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Old 01-18-2008, 01:44 PM   #1
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Problem with a Sable

Just got a message from my wife about her getting poor milage with her car. It's a 2001 Mercury Sable, auto, 24v V6, with 35k. She is getting 200 to 250 miles per tank(16gal). I try to keep the tires at 40+psi, and it has a drop in K&N air filter, but no other mods. It sounds like this has been going on for awhile.

So, a few things come to mind:
a) The K&N oil might have fouled up the MAF or something else.
b) The old motor oil has thickened. Just did the annual change last weekend, it only runs up 6k to 7k a year. If the problem, hopefully it will clear up.
c) Most likely, my wife's daily in town driving of around 5 miles just sucks the gas down.

Anything else I should check for when I get a look at the car this weekend?
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Old 01-18-2008, 02:24 PM   #2
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first things first...

200-250 miles on a 16 gal tank leaves open WAY too many variables.

let's assume she drove 250 miles and refueled at 3/4 tank or 12 gal. that's ~20.8 mpg, which is acceptable for city miles NOT hypermiling. but 200 miles on 15 gal(13.3mpg) would likely dictate some type of issue.

start and maintain a gaslog, here if you like. track the fillups and keep us updated. best of luck.
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Old 01-18-2008, 08:29 PM   #3
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I would worry less about saving fuel, more about saving the car. Five miles per day and 7k mi. oil change interval is a bad combo. Short trips are bad for everything on your car.
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Old 01-19-2008, 05:24 AM   #4
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I agree too. Probably never gets warm. But more data would be necessary.

Maybe the thermostat is open all the time. Maybe it's time to change it to something warmer even.
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Old 01-19-2008, 09:24 AM   #5
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well, the first problem is you're driving a 2001 sable. I've had too much experience with a 2002 taurus but it's the same thing.

20mpg city would be a miracle without mods. 5 miles a day isn't great but I do worse. I would definitely think about adding another oil change but you really just have to go by the oil.

definitely check up on al the usual tune-up type stuff... plugs, wires (you have coilpacks so no cap/rotor), fuel injectors (I know the 12v V6 has major issues with injectors clogging), fuel filter, dragging brakes, clogged/crimped exhaust, etc etc etc

as for the K&N: some people swear by them, some people swear at them. IMHO they aren't worth the $40-50 they cost. the biggest problem with them is that when cleaning it, 9 times out of 10 people use too much oil and the excess gums up the intake...including the MAF sensor.
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Old 01-19-2008, 12:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamesama980 View Post
well, the first problem is you're driving a 2001 sable. I've had too much experience with a 2002 taurus but it's the same thing.

20mpg city would be a miracle without mods.
I'm not having those issues from my 2000 with it being stock, and I'm regularly in the mid 20's as an average in this very cold weather. And a 2000 isn't any different than a 2001, 2002, 2003...

No miracles necessary. And I'm in an RFG area of the country.
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Old 01-20-2008, 02:06 PM   #7
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the only model specific problem I know of is the fuel injectors clogging. the rest is general car-care. I've heard from multiple sources about it and also that the best way to un-clog them is just floor it and flush whatever it is out.

economy is mostly from my own experience with a friend's car. it's rated 20mpg city by the then-current system. you must live in a differnet type city than I do and have driven a taurus in. in my experience sweeping hills (like that of WI) help mileage because you gain more coasting down than you use extra going up (speed dependant of course)

That and they're just unpleasant cars to drive. turning radius of a full size long-bed pickup (42'), (OHC here...) better FE and higher power rating than my 1988 toyota cressida with a smaller engine that mopped the floor with it in a race and gets the same real world mileage, terrible bench seat/dash arrangement (might just be my height tho). Its got a decent size back seat and huge trunk tho :-)
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Old 01-20-2008, 02:31 PM   #8
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Sorry you had a bad experience. Looking on the internet, if you believe it, a Taurus turning radius is similar to a Camry. Really haven't found it to be awful at all. I inherited it, but it's not leaving the inventory very soon.

I did have a '90 model Sable. I bought that. Good car, actually. Dated looks, but strong. Got 34MPG on the 3.0 12v motor going to Daytona.
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Old 01-21-2008, 12:33 PM   #9
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Just looked up on the internet. specifically autos.msn.com. sorry, i was a little off:
02 camry: 34'
02 taurus: 40'
02 silverado SB: 41'

EDIT: I was wrong but so were you....taurus has a much larger radius than a Camry and is definitely on the high end of cars. Hell my mid-size sedan has a 32' turning radius but it's RWD so I get to cheat. No trouble parking despite the size.
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Old 01-21-2008, 12:52 PM   #10
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Yup. Happens. Truck turns out to be SB too.
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