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What can I add to a Scion tC to make it more fuel efficient and drive smoother?

I?m going to buy a 2005-2010 Scion tC. What can I add to a Scion tC to make it more fuel efficient and drive smoother?

I don?t know anything about cars but from looking online I saw cool air intakes, under drive pulleys, air filters, and carbon fiber hoods to make it more fuel efficient. Any more ideas?

The cars I usually drive are a 2004 Buick Regal and a 1994 Buick Regal. So when I test drove a tC it felt harsh. Any ideas to improve the tC?s ride? (It was also noisy but that didn?t really bother me.)

There’s not much you can do to make the vehicle more fuel efficient. The engineers at Toyota already figured that out. Now there are aftermarket products out there that CLAIM to increase fuel efficiency and/or performance which is an oxymoron, these don’t come into play unless you’re at wide open throttle. Fuel mileage? So you have to look at the claims made about the product, the cost, and even if it did work somewhat, how long would it take before you see a return in the investment.

If your comparing the ride between the GM products and the Scion, the Scion is going to feel harsher than the heavier GM products.


Better driving skills.

All those aftermarket dork parts that claim high efficiency are only claiming high efficiency because that’s the current buzzword. 10 years ago the exact same parts were being sold claiming higher performance.

Drill 2 holes in the floor board, just under the gas pedal. Put a brick under the pedal and use long screws with nuts on them to hold the brick in place. You might also consider super gluing the brick in place as well, just to make sure it won’t move on you, don’t want it going under the brake pedal by mistake

Most ad on devices really aren’t worth the money. Keep the Scion maintained properly, air filter and plugs replaced as per mfg’r specs.

Otherwise drive at reasonable speeds and don’t push too hard on the gas petal. That’s about the best you can do to maximize mpg.

Please don’t buy any of those things, they do nothing for fuel economy. Your driving habits have the biggest impact on fuel economy. Of course, keep the car well maintained, check the tires, eliminate unneeded weight, no roof racks, etc. But minimizing your driving and driving smoothly will make the biggest improvement.

As for the tC’s ride, assuming the shocks/struts are good, check that the tires aren’t worn. If they are, go to and search for tires that match your needs.

p.s. - I hope you know bscar’s is, well, with you…

The tC is going to ride like a tin can compared to a Buick Regal.

I would look for another vehicle, you sound unhappy with it. Move on so many more choices out there.

Check the wheels and tires on the Scion…If the size is something like 205-45-18 that’s why it rides like a forklift…Something like 195-70-15 will greatly improve the ride…These are the tires and wheels that come on the standard models…

Pretty much nothing.

You could try using synthetic oil, which may make the engine a little smoother, and may give you a slight increase in mileage. There may also be an electronic tuner out there that can give you more performance or economy – one or the other, not both! It may also void your warranty. This is assuming that there is one available for your vehicle, since it isn’t really considered a performance vehicle. And I’m talking about the fairly expensive handheld computers that plug into the OBDII diagnostic port, not the cheap, worthless $5 resistors that you see on ebay.

I’d avoid the aftermarket intake–you only will see a gain in performance at full throttle/high RPMs, if at all.

You may want to look for a vehicle-specific forum where people discuss your specific vehicle and the results they’ve had with mods.

How you drive will make more difference than any mechanical modification you do.

In the city, drive as if there was a meter on the brake pedal and some agency charged $10 bucks every time you used it. Driving this way adds almost no time to your trip, you just spend less time going zero miles per hour at red lights.

On the highway, cruise at 65 instead of 70. Yes, it will take you a little longer to get to your destination, maybe ten minutes or so, which might be canceled out by not needing to make a 10 minute pit stop to buy gas.

Buicks from that era drive like a pig on stilts! The TC is sort of a poor man’s sports car, albeit a pretty good one, and it just ain’t gonna ride like a 1994 or a 2004 Buick. Driving a TC, however, you may grow to appreciate the responsive steering and much better controlled body motions, especially on a twisty road. Every Buick I’ve driven has made me seasick!

While I’m at it, the TC isn’t really a tin can. It is a fairly solid car, and is actually a good bit heavier than you might think.

It’s beyond me why car makers have gone bonkers with huge rims and low profile tires.
I remember when big cars like Cadillacs had 15" rims and the smallest Japanese cars had rims as small as 12".
Big wheels are heavy (more unsprung weight) and take up more space.
Low profile tires have a harsh ride and lose air pressure more quickly.

I wish my little Toyota Matrix had 14" rims instead of 16".

I would drive gently and not speed. Also, make sure you check and inflate the tires properly and often. Also, perform regular maintenance as scheduled. Other than that, just plan your trips well so that you don’t take more than you need to, like combining errands to reduce mileage.

There’s nothing you can do to the engine to make it more fuel efficient, but if you installed a carbon fiber hood and fenders you’d save weight and improve your mileage. Of course, you could probably improve your mileage just as much by losing 15 pounds and your health would improve too. And you’d save a few thousand bucks as well.

And, as already mentioned, you could drive more conservatibvely. I get better mileage in my tC when I drive conservatively.

The ride is what it is. There’s nothing available to make it smoother, just firmer. If you don’t care for the ride, try something else.

The noise is easily reducable to a great extent. I did mine. I “gutted” everything from the B-pillars back, lined the sheetmetal with structural damper covered with carpeting, and further lined the cavities with jute. I then replaced all the panels except the flat “floor extension” in the very rear. It’s made an enormous difference. I plan to further line the insides of the front fenders with structural damper and perhaps the tunnel under the center console with damper and/or jute.

Truth is, I had to pull the panels in the 'wayback" to access the upper shock mounts anyway, so I figured I’d try adding some noise insulation before putting them back. I was amazed at the difference. But now I can’t stop. It’s become a fun project for those rainy days with nothing to do. I want to see how far I can go. I want to see how quiet I can get it.

I have no data to back this up, but I suspect that a larger alloy wheel w/lower profile tire (aspect ratio) is a lighter combination than a typical smaller wheel w/larger aspect ratio. I suspect part of the reason is simply a bit less weight and better gas mileage.

Style is, I’m sure, a large factor also.

I should add that the 2005 tC rides much more smoothly than the 2005 Corolla. I’ve owned both. There’s more to smooth than aspect ratio.