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Old 11-17-2017, 07:31 PM   #1
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2011 Camry: Improving MPG

I just last weekend bought a 2011 Camry SE (2.5 4cyl, auto trans) with 80k miles on it. To my dismay, I immediately sensed that my mpg were much lower than expected. So, I started tracking and ran a partial tank (5.29 gallons) of 87 octane Shell and got a measly 16.4 MPG. Note, this is 90% city driving and all short trips of 3-6 miles. Still, I was expecting more like 20 MPG.

Since filling up again, I had my tire pressure checked and brought up to 35psi (it was low, ~30psi), and I installed a new radiator cap bc apparently the old one wasn't holding pressure (says the garage who did my buyers inspection).

QUESTION: What else should I inspect and do to help improve my MPG? (It appears many 2011 Camry's on Fuelly are averaging in the mid 20's for MPG.)

My thoughts are: change spark plus, clean throttle body... But what else?

Thank you. I'm happy to be a new member of Fuelly!
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Old 11-18-2017, 02:49 AM   #2
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Coasting is the key, especially in local driving environments, followed by light timing. Air up the tires as high as you can stand it. Start the engine and immediately go if possible.

If you live in colder climates, consider something to keep the frost off the windshield. Make sure the thermostat is opening properly. Block heater if practical to get operating temps higher overall, especially for those short trips. Your location is alos a big factor, especially if you live in places like LA or MYC or other insanely high traffic density situations.

In heavier traffic try to find the "happy" average speed of traffic. That kind of mileage probably means you are braking a lot which just turns gasoline into heat. The only thing worse than that is when the engine is running and you are not moving. 13% of all the fuel consumed in the USA is wasted idling.

AS described I would be ticked off if I could not get 30mpg.

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Old 11-18-2017, 07:08 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by R.I.D.E. View Post
Coasting is the key, especially in local driving environments, followed by light timing. Air up the tires as high as you can stand it. Start the engine and immediately go if possible.

If you live in colder climates, consider something to keep the frost off the windshield. Make sure the thermostat is opening properly. Block heater if practical to get operating temps higher overall, especially for those short trips. Your location is alos a big factor, especially if you live in places like LA or MYC or other insanely high traffic density situations.

In heavier traffic try to find the "happy" average speed of traffic. That kind of mileage probably means you are braking a lot which just turns gasoline into heat. The only thing worse than that is when the engine is running and you are not moving. 13% of all the fuel consumed in the USA is wasted idling.

AS described I would be ticked off if I could not get 30mpg.

Welcome to the Zoo.
Thanks for the tips. I'm thinking I can definitely improve by reducing the time my car is running before departure and by reducing time idling. I'll can also work on braking less, and coasting more.

Does it matter that I always have to drive up a big hill for appx one mile right out of the gate when I leave my house? I was thinking that might affect mpg.

Anyone have any other thoughts on important maintenance items that go to fuel efficiency?
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Old 11-19-2017, 07:37 AM   #4
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Did a short road trip yesterday and increased my MPG to 30.5, just by using cruise control at 59mph and by taking the other driving tips from this site. Looking forward to seeing just how far I can stretch my gallons in the future.
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Old 02-25-2018, 08:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedLois View Post
I just last weekend bought a 2011 Camry SE (2.5 4cyl, auto trans) with 80k miles on it. To my dismay, I immediately sensed that my mpg were much lower than expected. So, I started tracking and ran a partial tank (5.29 gallons) of 87 octane Shell and got a measly 16.4 MPG. Note, this is 90% city driving and all short trips of 3-6 miles. Still, I was expecting more like 20 MPG.

Since filling up again, I had my tire pressure checked and brought up to 35psi (it was low, ~30psi), and I installed a new radiator cap bc apparently the old one wasn't holding pressure (says the garage who did my buyers inspection).

QUESTION: What else should I inspect and do to help improve my MPG? (It appears many 2011 Camry's on Fuelly are averaging in the mid 20's for MPG.)

My thoughts are: change spark plus, clean throttle body... But what else?

Thank you. I'm happy to be a new member of Fuelly!
nitrogen in the tires at american tire shops make a difference in tire wear and a small amount of milege over the years time the nitrogen does not slip past the rim or value,, my chev impala lasted over 6 weeks with no leaKAGE WHATSOEVER.. I WAS AMAZED as air always needs refilling in my tires in the past but nitrogen made a huge difference for me for many weeks
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Old 02-27-2018, 05:06 PM   #6
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True. Nitrogen loses pressure at a slower rate than air, but if you're checking your tires' pressure on a regular basis there's no need to use nitrogen. I fill my kumho tires with air and I check them twice a month to ensure proper pressure.
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Old 02-27-2018, 09:32 PM   #7
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Sometimes with used cars right around the mileage you bought yours at, it's good to have a transmission fluid flush, radiator flush, etc. Anything to take out old fluids that are past peak efficiency. The brakes have a lot to do with the overall as well. There is some research on Shell that has probably some credibility with buying V-power. Every time I've used it there's lots of benefits. The power because of higher octane, so less accelerator input. Literal torque can jump between 2-4 lb. feet and hp up to 5. It doesn't have to be Shell but I've tried Chevron and other brands. The results don't match. It costs more of course than 87 but long-term potential benefits are supposed to be engine saving. Sometimes it's preferred to purchase low rolling resistance tires, but even that is really up to what budget you want to work with and what's going to be a benefit that works for you. Usually the easiest tricks are just to change driving habits and that instantly starts paying you back.
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Old 02-27-2018, 10:15 PM   #8
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Driving habits make the single biggest difference. When I started to try mild hypermiling techniques I saw an immediate 8% improvement in my FE.
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Old 02-28-2018, 06:38 AM   #9
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Higher octane is only worth the extra price if the engine has the higher compression to take advantage of it. A brand might add extra or better cleaners to their premium, but you can get the same benefit by adding a bottle of fuel system cleaner for less cost.

If you don't have service records, changing fluids is a good idea. I have my Camry tire pressure at over 40psi; increasing from 35psi will help. Otherwise, it is mostly drive style.
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