Poor mileage - '95 Subaru Legacy wagon

Hi -

I have a '95 Subaru Legacy wagon (smaller engine) with 120K, well maintained. For about 12 months, the city mileage (about the only driving we do) is 15-16 MPG. That seems too low. Two good shops in town say it’s the car’s age. I tried a new cold air sensor (I think that is what it was called), but no change. Any suggestions for better mileage from the engine?


How many miles on it? When was the last time you replaced the plugs, plug wires, air & fuel filters? Have you had to replace brakes recently? Auto or manual transmission? How long are your usual trips? Last and maybe most important, do you dive conservatively or aggressively?

Thanks for the reply.
120,000 miles, Belts, plugs, filters all replaced within Subaru specs. Tire air pressure is kept to spec. New brakes at 80,000. Car is regularly tuned, looked-over, etc. I drive conservatively: slow starts, gradual stops. By the way, the Subaru computer test reports no errors or problems.

The sensor you refer to may be the coolant temperature sensor for the ECU and is different than the one for the temperature gauge in the dash. The sensor has 2 leads to it. These sometimes fail and cause poor mileage by causing the fuel to run too rich.

Many thanks!

15-16 city which not too bad i think. My wife has a 2004 WRX turbo 2.0 AWD, mostly HWY and we get 24-avg. But, check for brakes calipers that still bites at all time(frozen), calipers bracket that’s bad and drag, parking cable that not 100 release when you let off. Or wheel bearings?

also have the oxygen sensor checked out. my 95 legacy with 263,000 miles gets about 20 mpg hiway and the engine codes call for a new oxygen sensor(s)

there are 2 o2 sensors, one on the front and rear catalytic converters