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Old 11-06-2009, 07:24 PM   #1
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Very low MPG with 01 Malibu

Hello all, I have been looking around at forums and thought this one seemed like everyone knows what their talking about, and for my first post, I have a question that has been bugging me for a while.

My 2001 Chevy Malibu is getting about 13MPG city, and about 18MPG highway. I drive normal, and try my best for fuel economy. The car has 135k and a 3100 V6 This problem is not satisfactory since I commute 60 miles a day.

Im a noob seeking help, what can be wrong? Is it able to be fixed? I am not engine savvy. Thanks!

-Dan
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Old 11-06-2009, 07:56 PM   #2
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you definitely have a problem. you should be getting 18/26/21 (city/hwy/combined)

have you done maintenance stuff? plugs, wires, clean intake, clean EGR (if it has one), maybe just replace o2 sensor.

is it spitting any codes?

BTW, welcome to the site.
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Old 11-06-2009, 08:48 PM   #3
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Welcome from me as well.

Start with the basic stuff...tyre pressures , take all the junk out of the trunk , etc , etc.
Have a look through the 201 tips to save gas at the top of the screen and see how many you can tick off the list.

Post back what you find and there will be someone ready and willing to help you start your hypermiler journey.

Cheers , Pete.
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Old 11-06-2009, 09:49 PM   #4
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I replaced the oil with 5w30 synthetic oil less than 1k miles ago, I don't even remember when the plugs were replaced, or anything else for that matter. The tire PSI is almost at the maximum rating. A friend of mine who owns the 2000 malibu tells me he is getting about 30 mpg.

edit: the car is not giving any codes.

Maybe I just need a tune up?



-Dan
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Old 11-06-2009, 10:34 PM   #5
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That car came from the factory with a "100,000 mile" ignition system. Plugs, wires, Cap, (& rotor if equipped) should have all been replaced at 100k miles. If it wasn't you're severely overdue. Catch up on your maintenance that's behind, then re-evaluate the vehicle.
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Old 11-07-2009, 04:08 AM   #6
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That's very extreme even if all maintenance has been neglected. It's got to be a large combination of things.

In addition to the other stuff people have posted:
- How do you calculate your fuel economy?
- Is most of your driving in traffic jams?
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Old 11-07-2009, 03:39 PM   #7
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could be an array of things. that engine can yield near 30mpg hwy if driven right.

def start w/ maintenance as Jay suggested...plugs, wires, fuel and air filter. that car has (ignition)coil packs that are sometimes overlooked in regard to performance and maintenance. i would add a fuel cleaner or 4oz of acetone to a tank or 2 as well.

also a good, true synthetic oil may or may not help fuel economy, but it could very well clean up a dirty motor and tranny. don't discount a dragging brake pad or worn wheel bearings.

all the above symptoms would be indicative of no codes being present. oh, and welcome!
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Old 11-07-2009, 04:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowtieguy View Post
don't discount a dragging brake pad or worn wheel bearings.
That's what's been missing from this thread.

I'd start looking for that sort of thing. Filters, ignition parts, oil, even O2 sensor and EGR won't bring it down to 18mpg, in my opinion.

You could jack it up and see if the wheels spin freely, although a failed wheel bearing may offer no symptoms when it's unloaded.
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Old 11-07-2009, 05:40 PM   #9
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Check for vacuum leaks too. I'd really consider a new 02 sensor. I've had them go bad on my car before and see a 25-35% decrease in mileage. Do you have a CEL? If you do have the codes checked and it will probably lead you right to your problem.
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Old 11-08-2009, 05:00 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theholycow View Post
That's what's been missing from this thread.
thanks HC. it could very well be a combination of issues.

kracka, i'd recommend making a log of maintenance and repairs to keep up w/ what needs done in the future.
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