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Forum topic by pashley posted 08-07-2008 05:25 AM 1609 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1043 posts in 3718 days

08-07-2008 05:25 AM

Topic tags/keywords: car

Why is it, back in the early 1990s, I had a Geo Metro 3 cylinder, that got 60, yes 60 MPG highway, and yet we can’t get a non-hybrid car today that gets over 40 MPG?

If GM would revive that model, they wouldn’t be able to make them fast enough!

-- Have a blessed day!

22 replies so far

View Max's profile


56000 posts in 4274 days

#1 posted 08-07-2008 05:26 AM

If you can find one of these today you have to pay way over book price for them. I agree that this would be part of the answer.

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View RobS's profile


1334 posts in 4307 days

#2 posted 08-07-2008 05:39 AM

because… that picture is actual size…

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View Kevin's profile


291 posts in 3959 days

#3 posted 08-07-2008 05:52 AM

I had the same model, and I never got over 35 mpg.

-- Kevin, Wichita, Kansas

View NY_Rocking_Chairs's profile


510 posts in 3598 days

#4 posted 08-07-2008 11:50 AM

Today VW still makes diesels that get 45+ MPG, we have one. However, they were not NY and CA emissions compliant, so in order to make them compliant VW reduced their efficiency for the 2009 models and now they only get 35+. When I was a kid my father did have the VW diesel rabbit that got 65 MPG.

Another interesting fact is that the diesel engine was invented to run off of veggie oil. We run all three of our diesels off of some form, be it straight WVO, mixed WVO and Diesel or bio-diesel. Of course it is getting harder and harder to get WVO since more and more people are realizing the benefits of using it.

My uncle had one of those Metros, I remember looking at the engine and thinking my lawnmower had a bigger engine…probably more HP too :)

-- Rich, anybody want a peanut?

View Chris 's profile


1879 posts in 3992 days

#5 posted 08-07-2008 01:17 PM

And Henry Ford built his first engine to fun off of Alcohol….

Friedrich Diesel & Henry ford had it right to begin with; Why was it changed? Because oil was much cheaper at the time.

Is it just me or are we going in circles?

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View pashley's profile


1043 posts in 3718 days

#6 posted 08-07-2008 01:31 PM

Mine absolutely got about 60 MPG highway. I remember thinking how good I was making out because I was getting like .25¢ a mile – and it was pretty much making my car payment, even after gas.

Again, this was in the early 1990’s, and the car was used at the time, so it was probably a very late 80’s vehicle – a manual transmission, BTW.

Again, not sure why GM won’t revive this; maybe it’s costly to do so, or they never made them here, but got them out of Korea or something. However, while it was a small car, it was about the size internally of the Prius, which is a hot seller, so I don’t think the size would be an issue.

Jarrod, keep in mind the internal combustion engine is highly inefficient – something like 25 percent. I think you can only burn gas so well up to a point; most of it, like the common light bulb, is converted to heat.

Chevy is supposed to be coming out with the Volt, an all-electric car that will go 40 miles on a charge – good enough for many commuters. Hopefully, it won’t be too expensive.

-- Have a blessed day!

View Greg Wurst's profile

Greg Wurst

794 posts in 3833 days

#7 posted 08-07-2008 02:14 PM

Actually, it has nothing to do with any conspiracy and everything to do with additional safety standards and customer expectations. Today you have to have multiple airbags and safety systems along with stricter emissions requirements that add weight and lower fuel mileage. Not to mention most people now expect power everything and AC in even the most basic models. An old Metro could not be legally sold today by any car manufacturer, otherwise I assure you they would so they could meet the much stricter CAFE standards in the next few years.

Oh, and a coworker here just picked-up and old Metro for $385 that gets about 40 MPG. It’s a piece, but if it wasn’t bought out in the sticks here in Ohio the seller could probably have got a couple thousand for it.

-- You're a unique and special person, just like everyone else.

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3729 days

#8 posted 08-07-2008 03:06 PM

Yeah, I agree with Greg. Most of the wieght is now added to the frame. You need to be able to stand up to getting T-boned by a suburban whose driver turned around to tell the kids to stop fighting on the way to soccer practice. despite the advances, I don’t feel all that safe in an 01 civic when a see a giant SUV barrelling down on me in the rearview mirror.

also, I saw toyota has a new car (suv/wagon crossover type thing) coming out. It has over 200 hp, and the commentator on the tv show was compaining that it sounded a little “whimpy”. how much power is really needed?

View SteveKorz's profile


2134 posts in 3714 days

#9 posted 08-07-2008 03:14 PM

I have a 1989 ford pickup now that gets about 8-10 miles per gallon. I take it to town and back and it’s $5 minimum. I don’t have a drive to work, so I don’t hardly drive it at all, “maybe” 1,000 miles a year if I’m just driving everywhere in it. I just can’t justify getting a new truck and paying that huge truck payment, plus an extra 15mpg… it’s not worth it to me.

(well, truth of the matter is, I’d be afraid to scratch it in the woods when I went in the timber to work… lol).

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 3991 days

#10 posted 08-07-2008 03:34 PM

There’s this guy out in Californialand who recently took 20 batteries and a DC motor and repowered a ‘69 Camaro. We’re talking pre-kevlar here folks. Heavy cars. Muscle cars. With 4 adults inside, it still smoked the tires and got at least 100 miles before needing to be recharged. He proved that he can repower any car, even a full sized pickup truck! If you really think about it, we the common people, do 80% of our driving commuting to/from work, the store, kids soccer games, etc. All these “commutes” are less than 40 miles round trip.

I’ll invite you guys (and gals) to check out this site, ( ) then ask why are we still pumping oil? Why are the presidential candidates pushing for more oil, and not electric? Why can’t the big auto companies add an electric motor to their existing line of commuter cars?

Give me a commuter car that goes 100+ miles, can recharge overnight, and includes all the safety features you’ll get anyhow…and I’ll bet you sell more than you can make, and in a major hurry.

So where are they?

*Leftcoastelectric really needs to do a lot of work on their website, so allow me to apologize for linking you to this…but at this time, it’s all I got to get my point across.

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View pashley's profile


1043 posts in 3718 days

#11 posted 08-07-2008 03:39 PM

Dadoo, I would like everybody to be on electric too – but that raises the question, were will all the electricity come from? Coal? Still too messy. Atomic? What about the waste? Solar? Not efficient enough (yet). Wind? Ditto.

I would love electric vehicles; it’s just getting the electricity at that point!

-- Have a blessed day!

View NY_Rocking_Chairs's profile


510 posts in 3598 days

#12 posted 08-07-2008 03:59 PM

There are quite a few people who have taken S10s and done the conversion, you keep the truck and manual transmission and dump in the new motor, lots of golf cart batteries and there ya go. Problem is that is costs about $10,000 to buy the materials for the conversion, plus the cost of the truck.

So while the technology is out there, the cost is still a little prohibitive.

-- Rich, anybody want a peanut?

View fredf's profile


495 posts in 3710 days

#13 posted 08-09-2008 12:50 AM

As far as where we get the electricity from, Left Coast Electric claims that to make a gallon of gas it takes 12KW of electricity, and that an electric car will go as far on 12KW as a regular car on a gallon of gas . . . thats about 700WH per mile . . .(assuming 17mpg) where is the electricity coming from now???

-- Fred, Springfield, Ma

View pashley's profile


1043 posts in 3718 days

#14 posted 08-09-2008 02:07 PM

I can’t answer that, but I suppose coal and nuclear plants are the prime producers. Again, I’m all for electrical vehicles, it’s just getting that amount of electricity.

-- Have a blessed day!

View reluctant's profile


21 posts in 3756 days

#15 posted 08-09-2008 02:26 PM

Yes the electric has to come from somewhere, and in the US that is likely to be a coal fired power plant. The important thing to note is that coal fired power plants are significantly more efficient than Internal Combustion Engines. So, while you still would be contributing to greenhouse gases, etc, you’d be doing it less so. And if you were lucky enough to have your grid powered by nuclear, solar, wind, tidal, geothermal, etc then you’d have a zero-emissions car. This is the first link I found off of google and it appears to be well cited:

If you are concerned about our ability to produce enough electricity to meet the demand caused by electric vehicles, I don’t think it will be an issue. It won’t be an overnight switch, and utility companies will have the time adjust to the increasing demand.

Here’s another link for the type of vehicle I’d like to eventually drive: Not a bus :), but a series hybrid with wheel motors. So incredibly efficient because you don’t have transmission loss and the engine operates in its peak efficient rpm range.


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