BIG drop in MPG after new drive axel

alignment
fuel-economy

#1

I own a 96 Camry. Last week as I drove South on RT 95 I had a blow-out in my Passenger Rear Wheel. When I took it to the mechanic they said I needed a new passenger side (front) drive axel with bearing kit. When I drove my car that same day I noticed it was pulling to the left; I took it back in and they did an alignment (no charge). It still pulled to the left, they put in a camber kit in my Driver-Side Rear Wheel. The alignment seems okay now (slthough there still seems to be some slight pulling to the left when I accelerate) but my MPG has dropped… a lot! I’m only on my first quarter tank but instead of getting 100 to 130 miles (I think the 1st qtr mark is really MORE than 1/4 but less than 1/3) which is normal, I got 80 miles.

What could cause this???


#2

Your method of gaging your mileage is prone to extreme error, and that may be the reason. You need to gage mileage by how much fuel has been used after filling up, and the only way to determine that is via the gas pump counter when you refill after using a significant amount. And it needs to be done three or four times to get a good reading.

Some pulling on acceleration may be normal due to “torque steer”. Without feeling it it’s tough to tell.

Sorry, but it’s possible that you’re feeling the oversensitivity that we all feel when we get our cars out of the shop after a repair. The only way to tell for sure is to have the work checked by another shop that you have confidence in.


#3

What does a blow-out on a rear tire have to do with a front drive axle?

Something’s fishy here.

Who did this repair work? A Toyota dealer, or an independent mechanic?

Your car should not pull to either side, no matter what you do. If it does, there’s something wrong.

Your method of measuring fuel mileage is not the best, and extremely inaccurate under any conditions, so, unfortunately, we can’t count it.

Miles driven divided by gallons consumed will yield Miles Per Gallon (mpg), which is the standard measurement of fuel mileage. The gauge in the dashboard is not accurate enough to tell you much of anything, except that the tank is nearly empty and you need to refill it.

A new drive axle should not change anything.

What caused the blow-out?


#4

I’m using the same mechanic I’ve gone to for 6 years, whom I’m very happy with. He’s independent.

1 - I always count the mileage at a fill-up, so I should know in a few days whether my hunch is correct… right now I’m just going on a gut feeling based on the fact that on a daily basis I watch the fuel reading and the trip-odometer. So it “just feels wrong”! Normally I get around 380 to 400 miles to the tank (or rather the 14.5 gallons which is when I normally fill up). But I’m currently at only 130 miles and my tank gauge is close to half!
2 - I had a blowout (it was something on the road, I had fairly new Michelins), I put on the spare, I dropped it at my mechanic. When they drove it around to the bay, they heard a noise and diagnosed a bad drive axel. (They had replaced the driver-side axel about 6 mos before and had warned me that the other side would probably need to be replaced soon)
3 - They.ve done an alignment AND put on a camber kit, it’s still pulling slightly AND my steering wheel is ever-so-slightly off horizontal (it used to be perfect)


#5

Have you explained your concern to your mechanic? has he offered a opinion?


#6

Possibly you have a brake on one side that’s dragging? That would explain the pulling and the low mileage.


#7

I did mention it to my mechanic but that was pre-camber kit. He thought that the kit would fix it.
I wanted to get more ideas of what might be causing it before I brought it back for the third time. I don’t want to be a pain-in-the-butt client.
Thanks for all the suggestions.