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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

I use my focus to commute to and from work every day. I was averaging around 42-43 mpg per tank until the past month. I am now getting 35-36 mpg per tank. I checked tire pressure which was not an issue (filled up tires to 40 PSI all around but did not help). I am not driving the car any differently. Anyone else have any ideas on what could be worng or what to check? I've got about 6500 miles on the car and the last oil change was done at 4100. I've also tried using different gas stations (Shell, BP, and Wawa) and that has not helped either. Anyone have any ideas? It's starting to get cold here in Maryland which I know decreases gas mileage but that shouldn't knock it down by 7 or 8 mpg. As mentioned, driving habits have not changed at all.
 

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My guess is 60% switch to winter gas, 40% bad luck with traffic/red lights etc. Winter gas is going to cut your MPG back about 5% or so and the rest is likely having to accelerate more often due to stop and go. Best way to measure MPG is over the course of a few months and isolate between winter and summer fuel blends.
 

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I'm going through the same thing. With as sensitive as the mileage is in these cars I can see the cold as being a major contributor mainly because you're running more accessories (rear defrost, heater, lights are on more often). Winter blend gas is probably going through the pumps now too. The more dense cold air probably needs more fuel mixed so the a/f ratio remains correct, but I could just be talking out my you-know-what.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm not gonna be happy averaging 33-34 mpg considering that is really the only reason why I traded in for this car. My old car (V6) averaged 30-31 mpg all year around and winter weather didn't affect gas mileage at all. It's not even winter yet and I've already dropped from 43 mpg to 35-36 mpg. With the other issues I've been experiencing with this car (shuddering (especially in reverse), steering, stains in roof, and low battery warning coming on within a minute of having the car turned off and the radio on) the only thing keeping me happy was the gas mileage.
 

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I'm not gonna be happy averaging 33-34 mpg considering that is really the only reason why I traded in for this car. My old car (V6) averaged 30-31 mpg all year around and winter weather didn't affect gas mileage at all. It's not even winter yet and I've already dropped from 43 mpg to 35-36 mpg. With the other issues I've been experiencing with this car (shuddering (especially in reverse), steering, stains in roof, and low battery warning coming on within a minute of having the car turned off and the radio on) the only thing keeping me happy was the gas mileage.
You mention low battery warnings.
If your battery is faulty, your alternator is working hard to charge it, causing an extra load on the engine and affecting MPG. A faulty or flat battery will require a lot of current from the alternator to charge it.
It would'nt be a bad idea to have your battery checked by a professional battery center.
A partially charged battery can still start the car.
 

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Haven't there been some alternator issues with this car? Focus2k12, have you taken your car in on any of your issues?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I was not aware that there were alternator/battery issues with the car? What are the issues? I have not taken it in yet as I don't want them messing up the car even more (rattling, scratches, etc).
 

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You guys are not the only ones with issues. myself and others have complained about how the mileage drops (quite significantly i might add) in the colder weather.

from winter gas, denser air or what ever the cause, i wish i knew before buying the car. Like stated earlier i bought this car for the mileage.
 

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No one has reported trouble with the battery or alternator.
The only battery like issues reported was the Ultra Gauge install was drainng the battery due to it being unlable to turn off due to some sort of conflict with the CPU/Ultra Gauge turning back on all the time.
And that is a flaw with the Ultra Gauge programming.

And yeah so far a LOT of folks have commented on drops in MPGs with the cold weather.
Personally I think it is just US coming to grips with a hypermileage car.
The little things which make it better, for mpgs.. also are littel things which can kill MPGs..
It was always known a car got a little worse mpgs in tthe Winter.
Well this car is no different. Just the SCALE of the change is a little bigger.
So eventually we will all understand what the Winter will mean.

And everyone, including myself is suprised at the drop.
NO one has owned one of these cars over a Winter yet. It was introduced in early Spring. So no one really has been going into a Winter season yet.

(I can remember my 1989 Tracer got as good as 32mpg tanks of gas in the Summer, and it dropped down to 27mpg in Winter.)
 

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Hey guys,

I use my focus to commute to and from work every day. I was averaging around 42-43 mpg per tank until the past month. I am now getting 35-36 mpg per tank. I checked tire pressure which was not an issue (filled up tires to 40 PSI all around but did not help). I am not driving the car any differently. Anyone else have any ideas on what could be worng or what to check? I've got about 6500 miles on the car and the last oil change was done at 4100. I've also tried using different gas stations (Shell, BP, and Wawa) and that has not helped either. Anyone have any ideas? It's starting to get cold here in Maryland which I know decreases gas mileage but that shouldn't knock it down by 7 or 8 mpg. As mentioned, driving habits have not changed at all.
The most likely change is winter fuel mix. All gas will have it so different stations won't matter.
 

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This topic probably pops up in almost all popular car forums in the northern hemisphere around this time of year. It's not unique to the Focus by any means...

1. Gas blend (more ethanol).
2. Fighting physics (of "working" to get the vehicle up to normal operating temps)
3. And, probably to a lesser extent, drier and colder air (warm, humid air is better for MPGs).
4. Add to those a heavier accessory load (heaters, defrosters, lights) and the tendency, at least by some, to idle the car more often

As I mentioned before, it's not unique to a Focus. Same thing happens every winter to other cars. So the best you can do is live with it or else get a hybrid (which would still suffer a little "hit" but to a lesser extent).
 

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As I mentioned before, it's not unique to a Focus. Same thing happens every winter to other cars. So the best you can do is live with it or else get a hybrid (which would still suffer a little "hit" but to a lesser extent).
Spot on. This is not an "issue" with your, or any other, Focus. My Accord that I repalced with this Focus took a huge MPG hit come cold weather time and no matter what I did it would not recover until the temps came back up.
 

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Mines gone down a few as well though as others have said it's just winter gas; nothing to be alarmed about. Either way I'm not complaining, the Focus gets better mileage in town than my last car (A Cadillac Deville) got on the highway. (29/40 vs 16/26) I do miss having a V8 sometimes though, constant power and the ability to impress anyone who'd come along for a ride. Not to mention the deafening howl of a WOT merge [race].
 

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Every vehicle i have ever owned has not gotten as good mileage in the cold weather as in the summer. Combination of the fuel blend, thicker lubes causing more drag and a richer mixture during warm up, you were very lucky if you had a vehicle that didn't. I also will say you are very lucky to have a Focus that gets 43 in the warm weather considering the rated mileage on the hiway is 37 or 38.
 

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As I mentioned before, it's not unique to a Focus. Same thing happens every winter to other cars. So the best you can do is live with it or else get a hybrid (which would still suffer a little "hit" but to a lesser extent).
While my headline was replaced, I had been averaging 35-37 mpg in my Ford Fusion rental. I must say I'm impressed. Almost makes me wish I had a Fusion Hybrid - then I remembered how sexy my FoFo is...

That and my car sees gas mileage in the lower to mid 40's on the highway. [:D]
 

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Hybrid fuel economy in winter

As I mentioned before, it's not unique to a Focus. Same thing happens every winter to other cars. So the best you can do is live with it or else get a hybrid (which would still suffer a little "hit" but to a lesser extent).
I disagree that a hybrid takes a lesser "hit" in fuel economy in colder weather. Having owned a 2008 Mercury Mariner Hybrid before trading it in on my 2012 Focus, I can say that hybrids are MORE effected by colder weather, expecially on short around town trips where it takes longer for the gas engine to reach operating temperature before the vehicle can go into electric operation mode - - where the big fuel savings are.
 

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Doug you are correct, as to cold weather & hybrids..
My pre-focus car was a Honda civic hybrid,,summer 48-50 mpg regularly,
winter 40-45 mpg (and during a huge blizzrd 33 mpg for a tank full)

my focus only gets 34-35 mpg so for after 2600 miles..
 

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