2006 Camry poor Gas Mileage

Hi - my mom is a stop/go driver. She gets 15-18 MPG on her 2006 Camry. The docs state this should be closer to 25. No brake dragging, tires OK and she changes the oil regularly with 5/30 blend. Where to start and what should I do - she is hating her new car…

She stops and goes!! How fast are her starts??? I gurantee you I can get worse gas mileage then that. I can also probably get better…all my just changing my driving habits.

If she’s a stop and go driver, and she’s only driving relatively short distances, then 15-18 is probably about the best MPG she’s going to get. Stop-n-go driving is a major mileage killer, and “25 MPG/City” doesn’t necessarily mean that a person will get 25 MPG, or even close to it, under stop-n-go conditions.

She could try starting and stopping a little more slowly…but short of ditching the Camry for Prius, I’m not sure how much more she can improve the mileage (assuming the car is in proper working order and she doesn’t have a lead foot, of course).

oops…that reply was for the OP, not MikeInNH.

As the others have said that is not unusually bad if she is a little quick with the throttle. Add to the mix the winter time and remember that those EPA numbers are usually optimistic. The new ones for 2008 models should be better.

However how about a little history. How long has she had that car? How many current miles? Has all the recommended maintenance been kept up? Has the CEL (Check Engine Light) ever come on?

I have owned two Camrys and am a little dubious about this being normal. I have never gotten mileage this low. Why don’t you borrow the car and see what mileage you get? You should be able to get over 20 without trying very hard. Does she drive with her foot resting on the brake?

EPA says 21 and driving habits can very easily make that 15-18 entirely normal. Short hop, stop and go will drop mileage quicker than anything else. The length of time required for the speedometer needle to go from 0 to 35 also has a big influence on mileage.

If the car has a problem it will illuminate the CEL and/or spit out some codes.

Stop and go driving with a cold engine gives you worse than average city fuel mileage. Much worse than average. I’ll bet that the testers start the car and drive until most of the tank of gas is gone and then check the fuel economy. For all we know, they might run three tanks through the thing without letting it cool down between. They also probably wait until the car is broken in too. The cars don’t get their best mileage until at least 3,000 miles are put on it.

If this a 6 instead of a 4, I will withdraw my comments.