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Old 07-16-2019, 05:28 PM   #17
Join Date: Jul 2019
Drives: 2015 Scion FRS Auto
Location: New Jersey
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Originally Posted by theadmiral976 View Post
And I just realized you're in the Northeast (I'm in Michigan). In the winter with lots of stop and go traffic, your E85 range can plummet to 180-200 miles in severely cold temps. I would never run E85 below about 20* can cause serious startability issues. I typically switch to running only 93 below freezing as fuel economy drops like a stone around 45-50*F in this car (as is typical for a lot of vehicles). E85 in Michigan becomes E55-E60 around Thanksgiving anyway thanks to the refiners and state laws.

I agree with many who've posted above - go with sorting out a winter tire/wheel set before anything. This includes investing in the tools you need to do the job (jack, stands, 1/2 drive torque wrench, etc.). This car is one of the best purchases I've ever made; that said, if I didn't buy winter tires, I would have been a very sad panda about 4 months after I purchased the car in 2014. Winter tires turn a frightening driving experiet in freezing rain, slush, and snow, into a very manageable, and even somewhat fun, experience. But they aren't cheap. I run 205/55/R16 Bridgestone Blizzak WS80s on cheaper 16 inch Sparco rims. All told, from TireRack, the set costs around $800 shipped mounted as winter approaches. You can find them for cheaper right about now if you're okay with 1-year-old tires / old stock. I've found I get right around 3 winters of use out of a set of Blizzaks running around 12-15k miles per winter, mostly at highway speeds. Our winter season runs from Thanksgiving to mid-April. I always get my set of winters in early summer to save $25-50 per tire since I'll burn through them before they "expire" anyway.

I've driven my friend's BRZ in the dead of winter in 6 inches of fresh snowfall. It's a seriously unfun experience if you're not just hooning it in a parking lot. I had to dig the car out of its curbside parking space and spend a good 10 minutes slowly maneuvering it down a few streets trying to avoid a complete spinout the whole way. While I've always run winters on my car, that brief experience only served to confirm that winter tires are perhaps the greatest invention ever made for driving in the snow.

Save the OFT for later if you're trying to manage finances. I strongly recommend OFT and FlexFuel but winter tires are absolutely the most important thing. A set of RallyArmor mud flaps also go a long way to helping prevent damage to rocker panels...nice cheaper fun upgrade to do in the meantime as well with a lot of benefits.

The other big reason to avoid FF at this time is you'll probably want to take advantage of the email mapping service offered by OpenFlash if you go Flex. It really helps with getting rid of some of the idle RPM inconsistencies that exist in many of their maps. Since that service is another couple hundred, you will want to try to do it after you get all the mods done, such as a header, if you're able to get one. Headers add another 500-700 to the project, so that's something else to consider.
Im in jersey and I drive probably 40k miles per year. The mud flaps, I love the idea. Definitely doing them. For the flow of things and being "prepared" for later mods Im going to purchase the OFT "early." I have virtually all of the tools needed due to my dad working on cars for the past few decades, so Im lucky there haha.
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