Skip to comments.My Vehicle Milage Has Dropped 5%+. How About Yours? (VANITY)
Posted on 04/04/2014 4:14:34 AM PDT by Haiku Guy
The milage in both of my cars had dropped off in the last couple of months. Instead of getting 280 miles per tank, I am now getting 260 miles per tank, or even worse.
I keep a close eye on the milage as a general indication of how my cars are running, but I can't see why this has happened. I have no leaks, no lights, no rough running. I Checked the Engine, and it is still there. The plugs look good.
I think it might be the fuel blend. If that is the case, a lot of people should be seeing the same thing. Before I start tearing things apart, I thought I would ask my friends at FR what they are experiencing.
So how about it? How's the milage on your vehicle these days?
Cold weather and tyre pressure.
I am in New Jersey. As near as I can tell, we’re running about 10% Ethanol these days.
Have you been pushing the speed? When I commuted 100 miles R/T, the difference between 65 and 70+MPH accounted for 25 or more mile difference on a tank.
Tires are good, and the milage has gotten worse as the weather has warmed up.
“I have a wrench in my hand and I’m about to do some major damage... “
What could possibly go wrong? Go for it.
If you are using more ethanol than you did before, that may be the reason.
Mine always drops off when the summer blends come in, plus the cold temps mean the gasoline is more concentrated.
Gas has some amazing thermal expansion properties. Ethanol percentage is a big factor too.
I do admit that I drive fast. The section of the GSP where I commute runs 75+ MPH on a daily basis. But that has been very consistent, with no changes in recent months that would explain the drop off.
If I drive the Double Nickel, aside from being a hazard to navigation, I would get about 300 miles per tank. But I only did that a couple of times as an experiment.
Alcohol in the fuel.
Ethanol in fuel = less energy available per gallon. *IF* your fuel now has entered the ‘oxegenated’ phase of the year, then yeah, your mileage will drop.
The rest falls into driving practices and mechanical condition.
I bet it’s the fuel blend - my car has the same problem. With no ethanol, the car would routinely get about 330 miles per tank, but now it gets about 260 ... double-plus ungood!
If it is a fuel blend issue, others should be seeing the same thing, because I have switched suppliers and it does not seem to matter who I get the fuel from.
Have you seen any changes in the milage performance of your vehicle?
Don’t rule out the winter fuel blend. You might be back to normal once they go back to warm weather blends.
But the EPA says the oxygenated fuels are just as good as real gasoline!
And it is also good as a floor wax!
And a desert topping!!!
Check for any loose nuts behind the steering wheel.
That happens to me all of the time.
Yes I have, but mostly here one drives in heavy traffic so it could just be traffic-related.
However I seem to be running a lower gas mileage also.
Gas with alcohol collects water. You might try buying a gas dryer chemical at Wal-Mart.
Also, the amount of alcohol varies from station to station and delivery to delivery. The more alcohol the lower your performance.
Then I’d say low tire pressure, something wrong on fuel injection or CC timing control, or the like. Or it just could be the fuel. I HATE ethanol! It destroys seals and gaskets, O2 sensors and a whole range of things.
I’ve had gaskets, seals and diaphragms on 2 cycle engines just dissolve because of it in regular gas mixed with 2 cycle oil. I’ve had to rebuild every carburetor in all my yard engines.
I went on line and found some suppliers for Ethanol-Free blends. Of course, there are none in New Jersey.
I would have to drive all the way out to Pennsylvania...
Which means I’ll have to buy a new gun...
This could get really expensive!
1. How old is your car? If it's an older model (but still fuel injected), it's time to see if the fuel injectors have become dirty. Cleaning the fuel injectors--especially if the vehicle has over 60,000 miles on it--does wonders for power and fuel economy.
2. See if the fuel filter needs to be replaced, especially if your car is more than three years old.
I’ll try the gas dryer.
I have two identical cars, and they are both experiencing the same problem. Maybe it is the weather.
Same thing has happened to mine, and I’m also in New Jersey.
Fuel filter is easy... How do I clean the fuel injectors?
I wish there were truth in labeling for gasoline. They should put right on the pump what they are putting into your tank. Or at least have the information available on a pamphlet or on a website.
Gotta motor. Be back in 30.
I suspect more alcohol in the fuel.
I drove the '08 Prius locally, getting 54.4 miles to the gallon. No complaints there. By 2013, I noticed the mpg in the '08 dropped to 40.8. I chalked it up to the cars age, wear, and change of routine. I no longer own that '08 vehicle as the batteries were needing replacement soon.
Perhaps there was more to consider with the mpg decline, given your post. I'm curious to see how the comments on this post develop.
Thanks for offering to run the experiment and report back when you add the drying agent to only one of your identical cars to determine if that variable fixes the issue.
Is it true the on board computer will adjust for the octane? My van recommends 91 but some stations only have 89 or 93, others have 91. I use 89 if 91 is not available, but recently heard it is bad to go from one to another. Is that true?
I have no idea. 5% is not worth getting your panties in a wad.
2right wrote: Dont rule out the winter fuel blend. You might be back to normal once they go back to warm weather blends.I, too, drive in the northeast. The cold weather does have an effect on the efficiency, especially with a hybrid. However, there was no apparent difference in the mpg due to the temps that I could document. The most serious weather related issue I dealt with in my hybrid was the inability to disable the hybrid feature and force the engine to take over as I attempted to drive a steep incline during a snow event. When the hybrid is driving slowly, the motor does not kick in, saving a lot of gas. However, as my car began to slip on the slick very steep mountain road, the hybrid refused to let the motor kick in and I stalled, leaving me at the mercy of gravity when I lifted my foot off the brake. I could not force the engine to kick in as the tires slipped on the road surface. Not fun. I managed to let the car slide back down into my tire tracks, turn around and safely return home . . .plan my purchase for a non-hybrid AWD/4WD vehicle to replace it. It was nice saving BIG$$ on fuel but family safety trumps that concept.
I'd say the cold weather. But we know that Ethanol kills gas mileage. Hopefully that will disappear one of these days. Drill Baby, Drill.
ethanol will kill your mileage.
for instance those flex fuel cars have cheap per gallon gas, but it cost more to run because of the alcohol
Summer blends are here! This is deliberate. If you want to “fix” it, try buying an ethanol stabilizer or use Sta-bil in your car.
Otherwise, get your tires balanced and rotated, and make sure your shocks, struts, and brakes are in good working order. Your suspension system has a greater impact on your gas mileage than you think.
Could be that the stations you usually buy gas at changed suppliers or the supplier “watered down” the blend.
I drive a Ram with a 5.7L hemi. I see differences in mileage with different brands of gas. Running Sunoco is like flushing a commode. My mile drops a lot. I think ethanol is the problem.
Did your state recently mandate ethanol usage?
If so, you’re lucky it’s only dropped 5%.
Mine is actually a bit (+/- 1-2 mpg) better in the last two months. It was hovering around 26.8 mpg and now reads a solid 28 mpg
You’re probably wasting your money buying a gasoline dryer which is alcohol when the government is already forcing the industry to add ALCOHOL to the tankers before they load the gasoline.
Tanker drivers have a card for each customer they deliver to. When they load, they swipe the card for that customer and a computer automatically controls the delivery of the mix which includes alcohol, gasoline and the proprietary additive package into the trailer compartment for that blend whether regular, medium, or high test.
“Is it true the on board computer will adjust for the octane? My van recommends 91 but some stations only have 89 or 93, others have 91. I use 89 if 91 is not available, but recently heard it is bad to go from one to another. Is that true?”
The octane level required is based on the compression ratio of the engine. On board computers will make adjustments based on input from a knock sensor. Knock generally occurs when the octane level is too low for the compression ratio and the computer adjusts by adding more fuel. So if your engine is designed for 91 then you should run 91; 89 will work but you’ll probably get reduced mpg and negate any savings on the per gallon cost. If you bump up to 93 you’re just paying more for no benefit if the engine is designed for a lower level. However, if it were my car I would use 93 when 91 is not available, knock from low octane is hard on the valve train, in older cars (60’s) it was easier to hear the knock/ping when you got into the loud petal.
Saw a few blips the past year on my vehicle. Mileage would go up, then would go down. With all the blends being made, I too thought this could be the problem. I started rotating my filling station points and found which stations (in my estimation) were causing the blips but then rotated again my filling station points to check again and found that the blips varied and there was no consistency. At that point I thought I was going crazy and my better half confirmed it. So, I surrendered all my prior calculations and shot my vehicle for disturbing my brain. I didn’t feel better but neither did my vehicle.
You can thank Bill Clinton.....and forget about the wrench. One of Sweet Old Bill’s (just use the initials) lasting legacies was the introduction of multiple summer fuel blends, required for individual gas stations by the EPA. It’s easy to tell when they go into effect in the early spring in your area......Gas Prices jump about a dime a gallon or more. I’ll bet you noticed the fuel economy drop about the same time the price jumped. This is because instead of a national fuel blend in the winter, there are 17 different blends across the nation. Suburban blends are different from urban blends, which are different from rural blends. The station down the street which buys the cheapest fuel in the winter can now only find a single supplier who always has higher prices.
Yes, it could be the result of some sort or really complex political-economic conspiracy of the farm lobby; on the other hand. On the other hand, gasoline density decreases about 1% for each 15 degree increase in temperature.
You’re doing better than me.
I have a pristine 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo, with almost 410,000 miles on it. 2nd engine, 2nd tranny. It’s got a sticky lifter which takes 2-3mins in warm-up mode to pump-up, and then I drive after it’s warmed-up.
It gets about 11-12mph city and 17-18mpg highway. When new, it was 17mpg city, 24mpg highway. 20gal tank.
Mileage does improve a little when I move it into 2WD from AWD.
I do mostly city driving now, since I retired from my Family Farm Business, on 11/1/11.
It’s cheaper to replace engines/trannys than buy a new $45k Jeep.
I used to work on all kinds of muscle cars back in the 50s/60s, but when I open the hood nowadays, I can’t find squat. Too many black boxes and computer connections which only a dealer can navigate.
Take obamas advice, inflate your tires!
Too many don't understand this. Same gasoline goes to many different brands from the same tank farm in most locations. Only difference is the little squirt of additives.
I happened to be at a dealer when a prospective customer wanted the hood opened so he could see the engine on the new luxury car he was considering.
The salesman looked at him like he was crazy, then popped the hood. Underneath was a smooth cover with almost nothing visible!
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