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Author Topic: [Off Topic] Terrible gas mileage  (Read 2129 times)
Mex-Busnut
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« on: September 14, 2011, 08:50:16 AM »

Dear friends,

We are half way between Oklahoma City and Tulsa on our way to Madison, Wisconsin. Vehicle is a 1995 GMC Astro, 4.3 liter V-6. So far, we have had to replace the radiator, a/c compressor, a/c fan.

We did change:

--Spark plugs
--Spark plug cables
--Air filter
--Gas filter
--PCV valve
--Oil and filter
--Distributer cap
--Rotor

This is a 2-wheel-drive minivan, and yet we are only getting 17 mpg. It has not used any oil since central Mexico oil change. My Dad had an identical van, and could count on 25 mpg. We are keeping it T 65 mph. Any ideas?

Thanks in advance!
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Dr. Steve, San Juan del Río, Querétaro, Mexico, North America, Planet Earth, Milky Way.
1981 Dina Olímpico (Flxible Flxliner clone), 6V92TA Detroit Diesel
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belfert
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« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2011, 08:56:40 AM »

17 MPG is about all I would expect from that van.  Maybe you could get another MPG or two, but that would be it.  Your dad was lucky to get 25MPG from an Astro.  The Astro is a rear wheel drive vehicle with a pretty good size engine.  A similiar FWD Dodge Caravan from that era would get maybe 21 MPG, but it also has a smaller 3.3L engine.

The latest minivans (all FWD) are getting 24 to 25 MPG, but a lot of work has been done to improve mileage.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2011, 09:00:24 AM »

Loaded heavy with family and daughter's stuff for college?

I seriously doubt you'll see much more than that out of it while loaded.

I'm sorry to hear your having such difficulties on your trip.

Also you added about 60 miles & tripled your tolls going up thru OKC. But it was all interstate that way!

Good luck on the rest of the trip.
Grin  BK  Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
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« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2011, 09:13:20 AM »

You will probably not need the a/c as you get further north.  Local forcast is calling for temps in the 50's during the days and 30's at night. Brrr
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« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2011, 09:30:59 AM »

That's normal MPG for a vehicle like that. Other factors are how heavy or light your foot is. Smiley My work van is a 2007 DODGE GRAND CARAVAN with a 3.3L V6 and that thing never gets better than 17( stop and go mostly with brief highway) and you have a bigger engine. Those ASTRO's were good solid vans so at least you aren't in a little corn popper AVEO, SMART, MINI COOPER type car.
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« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2011, 11:55:05 AM »

  Was it getting better mileage in Mexico? We put a lot of strange additives in our Gas up here, somehow those EPA morons feel burning more fuel makes the air cleaner. And many people also notice fuel economy gains when buying fuel out in rural areas away from big cities. Too, while were supposed to have 10% methanol, it can often be close to 20%, cars run for crap on that mixture.

  One example is a friend had a Plymouth Sundance. Just a lil car with a lil non turbo motor, never saw more than 16-17 with it. Was outstate one time couple years back, and filled up the tank, car immediately jumped over 25 mpg. After refilling back home back to crap mileage. He started looking for excuses to drive out to the boonies to get fuel. Our Ford Expedition never got more than 12 mpg back in MN running flatland. Its almost always in the 14-15 range now running these Ozark hills. Maybe buy your fuel in between the big cities???
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skihor
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« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2011, 12:04:30 PM »

Ethanol/Methanol bad for gas mileage and hard on all fuel system related parts.

Don & Sheila
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Tevo
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« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2011, 02:03:09 PM »

  Was it getting better mileage in Mexico? We put a lot of strange additives in our Gas up here, somehow those EPA morons feel burning more fuel makes the air cleaner. And many people also notice fuel economy gains when buying fuel out in rural areas away from big cities. Too, while were supposed to have 10% methanol, it can often be close to 20%, cars run for crap on that mixture.

  One example is a friend had a Plymouth Sundance. Just a lil car with a lil non turbo motor, never saw more than 16-17 with it. Was outstate one time couple years back, and filled up the tank, car immediately jumped over 25 mpg. After refilling back home back to crap mileage. He started looking for excuses to drive out to the boonies to get fuel. Our Ford Expedition never got more than 12 mpg back in MN running flatland. Its almost always in the 14-15 range now running these Ozark hills. Maybe buy your fuel in between the big cities???

I'm glad you posted this as I was beginning to think I was crazy. In my truck in Florida I never got over 13mpg, but I've found in some areas outside the state it jumps up to 16-17mpg with no obvious explanation.
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« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2011, 02:20:03 PM »

The laws of physics don't seem to jive with a lot of reports I see about ethanol and gasoline.  I've seen people say they get 10%, 15%, or even 20% less mileage when using gasoline that is 10% ethanol?  So, if you get 10% less mileage you're getting zero energy from the ethanol.  At 15% or 20% mileage loss you apparently are losing energy from the ethanol.

Now, if you said you lost a few percent from 10% ethanol I would believe you.  I've never noticed much difference from tank to tank on my fuel mileage.  I don't travel out of state too often, but my mileage doesn't ever vary too much.  I might get 28 MPG one tank and 29 or 30 the next tank, but a lot depends on highway versus city driving.

I have gotten really bad mileage at times in the winter, but it always happens right after a big snow storm when it takes an hour to drive 13 miles to work.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2011, 03:09:36 PM »

Take this for whatever it's worth but since I switched to 100% synthetic oil in both my work van and personal car, my mileage slightly improved.
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« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2011, 03:37:54 PM »

Your Dad was probably figuring kilometers to the gal!!
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« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2011, 03:40:53 PM »

Tire air pressure  ? ? ? ?

Wife had a Town & Country Van large V6 and never got above 20.

Good Luck
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« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2011, 03:50:56 PM »

ethanol and alcohol take alot larger amount of fuel to run for the same amount of time as gas.   A engine will only run for about half as long on alcohol then gas= crap milleage.

Did you get E85 by chance?

17mpg is average tho for your vehicle as already stated..
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belfert
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« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2011, 04:12:45 PM »

My parents have run their Chrysler minivan on E85 from time to time.  It gets about 20% lower mileage on E85.  Mileage drop is nowhere near 50%.  I don't think they have bought E85 in a while for some reason.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
Bill B /bus
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« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2011, 05:19:05 PM »

Guys and gals,

1987 Ford Aerostar XLT with a 5 speed manual - around town 23-24 MPG. Highway 25-27 MPG. At 197K miles, just before trade in, from Wisconsin to Maine, in early March with snow to eastern Indiana, got 23 MPG for the trip.  This was mostly pre ethanol addition. 

Ethanol seems to really hurt the fuel mileage on some engines more than others.

Bill
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Mex-Busnut
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« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2011, 07:51:55 PM »

Dear Friends,

Thanks to all for your comments.

Yes, I have been noticing that all the gas pumps say something to the effect of "10-20% ethanol".

Tonight we made it to St. Clair, Missouri. Tomorrow we plan to get to St. Louis, visit the Sams for daughter's Ipad, and then head on in the direction of Chicago (My gramma from Zion, Illinois, used to say: "Chicken in the car, and the car won't go. That is the way to get to Chicago.")

And it is quite chili up here, after the five days at 106 degrees and above that we survived in South Texas.
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Dr. Steve, San Juan del Río, Querétaro, Mexico, North America, Planet Earth, Milky Way.
1981 Dina Olímpico (Flxible Flxliner clone), 6V92TA Detroit Diesel
Rockwell model RM135A 9-speed manual tranny.
Jake brakes
100 miles North West of Mexico City, Mexico. 6,800 feet altitude.
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« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2011, 08:05:21 PM »

I live where corn is king and that's what the majority of ethanol is derived from and the success of my business is based on those producing corn. Granted it does seem to lessen one's fuel mileage and I won't get into a debate over it's good and bad points but it seems folks would once again rather choose something not made here in America because it's cheaper imported. Alcohol is a lot cheaper from Brazil except for the taxes imposed on it by our government when importing it. I guess sending our money to Brazil would be a wiser choice?  Better yet to the Mid East for more crude oil. If it wasn't for farmers or weapon's makers we wouldn't have any exports here in the US! So while it may cost you a few bucks a month more for ethanol just don't forget where it comes from. Made in America. Nascar went to ethanol without a hitch this year. I just get tired of all the unfounded bs that folks like to throw around. You have no choice. Get over it.
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« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2011, 08:13:24 PM »

I live where corn is king and that's what the majority of ethanol is derived from and the success of my business is based on those producing corn. Granted it does seem to lessen one's fuel mileage and I won't get into a debate over it's good and bad points but it seems folks would once again rather choose something not made here in America because it's cheaper imported. Alcohol is a lot cheaper from Brazil except for the taxes imposed on it by our government when importing it. I guess sending our money to Brazil would be a wiser choice?  Better yet to the Mid East for more crude oil. If it wasn't for farmers or weapon's makers we wouldn't have any exports here in the US! So while it may cost you a few bucks a month more for ethanol just don't forget where it comes from. Made in America. Nascar went to ethanol without a hitch this year. I just get tired of all the unfounded bs that folks like to throw around. You have no choice. Get over it.

I don't know the truth of any of the claims regarding the mechanical issues with ethanol. My problem is that it is artificially inflating the price of corn, and has caused a spike in food prices for corn based products (which is a shockingly high percentage of products). This is bad for Americans, especially those struggling to get by in a tough economy.
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« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2011, 08:22:13 PM »

The byproduct of the corn used in the manufacturing of ethanol is fed to livestock as it was originally intended to in the first place. It just doesn't magically disappear and in fact is now a more efficient feed after the process. It's called distillers grain. The reason grain prices have risen has more to do with floods, drought, worldwide demand and speculators unless you are reading propaganda from oil producers.
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« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2011, 08:24:15 PM »

Quote from: Tevo
My problem is that it is artificially inflating the price of corn, and has caused a spike in food prices for corn based products (which is a shockingly high percentage of products). This is bad for Americans, especially those struggling to get by in a tough economy.

Ain't no problem by the cheap imported corn from Korea ! It comes in tiny ears and is cheap too! I used to haul truckloads of it from the docks on the west coast to the mid-west all the time!
Grin  BK  Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
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Grin Keep SMILING it makes people wonder what yer up to! Grin (at least thats what momma always told me! Grin)
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« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2011, 08:39:41 PM »

You have no choice. Get over it.

  I do have a choice, I choose to buy non ethanol fuel as much as possible, and keep buying more diesels. I can also choose to vote for people that could put an end to the idiocy of FedGovCo subsidizing everything.
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« Reply #21 on: September 14, 2011, 08:50:54 PM »

The byproduct of the corn used in the manufacturing of ethanol is fed to livestock as it was originally intended to in the first place. It just doesn't magically disappear and in fact is now a more efficient feed after the process. It's called distillers grain. The reason grain prices have risen has more to do with floods, drought, worldwide demand and speculators unless you are reading propaganda from oil producers.

  Or the propoganda from the corn growers getting fat on Federal subsistence?? Looks like there is plenty of unfounded bs to go around. Supply and demand are what controls commodity prices. Talk to hunters who cant hunt on low lying farm lands they hunted for years, because Joe Farmer planted it with Corn because the price is so high its now worthwhile planting in scrub land. But what really burns my hide is how any rational human being could pour that crap in their car while watching people starve to death. But like some say, they need the money......

  All we gotta do is drive 10% less and we wouldnt need any foriegn oil.
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« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2011, 08:57:15 PM »

The byproduct of the corn used in the manufacturing of ethanol is fed to livestock as it was originally intended to in the first place. It just doesn't magically disappear and in fact is now a more efficient feed after the process. It's called distillers grain. The reason grain prices have risen has more to do with floods, drought, worldwide demand and speculators unless you are reading propaganda from oil producers.

It's not just oil producers seeing the problem, it's experts from a variety of fields that see that ethanol are materially contributing to rising food prices. Is it the only factor? No, of course not. But unless you are reading the propaganda from corn producers, it's widely recognized as a major contributing factor.  Wink
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« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2011, 09:07:19 PM »

You have no choice. Get over it.

  I do have a choice, I choose to buy non ethanol fuel as much as possible, and keep buying more diesels. I can also choose to vote for people that could put an end to the idiocy of FedGovCo subsidizing everything.

And you think that some farmer is getting free money from the government for growing corn through subsidies? You really don't realize it do you? Back when corn was selling for under $2 a bushel industries found ways to utilize it into various processes such as plastics, sweeteners and ethanol amongst a lot of other products. Now that demand is up for all these products and prices are higher you choose to point at ethanol as the driving force behind the price increase. So now you think the farmer is reaping all the profits. You have no idea how much his inputs costs have risen. I could argue with you on and on but basically you are not very well informed and I will leave it at that and you can  choose to read whatever propaganda fits your style. I just find it hard to imagine folks throwing darts at one of our nation's last exporting capable business's but then again it doesn't surprise me. But the state of Nebraska has a 4% unemployment rate and a balanced budget. Guess what? It's been that forever regardless of ethanol........If it's such a great deal maybe you should check into being a farmer!!!
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« Reply #24 on: September 14, 2011, 09:20:03 PM »

But what really burns my hide is how any rational human being could pour that crap in their car while watching people starve to death. But like some say, they need the money......

  All we gotta do is drive 10% less and we wouldnt need any foriegn oil.



Actually what burns my hide is how any rational human can buy whatever food he wants and then turn around and bitch about those that provide it for him while he's throwing his scraps away. Send your money to the Mid East for energy, buy your food from Mexico and enjoy.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2011, 09:25:05 PM by Chopper Scott » Logged

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« Reply #25 on: September 15, 2011, 02:28:49 AM »

In 2008 I went through Nebraska (sorry about your luck sooners  Grin) You could buy E85 for less than $2 a gallon - In Florida it was over $4 - In Tennessee It's called Hooch @ $5 a quart  Grin In Iowa they were growing corn in the medians and rights-of-way - If you got run off the road in Iowa you were considered a "cereal" killer  Grin
« Last Edit: September 15, 2011, 12:40:50 PM by niles500 » Logged

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