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Discussion Starter #1
Ever since I got my 2006 Element I've been getting decent mileage--18 city, 22 highway--until recently when it all practically collapsed almost overnight.
I'll be taking it to my dealer for a checkup so what should I expect them to
look for? In other words, what could be the possible cause(s) for such an abrupt change? I've checked the tires (a new set) and the oil (synthetic) and they're OK.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Ever since I got my 2006 Element I've been getting decent mileage--18 city, 22 highway--until recently when it all practically collapsed almost overnight.
I'll be taking it to my dealer for a checkup so what should I expect them to
look for? In other words, what could be the possible cause(s) for such an abrupt change? I've checked the tires (a new set) and the oil (synthetic) and they're OK.
I should add:

I drive in South Texas (no really cold weather to speak of) and my plugs only have 3-4,000 miles on them.

I really need to solve this problem since I've got a 5,000-mile trip ahead of me and the price of gas is going way up again.
 

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did the mpg drop when you got the new tires on?
se
My thought too - the actual weight of the rim and tires can have a significant impact on gas mileage, due to the motor having to turn all of the weight from the center of the wheel, along with combating the friction of the tire and the road - a new tire will also have more grip and possibly a larger surface contact area if you purchased a different size or type of tire (summer vs snow, performance vs standard radial for example). Or, I could just be way off base too! Tire pressure could also be a factor that can have pretty big impact.
 

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check your brakes

Check your brakes. If they are dragging even a little bit, your mileage will drop dramatically.
 

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Even one tank of bad gas will do the same thing, or half a hundred other things. We're dealing with a gas supplier here right now that supposedly mixed double the amount of ethanol or other winter additives in one or more shipments and vehicles (especially GM) are dropping like flies. This seems to be the time of year when the gas supplies switch back to the other formula and the crud comes slopping up the pipes to your gas tank.

Try a bottle of injector cleaner and see if it helps.
 

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What did the mpg drop to? Did you just check one tank or average 2 or more? Did you go to a different gas station? Check sticking brake calipers? Hopefully you just got a bad tank and it will improve on the next.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I don't think my new set of tires is the cause of my mileage drop. I still got decent mileage for a couple of months after getting them. Gas? I doubt it since I normally fill up at the same station all the time. Brakes? I'll have them checked
along with the plugs and air cleaner. There is one thing I've noticed since my problem began: I have to drive at higher revs to maintain the same speed.
The engine feels like it's lagging, almost as though it's not driving on all cylinders. Does this suggest anything except an overactive imagination?:)

Whacked my head on the door frame while removing the rear seats. Got a goose egg on my noggin and a headache from hell. If I don't reply to your comments for a couple of days, don't think I don't appreciate your help.
 

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Maybe you sucked an armadillo up into the air cleaner? :grin:

Seriously... you actually might want to check your air filter just to eliminate it as a problem. I'm recalling a rental car I had in Houston many years ago that had only 15K on it, but after the second tankful at 9 mpg I just had to check - the air filter was solid with mud.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Maybe you sucked an armadillo up into the air cleaner? :grin:


Seriously... you actually might want to check your air filter just to eliminate it as a problem. I'm recalling a rental car I had in Houston many years ago that had only 15K on it, but after the second tankful at 9 mpg I just had to check - the air filter was solid with mud.
Actually there is something in my air cleaner and it's rattling and hissing. :)

Will do the air filter thing today and see what gives.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It would help if you could quantify. MPG went from what, to what? Most of all, how many tanksful in your sample? Have you ruled out a brake dragging?
I've gone from 18 city, 22 highway to about 14 city, 17 highway with a sampling of 2 fill ups. In order to maintain a steady 60 mph I have to rev up to
4K rpm or more and the engine sounds--and feels--like it's working really hard.
Come to think of it, it feels like the brake might be dragging. I'll know for certain
after Honda takes a look.

I've only got 32,000 miles on the car.
 
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