Festiva & Caliber - Fuelly Forums

Android Users - Coming Soon! - Migrating from aCar 4.8 to 5.0

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Old 06-13-2007, 06:22 PM   #1
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Festiva & Caliber

Initially, I feather footed my 1988 Ford Festiva w/4sp manual averaging 45MPG with 53 MPG highway highs. Still have & love my Festiva, but have been wanting an inexpensive car with a reliable CVT transmission for 17 years. On 9/28/2006 I bought an SE Dodge Caliber 2 liter w/CVT transmission. Many in Dodge Caliber websites report poor MPG. Initially, my Caliber turned in 35.6MPG highway high & was averaging over 30+MPG. Thru the cold winter & using low energy winter gas, overall average MPG dropped to 28.6 MPG. With the warming weather & use of high energy summer mix gas, my overall average has risen to 30.9MPG for 40 tanks of gas. I expect it to continue to rise a bit more till October 2007 till colder weather & winter mix gas takes their toll again. Anyhow, I've feather footed as best as I can, & now would like to know what else I can do to keep the MPG I've got & raise it even more.
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Old 06-13-2007, 06:23 PM   #2
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40 tanks! Gee whiz! Why the switch between cars?

Fill out a garage and gaslog so we can check out your progress!

Welcome to the site!
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Old 06-13-2007, 06:29 PM   #3
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Yes Welcome to GS !

Don't fret over being stuck in the 30's , keep workin at it . It may be needing more technique and finding the sweet spots 'in the band' .
Definitely get a gas log started .
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Old 06-13-2007, 06:52 PM   #4
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I have a gas log on the government's Fuel Economy website & am happy with my Caliber's MPG. I'm already 15% to 20% over the EPA estimates for the Caliber, while others on the Caliber website are mired in the low 20's. I'm here to get more tips so I can share them with other Caliber drivers. Thot you might know things about the CVT I don't know, but I guess you don't.

The CVT(continually variable ratio transmission) is always in the sweet spot. That is what the CVT transmission does...shifts(without feeling the shift) to keep the engine in its least stressful & MPG efficient mode continually. I'm sure that there are better ways to drive the Caliber to squeeze more MPG. Just tryin'.
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Old 06-13-2007, 08:24 PM   #5
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I think we all know how the CVT works, but we're just wondering why move from a more fuel efficient stick to a less efficient CVT...

I don't doubt the CVT is awesome in most cases...but these days these are often coupled to too-powerful engines (except in the hybrid case) that don't end up returning good mileage.

How many miles do you put on a year?
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Old 06-14-2007, 07:32 AM   #6
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SVOboy...Thanks MnFocus for welcoming this newbie to your website before questioning me. My answer about the CVT was for those who didn't know about the CVT efficiency which some didn't.

My Festiva is getting older which I noted before. I've been waiting for a inexpensive reliable CVT car for 16 years. The Dodge Caliber is that cheap car, delivering an elegant magic carpet ride as no other non-CVT car can do. The Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris, & Mazdas didn't have CVTs & the Nissan Versa marketed its CVT in too expensive a model.
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Old 06-14-2007, 07:38 AM   #7
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Ah, gotcha.

Well, you should be able to improve upon your mileage a bit. What is your drive like?
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Old 06-14-2007, 10:24 AM   #8
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Saw a Festiva ysterday at a coffee shop

My best friend in high school had a Festiva. I saw one yesterday at a coffee shop where I was studying. I took a long, nostalgic look. I couldn't believe we 'parked' with our girlfiends on double dates, and even camped out by putting the back seat forward.

Oops, was I supposed to write something about FE?

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Old 06-14-2007, 10:27 AM   #9
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Welcome to the site! Feel free to look around and read up! Lots of neat stuff here!
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Old 06-14-2007, 11:07 AM   #10
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Yes, welcome

It seems like there would be a sweet spot controlled by the throttle. If you give it more throttle does it hold a higher rpm for that acceleration compared to a light throttle take off? I'm trying to compare it to the snowmobiles I've had, and that's how they worked. If this is the case then there should be a throttle opening that puts the engine in it's most efficient range.

edit; Or is the most efficient range varied by the amount of throttle? Like at 1/2 throttle the engine will have a different rpm where it is most efficient (at that amount of throttle) compared to 3/4 throttle. If that is the case, then the cvt COULD already be tuned to do that already for any given throttle opening, but maybe it's not. Maybe you can retune that thru the computer, kind of like changing the mass of the weights on the snowmobile clutches to alter the rpms?

blah blah blah, I'm rambling, don't listen to anything I say
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