2002 Saturn SL2

It’s been three months since my last Saturn update, and I’m mostly just racking up miles. I did get the K&N air filter I wanted for Christmas, and that has helped some in my quest to get the most gas mileage possible out of the little junker. With the cooling repairs I made in December and the K&N installed I am now getting 30-31 mpg in commuting despite driving like a madman, up from 27-28 when I got it.

Two weeks ago I hit the jackpot, I made a trip to Montgomery and back. I pumped up the tires to 40 psi and set the cruise on the speed limit. Temperatures were in the 50’s so I didn’t have to run the A/C. I filled up at the beginning and the end of the trip. 40 mpg. That is not a typo. I have blown through the EPA highway rating of 38 mpg, although I obviously won’t be able to duplicate these conditions often. The previous Montgomery trip was made on 35 psi in the tires,using a little A/C, and I got 36.5 mpg.

Toyo Spectrum 195/60-15

Yesterday I made a major upgrade, I finally broke down and bought 2 tires. Let’s just say that all 4 tires are near the cords, so this was long overdue. The $150 has brought my total investment in the Saturn to $800. It’s over 152K miles now, so I’ve put 14K+ on it in 8 months. And I can still easily sell it for $2,000 if I need to. Not bad. I’m interested to see how the new tires affect the gas mileage. They are fairly cheap economy tires, but they are quality Toyos that have surprising grip and ride fairly soft. They are also slightly wider and lower profile than stock. The new ones are Toyo Spectrum 195/60-15 vs. 185/65-15 stock size. The new ones would have to have higher rolling resistance than the hard bald trash tires that were on it. I’m going to Montgomery again this weekend so I’ll find out soon enough.