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Discussion Starter #1
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.
 

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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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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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Discussion Starter #4
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.
 

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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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Discussion Starter #6
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.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
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.
 

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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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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
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.
 

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I've got all the stage 3 bolt ons and an intake. Running a 91 OTS tune (fill with 93). I believe I've averaged 42 miles per gallon according to the cars trip odometer on the highway.but I drive like an ass usually so it's around 26-27.
 

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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.
tires and wheel package of a 17 can be heavy compared to a 18. the more sidewall the more rubber the more weight
 

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Leave it alone! ("performance wise") if you want to keep that 32+ MPG DON'T touch it. NOTHING you do will help... bolt ons and a tune will get you less MPG NOT more.

You could run meth injection, but then you have to fill a tank with an added cost but you will for sure get better MPG. return on investment will be bad LOL. if you plan to keep the car for 10+ years then it will pay for itself.

light 18" wheels and light weight tires will be the only help you can get

if you really want 17" then go for it but you just keep in mind that the package will likely be heavier. most 17" wheels are less than a lb lighter than the 18" but the tires are more than a couple lbs.

return on investment will be bad for anything you do. if you want rims then get them, if you want rims to get better MPG... well that is silly because you are going to spend $1000 on rims and gain .5 mpg better at most and it will take you years to see the return at the pump , $1000 is a LOT OF GAS


You bought the wrong car to want good MPG
 

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If you're already getting 32+ mpg on the highway, you shouldn't expect much more. That's a hell of a lot better than 98% of the people on here, no matter how we drive. But more power to you (I guess not literally) if you can find a few ways to increase it.
 

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return on investment will be bad for anything you do. if you want rims then get them, if you want rims to get better MPG... well that is silly because you are going to spend $1000 on rims and gain .5 mpg better at most and it will take you years to see the return at the pump , $1000 is a LOT OF GAS


You bought the wrong car to want good MPG
I agree with this... spending money on performance mods to save on fuel is going to take forever to recoup the investment. You can do some free/cheap things like make sure you have no unnecessary weight in the car, tires are properly inflated (or slightly above) and then just pay attention to your driving habits. Read up on the driver mods on hyper-miling forums.

If you need new tires and are willing to sacrifice some grip, look at low rolling resistance tires/eco friendly models. You can also get away with running a 225.40x18 (oem winter RS size.) Also, if you can improve your car's aero, it would help cut through the air (although being a mile high, i would execpt slightly less resistance already,) again check out the hypermilling forums for what they are doing.
 

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I agree with this... spending money on performance mods to save on fuel is going to take forever to recoup the investment. You can do some free/cheap things like make sure you have no unnecessary weight in the car, tires are properly inflated (or slightly above) and then just pay attention to your driving habits. Read up on the driver mods on hyper-miling forums.

If you need new tires and are willing to sacrifice some grip, look at low rolling resistance tires/eco friendly models. You can also get away with running a 225.40x18 (oem winter RS size.) Also, if you can improve your car's aero, it would help cut through the air (although being a mile high, i would execpt slightly less resistance already,) again check out the hypermilling forums for what they are doing.
Narrow less grippy tires are a great thought... just say no to corning the car ever again...
Totally agree to what you are saying, but....
hypermilling these cars sounds like death to the ecoboost... the motor shouldn't be lugged and if you blow up a motor it will cost way more money then any money you saved at the pump, to save a penny you spent a dollar to replace a motor.

again High MPG is not what this car was built for... just my thoughts

Sounds like you spent a lot of money on a "sports car" to make it into a Prius, and drive it like one.
 

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Narrow less grippy tires are a great thought... just say no to corning the car ever again...
Totally agree to what you are saying, but....
hypermilling these cars sounds like death to the ecoboost... the motor shouldn't be lugged and if you blow up a motor it will cost way more money then any money you saved at the pump, to save a penny you spent a dollar to replace a motor.

again High MPG is not what this car was built for... just my thoughts

Sounds like you spent a lot of money on a "sports car" to make it into a Prius, and drive it like one.
How about Dr Jekyll/mr hyde? Boring hypermiler during the weekly commute and then can still get into it on the weekends.
 

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How about Dr Jekyll/mr hyde? Boring hypermiler during the weekly commute and then can still get into it on the weekends.
I just got a daily. 97 Rav4. runs smooth as butter on cheap 87 petrol and gets better mileage than my ST. yea same. going to be boring all week, but I will save my miles on the ST for the weekends :furious:
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Narrow less grippy tires are a great thought... just say no to corning the car ever again...
Totally agree to what you are saying, but....
hypermilling these cars sounds like death to the ecoboost... the motor shouldn't be lugged and if you blow up a motor it will cost way more money then any money you saved at the pump, to save a penny you spent a dollar to replace a motor.

again High MPG is not what this car was built for... just my thoughts

Sounds like you spent a lot of money on a "sports car" to make it into a Prius, and drive it like one.
I bought it for a few reasons... Ecoboost fan for several years now (Transit with 3.5 EB, Escape with the 2.0 EB)... and since there's a fair amount of parts commonality between the Escape and Focus, I went that route since it seemed like a good fit for what I wanted (better mileage than Escape, better acceleration). I did NOT want a N/A car for around here... at an altitude of 5K I wanted a turbo/super-charged car for the increased efficiency of filling the cylinders as well as the benefits of get-up-and-go when I need it. I don't lug it, but I don't hammer on it much either. It makes enough torque to get it moving just fine from a light without needing to get into boost much, and I'm still usually the first person down the road by several car lengths. I realize the car wasn't built for high mpg... I didn't buy it to get 40+ back and forth to work. However, *IF* I can bump it up a little bit and get more power/acceleration when I want it, then I will. I can't seem to leave anything alone and will tweak/work on/fiddle with just about everything I own to make it better one way or another, and this car isn't any different.

If I can figure out a way to up the efficiency of the engine, since after all it's really nothing more than an air pump, then mpg will subsequently increase. Typically, if you can figure out a way to more easily get air and in and out of the engine, it'll make more power, too. If I can figure out a way to decrease the spinning mass at the corners, that will help as well. How much stuff like airflow mods will change the mileage I've yet to quantify, but the car should react positively to anything that frees up air flow in and out of the engine. Might be a little or might be a lot.. just don't know yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
How about Dr Jekyll/mr hyde? Boring hypermiler during the weekly commute and then can still get into it on the weekends.
That's basically what I had with that 99 Neon RT I used to own and am hoping to somewhat replicate here. That thing had a lopey idle due to the cams and was tons of fun to drive due to its acceleration and cornering abilities, and yet it gave me 41 mpg on the highway when I kept my foot out of it. I think from the factory is was rated at 33 mpg. Best time I ever turned with it was [email protected] mph at National Trails, and that was with wheelhop through 3rd gear. I'm sure a better driver could have knocked a few tenths off of that and picked up a couple mph, too. 0-60, though, was not that car's strong suit due to traction limitations, even with the lsd I'd put in it. The ST is much easier to get to 60 quickly.

ETA: so I had to take a drive about 70 miles North which was a 400 foot elevation change, and since we were hauling a dog I had to turn on the AC (which I never use). The mileage for the tank was way down compared to normal... 29.6. Still not awful, but the speed (cruise at 77-78) and AC definitely killed it. Looks like driving the 45-50 mph route to work is the way to save on fuel right now.
 
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