I just recently moved from Colorado to Michigan and noticed a steep dropoff in fuel economy. I have gone from averaging 45-47 miles per gallon to about 36-38. I would have thought that coming down in altitude (from 5000 ft. to 600 ft.) would have made my fuel mileage better (more oxygen). Does anyone know why this could be happening?
- tire inflation (has it changed since Colorado) could make a difference
- air conditioning (are you using it now in Michigan) could make a difference
- wheels out of alignment (did you bump something on the trip) could make a difference
- different commute (longer highway versus short city) could make a difference
It could also have something to do with how your car was tuned at elevation, versus how it needs to be tuned closer to sea level.
Bob-Thanks for the info. Someone here said that they do add ethanol to the gas in Michigan. You would think that would make it cheaper, but I just paid $4.19 per gallon. Also, it is a short commute (5 miles) thru the city and in Colorado it was 21 miles with most of it being 55 mph highway. I will check the tire inflation. It was shipped here for work relocation so the alignment seems fine.
mskibinski (your name is fun to try to pronounce) - If you are going from a 21 mile commute at 55 MPH, to a 5 mile city commute, then going from 45 MPG to 36 MPG is not all that unusual, and possibly to be expected. 21 miles at 55 MPH is pretty much optimal from an MPG standpoint.
Strangely, I used to have about the same thing as you, but concurrently. My commute to work is through about 5 miles of city/suburbia; and I used to regularly go to play soccer at lunch times, about a 22 mile drive, partly through the country at around 55 MPH. The difference that made in my mileage was about 7 MPG.
The good news is that you will probably adjust somewhat to the city driving and your mileage will then improve. Best of luck!
Also, it is a short commute (5 miles) thru the city and in Colorado it was 21 miles with most of it being 55 miles per hour highway.
I'm guessing that's it right there: With the short commute, your car spends a greater fraction of its time in 'conventional' mode, getting the engine and battery warmed up. Watching the 'five-minute rolling MPG bar chart' on my wife's RXh, the first bar is always much shorter than any of the rest that follow. Likewise, winter/summer makes a difference; in winter it's warming up from a colder state. Our average since last September is < 22 mpg, but the last two tanks have been closer to 27mpg, for the same overall commute.
Seriously though, hills and mountains are nothing more than forced pulse and glide. The HCH does great at steady state cruising, but throw it into a coast and the mpg really starts to rise. There is also more air to knock out of your way at sea level which is going to impact your resistance.
I think coyote hit the nail on the head though--the shorter commute will make the biggest difference. Just wait until winter when you get the double whammy of cold weather AND a short commute. Good luck!
Thanks for your input you guys. I checked my tire pressure and it was down to about 23 psi (worst case). I brought it up to about 35 psi. It was the short commute that was killing me. I am moving into a new house that is about 20 miles away with a similar commute to what I had in Colorado. I drove that and brought my mileage up to 42 MPG even with the 100 miles I did with the city driving. Kristian - Colorado > Michigan? Does that mean that the house prices in Colorado are double that of Michigan?
Update-Moved into the new house that is about 20 miles from work and mostly interstate (70 mph). Mileage has gone up to about 42.7 mpg. Still not as good as in Colorado (45-47 mpg during summer), but my average speed was much lower (55 mph). Happy with mpg considering the speed difference. Thanks for your help.
I have a 2005 Civic Hybrid. My mileage varies but I average 42-43 per tank if I run the air conditioner and 46-47 otherwise. Of course, in North Carolina summers you run it all the time.
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