Lousy gas mileage in Ford Focus

My 2001 Ford Focus wagone gets terrible mileage–a scant 20 in town, maybe 23-25 on the road. Is there any way to improve the mileage?

The car had a lot of problems when I bought it used, but a friendly dealer went through all the technical bulletins and switched out everything he could find for me. Now it’s a reliable car, good for transporting things, and not too big. But it is a gas guzzler!

Any help appreciated.

Hmmm. I would suspect all the usual faults.

Dirty air filter
Dirty fuel filter
Low tire pressure
Dirty PCV valve
Poor ignition system (check the timing, sparks plugs and plug wires)
Dirty fuel injectors or faulty fuel regulator (doubtful though).

Forgot this: are the tires the correct size for that vehicle?

In addition to the above, I wonder about “good for transporting things.” If you transport lots of “things” on a regular basis, the extra weight could go a long way toward explaining the mileage.

The EPA rates the sedan at 22 / 30 They are usually optimistic so you are not far off what should be expected.

Was the mileage better before? Two things, in particular, which can deteriorate and worsen mileage, are the oxygen sensor and the engine coolant temperature sensor. Measure the costs of the parts and the (unproven) benefits of their replacement, against the cost of replacement. Then, decide.

Thanks for all the suggestions. I do know that when transporting things, fuel efficiency decreases to that of a truck. Also, the entire fuel injection system was swapped out under one of the technical bulletins. But I will have everything checked, especially the engine coolant temp sensor–the car has overheated a couple of times.

If I could just get close to 30 mpg on the highway, I’d be thrilled. Crazy, isn’t it, when Ford is capable of making a car that runs faultlessly and gets 36 mpg. Unfortunately, that car was the Escort, replaced, I believe, by the gas-guzzling Focus.

check oxygen sensor

“The car has over-heated a couple of times”. Something is worse wrong with the car than gas mileage if it over-heated, ever. You need this checked, FIRST THING. Hopefully, it’s something which can be nipped in the bud, before it causes harm to the engine.

Your gas mileage is perfect for the wagon. The regular car gets 24 overall. It’s a Ford, probably made in the United States of Mexico. It’s meant to be a cheap (inexpensive) car. Better gas mileage would be a miracle. Have the 4 wheel alignment checked and if it is way off, you may have a chance at better gas mileage. If not; what you have will be it forever.