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Old 07-15-2013, 05:17 AM
 
Location: 80904 West siiiiiide!
2,949 posts, read 8,423,535 times
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I'm always amazed at how long people go without checking the air filter. On your car, it's way too easy and cheap not to. Get that thing open stat!

I'm with others. I'd start looking at O2 sensors and a dirty MAF wire. Both of those will cause horrendous fuel mileage, and wont always set a DTC.
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Old 07-15-2013, 07:53 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,457 posts, read 60,179,663 times
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Start by changing the air filter and cleaning out the airbox. Then drive it for a while to see if there is an improvement. If not take it to a shop and have the mechanic read the computer to see if the O2 sensors, MAF box or ignition is faulty. You could check the Cat by starting the car in park and have some one rev the engine while you have a hand near the exhaust to see if the flow increases in time with the engine revs. If the flow stays smooth the cat is plugged. Don't get so close you get burned but just close enough to feel the exhaust flow.
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Old 07-15-2013, 08:59 AM
 
Location: In the middle
149 posts, read 350,371 times
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Checked the air filter and it looks fine. The box was clean too. The maint schedule for my car says it doesn't need to be replaced until 50,000 miles (and yes, I understand this probably varies depending on driving conditions)...which I'll admit I'm over that mileage. I'll change that today.

May I ask what an MAF is?
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Old 07-15-2013, 09:08 AM
 
Location: In the middle
149 posts, read 350,371 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonMike7 View Post
It sounds like proper routine maintainence has not been done.

At 60K miles things like air filter, fuel filter and such need to be replaced. Spark plugs are usually good to 100k these days.

If it was a misfire, the check engine light would be on.
I'm at 56-57,000 miles right now.
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Old 07-15-2013, 09:17 AM
 
Location: In the middle
149 posts, read 350,371 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flynavyj View Post
yeh, with the key in the on position but the car no running the check engine light should show up...it should then go off after the vehicle is started.

Definitely check that air filter out, my wife had an 05' Grand Am 2.2L Ecotec engine, and that car was notoriously picky about how clean the filter was. If the filter got dirty, you'd have all types of random sputtering issues, often feeling like that wanted to stall. New filter always seemed to fix that problem. We never had any fuel economy issues with the car however, even when the filters were bad. You said you're doing lots of short legs, that can cause terrible fuel economy, but I still wouldn't expect it to be in the low teens...unless you start the car, drive up the street and turn it off...then drive back an hour later, and repeat until the days over...or if the car is spending lots of time idling, that will effect your fuel economy. Remember, if the car isn't moving, it's still using fuel, you're just not going anywhere....so, you're getting less than zero miles for every gallon of fuel you use...do that enough, and it will skew your numbers considerably!
The air filter looked fine, but it's due to be replaced so I'll do that.

I do lots of short drives to work and just around town. That's nothing different for me though. I've done that since I've had the car and never had mileage this bad. I could go 3-4 weeks on one fill up. Now I have to put gas in my car every 1 1/2 to 2 weeks.
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Old 07-15-2013, 09:47 AM
 
17,798 posts, read 18,114,034 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xraychick01 View Post
The air filter looked fine, but it's due to be replaced so I'll do that.

I do lots of short drives to work and just around town. That's nothing different for me though. I've done that since I've had the car and never had mileage this bad. I could go 3-4 weeks on one fill up. Now I have to put gas in my car every 1 1/2 to 2 weeks.
When you say "short drives to work", how short are you talking about in miles? If it's really short, then the exhaust system isn't getting hot enough. Moisture from the exhaust will stick around and rust will form. This happened to me with my 1994 Cavalier and I ended up getting a new muffler. Don't know if it could do the same to the catalytic converter.
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:03 AM
 
Location: In the middle
149 posts, read 350,371 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by victimofGM View Post
When you say "short drives to work", how short are you talking about in miles? If it's really short, then the exhaust system isn't getting hot enough. Moisture from the exhaust will stick around and rust will form. This happened to me with my 1994 Cavalier and I ended up getting a new muffler. Don't know if it could do the same to the catalytic converter.
Round trip to/from work is about 10 miles. I live in a small town so wherever I go is usually a short drive.
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:08 AM
 
17,798 posts, read 18,114,034 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xraychick01 View Post
Round trip to/from work is about 10 miles. I live in a small town so wherever I go is usually a short drive.
Does your dashboard have a temperature display and do you pay attention to it? If so, do you notice it getting up to normal operating temperature before you reach work? if not, when you turn on your car's heater, does it get hot before you get to work in the winter?
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:26 AM
 
15,905 posts, read 20,918,857 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xraychick01 View Post
May I ask what an MAF is?
Mass Air Flow meter

Small (usually) aluminum sensor located between the air filter and the throttle body. Contains a hot wire manometer (bare wire sensor) used to calculate how much air the engine is taking in. These sometimes get dirty and require a little electronics cleaner spray from radio shack to clean up.
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Floribama
18,951 posts, read 44,021,037 times
Reputation: 18782
I would take it and have it scanned. Sometimes there can be a code stored even though there's no check engine light.
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