I want to improve my SL2

5

Asked by Oct 31, 2011 at 05:25 PM about the 2002 Saturn S-Series 4 Dr SL2 Sedan

Question type: Car Customization

My SL2 is getting up there in mileage and I might soon be relying on it to drive to a
job 4 hours away ever week (and back).  I was wondering if there's things I can do
to help improve it's fuel and power.  I'm a computer guy and I'm used to updating
firmware on phones and computers all the time to get updated features; is there a
way to do this with a car's computer?

Someone once told me I'd get better efficiency with a cold air intake.  Are these
ideas true?  Are there any others?  Thanks in advance!

21 Answers

445

A cold air intake should improve the fuel economy- the logic behind it is that making it easier for the car to aspirate (both on intake and exhaust) will allow the car to expend less energy on keeping itself running. According to your post your car is a 2002, so it's OBDII- you can purchase a tuner (either a chip that replaces the EPROM, something that plugs into the diagnostic port, or something that completely bypasses the standard ECU) or possibly even reflash the ECU yourself. Obviously the DIY approach will be cheaper and give a more custom fit to the car's exact abilities, but also stands the chance to completely destroy the electronics or engine if you really screw up. There are guides on the internet, but I don't know of any specialized in the S-Series. One more thing that will likely improve your fuel economy, but negatively affect your performance, is to replace your transmission's gearing with the SL1's 5-speed. The gears are significantly taller, but if everything goes well it should be able to bump your interstate fuel economy pretty close to 40 MPG. This probably wouldn't be worth the hassle if your car's an automatic.

1,525

The only intake that will help with fuel economy is a hot air intake positioned over the exhaust manifold. It will kill power as a consequence though. Things you want to do to improve economy and power is just to maintain the car. New plugs and wires, make sure you are running a 195 degree thermostat, the ECTS is a brass one, the tires are aired up to 40psi(cold pressure), the air filter is clean, etc. Josh has no idea what hes talking about. A cold air intake will marginally increase power, but does nothing for fuel economy. It’s a noise maker that will dirty the engine oil faster do to all of the extra dirt and crap its sucking up. And another idiotic thing that Josh suggested, “tuning” and “chips”, yeah, theres no such thing for the S-series unless you go with a full standalone ECU which you shouldn’t do based on your experience and goals for your car, obviously. The only “good” thing Josh mentioned was the SOHC 5th gear. Its an easy enough swap if youre mechanically inclined. Its only possible to do on the manual transaxles though. It would never work on an automatic transaxle because the ECU would detect the incorrect gear ratio and not work in 5th. The only downside of swapping in the 5th gear is you’ll lose cruise control for good.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
1,525

youre an idiot. Dont give people advice unless you know what the hell youre talking about

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
155

The cold air intake and high flowing exhaust would help. Also a small low boost turbo would help. It would atomize the air causing a cleaner more effective burn of the fuel. Plus you can turn up the boost pressure if u wanna have some fun!!

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
1,525

again...Josh has no idea what the hell hes talking about. Boosting a car to increase fuel economy? Are you high? Please go away and read something so that you arent just blurting the first stupid thing that pops into your head

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
445

Wrong Josh. However, forced induction *can* be used to improve an engine's fuel economy if the kit is engineered for the purpose. Jay Leno's Tank Car had a turbokit installed specifically for this purpose, and it went from around 9 to 13 MPG. On a normal car, however, it's unlikely that you will see such a pronounced effect, and there aren't any turbokits designed for the S-Series, so he'd basically have to make it from scratch, making this mod not really worth the effort.

1,525

i dont know jack about tank engines or how they are managed. You can improve economy in any prehistoric engine design by adding a computer to run the car. EFI > Carburetor Again, you are wrong. There is a turbo kit made for the S-Series. Alphatuning makes it. Its expensive. Its cheaper to assemble your own setup. Now, can we stop talking about things we know nothing about? and thats to BOTH Joshes....

445

A tank engine is the same exact thing as a car engine, just bigger. And you said earlier that improving engine management didn't improve fuel economy.

1,525

Did I say that? or is it that you cant read AND dont know anything about standalone engine management. I dont understand why youre still responding on this thread

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
1,525

my problem is asshats like you guys give out bad and wrong information to people who dont know better. Then you get butt hurt when someone calls you out on it. Let me reiterate what ive been saying. Ahem...get bent. Thank you

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
445

"tuning” and “chips”, yeah, theres no such thing for the S-series unless you go with a full standalone ECU which you shouldn’t do" A standalone ECU is a waste of money on an OBD-II car for this purpose. One of the most important parts of the fuel economy is the fuel map, which just so happens to be located on a single chip inside the ECU. Replacing this chip with one that has been tweaked to match the exact engine's state will decrease the amount of intervention in pulsewidths during closed-circuit operation, thus improving efficiency better than anything you can buy off-the-shelf. The best part with this approach is that while the initial investment can be a bit steep, it's cheaper than a complete system, and the methodology will translate to any OBD-II car for the price of a visit to a TV shop and a hobby store.

1,525

Thats fine and dandy. Go ahead and find this chip that'll work on the S-series. Oh wait! I forgot...you cant modify the S-series OBD-II PCM...guess you didnt know that either.

445

Spoken like someone who's never used a soldering iron. ALL electronics can be modified with patience, cars are no exception. You don't find the chip, you make it.

1,525

There have been people, much brighter than you that have tried to hack into the OBDII pcm. No one has succeeded. There have been a few that have used the OBDI pcms, but thats it.

265

Wow am gone with alex on all of this. I have owned 2 s-series.all so when you do a turbo this cars(any car) your gas mileage will drop. Because It as to drop more gas in to the motor to make it run right. When you put a turbo on a car that is not made for one. You are gone send more time and money then anything. Cool air intake are for looks and noise. So do some math more air = what? Answer MORE GAS. Why because you air and gas has to have the right mix or it will run like shut. Aka it will miss or die on you. THEY DO NOT MAKE CHIPS FOR THIS CAR. Only thing they real do is make a car burn more gas and BYpass shut off on the car if it has one.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
10

man u guys r stupid tuning is adjusting the ecu.. u can re-map for performance or for efficency. and as far as the turbo low boost for efffency is a plus. until u raise the psi and start mashing the throttle. oh yea and i have a turbo on my 98 sl2 and upgraded fuel system 550cc injectors upgrded fuel pump and fuel regulator w/ re-mapped ecu. runs like a monster 20 psi is my sweet spot

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
1,525

Prove it.

735

maximizing fuel ecconomy. clean air filter, fresh plugs (ac delcos) for your saturn, proper tire inflation (what the door tag says maybe a 3 psi bump, overinflating will minimaize traction and increase tire wear. 40 psi is too much) make sure brakes are not seized and draging. remove roof mounted accessories. that is your best choice for not creating other drivabilty issues. turbos, chips, pcm/ecu tunes, trans modifications can maybe aid in fuel ecconmy if done right but it isnt worth the money or hassel.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Apologies guys for my comment above I wrote most of it and walked away, came back and my son messed with it. Sorry if that offended anyone in here although I don't think it will likely. Have a good one.

1,525

No entiendo.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9uIOHK5JQ0

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

  • I want to improve my SL2 21 answers

    My SL2 is getting up there in mileage and I might soon be relying on it to drive to a job 4 hours away ever week (and back). I was wondering if there's things I can do to help improve it's fuel and...

    2002 Saturn S-Series 4 Dr SL2 Sedan

    -

    Car Customization

  • can you put sl2 tires and rims on a sl1 car 1 answer

    i have a set of sl2 wheels that i want to put on a sl1 car .. will i have a problem??

    1996 Saturn S-Series 4 Dr SL1 Sedan

    -

    Car Customization

  • I want to know what would be the best engine to put in my saturn sl1 for performance without any complications. new wiring harnest and tranni also the best performance. 5 answers

    i have already dropped 4,000 in my suspension up grades i have 18 inch performance rims and tires. and new suspension uprades all the way around from coils to shock struts and strut mounts it handle...

    1996 Saturn S-Series 4 Dr SL1 Sedan

    -

    Car Customization

  • 1998 Saturn SL2 7 answers

    Does anyone know of a turbo system designed for the 1.9 dohc. or could someone tell me what i need for it. and is it possible.

    1998 Saturn S-Series 4 Dr SL2 Sedan

    -

    Car Customization

  • Chips in my Saturn 4 answers

    I was wanting to put a performance chip in my car to get easy horsepower but i heard that they are a fraud and do little to nothing... Is this true and are there any good chips out there?

    1995 Saturn S-Series 4 Dr SL2 Sedan

    -

    Car Customization

S-Series

Looking for a Used S-Series in your area?

CarGurus has 763 nationwide S-Series listings and the tools to find you a great deal.

ZIP:

Search Saturn S-Series Questions

Saturn S-Series Experts

#1 Alex Nazarian
Alex Nazarian
Reputation 1,510
#2 helpmeplease
helpmeplease
Reputation 1,040
#3 fabian_09_21
fabian_09_21
Reputation 890
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Saturn VUE
58 Great Deals out of 2,149 listings starting at $1,500
Used Saturn L-Series
450 listings starting at $1,999
Used Ford Focus
631 Great Deals out of 57,259 listings starting at $795
Used Honda Civic
812 Great Deals out of 88,108 listings starting at $1,299
Used Toyota Camry
1,101 Great Deals out of 90,760 listings starting at $1,599
Used Saturn ION
4 Great Deals out of 1,154 listings starting at $1,995
Used Honda Accord
947 Great Deals out of 77,739 listings starting at $899
Used Toyota Corolla
851 Great Deals out of 70,589 listings starting at $1,874
Used Nissan Altima
1,153 Great Deals out of 79,677 listings starting at $500
Used Chevrolet Impala
590 Great Deals out of 34,066 listings starting at $899
Used Ford F-150
2,059 Great Deals out of 207,339 listings starting at $1,499
Used Ford Taurus
269 Great Deals out of 20,573 listings starting at $1,995
Used Nissan Sentra
498 Great Deals out of 52,631 listings starting at $2,000

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.