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Awful mileage 1991 Chevy Blazer 6 cyl maybe 13-16 MPG seems bad to me

I had a Volvo 240 1990 and almost regret selling it to get a “better” car (or so my friend/mechanic/dealer told me) I do believe him as he has taken good care of my needs for 25 plus years and we are friends outside of just him being a mechanic. I am disabled and I can not walk too much anymore so my blazer is kinda my “legs” as well as a truck. I make an ok disability between Work Comp and SSD but still as with all, things are tight. My friend sells me cars and allows me to pay him $150 a month until paid off. His prices are fair (Blazer was $1500.00) so in ten months it should be paid off but alas, he tacks on the repairs as we go along (which is still a deal because he does not charge interest so I stretch out my months of paying no biggie) Whew! not all of that or perhaps none of it is relevant to my question which is…Drum roll…I need ideas of how to save on gas-the Volvo while not great (about 22MPG) was a lot better then my current 13-16 MPG I know air in the tires which I trust him to do 'cause I cannot get that low to check. I heard a tune up may help but a cost/benefit ratio may be in order-in other words If I get charged say $200 for wires and plus (just a guess) will the gas savings be worth it? My history with his cars has been an average of 3 3/4 years per car (at an average of around $1500.00 per car, I think I’m doing fairly well)



Glen AKA Billypilgram

I get about 16.5 (winter) to 17.5 mpg (summer) in my 2000 Blazer 4wd. I expect it would be much worse driving in the city. Depending on your driving style 13-16 mpg may be the best you can do.

Other than a tune up, clean air filter, properly inflated tires. and a light right foot there are no magic solutions to improve mpg on a Blazer.

I have 235/70R15 tires on the truck with a street tread, bigger tires (235/75R15) with a more aggressive tread would lower the mpg.

Ed B.

It is bad fuel economy but it is kind of the maximum you will get with a vehicle like that.

Thanks, yeah as I thought.

Light tires? Heh-heh I did not even think of that-This has the biggest tires I’ve ever had on one of my cars/trucks and I did have a 1990 S10 almost identical to this except it had a flatbed and was not 4 wheel drive. This guy who owned it has these truck-like tires one would see on an off road number.

I did not connect this to gas mileage but it makes sense now. I do not want to give them up 'cause the look really new and have so much tread it looks like these are life of the car tires (just made that up) anyway will last a long time. I really cannot afford 4 new tires

Okey dokey


Keep in mind you are feeding 2 more cylinders then the Volvo. Also the chevy has a 4.3 liter motor (I think) and the Volvo was probably closer to 2.2-2.5 liters, so you are talking about a motor with almost 2 more liters of displacement. That’s going to use more fuel. Plus is heavier by a good deal as well.

plus the 4wd eats fuel

It looks like you have your answer that the your fuel economy numbers are within the normal range for your vehicle, so that question is answered. I would like to address your question about the tune-up though.

If the car needs a tune-up, it needs a tune-up, and you should get it done. This is a maintenance item, and not doing it will have long term costs. If the car doesn’t need a tune-up, you can wait until it is due based on the vehicle’s maintenance schedule, but don’t throw money at the problem unless your mechanic thinks it really is due for a tune-up.

I’ll ask he knows the car as he was the only mechanic to work on it (I do not think it needs it as it runs great except for the screech I used to get

Is the low mpgs a major issue, or an irritation? In other words, how many miles do you drive a month, say? It appears that your friend/mechanic has found a way for you to obtain transportation at about the lowest cost possible, at $1500 there are very few decent vehicles out there. Having to pay a bit more for gas may just be unavoidable.

A new thermostat is inexpensive and might help.

Check the timing and manifold vacuum. The MAP sensor can throw excess fuel in if the MAP signal is low. Of course a restricted exhaust will cause low MAP and low power which prompts the driver to go deeper into the pedal to speed up, really ruining the mileage. It is often beneficial to time those engines ahead of the factory spec.

A friend of mine had that vintage blazer. That’s about what he got, I think.
That’s why he doesn’t have it anymore.

I don’t think you’re going to get much better on a vehicle like that. It’s a V6. If it’s a 4x4, you have some parasitic losses in the drive train. The tires are not low resistance. The thing is probably not geared for economy. You probably just make short trips with it. It’s old. It may need a tune up. Oh, and it’s not much more aerodynamic than a brick. You have good transportation for the price you paid.

I had a '99 that got about 16.

13-16 is about on par with what they get. Sorry.

Thanks I get like 13.5 MPG My AC worked well so it is a non issue until summer. Tonight a weird thing happened and it happened before just not for as long. First the radio does not work,also the speedometer stops and the tranny seems stuck in low gear. I get home and the radio comes on and the wipers work again (headlights and turn signals worked ok just radio,dashboad lights and wipers) Oh yeah just to check I tried putting it into four wheel mode (you push a button upper left dash) the 4 wheel drive did not engage.
Weird, weird weird! Anyone have an idea what is going on? I must add that a month ago the radio and clock did not work, so I took the face off and added a drop of 3-1 oil and instantly! the radio worked!

I wonder what the heck is going on-any guess’s?



if its the 4.3L you are about in the norm for the MPG’s Best i ever got was 20 and it was due to going down hill most of the way LOL. 4x4=Not so good MPG’s Take a look what i have a F250 with a 460 and its a 4x4 on a good day 10mpg only good thing is i drive it 20miles a week. LOL

with a suv always watch the tire pressure for your own safety tires also last longer with the correct pressure in each tire and a low tire can use more fuel. maybe once a mounth ask your mechcanic to check your tire presure for you. also a tune up will make a differnce in how good it runs and could make a diference in you getting where you need to get to or seating in the cold rain becouse of bad wires

As regards the recent weird symptoms, have the battery and charging system tested and have the connections to ground checked. It sounds like a weak battery and’or flakey connections may be at work here.