1999 Taurus Fuel Economy?


#1

I recently inherited a 99 Ford Taurus, and have been driving it about 30mi a day, 4 days a week, mixed between in town (the 1 mile from my house to my office) and highway (out to my babysitter’s and back, about 7mi round trip, x4 trips.



I’ve noticed after a few weeks of this and a few trips to the pump, that I’m only getting about 20MPG, the last time I filled up, the trip odo, which was reset at the previous fillup, read 221 miles. That seems REALLY low to me. Is this pretty typical of the Taurus, or should I be looking at something that may be causing this sort of low fuel efficiency?



Thanks,

Scott


#2

That could be about normal for your type of driving. Even a 7 mile round trip is actually a short hop journey, whether it’s on the highway or not. The engine is never going to completely warm up in 3 and 1/2 miles.
The 1 mile trip is an absolute fuel killer since the ECT sensor and thermostat never even have a chance to work.
You should change the oil/filter every 3-4k miles considering your type of driving.

If everything is fine then you should get about 27 or possibly more during straight highway driving; extended driving I might add.

Since you may not know the maintenance history of the car, I would strongly advise changing the air and fuel filters along with the spark plugs. The air filter and plugs pay for themselves very quickly and a clean fuel filter also acts as a fuel pump saver.

Also make sure the tire pressure is up. Even one low tire can hurt the fuel mileage.

One other thing I would recommend is changing the transmission fluid/filter if this has not been done. It’s the cheapest transmission insurance you can buy.

JMHO and hope it helps.


#3

YOur driving is 1 mile to work is likely worse than the city EPA rating since your motor is not warmed up. I bet if you look out here where the more realistic MPG are your doing fine-> http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/findacar.htm


#4

For the type of driving you do I would expect your fuel economy to be rather less than your 20 mpg estimate. You are actually doing rather well. If you would measure your mpg on a long interstate trip you would see much happier numbers. In short, there is nothing wrong with your car. Accept the 20 mpg; that’s about the best you can do under these circumstances.


#5

I agree. You are actually doing very well with gas mileage, considering the very short nature of those trips.

In addition to ruining your gas mileage, those short trips will also lead to an early death for your exhaust system and will require much more frequent oil changes.


#6

While your gas mileage could be better and probably was better in the past, I don’t think that you can improve it. If you go on a long highway trip and you get less than 25 MPG, I would say that you are driving a gas hog. In 1990 I rented a Mercury Sable and it got 30 MPG highway.