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Old 01-31-2007, 01:22 AM   #1
mc2
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Default really poor gas mileage AND can't fill up!

I just picked up a 96 Legacy L Wagon and so far everything is great about it except two issues:

Firstly, my gas mileage seems to be REALLY poor. I drove about 50 miles freeway, and according to the gauge, it used up about 1/4 tank. I don't know if the gauge is inaccurate or what, but that really concerns me if the gas mileage is really that bad.. I think i will go ahead and change the usual culprits, spark plugs, wires, air filter, tire pressure, but from how bad it looks i doubt those things are the cause of it. Any other things i should check out??

The second thing is, I can't even fill up the tank all the way to get an accurate calculation of the gas mileage because the nozzle keeps clicking off every few seconds! I did a search and couldnt find anything about this.. does anybody know what is causing the nozzle to click off and how i can fix it.

Thanks
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Old 01-31-2007, 07:55 AM   #2
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the nozzle thing sometimes happens to me. I always assumed it was just the pump sscrewing up.
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Old 01-31-2007, 08:22 AM   #3
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you do realize its mostly the same people here and in the sli you could've at least waited a week between the posts?
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Old 01-31-2007, 09:29 AM   #4
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A. The gauge can be a little odd sometimes, or might just be broken.
B. Its the pumps fault, not the car.
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Old 01-31-2007, 09:51 AM   #5
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Between the shape of the car, and the angle the pump nozzle goes in, releases too much vapor into the air at once, and thats why the pump keeps shutting off. Its a safety to prevent a possible explosion, and I've noticed on older pumps it does it a lot more often than on newer pumps.
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Old 01-31-2007, 09:58 AM   #6
Jonathan
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In addition to doing a basic tune up stuff, change the thermostat, the air filter, fuel filter, and maybe the Oxygen sensor.

Is this Legacy an automatic ?

If your engine is idling at all roughly, before your next fuel fill up, add some Chevron Textron fuel system cleaner.

Does your "Check Engine Light" come on if you turn on the ignition with out starting the car ? Does your check engine light come on when you drive the car ?

I am sometimes getting as low as 18 MPG with my 1996 Legacy L in stop and go "rush hour" traffic.

I haven't noticed any particular problems when refueling, although with some pumps getting the right angle is critical. Maybe your evaporative emissions equipment is bad ?

Last edited by Jonathan; 01-31-2007 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 01-31-2007, 11:27 AM   #7
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The legacy is an aumatic, but i dont any rough idle. The car seems to be very solid and runs very well other than this gas mileage thing. No check engine light either. But i will change out everything you mentioned.

Thanks for the input
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Old 01-31-2007, 12:08 PM   #8
Patrick Olsen
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I wouldn't get too worried about the 50mi on a 1/4 tank think, as my gas gauge can be pretty optimistic or pessimistic depending on how high or low the level is. The first 1/2 tank goes noticeably faster than the 2nd 1/2 tank, which is the way the gauges are designed to be.

As for getting it to fill, as others have mentioned, sometimes the nozzle is just a pain in the ass. There's one nozzle at the station around the corner from me that I have to get in the tank just right or it won't even start pumping. If I remember not to go to that pump, I have no issues.

Pat
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Old 01-31-2007, 12:47 PM   #9
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regarding the filling up thing, i've tried it on two pumps since i've gotten the car. One of them is a regular pump which i fill up my other two cars at and have never had any issues. I'll try around a couple different other gas stations as well, but so far it's 0 for 2 unfortunately.
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Old 01-31-2007, 12:48 PM   #10
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Whenever a pump refuses to fuel me - I set it to lower speed and it fills up ok.
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Old 01-31-2007, 01:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radeon View Post
Whenever a pump refuses to fuel me - I set it to lower speed and it fills up ok.
Same here. Just filling slower is what usually does it for me.
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Old 01-31-2007, 01:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mc2 View Post
The legacy is an automatic, but i dont have any rough idle. The car seems to be very solid and runs very well other than this gas mileage thing. No check engine light either. But i will change out everything you mentioned.

Thanks for the input.
An O2 Sensor can be rather expensive.

The reason I was questioning your "Check Engine Light" (CEL) was that some times rather than fixing a known problem it can be cheaper to yank the bulb, and sell the car. Maybe you should just have an "autozone" or other similar part store scan your cars OBD II computer (for free) just to verify that there arent any CEL issues going on that you aren't aware of.
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Old 01-31-2007, 06:09 PM   #13
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Yup, i plan on going to autozone to scan for any error codes anyway.

Thanks for the advice.
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Old 01-31-2007, 07:14 PM   #14
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Gas gauge doesn't read linear on my car - it'll be on F for 100 miles and will drop 1/2 way over the next 50 miles.

Try just sticking the tip of the pump in when you fill up. I've had the same problem for years and tries just getting the tip wet one time with lots of success even on full blast.

Last edited by mranlet; 02-01-2007 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 02-01-2007, 09:14 AM   #15
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OP: Maybe it's a little early in the morning and you said this somewhere but what actual mpg are you getting?
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Old 02-01-2007, 11:47 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
An O2 Sensor can be rather expensive.
So can the difference between 22/28 mpg and 16/24 mpg.
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Old 02-01-2007, 02:28 PM   #17
mc2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whpotter View Post
OP: Maybe it's a little early in the morning and you said this somewhere but what actual mpg are you getting?
I actually don't know, which is why i question the inaccuracy of the gauge also.. But normally to calculate MPG i fill up, reset the trip meter, drive and then fill up again and divide the number of gallons and miles to see mpg. But i can't do that now because i cant really fill the tank up very well. so i'm in a pickle.

All i noticed was that i drove 50 miles freeway, and it dropped over a 1/4 tank. This seemed pretty poor to me.
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Old 02-01-2007, 07:42 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
An O2 Sensor can be rather expensive.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LetItSnow View Post
So can the difference between 22/28 mpg and 16/24 mpg.
True.

Lemmie rephrase that. I am not suggesting that mc2 just randomly blow a few hundred bucks on O2 sensors, unless there are some specific reasons for believing these things have actually gone "bad" (such as an OBD II scan code saying that the O2 sensor is bad). I was only including the O2 sensor on the list of additional things to possibly include in a "tune up" that potentionally have a big impact on fuel milage. So far we don't actually even know what sort of fuel mileage mc2's Legacy is actually obtaining. For all we know he could be getting 32 MPG highway.

Last edited by Jonathan; 02-01-2007 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 02-02-2007, 06:28 PM   #19
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I'm not sure where you guys get your prices...

1996 Subaru Legacy
Front O2 Sensor - PN 22690AA290 - $126.95

Double check my work? Maybe someone at Renick can give you a quote?
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Old 02-02-2007, 11:37 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LetItSnow View Post
I'm not sure where you guys get your prices...
1996 Subaru Legacy
Front O2 Sensor - PN 22690AA290 - $126.95
I am pretty sure there is more than just one O2 sensor. Anyways $126.95 is an aweful lot of money to be spending just because you *think* you *might* have poor fuel milage. Unless you have a CEL/code suggesting you need a new O2 sensor, or have known service history letting you know its time for a new one, I would keep the old one in place.
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Old 02-03-2007, 07:33 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
I am pretty sure there is more than just one O2 sensor.
You're right - the rear sensor is priced within a few bucks of that front one. I don't buy that there is a third in a '96 Legacy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
Anyways $126.95 is an aweful lot of money to be spending just because you *think* you *might* have poor fuel milage. Unless you have a CEL/code suggesting you need a new O2 sensor, or have known service history letting you know its time for a new one, I would keep the old one in place.
If all else seems to be in place, then it might be a fair diagnosis, even without a CEL. In more than one place, I've seen replacement suggested at intervals sooner than a CEL indicated failure. That isn't to say that it's certain, but with its frequency, I'm inclined to believe it. I do agree with you that it's not the same circumstance in everyone's car with these symptoms.

With as much soot as there is on my tailpipe, and considering that my 65k mile car has 53k miles of my heavy foot under its belt, I have no qualms about throwing an O2 sensor at it to see if it makes a difference. I'll get back to you; the part is in my garage.
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Old 02-03-2007, 09:22 AM   #22
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I have a 95 Legacy Wagon and my gas guage is shot as well. What I do is just fill up the tank and set the trip. I fill up between every 200 - 250 miles. I figured I could go about to 280, possibly 300 if I wanted to push it. I will eventually fix the gas guage when weather permits. Maybe you should fill the car up and fill up and a gas can as well. Then set the trip and drive the car to see what kind of mileage you are actually getting. Let it run out of fuel, then add the gas from the can and go from there; noting the mileage on the trip. Do the math for your size tank and voila!
Now I am not sure what kind of damge this might cause to your car, but it is a thought.
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Old 02-03-2007, 10:23 AM   #23
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Here's a few for MUCH cheaper than the factory one.

I ordered a Bosch one that I had to wire in for about $55, but they have direct plug-n-play ones starting at $80 for a Bosch unit.
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Old 02-03-2007, 05:18 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vwdee View Post
I have a 95 Legacy Wagon and my gas guage is shot as well. What I do is just fill up the tank and set the trip. I fill up between every 200 - 250 miles. I figured I could go about to 280, possibly 300 if I wanted to push it.
Speaking of "pushing it", I did over 400 Highway miles on my '99 Legacy GT driving home to Massachusetts from Indiana a few years ago, I found myself driving through New York State at 4:00 AM and for the longest time I couldnt find an open gas station. ymmv.
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Old 02-04-2007, 02:54 AM   #25
mc2
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So i'm trying to run a whole tank down now... i've gone 160 miles and i'm nearing 1/4 tank left only according to the gas guage..

one very strange thing i noticed though is that the gas gauge DROPS much faster when i'm on the freeway then when i am driving local... about every 10 miles i can notice that it has gone down some..

Any ideas what this might indicate? Worse gas mileage on the freeway?

Anyway, tomorrow the air filter, plugs and wires will get changed to. If that doesn't fix anything, i'll probably have to do the 02 sensor after that.

Last edited by mc2; 02-04-2007 at 03:20 AM.
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