Extremely poor fuel mileage - Ford Explorer Forum - Forums for Ford Explorer Enthusiasts
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Old 11-19-2017, 09:58 PM   #1
TomE
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Extremely poor fuel mileage

2004 4.0 sohc eng what are you guys seem to be getting for fuel mileage Iím getting maybe 13 on the highway and engine seems to run really smooth. Where are you guys at?

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Old 11-22-2017, 02:14 PM   #2
J_C
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13MPG seems quite low for highway. I don't have an '04 but my '98 4.0 SOHC gets around 20 Hwy. It would be 1-2MPG higher if I drove longer distances. Keep in mind that it has to get up to temperature for optimal fuel economy so if a significant % of your hwy miles are before it has warmed up, your MPG will be low like that.

They're rated for 21MPG but that is warmed up the entire time. Now that mine is older, not a daily driver but rather shorter trips around town, I get horrible stop and go MPG like under 10MPG, even under 8MPG with few stretches of driving more than a half mile between stopping at a light or sign, and not getting up to temperature much of the time.

It has stock tires and the higher 3.73 rear differential which both help, and I try not to go much above 65MPH (closer to 55MPH would help more). What is your steady speed engine RPM on the highway and at what speed?

Is your check engine light on? You could hook up a scan tool even if it isn't, one capable of looking at live data to see if it's running rich (fuel trim numbers). Sometimes as an O2 sensor(s) get older, they get less accurate for a while before they get bad enough to set an OBDII trouble code.

A slight (enough to go unnoticed) oil consumption, or a head or intake manifold leak causing coolant into the cylinders, can start to clog the catalytic converter reducing MPG. A cylinder misfiring for one of various reasons, just not often enough to set a trouble code can also reduce MPG, as could bad engine wear if it's not been maintained with oil changes as needed - yet that and misfires, usually wouldn't run well enough to be called "really smooth".

I assume you've checked the regular maintenance items like clean air filter, enough air in tires, spark plugs not too far past their 100K mi recommended replacement (though at this age even if you're not past 100K mi you might want to replace them anyway, time also takes its toll).

You might also check the condition of your brakes, that they aren't dragging, though if that is happening, soon enough you should find that they're worn out. You could also do a cylinder compression test to see what state that's in.

These vehicles are Bricks On Wheels and it's easy to get no better than 15MPG except when driving over 10 miles at a time, but you wrote highway so there may be some differences between what I'm talking about and what you are.

If you have larger diameter than stock tires, not only can they reduce fuel economy a little, but also make the vehicle travel faster than measured so your real fuel economy is higher than the odometer shows. Aggressive all terrain or especially mudder tires will also reduce economy. That noise and vibration they make is an efficiency loss.

Ultimately my point is, you could have a specific problem, or it could be your driving environment/habits, or a combination of multiple little things robbing a MPG each.
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Old 11-22-2017, 03:45 PM   #3
generalfirst
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Mileage

I have a 2010 platinum. I recently had it at dealership to check programming on transmission. I was getting a solid 17 / 18 miles per gallon. Now I am getting 14 to 16 MPH. Could their checking program on tranny have changed something as far as gas mileage is concerned?
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Old 11-22-2017, 05:51 PM   #4
J_C
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^ Ask the dealership what they did. No, merely "checking programming" won't change fuel economy. If they changed the programming, altered the shift points for example, that could potentially change fuel economy, but if the shift points changed enough to make that difference, you should notice it driving.
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Old 11-24-2017, 08:51 AM   #5
TomE
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Thank you jc for the reply my engine runs so smooth at lights sometimes I think it stalled also I have stock tires and my mileage on the highway is about 50 miles each way. I installed a k&n air filter element when I bought the truck I keep my tire pressure checked and recently changed engine oil I have new fuel filter new fuel pump and new throttle body and a a new fuel rail pressure sensor. Iím pretty sure the cat isnít clogged but was thinking of running some type of catalytic cleaner fuel additive to maybe help open up the exhaust a little I plan on changing th plugs soon but money is tight so not sure when I can do that. This fuel mileage is really killing me
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Old 11-25-2017, 03:21 AM   #6
J_C
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^ TomE, you might want to try cleaning your MAF sensor, but it might be too late if it's the heated type. I mean that the aftermarket air filters which get oiled can be bad for certain engines because the oil vapor gets deposited onto the MAF sensor element and fouls it.

Just in case that's the problem, after cleaning the MAF I'd try running it with the stock air intake filter for a while. You might hook up an OBDII scan tool capable of showing live (running) data and look at your fuel trims to see if it's running rich trying to compensate for extra/unmetered air the MAF isn't detecting.
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