Q: After multiple replacements, gas mileage is worse - 1997 Ford Aspire

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After purchasing this car, it has been like a project that continually needs work and repairs. I first had a thorough engine tune up, cleaned the interior, and purchased two new front tires. Then I bought a radio and new speakers. Also, I replaced the following: left wheel bearing, cv joints, side light bulbs, interior light bulb, new DieHard battery, motor mounts, rear lift gate hydraulic lifts, and performed an oil change. The car had been used constantly by the previous owner. The car still needs two back tires which I will get later. The car is supposed to get 40 mpg and I am only getting 30-33 and sometimes only 25. (I have a light foot.) The car starts great, picks up well, accelerates with good performance, and the engine runs great too. Most of my driving is on the highway. What is my next step and what do I do to get better gas mileage?

The fuel economy will change depending on the whether the transmission is manual or automatic. According to fueleconomy.gov the manual transmission Ford Aspire is getting a combined 33mpg while the automatic get 26mpg. Ford’s initial adverts were 34 mpg city and 42 highway but this seems to have downgraded by the US Department of Energy. A slipping clutch or dragging brake are common thieves of fuel economy so these items should be checked along with ensuring proper tire pressure as well. Unmetered air leaks or a bad oxygen sensor can also rob fuel economy. To have the mileage problem scoped out more thoroughly, you may want to enlist the help of a mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, who will have the equipment and scan tool to look at engine data to see if there are any anomalies that could be robbing your fuel economy.

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