I've had a 96 4 cyl for nearly five years; I have always been dissapointed
in the gas mileage-- anywhere from 13 to 17 in the city.
For two days straight however, I used it to deliver stuff over 350 miles
each day-- never turned it off in nearly 10 hours, and drove routes from 30
mph in the city to 80 on the highway. When I did that it got 23 mpg. It
doesn't make any sense! Any ideas?
You'll always get the best average during highway use...even at 80MPH. But
you should be getting much better mileage than that! Heck, I average 18-19
city and 26-28 highway with the 3.3 V6 Grand Caravan! Have since I bought
it new 8+ years ago. And have gotten as high as 29-30 on some highway
Everyone tells me the 4 cyl "has to work harder" than the 6; and that's why
it gets less. I have always thought the van was geared lower than most;
but I've had it in the shop and noone agrees-- guess I'll have to stick to
the dissapointing MPG
Apparently so. I wonder what the point is if a 4-cylinder has less power
AND worse gas mileage.
My engine runs at ~2000 RPM at 60 MPH. You can use that for comparison.
It's possible that you have the 3-speed tranny instead of the 4-speed
I always thought the four-bangers were awful puny for a vehicle of
that size that's supposed to carry around a family.
I did overhaul one once, however, and I thought the power was actually
halfway decent, but I suppose one could expect that with a fresh engine.
Anyway I agree--what's the point of a four cylinder since they don't
get any better gas mileage, have less power and even generally wear out
sooner? They're even less safe as their power wanes with higher miles.
And have you checked your tire pressure? change your air filter recently? Do
you always use it for deliveries? If so what are you delivering. If you are
loading it up for deliveries, that would mean you are adding weight to the
van, and that would increase your mileage. And if you are mostly arounfd
town, it depends on ambient temperature, grades of the road stop and go,
utilizing air conditioning, etc. Have you changed you O2 sensor?
I've done all of those things, except replace the 02 sensor. That is what
is puzzling-- the bad gas mileage is from normal driving-- my wife everyday
for normal wife stuff. It improved when it was used to deliver things--
10 hours of not being turned off; city driving; and the increased weight of
delivering retail fixtures. Makes no sense-- but one thing is for sure--
it's been like this for nearly 5 years!
Sorry, I mean it will increase your mpg. If you haven't changed your O2
sensor, you should. After all these years it is probably not working
correctly. It should be routinely replaced to ensure your vehicle maintains
a good air/fuel ratio.
Most of the time, a bad O2 sensor will not set off the check engine light.
It needs to be tested to see the actual waves it produces for modifying the
air fuel moisture. Over time with all of the exhaust residue it will be
harder for the O2 to correctly meter the ratio.
It makes perfect sense to me. You drove it more on the highway than
usual, and when it's cruising along, even at 80mph, it will get better
fuel economy than in the city where you are stopping and going.
Remember that any time you are sitting at a stoplight, even though it's
not burning very MUCH gasoline while idling, you are still getting ZERO
mpg; and when you accelerate from that stoplight, the mileage you are
getting is very low AND it's burning a lot of gas at the same time.
The four-cyl. engine may burn MORE fuel in city driving, driven to equal
acceleration as a 3.3L V6.
If you were to cruise for 10 hours at 80mph, you'd get even better
mileage than you did for those two straight days.
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