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Old 05-09-2013, 08:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
Pishtaco
 
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Going the wrong way

I have a problem. 8 of my last 10 tanks have been under 50 mpg, and those 10 tanks average 2.6 mpg worse than average. They've brought my average mpg down from 49.6 to 49.3 mpg.

I changed the air filter and checked spark plug gaps. New tires may contribute to the low mileage, and I was fighting headwinds on several of the recent tanks, but the trend is worrisome. I'm gong to replace the front O2 sensor to see if it helps.

Suggestions?

Date..........mi...gal......mpg
2013-01-29 268.7 6.05 44.41322314
2013-01-30 364.5 7.13 51.12201964
2013-04-13 460.6 9.42 48.89596603
2013-05-02 422.2 8.771 48.13590241
2013-05-02 321.2 7.464 43.03322615
2013-05-03 240.6 5.156 46.66408068
2013-05-06 328.5 7.3 45
2013-05-06 119.7 2.837 42.19245682
2013-05-07 356.3 6.913 51.54057573
2013-05-07 341.3 7.431 45.92921545
0
............... 3223.6 68.472 47.07909803
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Darrell

Boycotting Exxon since 1989, BP since 2010
Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac? George Carlin
Mean Green Toaster Machine
49.5 mpg avg over 53,000 miles. 176% of '08 EPA
Best flat drive 94.5 mpg for 10.1 mi
Longest tank 1033 km (642 mi) on 10.56 gal = 60.8 mpg
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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New tires DO initially have higher RR, but they should've "broken-in" by now.
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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How many miles on her Sentra?

regards
Mech
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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New tires and air filter went on at the end of April. I checked spark plug gaps yesterday. They were all within specs. The car has about 88000 miles on the odometer.

Here's a possible smoking gun. The emissions drive cycle readiness flag hasn't been set up since last year. The O2 sensor readiness flag is set, but it went off briefly at the end of January during a trip to Colorado.
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Darrell

Boycotting Exxon since 1989, BP since 2010
Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac? George Carlin
Mean Green Toaster Machine
49.5 mpg avg over 53,000 miles. 176% of '08 EPA
Best flat drive 94.5 mpg for 10.1 mi
Longest tank 1033 km (642 mi) on 10.56 gal = 60.8 mpg
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Rather than replacing a possibly good O2 sensor, put one of these bad boys together.

DIY Air / Fuel Ratio Meter

Get it in closed loop (i.e. > 1800 RPM, steady throttle) and the O2 bar should cycle on / off quickly.
I've been using that and a vacuum gauge to get better FE out of the Lancer. Finding the wires and tapping onto them carefully is the hard part.
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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check egr also
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Old 05-11-2013, 11:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My Ultra-Gauge has an Air/Fuel ratio display, IIRC. If not, it has direct O2 sensor Bank 1 1 and O2 sensor Bank 1 2 voltage displays. I'll check them the next time I drive the car.
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Darrell

Boycotting Exxon since 1989, BP since 2010
Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac? George Carlin
Mean Green Toaster Machine
49.5 mpg avg over 53,000 miles. 176% of '08 EPA
Best flat drive 94.5 mpg for 10.1 mi
Longest tank 1033 km (642 mi) on 10.56 gal = 60.8 mpg
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Old 05-12-2013, 02:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SentraSE-R View Post
My Ultra-Gauge has an Air/Fuel ratio display, IIRC. If not, it has direct O2 sensor Bank 1 1 and O2 sensor Bank 1 2 voltage displays. I'll check them the next time I drive the car.
The voltage is 'at the time of the read'- ODBII is 10400bps.
I'm not sure you'll see the voltage cycle like it should over ODBII.

It continuously goes up to 0.8, and down to 0.2, repeatedly whilst you maintain cruise (i.e. 1800RPM or more, steady throttle, closed loop operation).
At idle, my sensor stays at 0.8 and slows back to 0.2, and cycles slowly (due to volume - idle RPM is low volume).

That'll tell you the O2 sensor is working OK!
The other thing to think of is you'll get a code again if the O2 sensor is useless.
Vacuum style leaks produce O2 sensor codes (air after the AF sensor).
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:59 AM   #9 (permalink)
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02 sensors get "lazy" before they fail to the point where you get a CEL. It may be worthwhile to replace one at 80K, but that is a matter or personal choice and my 17 year old truck with 128k, with what appears to be the original sensor, still seems to be working properly. I may replace it this year mostly as a preventative maintenance and to see if I can get a little better mileage, but no CEL. An EGR passageway cleaning is another good idea but again you are facing the possibility of it being an expense that is hard to justify from strictly a cost effective perspective. OBD2 kicks a code when EGR flow drops to the point where the code would be tripped. Basically I never tried to "sell' that type of preventative maintenance to most of my customers until the CEL showed the problem had reached a point where something needed to be done.

On the other hand while riding a Cab in Baltimore when Pop was having some surgery done at Johns Hopkins, I noticed that every single Cab had a CEL and ABS warning lights on and the drivers just seemed to ignore them.

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Old 05-12-2013, 11:20 AM   #10 (permalink)
Pishtaco
 
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Mean Green Toaster Machine - '06 Scion xB
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90 day: 48.92 mpg (US)
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Nobody else thinks the emissions system might leak enough to cause my mpg loss?

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Darrell

Boycotting Exxon since 1989, BP since 2010
Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac? George Carlin
Mean Green Toaster Machine
49.5 mpg avg over 53,000 miles. 176% of '08 EPA
Best flat drive 94.5 mpg for 10.1 mi
Longest tank 1033 km (642 mi) on 10.56 gal = 60.8 mpg
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