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Unhappy with MPG {2000 Forester L}


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39 replies to this topic

#1 howards11

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Posted 18 March 2004 - 08:57 AM

I purchased a used 2000 Forester L back in May, 2003.
While I'm happy with car car itself I am very unhappy with the MPG that I've been getting. I am getting about 14 MPG in city driving. At my last oil change at about 30,000 miles I replaced the fuel filter among other things. In few weeks I am going in for a tune-up, air filter change and PVC replacement. Can anyone come up with some other ideas to improve the MPG ?

~Howard
:banana:

#2 northguy

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Posted 18 March 2004 - 10:01 AM

Shy of really minor things like drive downhill all of the time and keep it waxed and clean, you've hit the highlights. MPG does seem to be one of the major disadvantages of the Forrester. It's the only reason my wife won't trade her Legacy in on one.

#3 jimpomm

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Posted 18 March 2004 - 10:57 AM

tire pressure to low?how about alignment?

#4 zooma37

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Posted 18 March 2004 - 11:40 AM

I own an '03 Forester auto and haven't had MPG that low - 14. Mine, in city driving, usually runs 19 at the very lowest and that's with the a/c on, but I don't do a lot of hill driving.

#5 howards11

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Posted 18 March 2004 - 01:49 PM

It needs a 4 wheel alignment. Tire pressure is kept about 35 PSI.

~Howard
:banana:



Originally posted by jimpomm
tire pressure to low?how about alignment?



#6 cookie

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Posted 18 March 2004 - 07:30 PM

I live in the SF area and my Subie Forester averages 25 MPG.
I rarely get really stuck in traffic to the point where I am stopped and the weather is good here, so no snow to buck.
Some folks who live in the country do much better than I do.

#7 Lesbaru

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Posted 18 March 2004 - 08:54 PM

Oxy sensor? Our 02 Forester had a myriad of problems, which all cleared up when we had the oxy sensor replaced. It did NOT set off a CEL. We were lucky enough to have a mechanic who knew that our Foresters have problems with oxy sensors.

#8 howards11

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Posted 18 March 2004 - 11:47 PM

I had the front oxy sensor replaced once by the dealer under a recall.
Let me add that this Forester is an AUTOMATIC.

~Howard
:banana:

Originally posted by Lesbaru
Oxy sensor? Our 02 Forester had a myriad of problems, which all cleared up when we had the oxy sensor replaced. It did NOT set off a CEL. We were lucky enough to have a mechanic who knew that our Foresters have problems with oxy sensors.



#9 subeman90

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Posted 19 March 2004 - 05:52 AM

my 2k forester (traded in dec.) always got about 22-24 in town and about 26-29 on the highway and it was an automatic. It had about 75k on it when we got rid of it...maybe it was more seasoned (broke in engine)?

Try the O2 sensor though...my impreza is a little funky and that is the first thing I am going after as soon as I can...

Matt

#10 howards11

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Posted 19 March 2004 - 09:05 AM

Subeman90:
Replace the 02 sensor even if i'm not getting a CEL ?
Like I said I'm going for a tuneup first.
I forgot to mention I'm using the oxygeniated winter fuel plus I'm using Auto RX (in the cleaning phase) to see if there any junk in the engine.

~Howard
:banana:


Originally posted by subeman90
my 2k forester (traded in dec.) always got about 22-24 in town and about 26-29 on the highway and it was an automatic. It had about 75k on it when we got rid of it...maybe it was more seasoned (broke in engine)?

Try the O2 sensor though...my impreza is a little funky and that is the first thing I am going after as soon as I can...

Matt



#11 kevinsUBARU

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Posted 19 March 2004 - 10:57 AM

After I got a B&M Transmission service at my dealer a few weeks ago, my MPG went back up in my Impreza. Maybe look into that when you go in for the tune-up.

By the way, the PCV valve is very oh so easy to do yourself...save a few $$$$$ :)

Kevin

#12 99obw

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Posted 19 March 2004 - 11:08 AM

Originally posted by howards11
Replace the 02 sensor even if i'm not getting a CEL ?

Yes.

#13 howards11

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Posted 19 March 2004 - 02:30 PM

99obw:
Just let me make sure I understand. Replace BOTH sensors (the after catayst and the before catayst) ? I am thinking of buying Bosch brand for both.

~Howard
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Originally posted by 99obw
Yes.



#14 99obw

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Posted 19 March 2004 - 03:28 PM

Only the one before the cat. The other one just verifies the cat is working.

#15 daja

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Posted 19 March 2004 - 04:27 PM

I get 9.31litres/100km or 22.25mpg with my '00 5spd forester and I drive the car hard with no thoughts about fuel economy and this 22.25 mpg is during winter.

This went up 10% since I was hacking around with the air intake and noticed that there is a banana shaped chamber right before the 90 degree bend to main airbox. It points down. It's pretty delicate and someone (mechanic?) had broke it off. They rammed it in all the way which blocked about 2/3's of the airflow. I pulled it back out and clamped it. Drives smoother and accelerates quicker.

That alone made a 10% improvement on my mileage. I'd also go with a new o2 sensor, might seem like alot (~$50 here), but i've been driving for 100,000km and wasted 10,000 of that due to air restriction, 10,000/500km per tank = 20 tanks of gas x $35cdn/tank = $700. Well worth the cost.

BTW: did you check to see if any of your brakes are seized? My back left was stuck and it caused me to go down to 350km/tank, very hot rim, stinky smell, warped disc, new pad... you get the picture.

#16 howards11

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Posted 20 March 2004 - 12:52 AM

99OBW:
Is this the one called the FRONT O2
sensor ?

~Howard
:banana:



Originally posted by 99obw
Only the one before the cat. The other one just verifies the cat is working.



#17 99obw

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Posted 20 March 2004 - 07:35 AM

Yes. You can replace it with an OEM part, or buy an aftermarket replacement for slightly less, or buy a universal replacement for even less and splice the wires.

#18 howards11

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Posted 20 March 2004 - 03:03 PM

990bw:
Thanks for your help. I'm going to call my mechanic on Monday and setup an appointment.

~Howard
:banana:

#19 howards11

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Posted 21 March 2004 - 08:58 PM

One final question:
I was rear ended the day after Thanksgiving. The woman wiped out my exhaust system (tailpipe, muffler and trim piece). Her car slid under mine !
Could have this accident caused ONE or BOTH sensors to malfunction without having a CEL appear ?

~Howard
:banana:

#20 subeman90

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Posted 21 March 2004 - 09:21 PM

I would have concern about kinks or cracks in the exhaust system.....If the ins. company is paying demand a new exhaust system front to rear (100% complete) and don't forget the O2 sensors too! :D

Matt

#21 cookie

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Posted 21 March 2004 - 10:23 PM

that you should have supplied up front. I am sure you did not think of it till now but did your fuel mileage drop after the accident or was it always poor?

#22 howards11

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Posted 21 March 2004 - 10:45 PM

I'm sorry for this guys. Lights went off when I realized where these sensors are located. NO....it's too late to demand anything. Happened Friday after Thanksgiving 2003.
I have to pay for this myself. Insurance company paid for tailpipe, muffler and trim piece plus the body work, etc. My body shop guy said I needed a 4 wheel alignment but other driver's company wouldn't pay for that. "Wasn't bad enough."
I didn't start measuring my MPG until recently. Don't remember if it dropped since the accident.
I got an idea that the sensors alone are around maybe $80 each.
How much do you think to install ?
~Howard
:banana:

#23 subeman90

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Posted 22 March 2004 - 06:35 AM

installing O2 sensors is a lot like putting in sparkplugs except that you can't use a socket wrench (due to the wire) so it really isn't a big deal to do.

1. unhook the wire for the old one
2. unscrew it (sounds easy but can be in a stupid place or really tight)
3. take new one and put anti-sieze on threads
4. screw in new one
5. plug wire in to connector.
6.maybe reset computer (unhook neg. bat cable and let for an hour) Might be better to start with this step anyhow.

slightly off topic: i did this to the mercury in my sig. and it took me 15 min.

helpful tip: do this when the engine is dead cold

hope this helps....

Matt

#24 cookie

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Posted 22 March 2004 - 10:58 AM

Make sure you have a wrench that fits exactly.
Back in PA you have salt so it may be more of a struggle.

#25 99obw

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Posted 22 March 2004 - 11:16 AM

Use a 22mm wrench. I have to disagree on the cold engine, running the engine to get the exhaust hot before you try to remove it expands the exhuast and makes the sensor easier to remove. Be careful with the hot exhaust.

Correction:

4. screw in NEW one




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