Gas Mileage

fuel-economy
#1

My 2002 Ford Focus is getting terrible gas mileage. Tire pressure is good, alignment is good, oil changed regularly, tires balanced regularly, air filter replaced as needed. The one thing that stands out is the my front bumper is cracked and possibly will come off so i have it duct taped on. Could that be causing a drag or something?

#2

Yes, that duct tape is causing some additional drag, but probably not enough to make a major impact on your gas mileage. The more likely causes are cold weather, ethanol-enriched gasoline during the winter months, warming up the engine for longer than is necessary, and perhaps other “driving habits”. Also–when was the last time that the spark plugs were changed?

#3

Define “terrible gas mileage.”

How many mpg are you getting and how many do you think you should get? Where do you drive? City or highway? What’s the weather in your area? How many miles on the car and is everything in the maintenance schedule up to date? Is the check engine light on?

The duct tape on the front bumper is not responsible.

#4

During the cold winter months they REDUCE the ethanol content in gasoline. That’s because ethanol doesn’t vaporize very well in cold temperatures.

Tester

#5

In the NY/NJ/CT region, due to the banning of MTBE, ethanol is added to the gasoline in the winter. Ethanol is not usually added to gasoline in this region during the summer months.

#6

In Minnesota they go from E10 to E8 for winter fuel. If they didn’t, you would not be able to get your vehicle to start when the temperature drops to -35 degrees like it was here this morning.

Tester

#7

I feel sorry for you Tester . . . it’s only 0 here in the Poconos and I froze my butt off walking the dog today. Rocketman

#8

Yeah! Here in the hills of Central NJ, it went down to 9 last night, and by mid-day it got up to about 20. This is cold enough for me!

#9

During the cold winter months they REDUCE the ethanol content in gasoline. That’s because ethanol doesn’t vaporize very well in cold temperatures.

I don’t know what they are doing today, but they use to increase the Butane during the winter to make starting easier. Like ethanol, it has less energy per volume unit so it will give lower mileage.