How to get better gas mileage??

How to get better gas mileage??

Postby benoliver [OP] » April 23rd 2010, 4:35pm

We have a 98 Astro AWD that gets terrible gas mileage...I think we are getting about 12-15 tops. We do mainly interstate driving because we live right on the interstate. I am a midwife and drive alot but I need the AWD because of mud and snow here. Is there any tips or tricks to gaining more gas mileage??? Thanks
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Re: How to get better gas mileage??

Postby 94 Van Guy » April 23rd 2010, 7:55pm

Hello,

I have a 94 AWD that gets about the same or less than yours does. I have owned several Astro/Safari in the past and all got much better mileage than this one. The only thing different is AWD, and the engine, a Vortec (W) on the VIN. I have read several posts here and your mileage seems to be in line for the AWD. Alot of mileage depends on ones own driving style. From personal experience, at 55 a get better than at 70. If I let the wife drive That seems to help.

Good luck with your Chevy, Keith
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Re: How to get better gas mileage??

Postby hardlecure » April 23rd 2010, 8:06pm

Hmmm... There are lots of things you can do to increase mileage. a few I'll list here in order of cost. cheapest to most expensive

1. Take it easy on the gas (drive nicely).

2. Use 4 wheel drive when needed (don't forget to put it on 4x4 every now and then to keep the components moving) I'm assuming it's not full time AWD and can be switched to RWD

3. Switch to synthetic oils. (about 30-50 bucks) I use Mobile 1 unless Castrol Syntec is on sale.

4. Tune up with new rotor, cap, 8mm or 9mm wires (the thicker the better), coil. (100 bucks at most)

5. MAF controlled supplemental alcohol injection system (GM MAF system from Snow Performance 500 bucks) (provides some increase in mileage, but don't expect to double... will get up to 15% if you're lucky.... but your harmful emissions will drop substantially if not close to completely)

6. An auxiliary transmission (aka gear splitter) (3000 bucks at gearvendors.com) - will get around 20% improvement in mileage

6. Install a turbocharger (to be done properly, requires engine to be rebuilt with new crank, cam and pistons) probably talking close to 3000 - 5000 to get it done. Will get better mileage as long as you can drive normally and not let the additional power go to your head... and foot :P
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Re: How to get better gas mileage??

Postby Mr_Bowtie » April 23rd 2010, 10:47pm

Its AWD you can't switch it to just 2WD. :(

Its all about how you drive it and how fast you are driving it. The slower the better.
Don't let it idle too much if you sitting waiting for something.
Make sure tires are properly inflated...35psi here.
Keep the windows closed...less drag.
Remove any weight you don't need....extra seats?

I drive to work and back with my '92 at 60mph & I have been getting 18MPG lately. Just did a full-up on it recently with fuel filter(cleaned EGR valve a while ago) & it has gotten warmer outside now. In the winter it will get 15/16 MPG going back and forth to work. Last summer without the tune up it was still getting on average 17MPG.


How long since your last tune up?
Have you changed the fuel filter lately?
Check engine light on?

If you do any town driving with your Van you might as well forget getting any better gas mileage then you do. :banghead:
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Re: How to get better gas mileage??

Postby hardlecure » April 23rd 2010, 11:00pm

Mr_Bowtie wrote:Its AWD you can't switch it to just 2WD. :(


They don't have those AWD to RWD switches like the trucks do? You figure they would since the Astro/Safaris were built in the same plant the S10's were built.
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Re: How to get better gas mileage??

Postby Mr_Bowtie » April 23rd 2010, 11:41pm

hardlecure wrote:
Mr_Bowtie wrote:Its AWD you can't switch it to just 2WD. :(


They don't have those AWD to RWD switches like the trucks do? You figure they would since the Astro/Safaris were built in the same plant the S10's were built.


I wish that would be awesome & our Vans would be even more popular. :chevy:
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Re: How to get better gas mileage??

Postby hardlecure » April 24th 2010, 12:26am

Mr_Bowtie wrote:
hardlecure wrote:
Mr_Bowtie wrote:Its AWD you can't switch it to just 2WD. :(


They don't have those AWD to RWD switches like the trucks do? You figure they would since the Astro/Safaris were built in the same plant the S10's were built.


I wish that would be awesome & our Vans would be even more popular. :chevy:


S10 transfer case compatible with Astro? It switches
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Re: How to get better gas mileage??

Postby astroturf » April 24th 2010, 12:33am

Focus... Focus... Proper size tires & air pressure, Same gear ratio that's on the RPO, A tune up with OEM parts, Synthetic lubes, Knowing the true condition of the Machine I.E. O2 sensor reading outputs, Vacuum leaks, Exhaust leaks, And a whole lot more. Start with the simple things, and keep us posted. Jim
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Re: How to get better gas mileage??

Postby LEVE » April 24th 2010, 5:32am

I'm not trying to be a butt-head here, but buy a Prius. I live in the mountains of Eastern Washington...and in my '05 Prius, I get 52mpg. The gas savings are bankrolling the car payment! :mrgreen:

The Astro has it's place in the stable and will work fine for it's usage... but for every day driving... it's the Prius.
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Re: How to get better gas mileage??

Postby webcat » April 24th 2010, 6:20am

I like the idea of losing weight and getting a tune up.
Move close to work if possible helps alot
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Re: How to get better gas mileage??

Postby 1992RS » April 24th 2010, 6:20am

In all actuality a Prius is not a bad idea but a very pricey one and with all the bad media of late I would be reluctant to purchase one, but if you have some money to burn and wish to you could buy a used honda accord with a manual, My old 1992 accord 5spd got 42mpg on the highway and could do 35 in town and all I invested into that setup was a high flow intake just a cheap setup k&n cone on a stick setup and a free flowing exhaust if i stayed off of the go pedal I could make 14 gallons of gas last two weeks and I bought the car used for 800 dollars paid for itself in fuel savings in about 8 months compared to my chevy 1500 with 350 if you want better mileage than that get a metro or a festiva just my opinion though
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Re: How to get better gas mileage??

Postby AstroNomic » April 24th 2010, 6:22am

Some of the easiest and quickest things you could do are:

Remove the bench seats..if you have them

Make sure your tires are properly inflated

be smoooooth when driving

Good Luck...BTW I get about 18.5 per gallon average in my 01 passenger Astro.
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Re: How to get better gas mileage??

Postby hardlecure » April 24th 2010, 6:45am

Removing the rear seats can't really effect the mileage of a van.... I mean they weigh a combined... 150 pounds maybe added to the 3 ton GVW? How much could they worsen the mileage?
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Re: How to get better gas mileage??

Postby Mr_Bowtie » April 24th 2010, 2:14pm

S10 transfer case would work, but is it really going to help much?


Ya the bench seats don't weight much, but every little bit will help if you that serious about mileage.

Couple other thoughts:
New 02 sensor if its old might help some.
Change the air cleaner lately.
Make sure its getting up to temp like it should on the highway in the 195* degrees area.
Always run your A/C in MAX cause it takes less effort as its recirculating the cabin air when it does this.
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Re: How to get better gas mileage??

Postby LEVE » April 24th 2010, 2:41pm

In all actuality a Prius is not a bad idea but a very pricey one and with all the bad media of late I would be reluctant to purchase one
Time for a story.

Last year I took a round trip from Spokane Washington to Omaha to Dallas Texas to see family. National Car Rental rented me a car with no cruise control. I need a cruise control, so I opted for another car. The rental agent suggested on of their Prius as a replacement telling me it would save money on gas. OK, I'll bite... and give it at try. Prior to this I'd never even considered a Prius any way, shape or form.

The several thousand mile trip was flawless. I started out by traveling from Spokane to Missoula MT and putting in about $18 worth of gas. I was astonished, and things only got better. On the return leg of the trip we went from Rock Springs up to Jackson Hole and down into Idaho Falls getting over 60mpg. That leg of the trip sold me on a Prius. The only problem we had was when a Semi pulled out to pass another Semi on a long grade going up the Rockies on I-80. I got to test the bakes really fast.. and it took another 6 miles to get back up to speed on that hill.

The Pruis did save fuel costs, in fact, it saved so much in fuel costs I paid for the rental from the trip's budgeted fuel costs. I was sold on the car... and the rental had over 45,000 miles on it when I rented it. It seems National Rental has to buy the Prius, the don't lease them, so they get their money's worth out of them and run 'em into the ground. I figured if a rental could perform like that.. it would be a good value as it was likely beat like a rented mule during it's life.

When I got back from the trip and the wife's Buick died (200,000 miles) we decided to look for a Prius. We found one in Oregon that we could afford and bought it about a week before all the bad press hit Toyota. In the 15,000 miles we've put on the car since January it's been flawless. We change oil, do regular maintenance and it keeps on purring and the higher the gas prices go, the more money we save.

I'll be looking for another one when the finances permit it. It's one of the few purchases I don't regret. My only regret is I'm getting this hankerin' to grow a pony-tail, hug trees and wear sandals. I'm struggling not to act on any of those hankerin's. Time will tell.
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Re: How to get better gas mileage??

Postby hardlecure » April 24th 2010, 5:15pm

Mr_Bowtie wrote:S10 transfer case would work, but is it really going to help much?



In an S10 you can select 4x4 or RWD so yep.... it'll help.
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Re: How to get better gas mileage??

Postby LEVE » April 24th 2010, 5:21pm

In an S10 you can select 4x4 or RWD so yep.... it'll help.
Please explaine this a little further to me, an Astro Neophyte... It's a project I would consider, conversion to 4WD. What's the payback in MPG over my now AWD Astro?
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Re: How to get better gas mileage??

Postby hardlecure » April 24th 2010, 5:38pm

LEVE wrote:
In an S10 you can select 4x4 or RWD so yep.... it'll help.
Please explaine this a little further to me, an Astro Neophyte... It's a project I would consider, conversion to 4WD. What's the payback in MPG over my now AWD Astro?



You wouldn't have to power 4 wheels. Instead, you can run it on the 2 rear wheels, saving gas because of less mechanical drag on the engine. the only additional weight vs a RWD only is the transfer case, front axle and drive shaft, but none the less, you'll receive an increase in mileage. Though I can't say how much more mileage you'd receive but I'd assume it would be a little less than a RWD model.

Keep in mind there are some S10/Blazer's that are AWD (non selectable) and 4x4 (selectable) so if you do a switch to the S10 system make sure you pull the proper X case, and the switch too (4x4 hi, 4x4 lo, RWD). If you do switch to 4x4 remember to engage the 4x4 every now and then so that the transfer case remains functional.

Anyways, I'm not sure if it will work. I assume it would because it's the same engine and transmission, but for all I know on an S dime the front drive shaft could come down the passenger side and not the driver side. So you'd need to look into it further.
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Re: How to get better gas mileage??

Postby daisykleen » April 25th 2010, 12:43am

any body who drives a Prius should go see a head doctor :whack: i have a 99 astro 2 wheel and get 23 mpg and i have a BIG SUV to not a death trap Prius!!!!!
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Re: How to get better gas mileage??

Postby astroturf » April 25th 2010, 1:16am

daisykleen wrote:any body who drives a Prius should go see a head doctor :whack: i have a 99 astro 2 wheel and get 23 mpg and i have a BIG SUV to not a death trap Prius!!!!!
JOHN


What is your tire size? How Did you calculate your mpg, and how long have you been keeping it? What kind of gas do you use? What part of the country are you in? Thanks, Jim
My Cup is neither half empty nor half full... But has a hole in it. Holy Cup Holders Batman. LOLz, Jim
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