GammaRadiation

Spark Member
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About GammaRadiation

  • Rank
    New Member

Profile Information

  • Region
    U.S. Southern Atlantic
  • Location
    Clearwater
  • Current Vehicle
    '18 FoST1, '16 Spark LS, '04 Sierra 2500HD SLT, '92 Miata

Recent Profile Visitors

638 profile views
  1. Just want to give a Bravo for the work and documentation you're putting in. Thank you and keep it up. It's certainly appreciated.
  2. Our 2016 CVT gets around 30 average according to the computer, mostly city driving. I floor it everywhere, my wife drives it normally. I CAN get 40-45 highway...but who wants to hang out among semi trucks in a 2300lb car? Practically racing between Tampa and Jacksonville I got upper 20s. Normal highway driving with the flow of traffic is mid 30s. Check your tire pressures. There is a notable difference between 28-30 (just above where the TPMS alarms) and 35 cold (where the door sticker recommends). Lucky for us the spark has one of the best TPMS systems I've used as you can actually view your current pressure for each individual tire.
  3. I have disdain for modern crossovers That are basically high riding, heavy hatches. I like the size of the spark. It fits everywhere, carrys 4 adults comfortably, and has plenty of cargo room with the seats folded. It's a perfect city car. All it needs is more power.
  4. The spark does handle for what it is, it's also quite neutral. At its first autocross my '16 went into a 4 wheel drift when I finally got it to break loose. It's a shame GM didn't do a turbo version to compete with the Fiesta ST. That would be a blast. On Saturday in the rain we went through an empty round about an extra time and I got the front to break traction. It just clawed its way around the circle like a classic mini rally car.
  5. How hard was that badge swap? I've got a titanium 16 LS with black windows. The first thing I did was throw away the hubcaps exposing the black steelies. The gold badges stick out like a sore thumb. I think it's about time for a freshen up. Black badges and painting the rims gloss black would look awesome.
  6. You may need to look into a standalone ECU like a megasquirt.
  7. Nice build. What kind of power numbers are you hoping for?
  8. I like the CVT for the efficiency and acceleration advantages. It's so possible to drive the car very smoothly. It's a different driving style as it has no go off the line. I have to anticipate gaps with roll out. This is non ideal as it often can cause hesitation in other drivers. I try to avoid it wherever possible. However, if I've been attempting to make a left hand turn for 5min and cars are stacking up behind me ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
  9. No, dealerships recommend shorter intervals to 1.) Charge you money more often and 2.) Get you in the door to offer you "while we're in there" services. Follow the manual.
  10. These cars are gutless, particularly at high speed. Referencing motor trend figures: just under 11sec 0-60, 18sec quarter mile at 77mph. That's over 7 seconds to gain 17mph at highway speeds. A stock 90s civic is significantly faster. Both the Fiesta and Mazda 2 are significantly faster. If you've got a couple passengers or a few hundred pounds of cargo in the spark it's even worse. I wish Chevy had figured a way to cram the 150hp turbo in the spark, that would have been a hoot, but still not as fast as a Fiesta ST. Edit: Oh and the Honda fit is also faster. Basically the spark is one of if not the slowest compact hatches.
  11. This car will exceed any speed limit for an entire tank and just ask for another quick fill up. It's surprisingly stable at high speed. The low front air dam and well designed undercarriage really helps, I think. However, it takes a long time to accelerate above 60 so don't expect to be passing. Also your mileage suffers considerably. Sub 30mpg for sure. Maybe 250 mi per tank. If you're really road tripping in a hurry consider time lost for fuel stops.
  12. My LS has rear door speakers. Why doesn't yours? If you have fade on your stereo you should be good to go. Just install the correct impedance and try to get a higher sensitivity speaker. The spark's stereo is OK for the car that it is, but I can tell without looking it's a low power system relying on sensitivity to be loud. Don't expect more than a few watts RMS.
  13. You guys are racking the miles. I have just under 19,000 in just over two years. Its always good to see someone else putting as many miles on a car as I have planned before I sell it. I plan to never have to replace the spark plugs, that'll be a good diy job for the teenager that will probably buy it as their first car.lol
  14. I have a 2016 LS with 19,000 miles on it driven primarily in the city with the A.C. on most of the year. I'm hoping something actually breaks to make a warranty claim easier for me to prove as this problem is intermittent. I plan on taking it in for service, recall, and to address this issue at the next oil change interval (2-3,000 mi). On hot days often while sitting idle at a stop light or in a parking lot the blower will reduce speed without user input. It's almost like a 4-3 or 3-2 reduction. This is new behavior and the third summer for the car (purchased June 2016). After some time, not necessarily after moving, the blower will regain speed for the proper setting. I'm wondering if the system is low on refrigerant and the evaporator isn't getting cold enough. The performance of the system seems to be reduced. This may be just my perception from complacency and my other two vehicles have better A.C., insulation in general (2500HD SLT, Focus ST). Has anyone else experienced this issue? I have less than 1yr left on my bumper to bumper and A.C. is imperative for my wife at all times during the FL summers.
  15. The CVT in these cars is a regular 2 speed auto coupled to a CVT. How do you know it is not going into low? Here are a few quirks I have with mine. We have put approximately 9,000 miles on it and are fairly satisfied with the performance of the CVT overall. It takes some getting used to. 1.) It occasionally hesitates from a stop. This is not a throttle response issue (or doesn't seem to be, even though it is fly by wire). This typically happens after coming from a stop from cruising at a very high gear ratio and then "punching" it. I hypothesize that the 2spd is in low gear, but the CVT is stuck in a high(er) gear ratio. It takes a few feet of roll out to allow the CVT belt to slip down to a low gear ratio. If I always allow a few feet of roll out at idle before hitting the gas this does not happen (from my recollection). I learned this the hard way when we took the spark to the autocross. It easily cost me a few tenths lugging off the line. 2.) When accelerating hard and then suddenly lifting the car experiences a momentum bump as it upshifts the CVT. After lifting the throttle it will accelerate FASTER than it does under WOT for a few mph. I have to be cognizant of this when accelerating quickly to the speed limit. I always lift 4-5mph before the speed limit. 3.) It does not "crawl" well at all. We have a steep driveway. Steep enough that it cannot idle up. Upon ingress with low momentum (necessary to prevent scraping of the front air dam) it will stall and more throttle is necessary. If too much throttle is given it will often "jump", accelerating very quickly. 4.) The simulated shifts annoy me, as they are not necessary. I understand this is not a race car, but it is a small hatch so I enjoy driving it spiritedly (my other car is a Miata). It will also see several autocross events in its lifetime. Because the motor is low torque I would prefer the transmission take simple priority in its behavior: maximum acceleration at WOT, maximum MPG at constant speed, constant gear ratio at partial throttle. The simulated gear shifts do fool the average consumer. Among friends and family who do not know it has a CVT and are used to driving standard automatics; none have felt the transmission is different in any way. These are small fish compared to my real world numbers of 35mpg average, 45+ mpg highway (and both my wife and I have lead feet). It also out-accelerates the manual version and is plenty quick to 35-45mph (it is, after all, a city car). It also handles high speed cruising surprisingly well (though it takes some time to get there, that's the engine's fault). If your issues are outside of these common quirks I recommend you take it into the dealership for a service department test drive. While you are there ask to test drive a new spark for comparison. My 2016 has already been back for a new oil pan gasket and a noisy bushing. I almost feel bad for the dealership given I paid less than $10,000 for the car and 3rd party financed. That being said, I bought a new car with a warranty so I don't have to think about these things (I have two other vehicles with 100K+ and 200K+ to fill my automotive maintenance itch).