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Old 09-21-2006, 09:58 PM   #1
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Wink New to GS - proudly got 38mpg in my 90 corolla today!

I've been commuting from Houston to Beaumont for a month or so now in a recently purchased 1990 Toyota Corolla that now has 206k miles on the clock (had 203k when I bought it). I just found this site (linked from gasbuddy), and like what I've seen.

I entered in my Corolla's gaslog in the garage, back to when I bought it. Still learning how to drive this vehicle for the best efficiency (and I think I've finally straightened out the maintenance issues as well that it had upon my purchase). I'm utterly surprised with how efficient it is. I previously owned a 1992 Toyota Tercel, and while it was efficient, it wasn't nearly so much so as this Corolla, which is a bit of a surprise to me since the corolla is both larger and has a larger engine.

Today I even managed 38mpg on a non-stop trip via I-10 from Beaumont to Houston (about 80 miles). I double and triple checked to make sure the tank was topped off, but she'd only take slightly over 2 gallons no matter what I did... I'm just amazed at the efficiency of this little car. And it doesn't even use much oil (1/2 quart in 3000 miles so far).

Anyway - that's me (well my car really). Glad to have found the site.

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Old 09-21-2006, 10:08 PM   #2
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Welcome to the site! 38 MPG is very impressive. Now your goal is 40mpg! I think it's very doable.
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Old 09-21-2006, 10:20 PM   #3
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Welcome to the site! 38 MPG is very impressive. Now your goal is 40mpg! I think it's very doable.
Likely doable, but I'm already pushing the limits of patience of other drivers on I-10.... the section of I-10 between houston & beaumont is 2 lanes each way for about 75% of the distance, so even in the slow lane, you get people running up behind you. The 3-lane sections are very nice, get in the right lane and merge over just to avoid onramp traffic, and you can set your own pace easily. I had set my goal this trip to not exceed 65 mph, for example, but several times I got "pushed" up to 70 because traffic was pushing so hard in the 2-lane each way sections. I'm not sure if I can exceed this mileage on this route. Too much traffic to try much harder, I think.

I might try the only alternate route (US Hwy 90 from Houston to Beaumont), but it has a few small towns and stoplights, which cut mileage a little. I've gotten 34mpg on that route previously, so 40 *might* be possible if pull out all the stops...

I have done most maintenance to this vehicle that I can think of to increase mileage mechanically. I even fixed a hanging dust shield on the bottom that was flapping in the breeze, now it is firmly attached under the engine, keeping air flowing past.. The only thing I haven't done is tried a thinner viscocity oil - which I'm a bit afraid of doing on a car with this many miles despite the low oil usage.

Since my car doesn't have cruise control, I've been considering retrofitting one - but I'm not sure how much benefit there would be. It would be more beneficial in my area than in some though, since where I live things are nearly 100% flat (southeast Texas)... From what I've read about pulse and glide, and coasting techniques, not many of them would be very useful in completely flat terrain. Not much opportunity for coasting to speak of.

Of course, that's why I'm here - to find out tips, etc, to increase the mileage even more

Thanks for the welcome!
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Old 09-21-2006, 11:00 PM   #4
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Hey there, welcome to the site.

Keep in mind that gas gets hot and expands during the day/as you drive around, which can cause underfills, especially in small quantities.

How many rpms do you turn at highway speeds?
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Old 09-22-2006, 02:50 AM   #5
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Hey there, welcome to the site.

Keep in mind that gas gets hot and expands during the day/as you drive around, which can cause underfills, especially in small quantities.

How many rpms do you turn at highway speeds?
*nod*... however this was evening, rather cool compared to much of my recent driving. Something to consider of course, I'll be watching the next tank closely...

I wish I knew how many rpms! This car doesn't have a tach - something that I'm considering remedying with a trip to the junkyard after I check the wiring diagrams to see if the proper wiring for a tach is there (as tach was an option). It revs pretty high at highway speeds, which isn't as bad as it could be since this engine is very oriented toward higher rpm operation and is rather anemic at low rpms. Still best not to rev it too high - wish it had an overdrive.
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Old 09-22-2006, 07:48 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by aelfwyne
*nod*... however this was evening, rather cool compared to much of my recent driving. Something to consider of course, I'll be watching the next tank closely...

I wish I knew how many rpms! This car doesn't have a tach - something that I'm considering remedying with a trip to the junkyard after I check the wiring diagrams to see if the proper wiring for a tach is there (as tach was an option). It revs pretty high at highway speeds, which isn't as bad as it could be since this engine is very oriented toward higher rpm operation and is rather anemic at low rpms. Still best not to rev it too high - wish it had an overdrive.
I would be more than happy to check the junkyard for you the next time I go if you are unable to find what you need.
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Old 09-22-2006, 08:35 AM   #7
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Congratulations and welcome to the site. You're kind of limited with the 3 speed auto but you're a canidate for aero mods with all the freeway driving. Make sure that your tire pressures are set where you want them. Spend some time with the search function and you can find some good ideas.
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Old 09-25-2006, 11:49 AM   #8
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...so even in the slow lane, you get people running up behind you. The 3-lane sections are very nice, get in the right lane and merge over just to avoid onramp traffic, and you can set your own pace easily. I had set my goal this trip to not exceed 65 mph, for example, but several times I got "pushed" up to 70 because traffic was pushing so hard in the 2-lane each way sections.

Since my car doesn't have cruise control, I've been considering retrofitting one - but I'm not sure how much benefit there would be. It would be more beneficial in my area than in some though,
Hi! Welcome!
Just a tip: Cruise control can't beat a right foot for best MPG! They're too erratic in their control ("on", "off","on","off"...); you can feather the pedal much better!
Oh! Don't let the other guy push you! Ignore him! He'll go away/around.... -Ted Hart
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Old 09-25-2006, 12:20 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Ted Hart
Hi! Welcome!
Just a tip: Cruise control can't beat a right foot for best MPG! They're too erratic in their control ("on", "off","on","off"...); you can feather the pedal much better!
This is so true. Constant throttle position is superior over constant speed.
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Old 09-25-2006, 12:47 PM   #10
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I just found this site (linked from gasbuddy)
I bet that was me.
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