Honda CRV 2004 Gas Mileage

Last summer I bought dear old dad’s 2004 Honda CRV with only 54,000 miles on it. It sat for 6 months before I started using it. So it wasn’t until this spring that I noticed it was getting hideous mileage. I recorded 3 consecutive fill-ups to be averaging 16 to 17 miles per gallon. When I asked dad about it, he was surprised and said he never kept track the way I did, but he estimated about 22-23 miles. I took it to a local auto shop and they cleaned the fuel injector. They said that HAD to be the problem because of all the black gunky smoke that came out. The tank right after that got 18.5 mpg. Now it’s down to 16 again and I can’t afford this. Any ideas? (I’m not running the air conditioning.)


Is the engine going into closed loop? You need a scan tool to get the answer

Is the engine getting up to operating temperature?

Is the thermostat okay . . . a sluggish thermostat will keep the engine in open loop much longer than usual, and will negatively affect your fuel economy

Is the check engine light on?

On the offchance that the problem is not related to actual engine performance, has the tire pressure been checked?
One low tire can kill fuel mileage.

The EPA city mileage for this car with a standard shift is only 19, most auto mags road tests average about 1 mpg less than EPA city. Keep the tire pressures up and learn to drive for the best mileage.

What kind of driving ?

I don’t know how to reply to each comment so here are my answers (please tell me how to individually reply):

db4690: I’m not getting any check engine lights. So if that addresses your first 2 questions… otherwise, I don’t know the answers.

oldtimer11 and ok4450: okay, but my dad was getting better mileage. I’ll check the tires; thanks. And I’m only getting 16. Could tire pressure account for that much difference?

pleasedodgevan2: It’s mostly city driving; occasional 12 to 15 mile stretch for business errands.


City driving is lousy for fuel economy

I wouldn’t be too sure your dad was getting better mileage than you. He said he " didn’t keep track of it like you do." Well if he didn’t keep track, what was his estimate based on? Most people who “estimate” their mileage do so in the following manner. " Well I went about a hundred miles and used about a quarter of a tank"- Utterly meaningless.

Amy: use the “Mechanics Files” tab on this website to find a recommended local mechanic who knows Hondas.

Take it in and ask them to put a scan tool on it to check db4690’s suggestion that the engine may be running “open loop” instead of going into “closed loop.” Running “open loop” means the computer is telling the fuel injectors to use excess fuel, which will hurt your gas mileage, and won’t necessarily appear as a “check engine” light.

If it is running open loop too long, it could be as simple a fix as replacing the thermostat.

But the important thing is a correct diagnosis. Be sure to tell the mechanic specifically that you want him to put a scan tool on it and see if it’s running “open loop” too long after startup. He’ll need to wait overnight for the engine to cool down, and run the scan in the morning when starting the engine cold.

Make sure the tires are inflated to the pressure listed on the door. City driving gives horrible mileage compared to highway. Also, fast starts and a heavy foot will cause poor mileage.

Here are two quick checks you can do:

  1. Check the air pressure in the tires because it will make a difference. You can buy a tire gauge for about $10 for a good one. Set the pressure according to the recommended pressure on the left door pillar.

  2. Check to make sure the vehicle is reaching operating temperature. Drive the car several miles and then look at the gauge to see if it is in the normal range. If so, you can confirm by turning on the heater with the temperature set to high and see if the air discharged is hot.

If possible, take the car for a 100 mile road trip. Fill the tank before you leave and after you get back and check your mileage.

If you are charging red lights and jamming on the brakes, stop that.

My 2008 Crv…different body but similar engine gained 5mpg when i replaced the spark plugs. I used factory NGK plugs. I’d also check the tires. Many CRV owners complain how the factory Bridgestone Duellers suck gas. Also make sure the rear diff fluid has been changed.

might be nothing more than driving style/habits

Until we can fine-tune driving styles, there is no point in arguing over a few miles per gallon. My wife drives her Mazda3 Sport vigorously and gets worse mileage than I do driving that same car.

Folks, this thread is from back in August. Unless the OP resurrects it, I don’t see the point in having anyone else do it.