Crappy winter mileage, K&N filter vs EGR

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Crappy winter mileage, K&N filter vs EGR

Postby Chevette Girl » 08 Dec 2003, 01:13

I have noticed a definite drop in my gas mileage as soon as the weather gets cold. I track my mileage quite faithfully, and my snow tires seem to have nothing to do with it, cause the mileage drops before I put them on, and improves before I take them off.

Anyone got any ideas about what I might do to fix this? The mileage seems to start getting crappy when the temperature starts going below freezing at nights, and reaches ultimate crappiness once it's always below freezing (which, in Canada, is at least a third of the year). Damp weather doesn't seem to matter, except if I splash the engine going through a huge puddle or something, it stalls at idle till it's dried out.

I had one engine that always got similar to my summer mileage (8 L/100km) with this one, and two that got closer to my winter mileage (10 L/100km most of the time... I know the first engine was well-cared for all its life, and the other two had had questionable treatment till I got them...

I'd love to store my baby and never have to take her out into the horror that is a Canadian winter, but that's just not economical right now, and I drive about 500 km per week, so the crappy mileage is adding up.

I was thinking, what if it's the exhaust gas recirculation valve causing the problem? I've never had one of those go on me, or at least, not that I'd noticed...

And then I got to wondering, what happens to the EGR valve if you install a K&N filter on a Chevette? Or would you just switch back for the winter?

Any info appreciated, thanks...
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Crappy winter mileage, K&N filter vs EGR

Postby Keith » 08 Dec 2003, 21:30

I'm sorry but I'm a bit ignorant about Canadian Chevettes, but was just wondering if yours have autochokes on the carbs and they aren't warming up or working correctly. Loads of cars over here used to have replacement kits to fit a standard choke cable to get rid of the damned things.

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Crappy winter mileage, K&N filter vs EGR

Postby Chevette Girl » 09 Dec 2003, 05:59

I'm not sure, I suppose it could be the choke... Last year I was having a terrible time as soon as it got cold... if I got in and drove it, I was OK, but if it kicked into low idle and I had to stop the car before it was completely warmed up (ie, the grocery store 5 min from where I work), it would stall when I restarted it and I'd have to shove something down her throat to get her going again... I eventually had my mechanic adjust it and the stalling problem was fixed, and last year when the engine was being grumpy it got a lot better with the warmer weather, but it hasn't gotten as rough as it was...

I'd think that the choke being off would affect the way the engine feels and sounds, but aside from being a little rough on cold starts, she's not idling any rougher in cold weather than she does in warm.

I'm sure there are others out there who know more about chokes and carbs and things than I do... :)
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Crappy winter mileage, K&N filter vs EGR

Postby shove it nz » 09 Dec 2003, 21:46

what sort of engine temp does it get to in winter- engines aren't as economicif not running at full normal temp( or so the old lady down the road told me..).
if it doesn't get to full temp you can get blinds for the radiator(just like the big daddy trucks up in the Yukon territory have) to keep it all warm- they have a manaul opening device via a cable from inside.
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Crappy winter mileage, K&N filter vs EGR

Postby Chevette Girl » 10 Dec 2003, 00:07

Heh, I wish I knew the engine temp... Dunno about your Chevettes but mine don't have a gage, just a light that shows |"TEMP" if the engine gets too hot...
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Crappy winter mileage, K&N filter vs EGR

Postby flexbuttcheck1 » 10 Dec 2003, 00:23

what carb do the chevy chevettes run, and is the engine shared with any european gm cars, thankyou please!
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Crappy winter mileage, K&N filter vs EGR

Postby Chevette Girl » 14 Dec 2003, 18:20

Got less than 300 kms on the last 40 litre tank of gas, so I took the Little Beast to the vet and told them to fix her...

It turns out that I've bought a spark-plug devouring Chevette this time. I changed them less than a year ago, and I've never had one before that ate spark plugs within a year, but apparently the nice v-notch plugs I installed were only half working and got all worn down to the point where they were barely useful. So I escaped a huge bill just before Xmas by needing only a tune-up... Yay!

I'll post again & let you know if there's a significant improvement in the winter mileage...
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Crappy winter mileage, K&N filter vs EGR

Postby Chevette Girl » 20 Dec 2003, 17:53

Liiks like my winter mileage is a bit better than before the tune-up, but not as much as I'd hoped. Ah, well.

Maybe she is cold and needs a snowsuit, but I'm rather hesitant to mess with the rad, as the last friend of mine who had a cranky cold Vette ended up having it overheat and end up wiht a seized engine when her friend borrowed the car and stuck cardboard in front of the rad :( ...
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Crappy winter mileage, K&N filter vs EGR

Postby Chevette Girl » 04 Jan 2004, 02:06

OK, the spark plug change got my baby back to her usual fairly crappy winter mileage from the REALLY crappy mileage I'd been getting... back to 400 kms on 40 litres of gas, and that entire tank was run while car was warm, road was clear and outside temp was above freezing...
... Oh, well.
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Crappy winter mileage, K&N filter vs EGR

Postby Chevette Girl » 27 Jan 2004, 03:31

... the other reason I'm hesitant to mess with the rad is that my baby has a tendency to diesel (run on for a few seconds after ignition is turned off) occasionally. The colder the weather, the less likely it is to happen...
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Crappy winter mileage, K&N filter vs EGR

Postby LabRat » 27 Jan 2004, 04:16

Low milage inwinter is due to your engine oil is thickening in the cold. Switch to a thinner oil in winters to compensate. A thinner oil will make the engine work a little easier. When your engine is cold it high revs, when the oil is too thick to allow this, you get fuel bogging. V-notch plugs are bad in these cars. And the platinum plugs are even worse. You should get some regular old plugs for the north american Chevettes and Acadians. I found this out the hard way after spending over $100 on good tuning sh1t... Turns out, with out a properly tuned engine, top performance parts can hamper a low performance engine...

You'd think I'd know that after playing the Gran Turismo series for over four years now :D

As for dieseling, this can be the result of two things... your air to fuel mixture is off, which is why it doesn't do it in the cold, cause the choke is usually closed until the engine is very warm.. (and yes we have auto chokes on all models after 1983/4) Or your timing is off in which case you'll need a timing light and lots of tools to adjust your timing belt.

Hope this was of some help.

PS.: C-girl, I still have that Acadian Grille. I was able to fix the bolting pegs, so I just need to know where you want it shipped, or when you want to come and get it... :)
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Crappy winter mileage, K&N filter vs EGR

Postby Chevette Girl » 27 Jan 2004, 04:40

Labby! Long time no see!

This is the first chevette I've had that's eaten spark plugs like that. The others had no noticeable difference from v-notch or platinum plugs, and they always looked healthy enough when I changed them...

Actually, right now I think my baby's got plain old AC-Delco plugs, and my mechanic was supposed to have checked the timing and cleaned/adjusted the carb... I don't know about adjusting the mixture...

I know from the gray smoke she makes on start-up that it's running rich at high idle but I think it's supposed to be that way - any leaner and she'd stall out, besides, when she's warm, there's no black smoke that I'm aware of (of course, I haven't had someone stand behind me and observe as I matted the pedal either..).

This is the worst one I've had for bad winter mileage... but her summer mileage is markedly better than my last two engines...

Next oil change I'll ask my mechanic about the mixture... I'm considering scouring the Ottawa area to see if I cna find a carb specialist or something... Also considering one of those engine flush cleanings (can't remember the name but I know my mechanic has the machine)...

About that grille... I'm going to be up your way on the May long weekend, but if you want to get rid of it before that, let me know how much it'd cost to ship it to Ottawa, or I'll see if my uncle can keep ir for me... if you don't still have my email, I'll email you once I get back to the computer with my email account on it...
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Crappy winter mileage, K&N filter vs EGR

Postby LabRat » 28 Jan 2004, 02:02

S'cool, I got the grille stashed in my garage with a whole whack of other wierd items.... Got a huge rubber nose for a 71 to 81 Firebird/TransAm , and the fastback window with defroster for the same car... Also some suspension components, and a set of tires... I think I even have a steering column for it too..

For Vettes and Acads, I got complete rear light lens set, and the exta headlights, and headlight shrouds. I've got the little circular trunk floor thingy... that disc that bolts down the trunk floor. And I got the black plastic hubs, but they got the Pontiac arrow head on em... Hmm what else... An intact 1986 Pontiac Acadian I'm letting go for $750... I gots lots of crap in my garage.... I want to keep the labrat, but I'm considering a parting if the cash and buyer is right...

Email me for more info..
Also come see my yahoo group for some cool pics of cars of my past, o more aptly, my Dad's past....

http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/highwaymice/
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Crappy winter mileage, K&N filter vs EGR

Postby Chevette Girl » 03 Feb 2004, 00:20

I'm pretty sure that it's standard operating procedure for my mechanic to use lighter oil in the winter months... I'll doublecheck, she's due for a change this week...
I do wish she wouldn't run on when it warms up... think that has anything to do with anything?
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Crappy winter mileage, K&N filter vs EGR

Postby Chevette Girl » 12 Feb 2004, 04:30

So the Little Beast went to the mechanic's today, got a Motorvac engine cleaning, oil & lube and new timing belt and water pump... I also asked them to see if they could find a reason for crappy mileage, and they started rebuilding the carb... unfortunately, something busted while they were putting it all back together and they had to order the part, so I'm stuck driving a Dodge Shadow till tomorrow... hope I don't get another speeding ticket with it-first one ever this morning... <sigh> there's a reason why I keep driving my beloved but gutless Chevettes...
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