Performance related mods that help with fuel efficiency?
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Thread: Performance related mods that help with fuel efficiency?

  1. #1
    FST Member rob99rt's Avatar
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    So we drive a lot each year... 18k for my car, my wife puts probably 10k on the Transit van, and the Escape is going to get close to 10k as well from my older boys taking it to work and college.
    Consequently, anything I can swap that's not too expensive that helps with efficiency I'll do.. Changed out the exhaust on the escape and got around 3 mpg, for example, on the same route. The stock exhaust on the escape chokes down to around 1.75" inches in one section, so opening it up to 2.5" helped tremendously.

    For the Focus, though, I'm not really sure where to start. I've only had the car for the last 7 weeks and have been pleasantly surprised with the mileage it gets (32.28 according to fuelly), but I'd love to get it higher. Thought about the exhaust, but several folks on here say the stock cat back flows decently. Fmic? It's good for getting a cooler air charge, but my intake temps are normally running only about 4-6 degrees above ambient since I opened up a hole in that piece of rubber sheet behind the grill to give the intake access to fresh air, and I'm not doing pull after pull like some guys are. Downpipe? Would have to get a catted one due to emissions here, so I've looked at the 1320 with a defouler, but then again I'm still using a stock exhaust for the time being. There's debate of tunes helping with fuel efficiency if you can keep your foot out of it, but I would prefer to not go with a tune at this point since I'm still well within the warranty period (9k on the odometer).

    So, where do you guys think I should start that would be a good bang for the buck in efficiency and performance? Fwiw, I had a 99 Neon RT that could easily spin the tires to 70mph that I could also get 41 mpg with on the freeway, so I know good performance and fuel efficiency CAN go hand in hand if done right. I just need some direction on the ST.

    Thanks for any help you can provide.
    - Rob


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    FST Member PDXslowboi's Avatar
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    I haven't seen much in the way of increasing MPG, I don't think that's a very commonly asked thing within this community, but obviously any way to reduce weight would be a start. Specifically, lighter wheels and tires. The premiums weigh about 25 lbs each and there are a number of options that are around 17-18 lbs each. And since it's rotational mass it makes a big difference, but particularly for performance.
    @nickbaldwin86 might have something up his sleeve
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    FST Senior Member ST3ROID's Avatar
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    ST swap to SE

    Lol... you could bump up tire pressures a couple pounds (if you haven't done so already) or switch to a more eco friendly tire that has less rolling resistance.
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    FST Member rob99rt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PDXslowboi View Post
    I haven't seen much in the way of increasing MPG, I don't think that's a very commonly asked thing within this community, but obviously any way to reduce weight would be a start. Specifically, lighter wheels and tires. The premiums weigh about 25 lbs each and there are a number of options that are around 17-18 lbs each. And since it's rotational mass it makes a big difference, but particularly for performance.
    @nickbaldwin86 might have something up his sleeve
    Forgot about wheels and tires... I am looking at replacing the stock 18s with some 17s once the F1s are worn out. Had to get a tire patched 2 days ago and the poor tire guy had a bear of a time with the tire due to that lip and the short sidewall. I imagine the taller sidewall of the 17s will help a bit with the ride harshness, too, as the roads around Denver suck.
    - Rob


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    FST Member kevperro's Avatar
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    I think the tires on our Focus eat a good 5 MPG on the highway vs a slimmer smaller profile. But that is a tradeoff I'd be unwilling to make.

    I'm getting around 28-29 MPG on the highway but I seem unable to keep my foot out of it. I figure the traffic tickets are going to cost me more than the fuel. Looked down yesterday and I was doing 95 MPH when I just had to get around someone going slow in the fast lane.
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    FST Member rob99rt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ST3ROID View Post
    ST swap to SE

    Lol... you could bump up tire pressures a couple pounds (if you haven't done so already) or switch to a more eco friendly tire that has less rolling resistance.
    Not going to a non turbo car around here... Being a mile up I need to force feed the motor air to get it to go. Had a N/A Mazda 3 when I got out here two years ago and it was horrible. Having a car that won't accelerate here in Denver is suicide.
    - Rob


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    FST Member rob99rt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevperro View Post
    I think the tires on our Focus eat a good 5 MPG on the highway vs a slimmer smaller profile. But that is a tradeoff I'd be unwilling to make.

    I'm getting around 28-29 MPG on the highway but I seem unable to keep my foot out of it. I figure the traffic tickets are going to cost me more than the fuel. Looked down yesterday and I was doing 95 MPH when I just had to get around someone going slow in the fast lane.
    Before I started tracking with fuelly I did a quick road trip back and forth from Thornton to Colorado Springs (~180 miles round trip) and I filled up both when I was leaving and returned, and my mileage was 37.78 when I checked it manually. I do think the thinner air probably helps some with mileage due to the car having less trouble cutting through the air, but that mileage was basically from getting on the freeway and setting the cruise at 75 each way.

    I would just love to get mid 30s back and forth to work, though.
    - Rob


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    FST Member kevperro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob99rt View Post
    Before I started tracking with fuelly I did a quick road trip back and forth from Thornton to Colorado Springs (~180 miles round trip) and I filled up both when I was leaving and returned, and my mileage was 37.78 when I checked it manually. I do think the thinner air probably helps some with mileage due to the car having less trouble cutting through the air, but that mileage was basically from getting on the freeway and setting the cruise at 75 each way.

    I would just love to get mid 30s back and forth to work, though.
    I've only watched the trip computer. I don't have any idea how accurate it is so take my observation with a grain of salt. Work pays for my fuel so I don't care that much about efficiency.

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    FST Member Invincible's Avatar
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    Maybe you could reach out to some tuners like Stratified or Freektune for example to tailor you a tune which gets better mpg while maintaining at least stock-ish power levels.
    Other than that - tires with lower rolling resistance and rims which are as light as possible (in a financially feasible way).
    Also, you would want to remove any bottleneck for your turbo, like a downpipe with a sports cat and a 3" aluminium intake tubing along with a high flow air filter.

    Oh and properly gapped spark plugs can increase mpg too.
    Last edited by Invincible; 07-05-2019 at 10:58 AM.

  11. #10
    FST Member rob99rt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevperro View Post
    I've only watched the trip computer. I don't have any idea how accurate it is so take my observation with a grain of salt. Work pays for my fuel so I don't care that much about efficiency.
    It's been usually around 1.5 mpg high for me.. this last tank it was listed at 34.0, but it was actually 32.5.
    - Rob


 

 
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