I have a 2005 Honda Odyssey which has exhibited poor mileage (about 14 – 17 mpg mostly highway driving) since it was new until now with about 40K miles on the vehicle. EPA for the car is something like 18/25. I know that drivers don’t really get the EPA mileage numbers in practice, but we’re off by 30% --> 40%. Something seems wrong. Dealers have checked several times and report that all sensors read at good levels so the vehicle must be fine and we must just be driving it in a fuel-inefficient way. We don’t ride the break or accelerate unreasonably, etc. We’ve always gotten very good mileage with our other vehicles (e.g. 1998 Ford Windstar ~ 25 mpg). Can anyone suggest a series of rational diagnosis steps to trap this problem?
I wrote “we don’t ride the break”. Just wanted to mention that we don’t ride the brake either. Sorry ofr any other typos. Please help.
I know that drivers don’t really get the EPA mileage numbers in practice
You’re right…EVERY vehicle I’ve owned since EPA numbers have been posted I’ved EXCEEDED the EPA ratings.
I believe the BIGGEST reason for NOT meeting the EPA ratings is the way you drive.
Do you do jack rabbit starts?
Constantly exceeding the speed limits??
That type of driving can easily account for the mileage you’re getting.
If you are getting good mileage on your other vehicles, I don’t think it is your driving habits. Here are some simple things to check:
The odometer. Be certain that it is registering 1 mile for each mile traveled. Check it against the mile markers along the interstate.
Tire inflation: Be certain that the tires are inflated to the pressure recommended in the owner’s manual.
Is the vehicle reaching proper operating temperature? A thermostat that is stuck open will not allow the vehicle to reach proper operating temperature and the signal will be sent to the computer for a richer mixture. One simple test is to drive the car for a while and turn on the heater–does the air coming out feel really hot?
Is the transmission shifting into top gear? If the car has a tachometer, it should read around 2000 rpm at 60 miles per hour. Accelerate up to speed from a stop and count the shifts. This should coincide with the number of speeds in the transmission. Start off in low range, shift to the next speed about 15-20, accelerate to 30 and shift into the next range, etc You should feel the transmisison shift each time you move the selector. I had to have the a transmission rebuilt on warranty by the dealer. When I got it back, it didn’t seem to go into overdrive. I could move the selector from 3 to overdrive and it made no difference. The car ran at 3000 rpm at 60 mph. It turned out that the dealer had left out the overdrive band in the repair and had to do the job over again–the technician found the band on his bench.
MinkeInNH – Thanks for the reply. Maybe I under stated it. We tend to get better than EPA mileage on ALL OTHER vehicles. We don’t do jack rabbit starts, constant speeding, aggressive driving, etc. That is my point. I know that it can be the driving style but I don’t think it is in this case. What I’m looking for is what else it could be because I think we’ve eliminated that as the problem (by comparing these drivers in other vehicles, and other drivers in this vehicle).
We tend to get better than EPA mileage on ALL OTHER vehicles. We don’t do jack rabbit starts, constant speeding, aggressive driving, etc.
Well that sounds like there is some sort of a problem, but you may have a difficult time convincing the dealer there is a problem. I suggest that you keep detailed records of all fuel purchases and note the type of driving and miles along with the amount of fuel at each purchase.
Keep pestering the dealer.
Good advice…daughter’s Odd. is easily capable of highway 25+mpg and she’s a lead foot. Something is wrong…
Thanks for the tips. These are all worthy suggestions but don’t seem to do it. More interesting facts: my wife just replaced all 4 tires as the OEMs got old quickly. The mechanic doing an alignment asserted that he couldn’t align one of the wheels into the “green” zone. Sound odd? When I asked, my wife told me she sometimes hears a brief squeal from one tire while driving under normal conditions (not fast, straight level road). Any thoughts that this might be the problem???
(see my comments below)