Winter Gas Yet?

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Jan 31, 2006
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High Desert, California
Has winter gas started yet? When does that start coming to our pumps? I've been averaging 37-40mpg on my way to work this summer (with AC on!) and the last few weeks I can't seem to get over 36mpg (getting less than 35.5 a lot). Using same oil, gas, etc... I even pumped up the tires to 38psi instead of 35psi (front) and 34psi (rear) from 32psi. I got no increase in MPG. So, thinking it was maybe my oil - changed oil last night - got 35.3mpg this morning. [Razz] Maybe it is time for some Chevron w/ Techron cleaner... Any ideas/comments/questions welcomed. -Paul
 
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Paul, If it got a bit colder in your area, that'll bring the mileage down too, even without the winter gas in it. That was a good start with the tires, did you go by the doorjam or the max on the tires...? [Eek!] (Flame suit on...) I go by what's on the tires because it's the tires that are constructed and what's holding the air... not the number the Mfg. says for ride quality, etc. Put 'em up to near the tire max and you may see a bit of a gain, but it doesn't buy ya much. Try: Changing the air filter or at least bang the dirt out of it. Change the PCV with the Mfg's one. Put a bottle of good 'ole Techron. Take 'er out on a freeway trip to see Grandma a hundred or so miles away & Rev 'er up some to watch the Carbon blow out of the pipe. If ya got spark pulgs even moderately close to their life, change them. Post or BobMail me & let me know what happens... [Cheers!]
 

OriginHacker21

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L O L Collie [Smile] I had to read that twice then just cracked up... tpitcher - many thanks for your info - to answer your questions. Car: 2004 Pontiac Sunfire - 2.2L Ecotec 5spd manual. The door says 30PSI - tires say max: 44PSI (Goodyear Viva Touring at Wal-Mart). I always kept them around 35PSI till now. Yes, temperature dropped a good 20 degrees - especially in the mornings. We were at 80F-120F now we wake up to 56F-80F. [Razz] That would also explain it. Changed air filter last night when I changed oil last night - engine did sound less stressed - old filter was dirty. I drive to work - 110 miles one way (220 miles every day) averaging 70mph. Haven't done Chevron w/ Techron for a good 10k miles. My car is getting more mature - passed the 60,000 mile marker last week. I'm guessing the spark plugs could use a changing. I will admit I haven't "raced" my car or passed 3200 RPMs in the last 15000 or so miles. (75mph @ 2,900 RPMs in 5th gear) Once warmed up I'll rev er' up a few times on the way home. Many thanks for your info/help.
 
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OriginHacker: Maybe all the soot from the "day" fire (that's on what, day 16 now) is clogging up your intake. You are in the Santa Clarita area - right? My mileage is improving actually, but I attribute that to the 0W30 I just put in it. I could be wrong, but I thought that the LA area didn't change until November. Someone please correct me on that if not - I haven't been able to find anything on the CA DOE site about when it switches over. That article was for Atlanta, and although there are EPA mandates on the federal level - all bets are off in California. We have our own way of destroying our environment/tax revenues out here [Roll Eyes]
 
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Michigan
I have also noticed a drop in mileage this past tank. I commute the same roads/speeds every day, and fill up at the same Shell station... Last tank w/Lucas UCL=25.2mpg This tank w/UCL=20.2mpg What's going on??? A 20% drop?? Sure the temp. gone down a little, but c'mon...I haven't been driving any more aggressively than normal(mostly [email protected],500rpm in Fourth Gear)...
 

OriginHacker21

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Very possible Laminar - I live right where the 5 fwy and the 14 fwy meet & about 5 mins from Santa Clarita - I just changed the air filter last night - the old air filter was dirty (20,000 miles). No idea on on LA changing to winter gas. All I know is - very difficult to get high MPG now (maybe because of colder weather). I did rev up my engine to 5,200 RPMs for once. I recorded 37MPG on the way home. Maybe my engine likes some high reving now and then? Seems like a lot of people are experiencing a drop in MPG. Maybe gas companies did something (cause for price drop)??? [Eek!]
 
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08/21/06 32.42 08/26/06 33.81 09/01/06 33.21 09/07/06 33.16 09/10/06 33.81 09/13/06 33.25 09/19/06 34.03 Last month of MPG data. Santa Barbara area. Last year my MPG plummeted at the beggining of Nov. I can't say for sure if it was winter gas time, as I just put new tires on at the same time.
 
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Yes - Rev 'er up on occasion and blow the carbon out - she'll run better.
 

OriginHacker21

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Rev'ing had to have helped something. On the 22nd (friday) I recorded my second highest MPG - 39.5mpg on the way home. That was with the windows down too :P. (Highest recorded was last year 39.7). (I use ScanGuage) I guess long trips (4 hours a day) at 2,500 RPM clog things up if I don't rev it up every now and then. I've heard of this before on past BITOG posts so I believe it. Strange how that all works out. Hey surfstar - thanks for the info. I think we can assume that Califoria doesn't change to winter gas till november. It doesn't get cold here like the midwest either I remember Iowa (-22F in an ice storm in 2004) and out here at work everyone is wearing heavy winter coats at 55F. :P
 
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Origin, Did you check your air filter? I just took a gander at mine over the weekend and it looked like someone dumped an ashtray in it (due to the several fires going on out here). Funny thing, I started wheezing and had to hit some asthma medicine for the first time in 6 months because the air quality was so bad. Then it occurred to me that if my lungs aren't liking this air, neither are my vehicles. I spend way too much time on this board with you people...
 

OriginHacker21

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Yep Laminar - I think you might have hit it. When I changed out the air filter - the K&N I had in there looked like someone threw a handfull of fine dust in it. It was pretty bad. I've got a brand new Purolator paper filter in there now and the MPG is back up. I wonder how much the air filters let through... Yeah, we're getting a ton of ash out here. I stoped running at night because it hurt so bad. My sister has asthma as well - she's had a rough time the past few weeks too.
 
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Washington
originhacker21, could you give me your thoughts on the Purolator vs K&N. I am unfamiliar with Purolator. All we get is MT St Helens ash arounf here! LOL
 
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OriginHacker, I might take a gander at the throttlebody to see if much made it past the filter. If your MPG doesn't come back to normal, than you might be in for a TB cleaning. Glad to hear that was the culprit! If you ever find out when they actually change the formaulation in SoCal let me know. I still think it is November, but I haven't had any conclusive proof. It seems like it would be an easy thing to find on the Intenet, but I haven't found it yet.
 
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