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Why is my car such a gas guzzler

My 2004 Kia Optima with 4 cyl, 138 hp driven about 23000 miles, only averages 16 mpg. I drive suburban local, not stop & go, get oil changes, new oil & air filter etc. Any suggestions

Yes, car talk, Actual Car Information, scroll down to Guide To Better Fuel Economy.

I’m not trying to criticize your driving habits, but maybe that’s part of the problem. People who follow closely cannot see far enough ahead to maximize their efficiency. Plus in the city people race from one light to the next, me, if the light went green and the light ahead is red, and it’s a block away, I won’t go faster than about 30 km/h since there is no point, also travelling at that slow speed allows the light longer to change green when you still have some momentum. My buddy said all the women in his family (his 2 sisters and mom) get terrible mileage. I said oh yeah, he said yeah, they don’t understand coasting. Maybe you don’t coast enough. I’ll be honest, I spend about 1/3rd of my driving time coasting but I’m in a city with no freeways so I drive through lots and lots of lights ad just coast to the reds.

Any chance someone is getting gas out of your tank? kids with dirt bikes, are loosing4-5 gallons evry 200-225 miles.
If you are real sure it is not happening look for dragging brakes maybe

how are you calculating the mileage? are you using the actual mileage divided by gallons used, or the cars computer?

How are you driving?? Driving habits have the biggest impact to fuel economy.

We get this question very often in one variation or another. People are hoping they can make a simple adjustment to their cars and increase their mileage by 50% like all those other drivers achieve. Nobody likes to take responsibility for their own wasteful driving techniques.

But if a car is displaying no other symptoms than mpg below expectations, we must assume the car is running perfectly. Lend your Kia to another driver for a week and watch him achieve the normal 20+ mpg.

I also have to come down on the side of those who think that it is your driving style that is most likely to be the problem.

With only 23k on the odometer, and with up to date maintenance, the only possibilities that come to mind are low tire pressure, too much stop and go, and the driver’s own driving style (including too many short trips, too much idling–such as at drive-up banks, tailgating, erratic use of the accelerator and brake).

There is also the vague possibility that the cooling system thermostat is stuck in the open position, thus causing the engine to run too cold. A cold engine wastes a lot of gas.

Have the thermostat checked at your next oil change, and in the meantime, make believe that there is a raw egg between your right foot and the gas pedal/brake pedal. Very smooth, slow, and gentle application of both pedals will help your gas mileage a lot.

I like the idea of placing a (Sealed) Jar of water on the Passanger Floor, if you drive carefully enough to keep the jar standing up then you are off to a good start as far as driving economically. What sort of Terrain do you drive on?

Does the temperature gauge climb to its normal operating range within a couple of minutes? Thermostat problems that don’t let the car warm up quickly can cut into gas mileage.

Put your hand by the exhaust and make sure that you can feel the individual bursts of exhaust at idle. Exhaust obstruction due to a bent pipe or damaged catalyst can cost you.

Does this car have a hot air intake that pulls warmed air from the exhaust manifold side of the engine when the car is cold? Is it pulling hot air all the time?