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hmmm the Manual says it will run on 95 here, but more is never harmful.. its going to be beneficial if anything, with the ol' ignition advance.. my car does seem a bit faster with it, overtaking power is certainly better :twisted:


March 03 2005, 5:07 PM
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snellgrove wrote:

its better, but not gone completely.. things I most notice are:

going on the throttle in 1st gear, with very minimal throttle input, the car jumps into life from no-throttle ..and races away very powerfully.. its like a very sensitive throttle (which I like) but the car doesnt seem to know how to do slow acceleration ?!?! so it really sucks around town.. I've been experimenting today when in traffic, like moving my foot what feels like tiny millimetres... like really slow movements, slowly adding more and more throttle, VERY GENTLY... but it still does it.



Most curious!
Question to you Snellgrove, do you have the MX-3 V6 GS or the relatively sedate RS? I'm afraid I don't know, but if you have one of those 130bhp powerplants under your bonnet, that would explain (in part) why it's so "trigger happy".

Having said that, that really should not compute.
Last time I had a car that kangaroo-ed so blatantly, it was a rear engined Skoda Rapid Coupe - with a sticking accelerator cable.
Lubrication - and eventually a new accelerator cable solved that problem.
I wonder whether that has something to do with it?
"Blackbird" has definitely improved in crawling manners, and I am attributing that to Optimax.

Cold starts are improved, and driving away from cold is far les less hesitant than it was before - especially with the few below zero morning starts that I have had in the late wintery weather over here recently.

Two peculiar anomalies I did notice since early morning starts in bitterly freezing cold weather with Optimax are as follows:

*** Strange powerful "fuel like" smell on start up first thing in the morning. It is NOT exactly petrol, but has a vague aroma closely resembling it. Ditto when I start for home in the evenings.
Wasn't there when I wasn't using Optimax.

*** In the past, cold starts on a freezing morning have always created clouds of thick water vapour (steam?) - no matter what car I have owned.
With the Optimax, that is NOT happening. (But I do get that strange smell). Why no clouds of steam? Is that because I am getting a better burn?

Other things I have noticed;

That first gear plat spot is only apparent when the engine is stone cold. Once it warms up it disappears completely.

Smoother quieter acceleration, definitely reduced vibration from the engine in virtually all modes of operation.

I won't make any silly claims about the car being faster, but I have noticed response times when overtaking seem better. This may be an illusion brought about by the quietness of the engine, coupled with what has to be improved response times from pushing the pedal to the metal.

In the MPG stakes, no percieved change so far, but these have been the coldest days ever since I got my hands on this beauty. I don't expect to see any MPG gains this cycle. Last time I drove a car in weather this icy cold, my MPG dropped sharpish. I do a lot of short journeys.

However, something else I did notice is that the engine idle speed never dreams of faltering - like it used to (sometimes - albeit rarely) when I was using 95 RON. It doesnt matter how many power draining devices I turn on, the idle speed stays where it belongs. With Regular I had many a situation where the idle speed dropped so low, the car would vibrate like a diesel, and it was easy to stall on take off.

There's something in "that thar" Optimax! Dunno what, but i'm keeping a beady eye on it's use in my car.
So far, so good.

The experiment continues.

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March 03 2005, 5:52 PM
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aye, its one of those silly 130bhp powerplants

possibly it is the accelerator cable.. I'll give it a lubrication sometime and see if that helps, going to try driving to college tomorrow with only my socks on, no shoes! :lol: should be interesting, but it means I can feel the pedals 100% and read that feedback from the accelerator pedal, (if there is any) but for sure, I'll know how gently I'm moving the pedal.

I still get steam pouring out of my exhaust in plenty with Optimax, weird how yours has gone, doubt its anything to worry about though?

I still smell petrol, very much when its cold as well, again not a problem just means the cat hasn't warmed up yet.. I find it smells pretty strongly of fuel though, when stone cold.. I would also describe the smell as 'powerful' -its a very strong petrolly smell, but its not 100% petrol.. it is petrol, but it somehow smells a tiny bit different somehow?! hard to explain!

you may be able to cure your flat spot by resetting the ECU

this involves driving around for 10 minutes to get the engine nice and warm (it needs a thrashing afterwards)

take the battery negative/neutral off, brake pedal (to drain the system completely) try starting the car too...

put the battery back on - suggest leaving a door or both doors open, as it'll maybe try to lock itself / alarm might go off etc

get back into car, and absolutely hammer the nuts off it for half an hour or so.. the ECU *SHOULD* re-learn some stuff, and it might annihilate that flatspot your getting when its cold

this worked on my last car, (A humble Hyundai Accent) made it much nicer to drive.. also hammering a car for that length of time gives the engine a good clearout, which short journeys I believe can help clog things up a bit.


March 03 2005, 6:07 PM
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snellgrove, I find my first gear VERY touchy also, i pretty much shift to second right away if i'm following in close traffic. One tiny bump and you tap the gas a bit you go flying into the car ahead of you. I mentioned this to a friend who had a mazdapseed protege and he said his was pretty much the same way.

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March 04 2005, 6:28 PM
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Gas options around here are 87,89,92 (occasionally you can find a place out of the way that has 93) Plus they did something to the gas about 7 years ago called "Oxygenated Gas" Whatever that crap is.. they say its supposed to reduce emissions.. My Nova hated that stuff and I would drive miles extra to get the normal stuff. I have my timing now set a bit more advanced than what my manual calls for (Manual says 10degrees BTC) its set at 13 degrees BTC. With Super (92) it runs fine.. if I go down to 89 or 87... it will knock and ping under heavy load. Sooo.. Make mine Super ;)

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March 04 2005, 7:42 PM
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Remember tho, Octane Numbers in the US are about 5 numbers lower because they arent RON numbers
So in effect 92PON (Pump Octane Number) in the US is the same as our 97RON (Research Octane Number)

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March 05 2005, 5:15 AM
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Pedro_mx3 wrote:
Remember tho, Octane Numbers in the US are about 5 numbers lower because they arent RON numbers
So in effect 92PON (Pump Octane Number) in the US is the same as our 97RON (Research Octane Number)



WEIRD! that confuses me :shock:

I always thought american cars had big engines, that produced crap amounts of bhp, due to the lower RON fuel! but if the 91 / 92 fuel over there is the same as our 97, why the heck don't they have some mega good powerplants?!

Jeremy clarkson was saying this, in the episode about the cadillac (Richard took it round nurburgring) and he said about american cars, and pointed out a 3.4 litre V6 (i think it was a V6, def 3.4 litre though) that produced a pathetic 180bhp!!! ...Skoda produce a 1.8 that makes 180bhp, Honda Integra 1.8 engine, normally aspirated produces 186bhp... !

why is this then, the need for a big engine? :? sure you get more torque, but..... I like to rev my engine hard, and use the BHP rather than the torque.. I find my very un-torquey 1.8 is perfectly fine round town too, -apart from its jumpy, trigger happy, crazy unrelaxed style!


March 06 2005, 2:21 PM
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Long, long journeys in America, cheap fuel and the throwaway society. They like their engines big and lazy, so they last, and they aren't prepared to repair them, usually. Some even have the cylinder heads welded on!

My V6 is perfect on 95RON - I wouldn't dream of using 98. I have no snatch in first gear, or any of the other issues mentioned above. Whatever they are, it's not the fuel.

But I did cut the "flap" off my accelerator pedal, for better control.

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March 07 2005, 4:19 AM
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Welded on?! :shock: thats absolutely crazy

My MX-3 is going into Mazda ASAP, to be looked at in general, and mostly for the Cambelt. Got confirmation that its not been done, so its like 13,000 miles overdue :shock: :cry:

big hole in the wallet gonna be happening soon! oh joy.. gotta be done though... so hopefully they can sort out the horrible town-driving problems too..


March 07 2005, 5:47 PM
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snellgrove wrote:

you may be able to cure your flat spot by resetting the ECU

this involves driving around for 10 minutes to get the engine nice and warm (it needs a thrashing afterwards)

take the battery negative/neutral off, brake pedal (to drain the system completely) try starting the car too...

put the battery back on - suggest leaving a door or both doors open, as it'll maybe try to lock itself / alarm might go off etc

get back into car, and absolutely hammer the nuts off it for half an hour or so.. the ECU *SHOULD* re-learn some stuff, and it might annihilate that flatspot your getting when its cold

Also hammering a car for that length of time gives the engine a good clearout, which short journeys I believe can help clog things up a bit.


Thanks for your advice Snellgrove.
Some of it has already been tried, but not in this order.
Will implement your suggestions when the chance presents itself.
Mind you, I think the servicing on "Blackbird" is due, perhaps after this - with new plugs, filters et al, I might have an entirely different response from my MX-3.

Meantime, according to my PDA, I should have filled up 2 days ago. Mind you I am running on fumes right now.
First impressions on Optimax in my MX-3 RS? Ummm, not bad at all.
Goes quite nicely, starts very well in the cold, smoother engine operation, especially on acceleration. Quicker response when overtaking. My free revving 1.6i DOHC feels even more refined - and my sports car FEELS like a sports car too. It has that little extra edge.

But you pay for it.

I will be lucky to get 220 Miles out of this particular tank of petrol (40litre as always actually - before I chicken out and refill).
Exceptional freezing weather, snow, ice e.t.c. will have contributed to the drop in MPG.
The numerous short journeys I made + NO motorway driving won't have helped either.

Still, I am pleased with Optimax.
I am going to continue using it till further notice.

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The 21st Century is a con; where is my Hovercar?!

http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2058708


March 11 2005, 10:52 AM
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Well, I filled mine up the other day (not an empty tank, but keeping track of things via a spreadsheet, the cars trip meter and the receipts showing how many litres bought) and Im getting 26mpg this time round 8)

absolutely caned it going from where I live, to Yeovil on wednesday, overtook pretty much everyone when the road was at all straight, wow first time I've really caned the crap out of my car consistently for a length of time, and it had a full tank of Optimax in there and WOW :shock: MX-3's aint that slow! just got to rev the nuts off it :D once you do they fly, !!!!! had real fun :D

been without it for a few days, it was going up for a 72k service and timing belt.. service on wednesday, timing belt today.. I get her back tonight

I can't wait, Ive been running around in a 100bhp / 1.4 Fabia ! been kinda fun, but its not exactly a coupe is it.. I want my MX-3 back, gonna take it out for a drive tonight when its back! 8)

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March 17 2005, 1:34 PM
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Project Optimax Update:

Filled up "Blackbird" on the 11th March, after running the tank as low as I dared - no warning light on the RS :oops:

Anyway for that last fuel tank usage cycle, had my worst ever MPG.
This does not mean Optimax is a waste of my time or money.

Check earlier postr for theoretical list of things that contributed to lousy fuel consumption. Like Snellgrove, I did thrash the nuts off my RS too, cold weather aside.

I did enjoy Blackbirds perfornmance during that period. Went like the proverbial "Bat out of Hell". Have done the odd overtake (or undertake) in anger to get past the odd "Mr Moleman" (The Simpsons?), and was delighted with the powerful manner in which my MX-3 rips past and roars off away from "El Slowcoach". Nice for a 1.6i

Facts:
Still jerky in the cold - in 1st Gear. Think its the way Mazda designed them. I put that down to the character of the car, this is no limousine, no Nissan Sunny, or Pathetic Nissan NX-100 (Hey, why do those NX's look suspiciously like rip offs of our MX-3s?).

That 1st gear is designed to handle your fast take off. Not pootling off down the road like a gutless 1 litre Micra with a Wuss at the wheel.

Still haven't put the MX-3 in for a service, but it's due, will be doing that soon. The real icing on the cake however, was that I cheekily put the MX-3 in for an MOT last saturday. :shock:

Blackbird PASSED with flying colours with not a thing wrong.
MOT was actually due 29th March - but didn't want to wait.
Guess who was a happy easter bunny? :D

Even the Emissions were OK (And it's service is practically due).
That particulary stunned me. Seems I got a hell of a bargain for my 3000 quid. 33,000 miles on the clock, passes it's MOT without blinking.
And it looks the Dogs B******S!

Maybe the Optimax had something to do with excellent emissions.
Hint, stick Optimax in your MX-3 before your next MOT. Should help emissions (I Hope!) :twisted:

Filled up with another tankful of Optimax, and since the wintery weather has, er, decided to SPRING away to colder climes, I can already see I am on course for much better fuel consumption.
This time, I won't be feeling Fuelish. :?

Project Optimax continues.... :D

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The 21st Century is a con; where is my Hovercar?!

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March 17 2005, 6:35 PM
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Forgot to mention - MPG was 23.30 :shock:
Very cold weather, snow, many short journeys, sitting in traffic, going at Warp speed down the North Circular...... :D

Next cycle's looking good.

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The 21st Century is a con; where is my Hovercar?!

http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2058708


March 17 2005, 7:10 PM
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Well put.
IanL wrote:
The FACT is that the higher octane fuel develops no more power. It is, put simply, formulated to prevent pre-ignition at higher compression.

However, if you use too low an octane (compared to that for which the engine was designed), the ECU will retard the ignition to prevent pre-ignition (actually it will advance it less), which will reduce the power.

The MX-3 V6 engine (K8D) is designed to use 91 RON. So 95 is fine, and 98 is money down the drain. The JDM imports (K8ZE) are higher compression, and probably need 98 RON.

If your engine is in bad shape (e.g. lots of carbon deposits in the combustion chambers), you may get benefit from higher octane, as the carbon both raises the CR and increases the tendency to pre-ignition.

US and Canadian drivers please note your Octane numbers are not RON, they are (R+M)/2, and are about 5 lower for the same fuel.

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March 18 2005, 9:04 AM
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OK!

I filled up on Monday night, after doing 215 miles on a tank

I had been hammering the MX-3 all day the day before, did quite a few miles.. with a car club im in, convoying around.. and generally going fast and LOTS of full-throttle and general revving it high, and using the fuel hard!!

BUT, I have achieved the best MPG i've ever had with it, a whopping 28!!!

so this Optimax really is working, the MPG just keeps going up and up.. and recently its been driven a lot harder than ever before, as its all serviced (72K service, plugs, all filters, all fluids etc) and got a new timing belt, water pump...etc etc etc ! half a new car in there ;)

so yeah, WOOOO dead chuffed with Optimax.. I think 95RON is a false economy, its only a few quid more to fill with Opti, and its getting 4mpg higher, AFTER being driven hard!!! 8) 8)

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March 22 2005, 12:24 PM
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