cta=blank
    It's the Canadian version of gmbuypower.com and it lets you find the car you want by Postal Code. Then you can go to the dealer with the VIN of the car you choose and see if they can swap with that dealer to get the car you want. You typically have more bargaining power when buying off the lot (even if via a dealer swap) than ordering the car from the factory.

    I use gmbuypower.com all the time to locate cars for people. Then it's easy enough to look up the invoice price for the vehicle so you know what price point to use to start bargaining.

    As for the upcoming 2010 "Chevy Compact", here are two links for anyone who is interested in the upcoming new model -

    GM Press release describing the 1.4L turbo four:

    Spy shots of the car at motortrend.com -
    The Motor Trend article says, "The Chevy compact will have more equipment, benchmark safety and quality, ... and most important, 'nine miles per gallon more than Chevy's entry in this segment today.' Add 9 mpg to the current 2.2L five-speed manual Cobalt, and you get 33 mpg city and/or 42 mpg highway (Wagoner didn't specify which, or if both)."
  7. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    Grumpee, welcome to CleanMPG!
    I am waiting until this weekend to get an initial "report card" from my brother to see how he's doing on FE. Since he was getting 20mpg in a 3/4 ton pickup with a 6.0 gas V8, I would think he's getting an average of upper 20s to 30mpg using the same techniques. His HHR is the 1LT with the 2.2, which has the same 22 city, but is rated at 30 highway to the 2.4 liter's 28mpg.

    For your city travel, the mpg can be improved with more tire pressure, coasting toward lights and congestion, shutting down the engine at traffic lights, and pulse and glide if the traffic conditions permit. Since my brother is driving during congested "rush hour" in the outer edges of New York City, he can use P&G as the traffic speed varies. The other trick is to get to know the transmission (which is the 4T45E, which is flat towable up to 65mph, so NICE-off is ok) and where the best driving speeds are relative to top gear cruising. Generally speaking, getting to 40mph is best, when safe and practical, as it gets to 4th gear for low rpm high load cruising.

    City driving is the biggest challenge to pulling high MPG numbers, but the hypermiler's toolbox has plenty of techniques to make the best of the situation.
  8. pdw

    pdw Well-Known Member

    I tested/test-drove (you know what I mean) an HHR ... acouple of years ago ... but not enough to get an idea of the milage potential ....

    Maxx, ... thanks for the sites ... the 9mpg-more is a good starting point

    how does a turbo fare with FASing ? (just thinking outloud)
  9. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    Had dinner with my brother last night - the one with the new HHR. He hasn't driven far enough to get through two tanks to see what sort of average he's getting for MPG, but the iFCD reads a steady 45 at 55mph, so he's very pleased. When I set the budget spreadsheet to show him how you can pay for much of a smaller car with fuel cost savings, I set 33mpg average as a target. He should be right around there now, even though it's still on breakin and not loosened up yet.
    He was showing the other guys on the job, including a peek at the fuel consumption numbers. They were dumbfounded. I think that people see the HHR and assume it is a truck, and they don't realize it is just a Cobalt station wagon and so it gets the same MPG as the Cobalt coupe/sedan.

    Whether or not to FAS a turbo engine seems to be generating a lot of strong opinions around here lately. Much of the "you'll blow the turbo" opinions date back to thirty years ago, as turbocharging was working its way into mainstream cars. Those early turbos did not have a system to oil the turbo bearings after engine shutdown. High-load driving followed by a prompt shutdown (quick stop for gas off the interstate, for example) would damage the bearings as the oil in there turned into charcoal from the tremendous heat.
    Fast forward to today, and modern turbos have auxiliary lubrication systems that oil the turbo bearings for a short time after shutdown - long enough to protect the unit. If synthetic oil is used (as we use on the wife's Daytona turbo and it's trouble-free all these years), periodic FAS should be fine, with these two thoughts added -
    1 - If the owners manual contains a warning or caution not to shut the engine down after high speed driving after "xx" number of minutes, you follow the manual. If the manual does not say this, you can assume that the engine can be cut without damaging the turbo.
    2 - The turbo only spools up to self-destruct territory under very heavy load and high engine rpm. Back off the go-pedal and the waste gate opens and the turbine spins down over time. To keep our turbo trouble-free, I just tell my wife to "drive easy" and keep the boost gage at 0 for a few minutes before arriving home to shut the engine down. If shutting down (to fuel up or stop at the market for 2 minutes) after high-load driving, it's still been "ok" for us, since the car is soon restarted (as it would be during FAS as well) and the oil pressure would reach the turbo bearings again.

    What's kept turbos out from under the hoods of most cars in the US has been owner abuse and neglect. With longer powertrain warranties, the automakers would sink themselves if they added a turbo to every car. Most people (meaning "non-hypermilers") change their oil once every leap year. And as we see on the road, they mash their accelerator to the floor and scream past us so fast that we can barely see the AAA sticker on their trunklid. They have no idea what a timing belt is and they bee-yatch that their mechanic is trying to screw them out of "600 dollars to change some fan belt thing". Over the years, I've known quite a few dealer mechanics from Ford and GM, as well as independent shops, and you would NOT believe the stories you hear. What people do to cars (that actually survive the owner's abuse) is literally unbelievable. With that in mind, it will be very interesting to see what GM and Ford (with their new line of EcoBoost engines) include as safeguards to protect these engines from the wrath of an enraged and abusive public.
  10. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    The water cooled turbos of today are like apples and oranges to yesterdays oil cooled versions. My first turbo seized at 247K miles for two reasons from what I can tell.
    One, I was uninformed about the evils of K&N air filters. When I pulled the inlet hose the front of the compressor wheel was covered with a oily grime. The second was I had the idea that all oil is the same. I ran dealer bulk 10W30 (Pennzoil) with 3,000 mile oil changes with OEM Mann oil filters. Today I have 115K miles on that new turbo and the front of the compressor wheel is as shinny as the day it was installed. The difference is since replacing it I use OEM paper filters. Also I now run Mobil 1 10W30 with 5,000 mile oil changes now on the turbo car.
    There are plenty of Volvo's and Saab's running around using Garret or Mitsubishi water cooled turbo's with 250K plus miles on them.
    As far as abuse killing these turbos I have been amazed at some of the sludged up engines at my dealer and the turbo's don't seem to be failing. Do they occasionally fail in extreme cases? Yes.
    All the manufactures have to do is cover their butts by letting the owner know that they will not cover a cooked turbo if the oil changes are not followed.
    Back in the early 80's Volvo bought me two turbo's due to the fact that I do over service my cars. They were amazed at the fact I got 42K miles out of my original Turbo. From what I heard that no one had gotten that many miles out of the original oil cooled turbo in the 1981 242 at the time. Volvo bought me a new one even though I was past the 12 month 12,000 mile warranty. When I blew an oil seal in the replacement around 90K miles, I cooked the turbo, and the catalytic converter.
    Volvo picket up $1200 in parts and I bought three to four hours of labor.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2008
  11. pdw

    pdw Well-Known Member

    Nice flashback to days gone by.

    It makes one imagine how far we've come since then.

    I would hope the prolonged spooldown of a turbo is an adequately lubricated one ... to include a variety of shutdown conditions all with uniform and negligeable wear and tear.
  12. freyguy50

    freyguy50 Member

    I just rented a 2007/early 2008 Cobalt with the lower fuel economy rating at averaged 41.6 mpg just by going 50 mph on cruise. I traveled approximately 110 miles on my trip. If the new ones are more efficient, you might be able to get 50+ mpg at those driving conditions.

    My 2003 Monte Carlo gets 36 mpg hauling 5 comfortably going 50 mph with windows down. This is a vehicle that is rated 28 on the old EPA standard. I have been taking four kids to a driving school 40 miles away and they are all convinced that driving slower is a money saver.
  13. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    Freyguy - some Chevy's GMs get much better FE than many folks give them credit for- especially most -2 007 on- recent versions , but the Impala from 2000 on always got good FE for a large fairly quick sedan.

    The 5.3 Chevy Trucks/SUVs are all 20+ mpg highway vehicles and the most recent versions are true 24mpg hy at 70 mph. Granted they aren't what you want to commute in , but consisering their intended use ,they are FE.The latest 5.3 pickups/SUVs can get 20 mpg city with motor on P&G , tire pressure Mobil 1 and motor shut off at all lights/long stops. By city I mean city driving with trips at least 10 miles in length.If you average 2 miles per trip you get 12 mpg .

  14. pdw

    pdw Well-Known Member

    Just hypermiled the Astra ... the 5 speed

    The salesman couldn't believe how the FAS worked .... easy to do and smooth.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2008
  15. pdw

    pdw Well-Known Member

    But how does one go about ordering one of those 1.4Litre turbos in advance .... the one we were discussing earlier in the thread to be built into a car in Lordstown Ohio in the near future ?
  16. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    That new car is currently known as the Chevrolet Cruze, and is due in the US as a 2010 model. It is still about 18 months away, although GM may speed it up a bit considering the current demand for small cars. Here are a few links with information on the car -


    I suspect that the reason for the new name is to allow Chevy to sell the car as a premium compact alongside the Cobalt, which would be positioned as a budget entry. As for pre-orders, I don't think GM's dealer ordering can handle them more than a few months before a vehicle launch, but it's worth it to keep checking the web for any updates.

    The Jalopnik article (link above) says it best - "... If it can achieve 45 MPG it'll put the 2009 Toyota Prius, which gets 45 MPG highway, right in its sights." Although the Prius will have moved on to even higher FE numbers, it is still a respectable goal to reach 45mpg with only a gasoline engine. And it's certainly better than the 2009 Cobalt's 33mpg (AT) to 37mpg (MT).

    The new Cruze will be built on the Delta2 platform (shared with the next Opel/Saturn Astra, Chevy Volt, unnamed Pontiac rebadge, and possibly a small Buick as well), and will be roughly the same size as the current Delta cars (Chevy Cobalt & HHR/Saturn Astra & Ion).

    Now raise your hand if you'd love to see a new HHR (with or without the funky '49 Suburban styling) with that 45mpg powerplant and the same level of room and versatility provided by today's HHR! :D It'd also be good for about 45mpg, as the current HHR (aka "Cobalt station wagon") matches the Cobalt sedan in city MPG and gives up only 1mpg on the highway. In fact, that's what sold my brother on his new HHR. He went to the dealer looking for a Cobalt econobox (cheap and 40+mpg with hypermiling) and ended up spending an extra $20 a month on the car payment to get the HHR, as it offers the same FE but with the taller seating position and loads of cargo space.
  17. pdw

    pdw Well-Known Member

    GM dealer's sales attitudes/innovations will make a lot of difference to GM's overall success (sales) in the near future. Welcoming in the customers for example like Saturn did to attract buyers in the early nineteen nineties with their first models (ie I believe it was 19 visits and 28days for the average sale) ... is one way to do this right.

    Giving the customer what they are looking for and giving them lots of time to decide on it (patience) is the way to do this; .... from a recent experience in searching I've concluded this still needs some work in a lot of our sales establishments.

    This upcoming car is beginning to show itself the newest example of an in-demand (mostly homegrown) product that has early indication as again giving picky patriotic buyers the sought-after 'value for their money'.

    Thanks for the sites/pictures.
  18. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    This link has a spyshot of the Cruze interior:
    It looks like a Daewoo logo on the steering wheel, but that is understandable since the Cruze will be sold in Korea as a Daewoo. The interior looks like a combination of new Malibu and Traverse, with the familiar two-tone interior. If the final showroom models look anything like this spyshot, the Cruze has a real chance of selling in large volumes. The Malibu is still selling strong after a year on the market, mostly due to the stylish design. The Cruze is expected to follow up on the same design theme, but should offer 50% better FE (based on current Malibu EPA numbers vs projections of Cruze numbers), so it should be right on target. For the sake of GM, let's hope so!
  19. pdw

    pdw Well-Known Member

    'For their sake' .... Maxx, ... that's the point to make.

    I'm going out to have another chat with my dealer today.

    The idea that we'll come in there to give them our furs for something shiny (sort of like the native Indians did years ago when the white man first came). We're all are like those Indians these days ... but we're smarter, and maybe GM has figured it out ...

    You see, ... we (my family members at least) are not going in anymore for 0-72 months without a fight; best thing was to pay cash (cause that's what we eventually could do when our vehicles don't rob us blind).... but whichever ... best to take our time studying which vehicle is going to deliver the most for our dollar ... all factors considered.
  20. OokiiMamoru

    OokiiMamoru Active Member

    From what I have seen at the EPA site the 2000 Impala is worst, and the 2001 is best according to user reports 2000 / 2005. I just obtained a 2001 and was getting 26.24 and 27.20 mpg on a open loop. The c.converter suddenly went bad on it. The car seems to run smother and cooler with a new c.converter so it looks like I'm hitting a closed loop now. No where to go but up. :)

    A lot better than the 1989 Caddy which I only avg about 20 mpg recently. (sigh)


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