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I am getting terrible gas mileage and no clue why

46622 Views 24 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  chrisholland03
Hi- I am new here. I bought a used 2011 Chevy Cruze 1LT in August of 2012. I have been only averaging 16.7mpg in town and 28 on the highway. I drive on average 33 mph in town for an average distance of 25miles/day. ON the high way i drive 90miles a day 4x/week. I have been putting in the middle gas (not the super cheap stuff) and getting bad gas mileage since i bought it. This is very frustrating for me as I traded in a 2008 avenger for this car due to the gas mileage and my avenger got better mpg than this car does... any suggestions?:angry::angry::angry::angry:
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Automatic or Manual? The manuals are better for fuel economy, but your numbers are low for either.

Have you taken a look at http://www.cruzetalk.com/forum/27-fuel-economy/5387-how-get-better-fuel-economy.html? After reading the first post in XR's thread take a look at http://www.cruzetalk.com/forum/27-fuel-economy/10510-winter-impact-fuel-economy-mitigation.html. Both are stickied in the "Fuel Economy" sub forum.

The other big issue we have seen with the Cruze is inconsistently and incorrectly gapped spark plugs coming from the factory. Take a look at http://www.cruzetalk.com/forum/57-how-forum/6722-diy-re-gap-factory-spark-plugs.html, http://www.cruzetalk.com/forum/10-e...cial-statement-regarding-spark-plug-gaps.html, and http://www.cruzetalk.com/forum/34-1...ed-do-not-change-spark-plug-gap-if-tuned.html. The final thread only applies if your car has a Trifecta or Vermont Tuners tune on it. I run my plugs at 0.035" per the original GM maintenance spec for the 1.4T engine, which is the one you have.

Welcome to CruzeTalk. Other than low fuel economy how do you like your Cruze?
 

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Obermd those numbers are so horribly low i doubt it's driving style or transmission choice or plug gaps.

16.7mpg in town is insane. I'd expect that on a race track. No fault codes or issues with the car? Check engine lights, etc?
 

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Hoon, I suspect you're right but if deshariau can rule out the easy issues then we can start helping with the more obscure ones. My actual guess would be it's an Automatic that hasn't been reflashed with the current ECU firmware. It could also be fouled plugs or any number of other things. Something's not right but the links I provided will get 90% of the potential issues reviewed and addressed. Even without the CEL light being on, doesn't the car store codes that can cause problems?

Deshariau, if your Cruze has less than 36K miles on it it should still be covered under the GM bumper to bumper warranty. In that case I would recommend calling GM and complaining about the significantly low MPGs as a drivability issue. GM will create a service ticket and direct you to your dealership. Take the service ticket number from GM to your dealership (it helps get some dealerships off their lazy ...s and dig into the car further). Even less than 100K miles you should still be covered by the powertrain warranty, but at this point that would be iffy for getting the warranty coverage. If you're in a emissions control area you could also take your car to have an emissions check done (not all dealerships have the ability to do this) and if it fails emissions there is a GM warranty for 7 years/70K miles for anything that causes emissions test failures. Cars that fail emissions will also exhibit poor fuel economy because they are literally sending unburned or incompletely burned fuel out the tail pipe.

-Mike.
 

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Did you ever get the issue figured out? I drove mine mine 5 hours while doing 70-90MPH and got about 30mpg. I am now getting 20 around town, not what I was expecting.

I am wondering if my tire pressure is low/unbalanced or if something else is wrong with the car. I got a flat tire after owning the car for 3 days (there was a nail in the tire and it was not fixable because the inner walls were worn)

I was on my lunch break and one of the tire pressure monitors said that the back right tire was low, I got out checked it and it was fine. So I cleared the tire pressure system and it said it had to be serviced... thought ok I will get that done after work.. went back to work.... came back out 4 hours later and drove about 50 feet and noticed that my FRONT RIGHT tire was completely flat... I ended up getting a new tire at the dealer and had them reset the system (didnt realize they charged for this!). The tire pressure on the one that was replaced is at 34 PSI the other two are at 37 and I think the one is at 36...

Thoughts? Suggestions? I have only driven it about 50 miles around town so its a small sample size but I am very concerned. Any input would be greatly appreciated!
 

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SVTC, your dealer ripped you off when they charged you to reset your TPMS. If you replace a tire you must reset the TPMS. This should be part of the mount and balance procedure (final step after being put on the car). You definitely want your tires to all be at the same pressure, if nothing more than for handling. Once again your dealership fouled up. They should have adjusted and balanced the pressures in all four tires as part of the tire replacement. Best option here is go get a portable 12V tire pump and keep it in your trunk - then use it to maintain your tire pressure.

I don't know which trim/transmission you have, but 30 MPG at 70-90 MPH is good to reasonable for all trims except the ECO MT. It's significantly low for the ECO MT. Once you get your tire pressures straightened out start monitoring your fuel economy again.
 

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30 mpg at 70-90 mph is pretty good.

For around town, if your average trip is 3-5 miles and the car is stone cold, 20 mpg is doable in this cold weather.

What year, trim, and transmission? That will have a LARGE impact on fuel economy.
 

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Did you ever get the issue figured out? I drove mine mine 5 hours while doing 70-90MPH and got about 30mpg. I am now getting 20 around town, not what I was expecting.
You did not indicate where you live, but in cold weather with my 1.4T automatic those numbers are normal. Summer time I get 24-30city, 36-42mpg highway(45-65mph). Above 70mph the MPG really starts to fall, as with all cars. 70-75mph I usually get 30-34mpg.
 

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Sorry about the lack of detail. I live in memphis (its about 35-38 degrees right now) I have an 2011 LT RS with auto transmission and 16" wheels
2011 cars had a 36mpg highway rating & were geared much lower than the 2012-2013 cars. The newer cars gearing change gives them 2mpg higher highway rating of 38mpg.

My 2012 automatic is running 2,000rpm at 58mph in 6th gear, I believe I am around 2,500rpm at 72mph. According to this older topic the 2011 cruze automatic is running close to 3,000rpm at 70mph. http://www.cruzetalk.com/forum/9-ch...1lt-auto-hard-shifting-70-mph-rpm-3000-a.html
 

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Sorry about the lack of detail. I live in memphis (its about 35-38 degrees right now) I have an 2011 LT RS with auto transmission and 16" wheels
You have the worst possible Cruze for fuel economy, and about the best Cruze for drag racing. The 2011 automatics coupled to the 1.4T were geared short. IIRC I've seen a picture of a 2011 LT spinning ~2700-2800 RPM at 75 mph. That'll make your fuel economy horrible. Any acceleration above 2000 RPM will use the turbo quite a bit, lowering fuel economy. I'd not expect more than 32-33 mpg highway out of a 2011 automatic LT. Sorry, just the nature of the beast.

If you were to get a 2012 or 2013 automatic LT, those folks have reported above 40 mpg highway trips when keeping things at/near the speed limits.
 

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You have the worst possible Cruze for fuel economy, and about the best Cruze for drag racing. The 2011 automatics coupled to the 1.4T were geared short. IIRC I've seen a picture of a 2011 LT spinning ~2700-2800 RPM at 75 mph. That'll make your fuel economy horrible. Any acceleration above 2000 RPM will use the turbo quite a bit, lowering fuel economy. I'd not expect more than 32-33 mpg highway out of a 2011 automatic LT. Sorry, just the nature of the beast.

If you were to get a 2012 or 2013 automatic LT, those folks have reported above 40 mpg highway trips when keeping things at/near the speed limits.
****. What would you expect city? My SVT Contour averaged 27-28 highway and about 23-24 city... I was expecting a pretty big improvement for fuel economy since the performance is... well.... not fast lol
 

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I'd expect city to be right about 26-27 mpg. That's a wild guess. The short gearing means it'll be in the higher gears faster, as long as you don't rev the snot out of it getting to speed. The 2011 automatic liked to rev the engine, from what I recall test-driving one a long time ago.

Some folks (erikbeggs), have said they get better fuel economy city with a tune in their 2011 automatics.
 

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I'd expect city to be right about 26-27 mpg. That's a wild guess. The short gearing means it'll be in the higher gears faster, as long as you don't rev the snot out of it getting to speed. The 2011 automatic liked to rev the engine, from what I recall test-driving one a long time ago.

Some folks (erikbeggs), have said they get better fuel economy city with a tune in their 2011 automatics.
Do you recall which tune it was? I would be very interested in a tune that would increase fuel economy and some extra power wouldnt hurt either :D
 

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Trifecta. People have also reported it helps smooth out the shifting.
 

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There is updated software for the engine and trans on the 2011 cruze.If i had your vin i can tell you if yours has been updated.With the 2011 i would still expect better mileage than what your getting.That would be the first thing i would want to look at and do to that car.The updates are well worth doing even if you had to pay for them.A charge of .5 labor hour would be the average cost.Plus i am sure GM most likely would do it for nothing for you with a call.Anyway you need to know if they have been done.
 
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Sorry about the lack of detail. I live in memphis (its about 35-38 degrees right now) I have an 2011 LT RS with auto transmission and 16" wheels
I'm in Memphis too...for giggles, which dealership?

Confirming what others have said...and adding that living in Memphis doesn't help. Folks here are very aggressive drivers. I try to stay within 10 of the speed limits and in the right lane as much as possible -- it lowers my blood pressure, doesn't significantly add to my travel time and gives me better gas mileage.
 

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we are now testing the 2012 eco cruze and this is the findings so far. we are comparing it to the hyundai sonata (hsh) we have had the hsh for 6 months and it has not gotten close to the mileage we were told. the wife drives the car and for this post i drove it for the 2 weeks. my avg speed was 39 mph hers was 28 mph

well after driving the hsh for 2 weeks i got it up to 27.1 mpg avg don't yet know real mpg because i have not filled the tank.

we decided to test a cruze this week end for comparison. we are driving it on the same circuit the wife will drive it if she takes it.
the cruze had 410 miles on it so we reset trip 1 and left trip 2 along. so far this is our findings, after 72 miles the cruze is at 33 mpg avg 28 mph avg on trip 1 and 29 mpg avg at 25 mph avg on trip 2 we used 2.2 gal of gas in 72 miles for 32.7 mpg. and the temps are 15 to 36 deg. that is blowing the doors of the hsh.

the best we ever got on the hsh was 32 mpg on a 300 mile x way trip in oct at 60 to 70 deg temps. and we were told to wait until the magical first oil change. did it and have yet to see any change for the better. thanks bp.
 

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I'd not expect more than 32-33 mpg highway out of a 2011 automatic LT. Sorry, just the nature of the beast.

If you were to get a 2012 or 2013 automatic LT, those folks have reported above 40 mpg highway trips when keeping things at/near the speed limits.
The difference between the gearing is only a 5% change in fuel economy according to GM. The biggest factors in fuel economy are ambient temperature, wind speed / direction, and elevation change. I've passed 40 MPG at over 65 mph before in my 2011 in the summer over extended distances. In the winter, I was down to 30 MPG on flat land doing the same speed (in 15F temps at night).

To the OP, try buying an intake. It's an easy 5-10% bump in both horsepower and highway fuel economy. It pays for itself quite quickly.
 
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