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Old 11-02-2012, 11:41 AM   #1
inxsary
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2012 SE gas mileage decreasing

Before anyone gives me the "it's winter gas" excuse, please read through before commenting.

Since none of my previous cars had a fuel economy guage, I've been religious about getting the most out of my gas since getting my 2012 SE Sport Hatch in April. For the first few months (say, until August), I was averaging 36mpg. Which for me is great, considering my last Focus got about 28. I would reset one of the gauges at every fill up and watch the readings in order to maximize my mpgs.

Typically, I would drive to work on a single-lane road about 40 miles each way averaging 55-60mph, A/C on. I would watch the gauge from a new fill up slowly count down from 42mpg until it settled someplace in the 36's.

However, I now can't get the average mpg past 34. It might be winter gas, but it started happening in August. Do they change the gas that early? I livein Florida, do we even get winter gas here?

The other thing that makes me a little worried...when I'd fill up and reset the gauge, it would start at 42mpg and drop DOWN as driving progressed. Now, it starts at 20mpg and counts its way UP. What's up with that?

I filled up on Tuesday, reset the guage, and drove about 4 miles home. Gauge showed 32mpg. When I started the car the next morning, the guage showed 24 mpg. ?????

Any suggestions on what else to look for, to indicate possible problems, is appreciated.

Thanks so much.
-Karen


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Old 11-02-2012, 12:06 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inxsary View Post
Before anyone gives me the "it's winter gas" excuse, please read through before commenting.

Since none of my previous cars had a fuel economy guage, I've been religious about getting the most out of my gas since getting my 2012 SE Sport Hatch in April. For the first few months (say, until August), I was averaging 36mpg. Which for me is great, considering my last Focus got about 28. I would reset one of the gauges at every fill up and watch the readings in order to maximize my mpgs.

Typically, I would drive to work on a single-lane road about 40 miles each way averaging 55-60mph, A/C on. I would watch the gauge from a new fill up slowly count down from 42mpg until it settled someplace in the 36's.

However, I now can't get the average mpg past 34. It might be winter gas, but it started happening in August. Do they change the gas that early? I livein Florida, do we even get winter gas here?

The other thing that makes me a little worried...when I'd fill up and reset the gauge, it would start at 42mpg and drop DOWN as driving progressed. Now, it starts at 20mpg and counts its way UP. What's up with that?

I filled up on Tuesday, reset the guage, and drove about 4 miles home. Gauge showed 32mpg. When I started the car the next morning, the guage showed 24 mpg. ?????

Any suggestions on what else to look for, to indicate possible problems, is appreciated.

Thanks so much.
-Karen
Hi inxsary,

Swing by your dealership, or mention this concern the next time you have a scheduled maintenance appointment/oil change. Your Service Techs will be able to diagnose any possible issues and address your concerns about fuel efficiency.

In the mean time, you can check out Ford's tips for improving fuel economy here: http://owner.ford.com/servlet/Conten...=1239636411265

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

Have a great weekend!
Crystal
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:17 AM   #3
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How many miles on it? Oil been changed yet?
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:56 PM   #4
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That sounds like something is screwy with the gauge reporting. Have you double checked the gauge's accuracy? Also, consider it might be resetting itself in the morning instead of holding the information for long term accuracy. For example, if I reset the gauge while sitting still, fuel economy shows up as something you'd expect from an old big block with dual carburetors. When I start moving, it goes up. If I reset while driving at highway speeds mileage is very high, then it goes down. This doesn't affect my overall mileage for the entire tank which you can double check in the old fashioned method: fill up to where the pump clicks off, reset the trip odometer, drive, use up as much of the tank as you can because it's more accurate that way, then refill the tank again to where the pump clicks off. Note the number of gallons on the pump when finished- rounding up or down to tenths or even whole numbers is ok. Divide your trip odometer mileage by the number of gallons, and you have your miles per gallon to double check your gauge.

Now I wouldn't be surprised if there is a difference of 2-3 mpg or so between both methods. The pump method is not entirely accurate, and neither is the gauge. For example, if you top up when you filled up the first time, and then stop the first time it clicks the second time- you're probably putting in a 1/2 gal or so less. Let's see what that does: 300 mi /10 gals = 30 mpg, but / 10.5 = 28.5 mpg. Also that pump cuts off depending on vapor pushing back on the nozzle, you might have more or less vapor in your tank when you fill up, so even if you stop at the first click the tank is likely to be filled up to a different point. Topping off would seem to be more accurate- but then how much did you drip out? None of it is precise, so don't be surprised, but that doesn't mean that double checking isn't informative.
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:35 AM   #5
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+1 on using the pump method.

Use a log book to also make notes on driving speeds and conditions. To gain the most accuracy, use the exact same pump as much as possible, though "calibrated" they still vary.

Also check basics like tire pressure (goes down in cooler fall weather) and tire wear pattern in case of a bump causing alignment issues.

Please report back your findings.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:22 PM   #6
JayDeZ
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Try calculating the mileage manaually for a few tanks also. My MPG display ususally reads 2+MPG higher than actual. Once it was dead on and once it read lower. Every other time it read way high.
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Old 11-05-2012, 02:53 PM   #7
magnumea
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We took our new Focus 440 miles up and 440 miles back last week. We filled up at a local Spinx station and got 40 mpg going up, filled up at an Exxon there and got 37 mpg coming back. I'm tninking the amount of alcohol contaminating the gas from station to station, and even from the same station on different days could make the difference. It can be from 0 to 10%.
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Old 11-10-2012, 04:37 PM   #8
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I've just purchased a 2013 Focus, and it's my first with the MPG display. I've noticed several things that affect mileage here in Southern California:

1) Humidity and temperature. I'm getting 42 mpg on the freeway, but I had it up to 50 mpg one early cool, clear morning on the desert.

2) If I end up stopping when I've gained altitude, there's a difference going back. I had to think a while, because it might look flat, but it's not.

3) Sidewinds lower my MPG. So do even slight headwinds vs. tail winds. A slight elevation loss with a tailwind makes a difference.

But I think the suggestions about checking the calculations are valid. When I get mine on the open road, I plan to use the Highway mileposts between here and San Francisco to really test the odometer, and I will keep track of the actual gallons I put in. I did this once in my girlfriend's Toyota Highlander, and the computer MPG of 21 was actually 19 over about 600 miles.
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