2005 Ford Focus Wagon 50K miles poor gas mileage

Car gets great (>30) mpg on highway in Florida heat with AC on. Around town, less than 10 mpg. Tried various engine cleaners, fuel filter (that fiasco cost $700), and $100 “throttle body cleaning” last Sunday. No change. Air filter lifetime ($400–only change by dealer of course; swine). Unemployed with no money of course. Tire pressure ok. Suggestions (other than blow it out your ------). Thanks. Brokeandscrewed

Is “town” Miami? Constant bumper to bumper stop and go traffic?
Is this a manual tranny?
Has the Check Engine Light come on?

Thanks for your reply. The poor city mileage has been constant for over a year during any time of year–Tampa, Orlando, Deland, Ormond Beach, and Gainesville. The car has an automatic transmission and runs great. I don’t hear any strange noises, and the engine never hesitates or any thing unusual. Of course the gas in this part of Florida has up to 10% Ethanol which will decrease mileage. Unfortunately I have no money and can’t have it tested on a computer right now. Being the poster child for stupid financial moves, I am at least smart enough not to go to a dealer and say “my mileage sucks; find out what’s wrong!” I am 60+ yrs old now with little prospect of a good job again. I posted this message in hopes someone else might have had the same problem. Thanks again for your time and interest. Charlie

Don’t beat yourself up. Most of us have made a few financial moves that looked good at the time and turned out highly regrettable. I almost bought GM stock when it went down to $2.08. I figured it HAD to bounce back.

Yeah, 10% is everywhere now. It seems to reduce mileage anywhere from 2 to 5 mog, although the math (figuring the btu difference) says it should not.

Many parts stores will download stored computer codes for free. See if you have any. Post back.

Thanks again for your help. I will see what I can find out, but probably won’t be able to get back to you until Monday.

Thanks so much.


Have a great weekend. I’ll probably be off line until Tues, but there;s a ton of other guys here who can jump in with ideas in the meantime.

I agree with mountainbike.

Tell us more about this [b] Air filter lifetime ($400--only change by dealer of course; swine) [/b] 

 Generally lifetime air filters are a poor idea and can cause problems.  

 How does you car run?  Does it start OK and does it have normal power?  Any smoke out the tail pipe.

In the man time remember you are not under any obligation to get service (other than that which they provide free) at a dealer.  Having service done elsewhere, rather than paying at the dealer, will not invalidate the warranty.