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Thread: 2003 ZTS - horrible gas mileage - 16.3mpg - HELP Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
11-19-2013 02:21 PM
my_beautious_ZX3 I'm not patient enuf to read six pages of this thread, so these might be duplicate suggestions...
  • cleaning the IAC may save you the hassle of having to do it in a couple of months or years, but it won't affect your mpg
  • I noticed your comment about platinum plugs...some folks on this forum insist that the Focus is a picky eater and only works well with plain old copper...I haven't done mine for a couple of years and don't recall what I purchased
  • have you checked for unusual combustion evidence - pulled the plugs or taken it in for a state emissions test?
  • I recall you mentioning replacing a front caliper to no effect, but have you spun the rear wheels to check for binding?
  • have you checked for an electrical short or some power hog that is loading down your alternator?
  • have you checked for an obstruction in your exhaust system (incl. catalytic converter)?

btw - I make tons of small trips in my ZX3 and my city mpg = mid-20's.
11-19-2013 01:26 PM
PWGuy So I'm still getting on average just shy of 21 mpg. Our trips in the car are now for longer driving periods but still in town - the 21 avg mpg has NOT changed since we took ownership of the car in Nov 2011 REGARDLESS of trip distances in town. It used to be work only for my wife (2-3 miles away) but now it's going to the local dog park, running errands - our general "bumming around town" vehicle. Again, NO positive (or negative) change in the MPG since the car took on this role earlier this year.

Apparently the ethanol changes between summer vs. winter gas has not been a factor either (positive or negative).

Also put on new Cooper CS4 tires about a month ago, inflated to 37psi. NO CHANGE in MPG. You can imagine my disappointment on this one!

Still yet to do:
* Clean IAC (never been done)
* Flush tranny fluid and replace filter (never been done) - planning to do Spring 2014
* Timing belt/WP

Any other suggestions? Thanks for the help the last many months :)
01-10-2013 03:21 PM
PWGuy Update regarding poor mpg in my '03 ZTS.

I took whynot's advice and bought the Lucas product he recommended. I've followed his instructions for every gas fill-up - before pumping, I add 4oz of the Lucas product (it's more of a gel than pure liquid) to the gas tank, then fill up to the FIRST CLICK. I do not "top off" or go any further once the pump stops on the first click.

Also, I thought premium would potentially help increase my MPG but my data shows mixed results. The first two fill-ups were encouraging but they were with the summer blend, most likely.

Lastly, I did try different gas stations as well but since December 10, I've decided to now stick only with a specific BP station and specific pump - 87 octane gas to better refine my results.

10/23/12 - 203.3 miles on ODO - 9.458g filled (w/ 93 octane) -- 21.5mpg
11/2/12 - 176.8 miles on ODO - 7.308g filled (w/ 93 octane) -- 24.2mpg
11/17/12 - 157.7 miles on ODO - 7.158g filled (w/ 87 octane) -- 22.0mpg
12/10/12 - 122.3 miles on ODO - 6.842g filled (w/ 93 octane) -- 17.9mpg
12/31/12 - 138.6 miles on ODO - 7.178g filled (w/ 87 octane) -- 19.3mpg
10-11-2012 11:59 AM
FordService
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizle View Post
...What else can I do maintenance wise or after market to improve fuel economy?...

Hi Dizle,

Check out these tips to improve fuel economy: http://owner.ford.com/servlet/Conten...=1239636411265

Feel free to reach out to me via PM if you have any questions.

Thanks,
Crystal
10-10-2012 06:11 PM
whynotthinkwhynot
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizle View Post

Sorry to kind of hijack your thread
You should search for the "Duratec Stealth air intake" or ask this question in Duratec performance for the 03-09 Duratec engine. Don't ask in the Ti-VCT forum because that's the new GDI engine.
10-10-2012 06:09 PM
whynotthinkwhynot
Quote:
Originally Posted by PWGuy View Post
Where can I get the Lucas product in the Quart and Gallon containers?
Any auto parts store. Quarts will be there with the other fuel additives. It's in a white container that looks like gear oil. Make sure it's the fuel additive and Upper cylinder lubricant is what they call it IIRC. Then check around the diesel stuff, and you'll find the gallons. Ask a representative, and they will know. Like I wrote, try the quart first. If it works, then get a gallon. It might not make much of a difference with the number of miles you put on the engine.
10-10-2012 05:13 PM
IH84DZ
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizle View Post
My car <---------- is getting 29-30mpg's, last tank was about 50/50 city/ highway driving like a grandma in the city and 70-75mph fwy. Wish it were better, I've replaces spark plugs, cleaned MAF, disconnected the battery for 15-20 mins, ran a can of sea foam through a tank, checked tire pressures. I just replaced the fuel filter, probably first one @ 75k but who knows hoping that will get me a few more miles. Still not bad I guess, does short shifting in this car decrease the mileage? I shift at like 13, 20, 28, 35 and 40mph (no tach :( ) or so driving like a grandma seeing what kind of mileage I can squeeze out of her minimal a/c.

Where can I get a drop in replacement filter to get rid of this lifetime thing? Autostore can't look it up it says not replaceable. I'd like to do the cabin air filter as well.

What else can I do maintenance wise or after market to improve fuel economy?

Sorry to kind of hijack your thread
Short shifting in my experiments does not improve economy. Fuel consumption is directly related to load. The lower the load - the less fuel consumed. RPM's don't really mean anything when you consider the air volume at high RPM's and light load. The engine speed can increase dramatically without much of a change in air volume. The amount of air volume entering the engine is what determines fuel delivery and the amount of load an engine is under will be the #1 varible in air volume. Shifting into a high gear too soon will increase load and result in a reduction of fuel economy.

I've always been a skeptic when it comes to additives especially tank-based injector cleaner. Adding a solvent to my tank especially with an old fuel filter is likely to loosen material trapped in the filter and do the opposite of what you want. Decarbing top ends will improve fuel economy and driveability but there is really only a few ways to do it properly and they can be dangerous to the person and to the engine if performed incorrectly. I chose not to explain this procedure in public forums like this simply due to Murphy's Law.

Other than having a top end decarb done professionally every 60,000 miles or so, running high quality petrol gasoline, keeping your air filter clean, tires properly inflated and cargo weight to a minimum - the rest is environmental, fuel blend and driving habit related.
10-10-2012 04:16 PM
Dizle My car <---------- is getting 29-30mpg's, last tank was about 50/50 city/ highway driving like a grandma in the city and 70-75mph fwy. Wish it were better, I've replaces spark plugs, cleaned MAF, disconnected the battery for 15-20 mins, ran a can of sea foam through a tank, checked tire pressures. I just replaced the fuel filter, probably first one @ 75k but who knows hoping that will get me a few more miles. Still not bad I guess, does short shifting in this car decrease the mileage? I shift at like 13, 20, 28, 35 and 40mph (no tach :( ) or so driving like a grandma seeing what kind of mileage I can squeeze out of her minimal a/c.

Where can I get a drop in replacement filter to get rid of this lifetime thing? Autostore can't look it up it says not replaceable. I'd like to do the cabin air filter as well.

What else can I do maintenance wise or after market to improve fuel economy?

Sorry to kind of hijack your thread
10-10-2012 09:26 AM
PWGuy
Quote:
Originally Posted by whynotthinkwhynot View Post
Well, now that you know how to properly calculate fuel economy, then keep an eye on it. It's not a perfect system, but it's the closest we can get. I just read that the governor of CA was going to allow refineries to make winter blend 3 months early to offset the high fuel costs. That will surely reduce your fuel economy.

A tank every 2 weeks shouldn't really get into fuel separation, but you might want to try regular use of FI cleaner. One time treatments don't work. Treatments over time work. I always recommend Lucas fuel treatment, but I make sure that I point out that you don't purchase the little $4 5oz bottles. Always purchase at least a quart for $9 which has graduated marks on the side so you can gauge 4 oz treatments (the size needed for our tank), and then after that purchase a gallon container for $32. Use it to partially fill the old quart bottle for treatments. I regularly see a 3 mpg improvement in the van and the car using this. Since gasoline is over $3/gal, it's cost effective to use it just for the mpg bump. Now in your case, I don't know if it will increase your mileage that much, but you can check it out. I'd run a quart (8-4oz treatments) through there an monitor your mpg for each tank. If it's cost effective for you, then keep it up. If you ever notice your mpg dropping suddenly for one tank, then forgo the treatment on the next tank. Since you don't use all your gasoline up, some remains, and over time there can be a residual buildup. One tank without treatment fixes that.
Where can I get the Lucas product in the Quart and Gallon containers?
10-10-2012 06:37 AM
whynotthinkwhynot Well, now that you know how to properly calculate fuel economy, then keep an eye on it. It's not a perfect system, but it's the closest we can get. I just read that the governor of CA was going to allow refineries to make winter blend 3 months early to offset the high fuel costs. That will surely reduce your fuel economy.

A tank every 2 weeks shouldn't really get into fuel separation, but you might want to try regular use of FI cleaner. One time treatments don't work. Treatments over time work. I always recommend Lucas fuel treatment, but I make sure that I point out that you don't purchase the little $4 5oz bottles. Always purchase at least a quart for $9 which has graduated marks on the side so you can gauge 4 oz treatments (the size needed for our tank), and then after that purchase a gallon container for $32. Use it to partially fill the old quart bottle for treatments. I regularly see a 3 mpg improvement in the van and the car using this. Since gasoline is over $3/gal, it's cost effective to use it just for the mpg bump. Now in your case, I don't know if it will increase your mileage that much, but you can check it out. I'd run a quart (8-4oz treatments) through there an monitor your mpg for each tank. If it's cost effective for you, then keep it up. If you ever notice your mpg dropping suddenly for one tank, then forgo the treatment on the next tank. Since you don't use all your gasoline up, some remains, and over time there can be a residual buildup. One tank without treatment fixes that.
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