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Discussion Starter #1
I used to get almost 260 miles a tank, my last two tanks of gas, I have gotten... (brace yourself) 155 - 160 miles TOTAL.

Please tell me what is going on. For the love of god....

(I am taking the car to my mechanic this weekend, but before I do that wanted to see what you guys thought).

I was thinking maybe tire pressure? From the change in temperature recently. But would it be that significant of a drop?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Wouldn't I hear/feel a stuck caliper though? I don't hear or feel anything brake related. I just did the front and rear pads. The gas mileage drop started about 1,000 miles before the brake pad replacement.

My drivers side tire looked low on air pressure so I went to fill it up and it appears that it will not hold any more than 10/15 psi no matter how long I fill it up for and the valve stem was leaking air almost as fast as I was filling it... which it didn't do on the passenger side. So I'm now thinking it's tire pressure related....
 

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Wouldn't I hear/feel a stuck caliper though?
Yes, No, Maybe.

The "Yes" -

We had the RF stick on the Element and it made a horrible racket - sounded like the front end of the car was coming apart. Never found out if it would have affected mileage because we didn't drive it until we found the problem and fixed it

The "No" -

Last Winter the mileage on the Subaru dropped suddenly from ~26 to 21 . . . I wrote it off to winter blend gas and cold weather. About 2 months later, discovered one of the LF pads down to the backing plate and the rotor looking pretty bad. Stuck caliper (dual piston) and I had never really noticed any funny sounds or feel . . . the very day it was replaced I was back up to 24-25.

That low tire has got to be a big part of it, however . . . bet fixing that will make a difference :)
 

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I switched to Shell with Ethanol and my gas mileage decreased to 16.24 MPG in city driving. So I switched back to Lukoil and I should be getting around 20MPG now. I will report back when I burn this tank up and do my MPG calibration.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Update:

Mechanic that I've been going to for years.

[a] tire pressure is fine in all tires, and tire valve stems are all fine.
alignment was performed on all 4 wheels
[c] car still pulls to the right
[d] mechanic now thinks one of the front tires is bad

Personal research/action
[a] fuel injector cleaner poured into gas tank (gunk brand)
gas tank filled from E to maximum with 89 octane


The tire/pulling issue should be resolved this coming week. The fuel problem might have something to do with me driving too much when the car was low on gas (gas light on), and so I will wait and see how this tank of gas performs. Filled at Mobil using 89 octane.

Wish me luck?

PS - Any input on the pulling issue? Car pulls significantly to the right, no suspension components appear damaged, and alignment is near perfect.
 

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Mine was pulling to one side, it happened after I had the tires rotated. When I took it back to the tire shop they also found a bad tire which was replaced. So it can be more then one thing. I have had a lot of cars through the years but bad tires never caused a pulling problem until the Element.
 

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"Winter blend" gasoline: volatility up, heat content down, mpg down.

Tires: temperature down, flexibility down, rolling friction up, mpg down.

Winter drivers: Daylight down, road conditions down, dinner getting cold, impatience up, driving surges up, mpg down.
 

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Check wheels after a drive - if one is warmer to the touch it could be something dragging (i.e. stuck caliper).
 

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PS - Any input on the pulling issue? Car pulls significantly to the right, no suspension components appear damaged, and alignment is near perfect.
That could be a RF stuck caliper . . . ;-)
 

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I'm confused. You said you couldn't get over 15 psi in one front tire, but the mechanic said they were all good. And then you mention pulling to one side AFTER a wheel alignment. I'm confused how it could do that without a big pressure difference.

Do kindly let us know how it turns out!
 

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"Winter blend" gasoline: volatility up, heat content down, mpg down.

Tires: temperature down, flexibility down, rolling friction up, mpg down.

Winter drivers: Daylight down, road conditions down, dinner getting cold, impatience up, driving surges up, mpg down.



DING!, DING ! DINGGGGG!!!!!!!


We have a winner..... JMO
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm confused. You said you couldn't get over 15 psi in one front tire, but the mechanic said they were all good. And then you mention pulling to one side AFTER a wheel alignment. I'm confused how it could do that without a big pressure difference.

Do kindly let us know how it turns out!

Turns out the gas station I was trying to fill air from had a faulty air nozzle. The mechanic was able to fill that same tire with no problems, and I was also later able to fill it/check the air at a different gas station. So the problem is not with the tires being able to hold air.


Update: So far, so good. It seems that ever since I put the fuel injector cleaner into the tank, the gas mileage has gotten better. It could also be the fact that I filled it with a better grade of gas than I usually do (89 vs 87). But if I had to bet one what it was.. it was probably the fact that I spent a lot of miles recently driving the car on almost an empty tank of gas, which probably gunked up the fuel lines or injectors, causing bad gas mileage.

I'm about 1/4 down on gas and have gotten 75miles, which means that if it keeps going at this rate, I should be seeing ~300 miles for the whole tank.

I've learned my lesson and will be filling the tank up long before the gas light comes on.

Again, 1/4 tank thus far used, and ~75 miles driven. I'll keep you guys updated.

Thanks for all the input guys.
 

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It could also be the fact that I filled it with a better grade of gas than I usually do (89 vs 87). But if I had to bet one what it was.. it was probably the fact that I spent a lot of miles recently driving the car on almost an empty tank of gas, which probably gunked up the fuel lines or injectors, causing bad gas mileage.
Or not, that first statement is 100% incorrect. Octane numbers are not a measuring stick of quality. Google "octane" and read what it means. In reality, you are using the wrong gas and possibly negatively affecting your mileage. I am sure others can explain better but the only measure of your gas quality is where you fill up.

If you never let your car get to E, than your second statement may be a possibility. I always run mine down to E to avoid anything building up (if that myth is true). If you use crappy gas, that could have caused the buildup instead of the sediment. Good gas has more cleaners and conditioners in it from what I understand. It may be as simple as you get what you pay for.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Update: Problem still persists.

I am a click away from Empty and my mileage reading is: 150.8 miles

::smacks head against desk::

I give up. With the gas mileage being horrible (either because gas itself is of a worse quality or bc my Element has a problem), I really don't have the mental fortitude to deal with this anymore.

About to ask my brother to give me his old Chrysler mini van and take this as an even trade or just take out my bicycle and get some tire chains.
 

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Your "neighbor" is siphoning your gas.
Whew, NYC
 

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By any chance has it been very cold and/or snowy? Typical mileage for me is 23-24 MPG driven conservatively. In the winter however, my mileage drops to about 19 MPG. Powering through snow, idling to warm it up, and cold engine/air temperatures all add up.
 

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Update: Problem still persists.

I am a click away from Empty and my mileage reading is: 150.8 miles

::smacks head against desk::

I give up. With the gas mileage being horrible (either because gas itself is of a worse quality or bc my Element has a problem), I really don't have the mental fortitude to deal with this anymore.
This may be a dumb question, but how many gallons does it take to fill up? My thinking is that maybe your gas gauge isn't working 100% correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
gas gauge is fine, and i've had the car for 3 winters now, and never noticed such a significant drop in mileage.

This round of gas I think my average comes out to about 13.5/14 mpg.

Life is stressful enough as it is, this is the last thing I need.
 

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could it be a bad senser? I don't no if you can get a code if your check engin light is not on.but you could see bad #'s frum a bad o2 senser..or so on.
 
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