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Discussion Starter #22
Catalytic converter back pressure? Take out one of the O2 sensors and have a pressure test done for blockage. I speak from experience- 20 years ago, I fixed a doggy, low mpg Malibu wagon by replacing the catalytic converter.
That’s what I was going to try and forgot thank you
 

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Discussion Starter #23
The poorer highway gas mileage is due to the 5 speed manual transmission's gear ratio. While there are other factors that also play (such as others pointed out with up keep on maintenance), the main culprit is our shorter gear ratios.

For comparison, notice the difference in ratios:

5-Speed Manual Transmission Gear Ratios:
  • 1st: 3.533
  • 2nd: 2.042
  • 3rd: 1.355
  • 4th: 1.028
  • 5th: 0.825
  • Reverse: 3.583
  • Final Drive: 4.765
4-Speed Automatic Transmission Gear Ratios:
  • 1st: 2.684
  • 2nd: 1.535
  • 3rd: 1.081
  • 4th: 0.733
  • Reverse: 2.000
  • Final Drive: 4.438
[Note: Higher number = Shorter Gear]

Like you, I too witness 3700-4000 RPM when going 70+ MPH. While I don't enjoy spinning this high on the freeways, I would rather have it this way to help with acceleration (especially since its such a heavy car).

A common mod others do to combat this is adding the 6th gear found from the TSX, RSX-S, & Civic Si (other cars that have engines equipped with the K series engine).

This very thing is on my radar personally. Others on this board have great documentation of doing this if you're curious.

Hope that helps (and happy Elementing)!
That would be a nice fix, at this point I may take the loss and trade it in, I drive wayyyyy to much out of town to snowboard and mountain bike to dick around with 18-20 mpg
 

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Once Buyer's Remorse has set in, it's time to trade-- I averaged the first five manual transmission 2005 Elements I found on the Fuelly website and got 20.76 mpg, with a range reported by owners of 16 to 23 mpg. Maybe a Toyota V wagon is a better choice for anyone needing some room plus very high fuel economy.
 
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