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Unread 03-13-2012, 10:26 PM   #1
DerMeister
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: MI
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Observation on gas mileage

This is not a typical gas mileage post, I am not complaining or asking questions as to why my mileage is poor. I know I drive a jeep.

Ok, on with the thread.

My Xj gets 17-21mpg all summer depending on my driving conditions. This is good enough for me. When winter hits I see 12-15mpg almost instantly and 9-11mpg when I use four wheel drive a lot. My driving is the same year round. Obviously 12-15mpg is pretty bad for an XJ that has 235's and isn't lifted.

Now I understand fuel economy will suffer in winter. The air is more dense, it takes a little longer for the engine to reach operating temp, the oil takes longer to warm up, some let their cars "warm-up" before driving, four wheel drive, and there is a supposed winter blend of gasoline.

So factor all of that in and you'd expect to see some decrease in gas mileage, no problem. Kind of sucks, but there isn't much you can do.

However, this year in southern MI, we've had an unusual winter. It has been in the 40's for the majority of the winter, we've had very little snow, and more recently it's been in the 50's and 60's.

So almost all of the reasons normally given for poor mileage during winter haven't applied to this winter, yet my mileage is still 12-15mpg. The winter blend is the only thing left that I could even think of to explain my horrible mileage.

Two days ago I made a 120 mile round trip to the Casino. I went 65mph and 55mph the whole way. It should've been an easy 19mpg at the very least as it was in the high 50's all day and the driving was perfect. I got 16mpg. This type of driving is when my XJ see's its best mileage.

As soon as I got back, I topped my tank off again. I noticed the station had just been re-filled as the tanker was just pulling away. I topped the tank off and have been driving my normal routine(55mph, 45mph and half of the driving was 35 or less) for the past two days. I filled it up today and found that I got 17mpg. It was in the 50's again and the weather was perfect while driving. This is when my Xj see's its average/low mileage.

This gives me reason to beleive that the winter blend of gaslone should be given much credit in the loss of our fuel economey. I think the station just received the summer blend of gasoline as winter is almost over here and that is why I got better mileage. Now I need to read about why some vehicles see this loss in gas mileage, and if there is a way to help.

Hopefully some of you that DD your XJ's find this interesting, when 1/4 of your pay goes into the tank, I can't help but try to find answers.

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Unread 03-14-2012, 03:28 AM   #2
scavok
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I 100% agree with the winter blend of gasoline making a difference; I see it myself as well. During the peak of summer when I run the A/C and once the gasoline changes in the winter my MPG drops dramatically. During the fall and spring I easily get 4-5mpg better than the harsher seasons on simple commute driving.
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Unread 03-14-2012, 08:14 AM   #3
toaster
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The gas can make a huge difference on MPG. Back when they started using the 10% ethanol gas my car (2001 MR2) went from about 33mpg to 27-29 in one tank of gas and when I could find the "normal" gas it would be right back to 33.

I have no clue what winter blend gas is as I live in Texas and we don't get cold weather, but that could make a difference.
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Unread 03-14-2012, 09:26 AM   #4
Azzy
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If you could get around the regulations, and actually open an ethanol free gas station, in almost any area, you would make a mint.

Easy.

Both my motorcycles run great on straight up gas, when I can find it (usually out in rural areas) and drop easy 12% in mileage on E10.
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Unread 03-14-2012, 10:13 AM   #5
Ratrod
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I run 215/75/15 on my XJ and checked the mileage on a run up to Canada with a 5 minute wait going up and 20 minute wait coming back into the USA at the border and averaged 50 MPH and got 18.7 mpg. I only use Chevron regular.
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Unread 03-15-2012, 06:29 PM   #6
IDIdiesel
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I just drove 257 miles from VT to NJ with avergae speed at 80 and about 50 degrees out. I got to NJ and checked my mileage and got 17.5 mpg. I was pretty happy with that. Stock 3.55 on 30s and about 150lbs of gear and myself.
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Unread 03-16-2012, 09:15 AM   #7
jeepkid03
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The winter blend gasoline plays a big part. Some of the stations around me even have as much as 15% ethanol in the gas. With the combination of the winter blend and 15% ethanol I'm actually happy to get 14-15 mpg in a lifted jeep.

Honestly, MPG doesn't bother me much anymore. My Jeep has been reliable, and is completely paid for. I have a short commute, and it would be foolish to buy a newer car that gets better mpg in my case. The money I'd save in gas would be outweighed by the insurance and car payments. Plus it wouldn't be 4WD most likely in order to get better gas mileage.

Even some of the newer 4x4s get around 22-24 mpg highway for the smaller ones. That isn't all that good considering my 12 year old Cherokee with 120k miles and the aerodynamics of a brick wall can get 19-20 mpg if I drive 60 mph on the highway.
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