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Old 02-09-2003, 09:53 AM   #1
Kamil
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Default stock WRX; why am I getting 16 MPG?

Hey,
I have a stock '02 WRX sedan with 23k miles.
I change the oil every 3000 miles, I have a new air filter in.
I have stock wheels w/ stock sized tires.
The only mod is Eibach springs.
I don't have a roof rack or anything that create an aero-dynamic drag.
I do 95% highway driving mostly between Boston and NYC.
Lately I have been noticing really bad gas milage and I actually begun keeping track of the amount of gas I use... it turnes out that I get around 16MPG.

Driving style... in 65MPH zone I keep around 80 and in 55MPH zone I keep it around 70MPH. I occassionally open it up (how can you not? ) but my driving style would definetly not impact my MPG that much.

Does anyone know what it could be?
I know there's threads about leaky fuel line gaskets of some sort, and I did smell fuel in my car on a cold day once when I was warming up the car, but I dont see how a minor leak can cut the fuel mileage by almost 50% (27MPG highway according to EPA).

no, the car does not seem to be running rich by any means and there's no CELs.

Anyone?

TIA

-Kamil
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Old 02-09-2003, 10:03 AM   #2
jackansi
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welcome to the world of high-than-average performance I've been seeing the same trend. I'm chalking it up to the fact the WRX is at 3000+ rpm at 80mph. Not to mention the hilly nature of PA roads, and the fact cruise control routinely goes into boost up most of them. I do get decent (20mpg) if I keep it at or under 65. I have yet to see anything better than that in mine.

I use the matrix for driving trips last summer (my 2.5RS and later WRX didn't have navigation at the time, matrix did). In the matrix at 75mph I averaged 31mpg (when the sticker says 27hwy). but its FWD, non-boosted (till the TRD supercharger comes anyway), and very aerodynamic for its size.
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Old 02-09-2003, 10:12 AM   #3
Kamil
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This definetly is not my first "higher-then-avarage performance" car.
I had cars w/ bigger displacement motors, w/ more cylinders, more weight, etc... and it was never an issue.
Its my first turbo car tho, I must admit.
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Old 02-09-2003, 10:26 AM   #4
jackansi
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I can't imagine what the STi is going to be like my money is on 17/24.. What brand of gas do you use and whats its octane rating? I've always used Sunoco Ultra 94 so far, but I'm going to move to 93 because its a bit cheaper. I know my milage will go through the floor for the first couple tanks of 93. Isn't lower mpg normal for "winter gas"?

I didn't mean my first comment on the last post to be negative, just summing up my experience as the WRX is my first higher-than-average performance car I'm happy to say. But my previous cars were no civic hybrid when it came to gas mileage so I'm used to <20mpg
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Old 02-09-2003, 10:43 AM   #5
Need4Boost
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They usually rate the mpg rating for highway at 55mph. Going 80mph @ 3000+k rpms will suck more gas then 55mph at 2500rpms.

Even so, 16mpg seems a bit low. I would at least expect 20mpg.
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Old 02-09-2003, 11:00 AM   #6
digitaltekniq
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I AVERAGE 22mpg, and regularly see 325 - 340 miles per tank and I don't drive like a granny - the only thing I do out of the ordinary is use GTA fuel enhancer on every fill up. 16mpg seems low, I would be inclined to want to get that checked out.
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Old 02-09-2003, 11:02 AM   #7
T-WRX
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You are not alone. I also average 15 to 16 mpg, with 22k on my 2002 5spd WRX wagon. My daily commute is about 17 miles on rural/commercial streets, and my style is not amenable to good mileage.

On the highway, measured during road trips, driving @80 mph, I average about 20 mpg. That is the only time that I get 300 miles out of a tank of gas . . .

I recently went UTEC stage II, and am looking forward to seeing who wins the war between stoichiometric efficiency and the lead foot.
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Old 02-09-2003, 11:23 AM   #8
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my daily commute is in rush hour traffic so i hardly see 70+. but when i go to and from my gf's house, which is 30 mintues away all highway i routinely do 75-80. i can practically watch the gas needle go down. if i was able to stare at it for a minute i'm sure i'd see it move. 3000rpm has suck and if we cruised at 55 i'm sure our mpg would be mich higher.
i normally get about 250 to a full tank of exxon 93octane. i wish i had a 6spd to drop the cruising rpms. so i learn to deal =) i think the first gear full on boosting sessions make me feel better about low mpg
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Old 02-09-2003, 11:32 AM   #9
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Odd. I'm running a Vishnu Stg 0 with Unichip, and I get great gas mileage. Normal commute to work is about 10 minutes of city driving with about 20 minutes of 65mph highway driving. I routinely get 350+ miles per tank. This usually works out to 25-28 mpg, depending on how many times I felt like flooring it.

Whenever I get out on the Interstate on long trips, I usually get about 28+ mpg. My normal speed is 75-80 mph. I don't think 3000rpm+ engine speeds really hurt your gas mileage, just as long as your not going into boost frequently. Averaging 16mpg sounds like a problem to me. Whether it's a lead foot or something wrong with your car....who knows

--coot
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Old 02-09-2003, 11:54 AM   #10
DocDetroit
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I do mixed highway/city driving. In the fall I was getting 300 miles per tank (from full until the idiot light came on). That worked out to 24 - 25 MPG.

In the winter I dropped down to about 280 miles per tank. That works out to about 22 MPG.

I have an catless up-pipe, catless down-pipe, catless mid-pipe, cat-back and a UTEC.

So 17 MPG definately seems out of line. How many miles are you getting out of a tank?
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Old 02-09-2003, 12:14 PM   #11
Mattr762
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Kamil,

Sounds like we have the same type of driving style. I just filled up yesterday and got 26mpg. I average 24.
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Old 02-09-2003, 12:36 PM   #12
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16mpg is definitely not typical. I can hardly ever get below 20mpg and I've had road trips yield mileages of up to 32mpg (in the mountains).

You seriously should have it looked at by a pro that your trust to be thorough.
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Old 02-09-2003, 12:42 PM   #13
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remember youre mpg will be a lot lower in the cold. anything under 35-40 degrees will kill your mpg average.

i dont know about emissions in your area, but adding an uppipe or a downpipe will only help your mpg and will probably pay for itself in the course of a year. if thats not an option, just hang in there until spring time
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Old 02-09-2003, 12:51 PM   #14
JimDab
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i average 18-20mpg but i can understand that with all my full throttle onramps

anyways, on my monthly anaheim to sacramento commute (over 400miles each way) i get 23-24mpg when TRYING VERY HARD TO GET GOOD GAS MILEAGE

i do however drive in the fast lane which is going about 80-85mph, but i try to ease the throttle the whole way, so i understand the gas mileage

my best ever is maybe 24mpg on one of those trips, my worst ever is around 12mpg where i had a trip to the drag strip and about 10 runs halfway through the tank

id like to try to drive slower one of these days to see if i can get a new best mpg but i cant comprehend driving 70mph when the lane next to me is going 80, it makes no sense also i'd be adding about one hour of driving time if i drive 10mph slower, that's why sometimes i try to push it to the limit of where i dont think i'll be pulled over (a limit that i cross sometimes, DOH!)
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Old 02-09-2003, 01:08 PM   #15
Kamil
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Thanks... I'll have to make time to go to a dealer... I dunno about a "pro that your trust to be thorough", sounds oxymoranic to me.

I measure my gas mileage by the amount of gallons of gas I put in (and use) and the amount of miles I drive... I always have at least 1/4 tank of gas in the car (its a good habit).

I have an HKS downpipe sitting on my kitchen floor, but I will not be installing it anytime soon. Too cold.
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Old 02-09-2003, 01:26 PM   #16
drees
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My best tank on my mostly stock wagon was 26mpg driving from San Diego to the Bay Area. Speed ranged from 70-90 depending on traffic. My typical mix of 25% city 75% highway gets me 22-25mpg depending on how heavy my foot is.

16mpg is definately not normal unless you've got a very heavy foot or are doing lots of short (less than 5mi) trips.
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Old 02-09-2003, 03:35 PM   #17
Tobey
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Quote:
Originally posted by cooter
Odd. I'm running a Vishnu Stg 0 with Unichip, and I get great gas mileage. Normal commute to work is about 10 minutes of city driving with about 20 minutes of 65mph highway driving. I routinely get 350+ miles per tank. This usually works out to 25-28 mpg, depending on how many times I felt like flooring it.

Whenever I get out on the Interstate on long trips, I usually get about 28+ mpg. My normal speed is 75-80 mph. I don't think 3000rpm+ engine speeds really hurt your gas mileage, just as long as your not going into boost frequently. Averaging 16mpg sounds like a problem to me. Whether it's a lead foot or something wrong with your car....who knows

--coot
i'm right there with ya, if i want to, i get around 325-350 per tank, and i treat her pretty good. i seems to be decreasing lately but i'm guessing that's cause the car is always cold and the heater and lights are awlays on.
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Old 02-09-2003, 04:03 PM   #18
jackansi
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kamil
I measure my gas mileage by the amount of gallons of gas I put in (and use) and the amount of miles I drive... I always have at least 1/4 tank of gas in the car (its a good habit).
I measure the same way. I drive until I get down to 1/3-1/4 tank left, then I fill up/reset trip A. I'm lucky to make 220miles from full to 1/4 tank. I double checked where I parked (on gravel) and no sign of gas leaking. I'm not really concerned, its just expensive now

I don't drive hard, onramps are the only time I'm WOT. Most onramps on the highway I take often are only about 200-300 feet long before your merged into the right lane on a 65mph speed limit.

I do spend more time in the city vs highway (75% city). But even the XRS manages 24mpg under the exact same conditions on 89 octane...

I've done the defroster mod so the A/C doesn't come on automatically, I thought that might have been the reason. but that led to very little increase in mpg.

I guess we'll see if it improves when the temp makes it above 30-40 degrees like MrBrian. The warmest day in the last 15 or so tanks has been 30 degrees..

Last edited by jackansi; 02-09-2003 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 02-09-2003, 04:06 PM   #19
cmaj7
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Default Same problem

My brother had the exact same problem with his WRX. He went into the dealer, they reflashed his ECU and the problem went away.
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Old 02-09-2003, 04:34 PM   #20
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I get around 15-16mpg driving in no traffic 4am commute. Lots of fun driving with no one on the highway in the early morn
winter feul mix= lower mpg
stock turbo over 2500rpm will give you less mpg.
Unless you want to drive like a granny on the highway youre gonna get lower than expected mi in a turbo car.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 02-09-2003, 07:56 PM   #21
CirrusWRX
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I can't seem to recall the person who experienced something of the sort, but basically, they discovered a bad O2 sensor. Because the reading was horribly innacurate, the car was fueling like the crazy, and hence, causing terrible gas mileage. I forget if the dealer replaced his sensor, or if he just did a "resistor mod" or pony-express mod to it... it was a while ago, but that was HIS problem.

Just a thought.
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Old 02-09-2003, 08:06 PM   #22
Gumpy
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Default check the tabs on your airbox

You might want to check the tabs on your airbox. It is very difficult to get them to engage all the way. My father-in-law was complaining about bad gas milage after his car was repaired (after hitting a deer). He was averaging 17 to 18 mpg, even on the highway. Looked at his airbox and the tabs were not engaged. Seems the autobody shop forgot. We engaged the tabs fully, which is a bit tricky, and his milaged improved to between 21 and 23 mpg. He also was a bit down on power due to not having a tight seal at the airbox. Hope this helps. If not, take it to the dealer.

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Old 02-09-2003, 08:38 PM   #23
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you eat the most gast when you stomp on the gas pedal. if you are doing alot of speeding up/slowing down/speeding up again you will get the worst gas milage, even on highways going from 65-80-65-80. i've been keeping track of this for about 6 years on 2 cars and a motorcycle. amount of time at WOT and not speed is what kills gas efficiency.

take for example a cessna 152, eats 6 gallons of gas just taking off (wot for 5-10 minutes). eats 6 gallons an hour cruising at 92 knots (75% throttle for an hour).

my very modded wrx averages 20mpg. good rule of thumb for good gas milage is keep boost below 0psi when commuting. that way you arnt mashing the accelerator and wasting gas. if you are going wot every time you pas someone, you are burning a hella lot of gas.
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Old 02-09-2003, 09:08 PM   #24
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Ths is a common problem. I wish I had been here sooner to give you good advice as opposed to all of those who responded before me.

The solution to your problem is to lighten up with your right foot. That's all. Just lay off the gas a bit.
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Old 02-09-2003, 09:29 PM   #25
Kamil
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haha, you guys are funny... as I said my 2 or 3 times a month trip between NYC and Boston gets boring at times so I experimant w/ different things... I tried going the whole way once w/ minium boosting, I used cruise control, and yes, absolutly, constant accaleration between 60 and 80 eats gas so I try to keep it steady.
I'm 99.99% sure its not my driving style.

Off to the dealer we go... next avalible appointment in any norther NJ or suburban Boston dealership is two weeks away.
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