Dang expediton


#1

I recently bought a 2001 ford expedition with 65000 miles. I am getting 4, yes thats right, 4 miles to the gallon. I didnt think it was gonna get 20, but 4? cmon. I turned it in and the ford co replaced the fuel filter. Still no difference. What else can be the problem? Could it be something with the awd?


#2

For a vehicle–even an Expedition–to achieve only 4 mpg, there has to be something very much wrong. The possibilities include (but are not limited to):

*Your driving style (including unnecessary warm-ups, going to drive-up windows at banks and fast food joints, racing toward stop lights, tailgating other vehicles, doing mostly short-trips or mostly urban driving, or a combination of any of the above)

*Spark plugs in need of replacement

*A thermostat in need of replacement

*An oxygen sensor in need of replacement

*An air filter in need of replacement

*Tires that are not properly inflated

*Brakes that are dragging

*Excess weight being carried in or on the vehicle


#3

even with all the items listed by VDCdriver, 4mpg is very very low. How did you calculate that? is there a strong smell of gasoline around the car? lots of black smoke coming out the exhaust?

The extra fuel has to be going somewhere! What’s normal for this car, 12mpg? that means on a 10 mile trip you have lost almost 2 gal of gas!

You can’t be going more than a few miles between refills!


#4

That mileage is OK for an 18 wheler Class 8 truck. You may actually have a leak somewhere (tank, fuel pump, lines, filter, etc.)that only manifests itself when you are in motion, and therefore hard to detect. Misfiring, excess fuel, etc would cause billows of black smoke and other eviedence.


#5

Excellent list VDC. I’d like to add that if the vehicle has aggressive tires that can be a huge factor. And I too wonder about the type of driving and the driving environment. Stop and go driving in an Expedition is murder on the budget.

You may also want to see if any codes are stored.

And I’d like to add to the list a possibility of a plugged up exhaust. And to ask if you’re using air conditioning. Cooling an Expedition must take one hecl of a compressor!


#6

What sort of wheels and tires are you running?

24" wheels weigh a ton and add a lot of unsprung weight(which is bad, makes the car slower, longer stops, worse handling, worse mpg). Although I doubt a set of gansta rims would drop your mileage from 15 to 4mpg


#7

Is your odometer working correctly?


#8

Changing the fuel filter usually gets you bett…Ahhh no. Have an alignment place check it out. If the alignment is ok, then the trouble starts. If it’s really out of whack, you could pick up about three miles per gallon, maybe five, but you may never get even ten total MPG. You could have a stuck injector or a seizing caliper. You didn’t mention highway mileage. Do you go on the highway? If you just take short trips in town, four MPG sounds only a little low.


#9

The size of tire question is a big deal. Does it have extra large aftermarket wheels and rims? Meaning, the diameter is much larger than the stock? If so and the speedometer was not re-calibrated, then you are not getting an accurate odometer reading. A larger tire will cover more distance per revolution than the stock tire. But the odometer and speedometer will read based on the stock tire size. So they will be reading low on the mileage. It is probably not the entire problem/solution, but if there are extra large aftermarket wheels and tires on it, then it is most certainly a major contributor to the problem.

BTW, I have a 2005 which is one of the better mpg Expeditions. I get 12.5 city and much more if all I do is freeway. If you live in Southern California, 4 mpg may be realistic. Stop and go, idling, etc just kill the fuel mileage on Expeditions.

Another possibility, do you have teenage kids that borrow the Expedition? Teenagers are hell on fuel mileage.


#10

large aftermarket wheels have low profile tires that go with them, so the change in diameter is not that great.

Think about it! milage 4mpg instead of 12mpg, wheel+tire would have to be 3 times larger than the stock set! 10’ in diameter! that would be a monster car! Plus the drive line would be geared so high you probably couldn’t get it moving.

But I think we have to wait to hear from GASHOG to get more details.


#11

Perhaps, perhaps not. Expeditions have enormous wheel wells, and I’ve seen kids put huge wheel and tire combinations on them. That messes up the readings, kills the gas mileage, and wears the drivetrain down prematurely.

The added rolling resistance combined with the added rotating mass of oversize wheel & tires could drive mileage down that much, especially with an aggressive tread. My guess, however, is that if the vehicle had oversize wheels & tires the OP would have mentioned it in the post.


#12

on the other hand, larger wheels means the engine is turning slower, thus better milage. Will that offset the items you mentioned, dunno.


#13

At speed, larger tires should result in lower engine RPM. But, if the drop is too much, it will need to downshift a lot which runs the RPM up. My point about the larger tires is not that the fuel mileage is actually bad, but that the actual distance reading is short so the calculation is bad. Say you normally get 12.5 mpg. If the tires cause the odometer to be off by 17% (easy to do), the mileage calculated drops by roughly 2.2 mpg. Granted, nowhere near the 4 mpg he’s seeing. But put several things in combination…

I guess it comes down to we simply need more information before we can provide any significant suggestions. Another thing I just thought of was if the original owner made any modifications such as a power chip, re-programming, exhaust, etc. Exhaust should have minimal impact or slightly better due to easier breathing. But most chips or re-programmers make more power by dumping more fuel in. Anyone know how the engine would run with an injector stuck open?


#14

Have to respectfully disagree on this point. Try spinning a 700C bicycle wheel. Takes almost no effort to spin it. Then try it with, say, a motorcycle wheel. Takes a considerable push.

Mass tends to remain static unless acted upon by an outside force. The more mass, and the farther away from the axis, the more force is needed (assuming the force is torque at the axle). Add that to the greater rolling resistance and the difference can be considerable. As an exaggerated but real example, consider Monster trucks. Those huge wheels and tires take huge horsepower to get rolling.


#15

OK, the exp is totally stock. It has 17 rims and new tires. There is no smoke or odor from it. I also already replaced the thermostat. No teenagers drive it and I baby it, so I know its not my driving style. I do live in ND, so I do start it up with an elec start 15 min b4 I leave for work. I live .5 miles from work and usually only put on about 3000 miles a year on what I am driving. Could it be something with the AWD? The best Ive gotten since Ive owned it was 6 mpg. The car is empty except for me in it and the odometer works fine. So? I dunno. What should I do? Turn it in and have them put it on a comp again? I did that and they didnt say anything to me. They said the thermostat would increase the temp of my engine, and the fuel filter was dirty. I did a carfax report on it b4 I bought it and nothing came up. What else can I try? Thanks for all your help. I appreciate it


#16

if you let it idle for 15 minutes then drive 1/2 mile, that explains a lot! Try reducing the idle to 1 minute, all you should really need, and that will improve things.

The car spends half it’s time idling, which is zero miles in the miles/gallon equation. Without the idling, I suspect the mpg will pick up to 8 or so, which for short runs may well be the best you will get.

Did you replace the fuel filter? have you done regular maintenance? At only 3000 miles per year, you need to go by the time limits instead of the mileage limits, eg, change oil every 6 months. etc.


#17

Do you have the digital MPG gage at the top center console? If you do and you are useing this for your figure of 4 MPG it could be wrong. Reset it by pushing both buttons at the same time and take it for a drive and see if your MPG increases. I have the same SUV you have and I get about 11 to 12 MPG intown and about 15 (normal)to 17 (with tail winds) MPG freeway driving. I have the 5.4 liter engine in mine also and it’s also the Eddie Bauer Edition. Mine also has the AWD. I don’t start and let mine idel to warm up except when taking my new grandson with us.

I think Bill Russel has an excelent point that the ideling for fifteen minutes in the morning is what is killing your MPG’s. At a stoplight I noticed that sometimes my MPG gage readout will drop a mile MPG!


#18

[b]if you let it idle for 15 minutes then drive 1/2 mile, that explains a lot! Try reducing the idle to 1 minute, all you should really need, and that will improve things.

The car spends half it’s time idling, which is zero miles in the miles/gallon equation. Without the idling, I suspect the mpg will pick up to 8 or so, which for short runs may well be the best you will get.[/b]

You need look no further for your answer. Bill nailed it: it’s your driving habits.


#19

if you let it idle for 15 minutes then drive 1/2 mile, that explains a lot! Try reducing the idle to 1 minute, all you should really need, and that will improve things.

The car spends half it’s time idling, which is zero miles in the miles/gallon equation. Without the idling, I suspect the mpg will pick up to 8 or so, which for short runs may well be the best you will get.

Did you replace the fuel filter? have you done regular maintenance? At only 3000 miles per year, you need to go by the time limits instead of the mileage limits, eg, change oil every 6 months. etc.


#20

I lived in North Dakota. Idling for 15 minutes then doing 1/2 mile drives at temperatures well below zero ambient (the engine never warms up to normal, constantly runs rich) in an Expedition, I’m surprized the OP even gets 4mpg.

When I lived there we had to put blankets or cardboard in front of the radiators to even begin to get any heat out of the system…and that’s even with the engine having been plugged in with an engine heater! My engine never even warmed up to operating temp until I was half way between Grand Forks and GFAFB (the airbase). My tranny fluid was so thick at those temperatures that I literally could not feel the gates in the morning.

To the OP: I truely think it’s going to be impossible to get any reasonable gas mileage estimates until spring. I think it’s foolhearty to even try beyond being sure the beast is properly tuned up.