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GasBuddy News Article

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When your car doesn't get the mileage you expect

Reuters -- If you're a motorist expecting to get 35 miles per gallon on your new car and you end up only getting 20, the cost difference can add up. At the current national average of $3.94 per gallon of regular unleaded gas, it would cost those with a lower-performing car an extra $1,266 after driving it 15,000 miles, the average distance that Americans travel over the course of a year.

With gas prices so high and many consumers keen on more environmentally friendly motoring choices, it's particularly important to understand what you're buying and how to get the best fuel economy from your car.


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Submitted Apr 14, 2012 By: ziyulu
Category: Daily News Article Discussions > Topics Add to favorite topics  
Author Topic: When your car doesn't get the mileage you expect Back to Topics
REPLIES (newest first) Post a Reply
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apiergallini
Veteran Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Apr 16, 2012 12:12:03 AM

The problem is that most people don't, and can't, drive like they do in the tests. But everyone drives differently, and we need a standard way to compare one car against another.
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DanMtz
Champion Author Oakland

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Message Posted: Apr 15, 2012 11:02:38 AM

If you get 20 mpg and you're expecting 35, you are the problem.
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dave27johnson
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Apr 15, 2012 10:57:03 AM

We need MPG ratings based on typical driving habits.
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beetle9711
Veteran Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Apr 15, 2012 10:27:55 AM

They are giving the best possible case
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ifallsguy
Champion Author Arizona

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Message Posted: Apr 15, 2012 12:50:41 AM

you can send your letter of thanks to the EPA.
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lesndave
Champion Author Texas

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Message Posted: Apr 15, 2012 12:14:32 AM

I've always gotten the mpg listed on the sticker of a new car.... or better
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PathfinderSC
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 9:22:58 PM

Use Ethanol free and get better mpgs.
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apiergallini
Veteran Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 8:13:04 PM

@36_ACRES_4_SALE

Is that your answer to everything? Something's wrong it must be the President's fault?
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36_ACRES_4_SALE
All-Star Author Appleton

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 7:24:14 PM

blame it on obama
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wamster
Champion Author Houston

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 6:52:07 PM

I've generally gotten better fuel mileage than what the sticker says.
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dh0770
Champion Author Colorado

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 6:49:27 PM

Government ratings, auto company marketing, and individual driving habits, all make it hard to achieve the lie on the sticker!
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SycamoreISU
Champion Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 5:40:10 PM

I don't think I've ever driven a car that got the gas mileage listed on the window sticker.
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SUNOIL
Champion Author Toledo

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 5:28:09 PM

They should be able to put the car on any road and get the milage that they are claiming. Not just under controlled conditions. If they can't then their milage claim is too high.
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SammyAdams
Champion Author Tallahassee

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 4:56:03 PM

There was another point that I forgot to make which was that in Tennessee we can purchase non-ethanol gas for about the same price as E-10; something which cannot be done here in Florida, because of the prohibition against non ethanol blended fuel. In our Honda Odyssey minivan we get approximately 18 MPGs with the ethanol blended fuel and 25 MPGs with pure unleaded gasoline. We haven't been as diligent monitoring this, but are in the process of doing that now. I will post results when they are determined.
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SammyAdams
Champion Author Tallahassee

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 4:44:01 PM

To: pgerassi Re: Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 2:11:56 PM (Printed below)

" . . If you are getting less, its because you drive different running it (uphill, against the wind, over curvy roads with lots of stops, at high speeds, jack rabbit starts, and tons of cargo in the trunk) as opposed to when your not (downhill, with the wind, straight interstate, tailgating semis with little in the trunk). . . "
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When a person measures their gas consumption it is typically over a period of time and under varied conditions. And folks living in different regions of the country will experience different results for some of the reasons that you mentioned. But the same driver who is driving the same vehicle should get close to the same MPGs, shouldn't he?

We have a home in the mountains (Eastern Tennessee) and we get different mileage than when we are driving here in Florida. But when driving in TN where it is mountainous, we don't evaluate the mileage going DOWN the mountain and then check it again when we go back UP. The same is true when driving into a headwind. And allowances are made for driving in stop & go traffic in town as opposed to driving on Interstate or limited access highways. Even the EPA tests allow for these differences and then might even stipulate that these are AVERAGES; understanding that different people have different driving habits (jack rabbit starts, etc.)
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pgerassi
Champion Author Milwaukee

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 2:11:56 PM

Blupupher you are so wrong. E10 gets 98-100% of the MPG of E0 in fuel injected cars.
If you are getting less, its because you drive different running it (uphill, against the wind, over curvy roads with lots of stops, at high speeds, jack rabbit starts, and tons of cargo in the trunk) as opposed to when your not (downhill, with the wind, straight interstate, tailgating semis with little in the trunk). EPA on my 2001 Focus Sedan automatic is 22/30/25 (city/hwy/comb) while I average 32.5MPG overall and get 44MPG at constant 55MPH on the interstate. That is 30% better overall and 47% better on the highway. I definitely drive slow and steady with at least a 3-5 second interval behind the car ahead with glances well ahead for possible trouble spots. I do use cruise where possible.

BTW EPA does not really test using E85, but uses the 72% volumetric energy density ratio in MPG ratings. Ditto for CNG, LNG and propane. If they did, most vehicles easily beat those ratings. Those that actually test show that true MPG ratings should be between 80-90% of E0 (turbo or supercharged engines tend to the upper part of that range).

Here is an article from Popular Mechanics where they used two 40MPG EPA highway cars and tested them with E10:

http://www.hyundai-forums.com/231-md-2011-elantra/139907-popular-mechanics-tests-elantra-mileage-claims.html

Notice how they easily beat the ratings on E10.
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johntxx
Champion Author Texas

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 1:31:41 PM

"What Lachnit, Trainor, Cook and others say is that everyone may have a different experience. The WEATHER, vehicle maintenance, and where and how it's driven all factor into the performance of a car."

I've noticed that wind has a big affect on gas mileage in my new Elantra at highway speeds. Even with it's very streamlined body, traveling into the wind verses traveling down wind can very the mileage about 5 mpg. I also noticed that I get better mileage in thick flowing traffic due to drafting.
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PurplepassionNC
All-Star Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 12:48:40 PM

I would not be very happy if I depend on the information on the sticker and find out after my purchase that the sticker information was way out of line. That is not nice to deceive people.
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clpassenubye
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 12:17:33 PM

check your car
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Night Owl
Champion Author Toronto

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 12:16:08 PM

Don't drive aggressively:

'Driving style alone could cause a 35 percent drop in fuel efficiency, says Lachnit. Someone who weaves in and out of traffic and is heavy-footed on the accelerator will get much lower gas mileage that someone who is slow and steady, she says.'
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bvrbill
Champion Author Eugene

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 11:54:55 AM

Don't expect to get what they claim. They are giving the best possible case.
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fuel2use
Champion Author Seattle

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 11:33:42 AM

You mileage may vary. Many factors. I say try to rent one first, Or talk to other owners. But how and where you drive make a difference.
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aquarinut
Champion Author British Columbia

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 11:08:02 AM

Too many variables to say who gets what kind of mileage out of their vehicles.
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Norm10
Champion Author British Columbia

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 11:00:37 AM

If you are getting the posted mileage you must be living in dreamland.
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TerrySawchuk
All-Star Author British Columbia

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 10:55:22 AM

Right on.
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oldosc8
Champion Author Baltimore

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 10:30:08 AM

People can get better or worse then the sticker says on the car. I usually get better.
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leraar2
Champion Author Massachusetts

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 10:13:56 AM

i get consistantly BETTER mileage.
my driving style is to take "forever" to get to a very high highway speed
(usually 10mph above the highway limit).

find out what rpm your car likes to run at (mine 2000-2100);
when accelerating, never exceed that point---LET THE TRANNY SHIFT.
then coax the rpm back up to the favored rpm.
when finally in overdrive, coax the speed up to where the car is comfortable on the road. (some highways it's 55, some 90+).
you will lose gas mileage due to DRAG at higher speeds,
but you will more than make up for it on acceleration.
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yardslave
Champion Author Oklahoma City

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 10:10:48 AM

Think smarter... Drive less where possible.
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Skunk63
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 9:50:58 AM

Try driving slower.
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mike1881
Champion Author Fayetteville

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 9:31:52 AM

Follow all the rules of the experts. Keep tires inflated, maintain your car, slow stops and accelerations, did i forget any.
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1momsunshine
Champion Author Ottawa

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 9:13:33 AM

Lay off the gas and you will save!
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df99
All-Star Author Chattanooga

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 9:09:31 AM

Last two daily drivers, I've consistently gotten about 15% better than the EPA highway in my combined driving. When I drive my wife's car, I just watch the car's fuel economy display go up as I drive it.
Its all in how you drive!
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df99
All-Star Author Chattanooga

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 9:05:41 AM

Its really quite simple - loose the leadfoot!
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uglytom
Champion Author Florida

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 9:04:07 AM

Mine gets better.....it's the way I drive.
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YaBassa
Champion Author Michigan

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 8:59:51 AM

The manufacturer's EPA MPG rating should only be used for comparison only
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blupupher
Champion Author Houston

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 8:47:09 AM

yeah, some people just see the higgway number and think that is what they will get regardless of their driving style and conditions.
People also need to know the EPA tests are done on 100% gas, no ethanol at all. When you add the e-10 factor, you can automatically take at least 10-15% off those numbers even in ideal conditions.
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gs7101
Champion Author San Antonio

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 8:37:32 AM

Don't believe everything you see on the car's information sticker -- individual driving habits could be the car manufactory's defense in a potential lawsuit.
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grandpadon28110
Champion Author Charlotte

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 8:29:17 AM

What do you expect from the government or Auto Makers?
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pscamp
Champion Author Ottawa

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 8:21:46 AM

it is a relative measure, not a real measure
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carpenter4u
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 8:20:35 AM

Can't believe everything you read on the estimates. I actually get better than advertised. But I learned to take off easier and watch the stop lights down the road so that I did not run up on a red light and have to use more brake
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DerHahn
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 8:16:51 AM

before believing the mpg stickers on the cars, do some research and see what real drivers are getting.

Fuel Economy

Fuelly web site. Online fuel log book for real people.
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Evilmaddog
Champion Author British Columbia

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 8:15:21 AM

I find that I can get within 1 to 2 mpg or match Toyota's estimates ...mind u I drive 99% on the highway
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reb4
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 8:13:52 AM

Some people don't understand that just because there is a gas and brake pedal in the car, it's ok to not depress one of them in between use...
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herndonks
Champion Author Baltimore

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 7:58:30 AM

Rarely do cars get the EPA estimated mileage. Do they do their testing on a downhill track?
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MetroSexual
Champion Author Colorado

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 7:58:04 AM

One factor could be the wind. I have driven through Wyoming and watched my mileage go to the dogs when faced with steady 50 MPH winds on the prairies. It feels as if you are nearly standing still. Of course, when the wind is behind you and pushing you along, the MPG is golden.
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OHMS
Champion Author Orange County

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 7:53:15 AM

"There are huge variances," confirms Eric Mallia, business manager for FleetCarma in Waterloo, Ontario. "We've done some analysis and seen up to 60 percent variance from window sticker (estimates). We find that's something most people don't understand."
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dsaine
Champion Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 7:47:49 AM

Lay off the gas and you will save!!!
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Luckylindy
Champion Author Milwaukee

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 7:46:54 AM

Maybe hyper-mileing should be included with drivers ED.
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fjkcpa
Champion Author Houston

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 7:46:07 AM

Lots of good driving tips right here on this website.
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farmboyTN
Champion Author Tennessee

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 7:46:01 AM

ok
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