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Old 11-03-2012, 11:20 PM   #1
scoobiemario
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What else to check/do? 2001 Focus SE Wagon

So I got 2001 SE, wagon just recently. I need car with better MPG that my scoobie. I drive 50 miles one way to work.
Ford is AT, 148 k miles, with Zetec and I got 29MPG last week, going on interstate 90% of the time. It looks and drives good.
So far I replaced:
- passenger side motor mount (due to vibrations),
- valve cover gasket (oil leaking)
- spark plugs (old ones were deep in oil due to bad gasket)
- air filter
- ignition coil (mounts were broken, previous owner bought new coil)
- Cleaned MAF
- oil and filter
- PCV valve and PCV hose (used 3/8 hose instead of stock 90 degree piece, I broke old stock one)
- DPFE sensor (due to CEL P0401, previous owner replaced EGR sensor, don't know if it fixed it yet. I tested EGR valve, and it's ok)
- cabin air filter (it was smelly :P)


SO engine runs smooth now. I do not know when timing belt was replaced last, but since it is non-interference engine, I am not in a hurry.
When engine is cold I can here what sounds like sound of valves with too big gaps. But sound comes from timing belt area. I used to have 2000 ZX3 with Zetec, but I do not remember if it was like that.

Something else I need to get to is suspension. I can here some popping sounds on bumpy roads. I assume it's ball joints. So I would replace lower control arms and ball joints.
Maybe one day in the future I would do struts as well.


Is there anything else that I should check into? Fix, replace?
Tranny is shifting smooth, and I have no reasons to mess with it. I was told, do not mess with it, since I do not know when it was flushed last time, and doing it now could make it worse.

Thanks in advance.
Mario


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Old 11-03-2012, 11:35 PM   #2
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IMO, 29mpg is pretty fair and the investments I'm going to suggest might not be offset by the mileage gains.

At that mileage,
- Wheel bearings may be worn enough to cause some drag. But replacing all 4 is going to set you back ~ $500. Not really worth it IMO, unless they are obviously bad.
- Suspension in general. Worn bushings, tie rods, ball joints, struts, shocks may not be up to par. That would cause lack of contact with the road, using more power to drive true straight and wasting power. The cost of replacing everything is absolutely cost prohibitive vs the possible gains. Talking well over $1,000 here.
- Tires. There are mpg variations simply from brand to brand. As a general rule, a tire rated for a higher mile rating will net a little more MPG. This is in part to the rubber compound being harder; again wasting less power in unneeded movement. One of those things that when the time comes for tires you may want to think about spending a bit more for a better tire.

There are other things you could replace/repair. But most all of it isn't going to put you much above 30-32 mpg.

I'd just do the norm of trying more pressure in the tires (but be safe about it).
See if you can get a little better mileage bast of what you use for fuel and where you fill up.
Keep unneeded weight out of the car.
Try to drive with a dead steady speed. Use cruise if you have it and it's safe to do so.
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iminhell View Post
IMO, 29mpg is pretty fair and the investments I'm going to suggest might not be offset by the mileage gains.

At that mileage,
- Wheel bearings may be worn enough to cause some drag. But replacing all 4 is going to set you back ~ $500. Not really worth it IMO, unless they are obviously bad.
- Suspension in general. Worn bushings, tie rods, ball joints, struts, shocks may not be up to par. That would cause lack of contact with the road, using more power to drive true straight and wasting power. The cost of replacing everything is absolutely cost prohibitive vs the possible gains. Talking well over $1,000 here.
- Tires. There are mpg variations simply from brand to brand. As a general rule, a tire rated for a higher mile rating will net a little more MPG. This is in part to the rubber compound being harder; again wasting less power in unneeded movement. One of those things that when the time comes for tires you may want to think about spending a bit more for a better tire.

There are other things you could replace/repair. But most all of it isn't going to put you much above 30-32 mpg.

I'd just do the norm of trying more pressure in the tires (but be safe about it).
See if you can get a little better mileage bast of what you use for fuel and where you fill up.
Keep unneeded weight out of the car.
Try to drive with a dead steady speed. Use cruise if you have it and it's safe to do so.
iminhel, I appreciate feedback.
I should say, that all the work I do to the car, not only suppose to keep car running at peak MPG, but also suppose to assure that car will run as reliable as possible.

As far as I know, wheel bearings would also cause unwanted noises while taking on/off ramps at high speeds. Plus there would be constant humming sound. I do not experience anything like that.

As it comes to suspension, I may replace ball joint plus control arms. This knocking sound is just annoying. But that's just maybe in the future.

I would rather spend this money for timing belt/water pump combo.
by the way, is there timing belt kit that You would recommend?

I put some more air in the tires today, front and back is at 37PSI, so 5 PSI over. Just by looking at the tires, I can tell that contact surface is little smaller. Should be good for MPG, but not as good for safety...
I'll find out by wednesday afternoon what is my current MPG. I do 100 miles a day.

Now, yesterday I replaced DPFE sensor, what fixed CEL P0401, PCV valve (and hose that I broke removing PCV, I used 3/8 hose from autozone, run around at 360 degrees away from it's destination, and than back, instead of binding it sharp at 90)
Would EGR system problem have impact on MPG?

Also new cabin air filter, smells much better now.

Oh, and about 40 or more miles of my 50 miles one way journey is using cruise control :)

So after all, I think general tune up for the car would be done after I'll replace fuel filter soon.
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:45 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scoobiemario View Post

I'll find out by wednesday afternoon what is my current MPG. I do 100 miles a day.
Did your mpg improve, scoobie? just curious..... sounds like you've got things well under control. :)
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Old 11-23-2012, 07:57 AM   #5
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Mpg is still at 29 - 30 level. I did not have a chance to replace fuel filter yet. Car is running very good though. I'm happy with it
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Old 11-23-2012, 08:26 AM   #6
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I just checked mine yesterday, it was 27.3 mpg combined. I'm very satisfied with those numbers.
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Old 11-23-2012, 08:46 AM   #7
scoobiemario
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Mileage I get is 90% interstate cruising at 70 mph.
If I driv more around town it is closer to 26-27 mpg
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:10 PM   #8
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Scoobie.. i would seriously consider checking and or replacing your timing belt.. no need waiting for it to break and leaving you stranded. I just bought my Foci SE and the belt never had been changed and i took a look and glad i did, it was on its last mile.
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