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Poor gas mileage on new car

I have a 2011 honda accord with 15,000 miles on it that Has only gotten 20mpg since it was new. It is supposed to get 23mpg city and 34mpg highway. I figured I was the tires but since fixing the leaking valve stems it is still only 20mpg. I asked the dealer about it several times during oil changes after I first bought it and they claimed to look into it and find nothing wrong. Is there anything I can do to fix this or would it be covered under new yorks lemon laws?

Covered under Lemon Laws ? You have to be joking. Look up the lemon laws and you will see just what they cover.

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If you’re happy with the highway mileage but not with the city mileage, it could be a matter of the city driving conditions and driving style.

If for example your city driving conditions includes a lot of stop and go traffic, that effects the city driving mileage. And if you’re the type of driver that waits til the last moment to apply the brakes when coming to a stop, and then does jack rabbit starts that effects the city driving mileage.


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I am careful how I drive, it is not my driving style. No excessive stop and go traffic. I drive mostly country roads and some city. I have never gotten better than 20mpg.

Do this: Fill the tank (stop at the first “click”), then hop on the nearest expressway for at least 100 miles. Maintain 60 mph. Tomorrow should be a gorgeous day to do this. At your return, fill up at the same pump and report your miles and gallons used. You darn well better get 30 mpg then.

I don’t have the luxury of doing that but I have used a full tank before driving on the highway and my gas millage didn’t improve.

If a new car doesn’t get the EPA rated mileage highway or city there is only one problem… Its the DRIVER, It is that simple.

You can complain about the car all you like but Hondas are known to meet or better their EPA rated MPG’s.

Smooth your inputs, don’t pump the accelerator, reduce how quickly you accelerate, stay off the brake, look ahead - way ahead, anticipate other’s movements so you don’t have to brake. Read up on “hyper-miling” techniques and try them yourself.

Excess weight in the vehicle can effect city fuel mileage.

You’re not delivering moonshine are you?


Post a explanation of how you are checking your MPG. Also have you ever checked it on a highway trip?

If you don’t have 2 hours and $15 available, you have my sympathy…


I have driven other cars before and got normal millage. I am careful to accelerate slowly and all of those things. Could there be a problem with the engine that is causing it to have poor mpg? Such as it burning gas at too quick a rate?

Not necessarily. It could be the city.
What city are we talking about? NYC? Chicago? Boston? You’ll never get the advertised mileage in these cities. The traffic is just too extreme, beyond what the EPA tests for.

So, about those “leaky valvestems”… ???

Unlikely, as the dealer has checked it and says it is OK.

I still think its the driver. Nearly everyone I’ve ridden with (say 90%) that complains of poor gas mileage has faults that are obvious to me as the passenger but oblivious to the driver. And men, in particular, can’t be told how to do 2 things 1) make love and 2) drive, in my experience.

If there were a problem with the operation of the engine during city driving, the Check Engine light on the dash would turn on.


Oh, I will agree to that TSM! LA, Chicago, Boston (never driven in NYC-thank goodness) can make even the best hypermiler crazy.

It is a city of about 250,000 people in upstate new york. The roads are clear and traffic is not heavy at all.

(It is a city of about 250,000 people in upstate new york. The roads are clear and traffic is not heavy at all.)

This might be true at 3 AM but any other time, I think not.

I have not been in a traffic jam in years if that helps. I don’t even go in the city much, most of my driving is on near empty country roads.

The EPA tests are mean to be a means to compare one car to another, not necessarily serve as a terribly accurate representation of what mileage YOU get.

That is, there’s no guarantee you’ll get 30 MPG in a car rated for it…but a “30 MPG” car should burn less fuel than a “25 MPG” one, but more than a “35 MPG” car.

And there’s no recourse for a car that legitimately passes the test, but underperforms in real life. (If there was something wrong with your car that was killing mileage, you’d have an illuminated Check Engine Light.) Like students and SATs, some cars happen to “test well,” but underperform IRL (cough, cough, Ecoboost).

Which engine and transmission?
How long is your average trip?