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Old 06-05-2007, 09:25 PM   #1
roughrider1988
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fuel efficiency

I've been reading alot of posts about folks adding CAI's, Short Rams, and other modifications to their engines, suspensions, etc. What I would like to know are your thoughts about which mods provide the best increase in fuel efficiency. My zx3 (used) is completely stock, as far as I can tell, and on my last fill up, my fuel economy was 33mpg and all I've done so far is change the oil, add ZMax treatment, and change the engine and passenger compartment air filters.


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Old 06-05-2007, 09:27 PM   #2
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33mpg thats not bad at all. a short ram intake will help some, as well as just the basic maintenance. the fuel filter is a good one to do too, and depending on your mileage your spark plugs as well.
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Old 06-05-2007, 09:34 PM   #3
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Generally, anything that makes it easier for the engine to breathe (intakes, exhaust, cams, etc.) will increse economy, but only if you're able to keep your acceleration under control. If you get an intake and exhaust and beat on the gas all the time you won't see an increase, but if you drive conservatively with the mods you'll see a slight increase.
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Old 06-05-2007, 09:40 PM   #4
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i'm definitely not a tire squealer off the stop light but i do like to drive at the top end of the speed limit. so do you really feel that $800-$1000 worth of mods (intake, TB, exhaust, etc) will justify the increase in efficiency?
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Old 06-05-2007, 09:43 PM   #5
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^^^^^ Very well said. With a little more power it is kind of hard to keep your foot out of it at times.
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Old 06-05-2007, 09:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roughrider1988 View Post
i'm definitely not a tire squealer off the stop light but i do like to drive at the top end of the speed limit. so do you really feel that $800-$1000 worth of mods (intake, TB, exhaust, etc) will justify the increase in efficiency?
Over a long enough timeline you might get the $800-1000 back in fuel savings, but you'd probably have to drive your car a LOT and keep it until it falls apart. When I say it increases economy, you might see 2-3 extra MPG over stock, and that's assuming you drive conservatively all the time.
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Old 06-05-2007, 09:46 PM   #7
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Well, i would like to spuce up the focus, but i have a limited budget for mods......very limited. so i just want to make sure i will see a justification for some of these parts, they are expensive.
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Old 06-06-2007, 12:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roughrider1988 View Post
i'm definitely not a tire squealer off the stop light but i do like to drive at the top end of the speed limit. so do you really feel that $800-$1000 worth of mods (intake, TB, exhaust, etc) will justify the increase in efficiency?
Car and Driver magazine did a cost:benefit analysis on the $3000 premium paid for Hybrid technologies in green cars. These cars frequently get over 50mpg. That is more then 10mpg over the 40mpg the non-hybrid versions of those vehicles get. Car and Driver's calculations states it will take 7 years of fuel saving to offset the cost of the hybrid technology. Mind you, the premium for hybrid technology is greater than your expected expense, but the mileage gains are also greater.

It may take you many, many years, before the fuel saving offered by many engines mods offset the original cost of the modifications. They do help, as stated previously, but are generally done for performance reasons. Your driving habits will have the biggest impact on mileage.

But if you feel it is worth it, do it.
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Old 06-06-2007, 09:23 AM   #9
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On both my wife's car and my own, I had noticed a gain of 1 mpg simply by installing a high-flow air filter and properly maintaining it. A K&N filter for the stock Zetec or SVT airbox goes for about 35 bucks. Shop around. If overall economy is the goal, including the cost of upgrades, a high-flow filter would be likely to pay for itself pretty quickly. (in less than 20k miles by my estimation) Its true there are bigger fuel savings to be had w/ further modification, but the initial cost increase means the mods take much longer to pay for themselves.
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Old 06-06-2007, 11:58 PM   #10
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TYVM, very well put fellas.
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