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Old 08-06-2005, 11:46 PM   #1
Deft
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2002 Ford Focus - poor fuel efficiency

I have a 2002 Ford Focus... the registration card says model "LP", but I'm assuming it's either an LX or an SE (the car doesn't have an SE on the back). My fuel efficiency was great when I first got the vehicle (automatic); around 26-28 city, 30-32 highway. Unfortunately, that's changed and I'm now down to 18-20 city, and 22-24 highway. I've put fuel injection cleaner in the gas tank, and changed out the spark plugs, still no improvement. My father was a mechanic, and he said the only other thing he could think of that would be affecting gas mileage would be the catalytic converter. I've also heard suggestions about tire rotation, pressure, etc.

Any suggestions?

- Rob


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Old 08-07-2005, 12:10 AM   #2
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Any codes in the computer?
Other possibilities are failed lock-up mechanism in transmission and failing oxygen sensor(s). You have a 2002, so you should have a tachometer. Push very gently on the gas at highway speed. RPM should not change at all. Keep pushing the gas in, then the RPM should "jump" a little as the torque converter unlocks.

Tire pressure or rotation won't affect fuel economy to this extent.
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Old 08-07-2005, 12:21 AM   #3
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I have an automatic, thus no tachometer.
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Old 08-07-2005, 12:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Deft
I have an automatic, thus no tachometer.
Logically that make sense, but that's not really how it works. My 2003 5spd had a tach, my current 2005 5spd doesn't, but the 2005 SES trim has a tach even in auto.

Anyhow, since you don't have a tachometer, you'll have to use the test mode on odometer.

With the car off, hold the clear button while you start the car. Keep it held down until "test" appears. Release button. Needles will go crazy but not to worry. Push buttons over and over again until " tAc ####" shows. I don't know how many times, but its less than ten times.

That is your engine RPM readout. It changes rapidly so it is hard to read, but it should help you in this case.

To exit test mode, turn off car, then turn back on.
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Old 08-07-2005, 11:19 AM   #5
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Just for clarification, when he says the "clear button" he's talking about the tripometer reset button located on the guage cluster.
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Old 08-07-2005, 11:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tbones00SE
Just for clarification, when he says the "clear button" he's talking about the tripometer reset button located on the guage cluster.

Yup, that's what he means!
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Old 08-07-2005, 07:53 PM   #7
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I'm not sure what kind of response I'm supposed to be getting from the engine.. I tried the said test and didn't get any response, then again I may not be doing it correctly. After turning on the tach, I seem to get pretty normal RPMs... 800-900 idle, and shifting RPM seems to be fine. How much does something like an O2 sensor cost to have diagnosed and replaced?
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Old 08-07-2005, 08:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Deft
I'm not sure what kind of response I'm supposed to be getting from the engine.. I tried the said test and didn't get any response, then again I may not be doing it correctly. After turning on the tach, I seem to get pretty normal RPMs... 800-900 idle, and shifting RPM seems to be fine. How much does something like an O2 sensor cost to have diagnosed and replaced?
You push on the gas lightly at highway speed. It should stay quite steady, then jump. If you don't see this pattern you might have a slipping TQ converter.

go to the test mode again and keep pushing buttons until you see 'dtc' in funky LCD font. Do you see NONE? or do you see a rotating list of stuff? Write them down and post here. These are trouble codes. Don't go randomly replacing parts unless you know it is the cause.
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Old 08-07-2005, 08:40 PM   #9
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^-^ Are these the same codes you would get with a code reader?
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Old 08-07-2005, 08:57 PM   #10
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"Are these the same codes you would get with a code reader?"

No. I real life those particular codes are somewhat useless as some of them are "false positive" codes.

Go to somewhere that reads codes for free, such as AutoZone, and see if anything shows up.

How many miles do you have on the car?
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