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Old 10-24-2007, 08:47 AM   #1
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New member 2002 Ford Focus

Hey, I joined after seeing an article on MSN money. I have a 2002 focus and average 33mpg. Most of my driving consists of 55mph down a hilly winding two lane road 25miles each way to work. I have one stoplight and get to 55 and hit the cruise, so I feel like I should get beter mpg than 33. The best I have ever got was 37 runing 44psi and cruse on 65 with no stops for an entire tank. The only mods to the car are larger tires (1" taller OD), reciever hitch, and cb radio. I will be looking for tips on getting good milage without giving up too many comforts.
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Old 10-24-2007, 09:23 AM   #2
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Welcome to the site! The best thing you can get is a scanguage II and the best technique for you is likely to learn to DWL, search it on the site.
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Old 10-24-2007, 10:24 AM   #3
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Yow - yes, you definitely want to avoid cruise on a hilly route.

Cruise does literally the opposite of what an efficient driver would do: it loads up the engine going up, then uses engine braking to maintain a set speed on the way down. In. E. Ficcient.

Sounds like a pleasant drive though, and with the 55 mph limit, you should be able to do quite well.

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Old 10-24-2007, 10:28 AM   #4
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lancek -

Welcome to GS! If your tires are a different size, then you may be getting better MPG because your odometer may be reading incorrect (maybe 1% or 2% better). You can borrow a friend's GPS to compare to your odometer. I put my GPS on the dashboard to make sure it maintains a near-constant connection to the satellite for best accuracy.

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Old 10-24-2007, 12:21 PM   #5
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Yes, the changed tire size is making your odometer a liar.
You're going further than it shows.
You're also going faster than it shows, so behave yourself out there!

You can do a google search for "tire size calculator"
or "tire size conversion calculator".
My favorite is on a site called "wickedbodies" (.net??)

Those calculators will tell you the exact amount of error in speed and distance caused by going from the standard size to any other size.

That said, a larger diameter tire will probably get you better FE in real miles. That is, you went further than the odometer says - so more miles on x gallons of gas.

And remember, the larger tires give fewer engine rpms for the same distance travelled, so it's like all your gears are slightly taller. Considering that most USA market cars are designed more for acceleration and power than for fuel economy, you'll probably get give up a bit of that power and reap the gain in FE. Just find the correcton factor for your odometer.
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Now driving '97 Civic HX; tires ~ 50 psi. '89 Volvo 240 = semi-retired.
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Old 10-24-2007, 02:47 PM   #6
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Hey Lance ! Welcome !!
Yes get a ScanGauge if you can. I can vouche for the effects of cruise control on a Focus. Rip it out and throw it away. Those 44 psi tires are way *under*inflated - just sayin . That lil Zetec is a capable FE machine you just need to unlock its potential.
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Old 10-24-2007, 03:28 PM   #7
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44psi is the max on the tires and i don't want to go over that psi. I don't know if I can give up my cruise... I tried today using the DWL technique (took me a while to find what that ment). and it about drove me crazy, I really like to look around and enjoy the scenary (sp?) and found myself watching the speedo,tach, throttle position a lot. I did notice several hills where I can coast rather well. Another problem with DWL is that much over 55 and I have to use my brakes to go around turns, most of which have signs for about 30-45mph, so 55mph is about all I feel comfortable doing. I will look up some other posts about driving on hills and see what my other options are.

I also forgot to mention that my focus is a ZX3(hatchback) and has the 5sp transmission.
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Old 10-24-2007, 03:48 PM   #8
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Re: attention required for DWL: that's just because it's new to you. After a while, like many repetitive skills, it'll become second nature, and you will return to relaxing more and watching... nature. Somewhat.

Get yourself a ScanGauge and compare the two approaches. I think you'll notice a worthwhile difference between the two.
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Old 10-24-2007, 04:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lancek View Post
44psi is the max on the tires and i don't want to go over that psi.
I also forgot to mention that my focus is a ZX3(hatchback) and has the 5sp transmission.
Hmmm 44 psi is the stated max on mine also . Thats ok if you choose not to go over that though . Some say the ride gets rougher , it isn't safe to do that 'excessive' pressure bit,they'll over heat and blow out and that the tires will center wear more quickly. Admittedly I was resistant to going over without really checking into it . 10k on these tires at 44+ psi and the tread is worn evenly and the ride is great . Much better resistance to hydroplaning and slightly shortened braking distances.
Keep working on DWL and try pulse and glide (P&G) . I would *limit* the cruise use to mostly flatland cruising though . You will get much better FE in hill country without it .
psssst ScanGauge , scangauge, scangauge ...
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Old 10-24-2007, 04:40 PM   #10
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Sorry for hijacking the thread, but I really need to ask this. Can the Focus owners chime in with their experiences with these cars? I am looking at getting my fiance one in the near future. Miles driven, any unexpected problems, and suggestions as to which vintage has performed the best.

Mnfocus' 48 is nothing to shake a stick at. The car obviously has potential.
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