1995 taurus wagon mpg idle

Hi Folks: I just bought a '95 Taurus wagon. Runs fine, although I bought it because I thought it would get better gas milage than my Jeep. Seems like it idles fast, too..
HOT 1000RPM in neutral? 15~16MPG? This is a 3.0 liter. Are these out of the ordinary?
The Jeep, 4.0 liter BOX shaped thing actually gets slightly better milage.. And is loaded also. Laredo.
I was thinking maybe O2 sensors (2 of them on the Taurus) but maybe simpler... Is there a temp sensor that is separate from the temp gauge that might be saying the engine is still cold? (higher idle - richer mixture)
And if I may ask, what kind of milage should I expect?
Thanks for any help! Harry
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harry wrote:

M y 3.0 wagon gets 16/19 in town. Depends on the conditions. When its cold, its much worse. I have got as good as 29 MPG on the road with it.
The gauge temp has a separate sensor from the computer water temp sensor.
You need to go through the usually list of suspects. Clean out Idle control valve assembly. Clean out the throttle butterfly Clean off the MAF sensor. New fuel filter and plug wires. Check all small vacuum hoses for cracks or leaks. Replacing the O2 sensors is not a bad idea, but there not cheap.
The 3.0 wagon is a little on the under powered side. But its reliable.
Bob
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Hi Bob: Thanks for the reply! OK. This might be getting about 'that' kind of milage. Actually, she's a crossing guard so she's idling the car for LONG periods. One of the things I've done was clean the idle control valve. It's clean, and when I remove the power, the idle speed drops WAY low, telling me it's the computer telling it to speed up. It idles a bit faster when cold. I can feel the throttle a bit sticky on the closed side.. I do need to clean that. I haven't checked the MAP sensor. Wouldn't that light the 'engine' light or make it run bad? Do you know where the temp-sensor for the computer is? If I can fool the computer into making it think it's hot, and the idle then does drop, I'd assume the sensor is bad.. Thanks for the help! Harry

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A couple things I'd add. First, the best initial investment you can make is to go get a repair manual. The Haynes manual uses pics from the 3.0 Vulcan almost exclusively.
Secondly, I'd definitely check the air filter. I've found that some of the newer autos are very sensitive in this area. I had a Ranger 4x2 4.0 that liked air filter changes every 10k miles. The filter hardly looked dirty, but it would make a 3 mpg difference.
Lastly, I've noticed, even tho I'm a Ford fan, that the Chebbys seem to get better fuel economy on nearly every engine comparision of similar displacement. I'm not sure 18 mpg is unreasonable for city driving. I have the newer, more powerful Duratec 3.0 DOHC in my Taurus wagon and still get about 19 mpg city. I get 26 or so on the highway.
CJ

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Hi CJ: Thanks! We take this car to Jiffy Lube and let them do their thing every 3k. I've never noticed any changes after the filter had been changed.. I've been thinking, if the O2 sensor's voltage is around a half-volt, the mixture is about as stoichiometric as it can get, and the timing is right, I'd be satisfied, but the 1,000 RPM shifts into drive and reverse can't be doing the CV's any good. I've been hunting for the service manual for this car.. I think there is one just for the drive train. I hope this includes emissions.. ! Thanks for the reply! Harry

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