Gas mileage changes

Recently I moved from California to New Jersey for school. I realized I lost avg gas mileage from around 25 mpg to less than 15 mpg. I have Honda Accord 2000 EX V6 4 door with 110,000 miles on it… What could possible cause this big difference? Is it the gas in New Jersey? Or I need to do something to adjust the car to optimized the mileage? Someone suggested to reprogram the computer at dealer for height. Thanks

The computer does not need to be reprogrammed. It already has compensated for any elevation change. If there is ethanol in the gasoline you are using it would explain SOME of the mileage decrease, but not all of it. If you’re sitting in traffic all the time, that could be the problem. Has the car been maintained according the the factory schedule? If some maintenance is due it could be reducing your mileage. Is the check engine light on?

It is probably due to the way you measured or are now measuring your gas mileage. We had several posts on this. True mileage takes 2 or 3 tanks, pumped at the same station, same pump, stopping at the first click. Then average them out. It could be, though, that in the drive across the country something went wrong with your ignition; I would make sure everything was working properly first. I once talked to a guy trying to sell a Dodge Ram pickup, who claimed it got 32 mpg. He obviously filled it up at a pump that shut off real early. If you commuted a long distance in good weather in California, you would get good mileage. If now in NJ you commute very short distances in colder weather, you would use more fuel. But 15 mpg for a V6 Accord is way too low!

There are things that can kill your MPG, particularly the map sensor which reads how much air goes into your engine. But I would suspect your MPG has changed as mentioned from driving conditions. Fill it up and take a trip. Drive home to Cali for turkey-day!!.. Seriously though. I’d do some open road driving and see if that 25MPG is still there. That’s a big engine that will suck some fuel in traffic.

How is your heater working? I ask this question, because if the thermostat is stuck open, the engine won’t reach operating temperature and the computer will run the car in cold engine mode. Look at your termperature gauge and turn on the heater to be certain you are getting heat. If the temperature gauge does not move up to the normal range after driving a few miles and you don’t have much heat, you’ll need a thermostat. If it is the thermostat, the good news is that a new thermostat, installed, will probably be less than one of your textbooks. The bad news is that textbooks are way overpriced.

Good point! Cold engines use more gas, and if your computer only sees cold mode, it’s gonna really affect the MPG.

Let me add a couple of things to all the good suggestions already noted. Driving conditions in NJ are not at all like California. Short trips, city driving, cold weather and winter fuels all contribute to lower mileage. It may be nothing more than those.