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02 Cruiser Fuel Economy

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11 Sep 2018, 12:22 pm
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Default 02 Cruiser Fuel Economy

Ok.. so flat out... my Cruiser's economy sucks! My 2012 Caravan V6 gets leaps and bounds better economy than the Cruiser... I mean...it's stupid the difference. The Cruiser uses about (guesstimating)3-4x more fuel than the van.

I recently ran a scanner on it and found the coolant temp sensor was in constant closed loop, which by my knowledge, is normally the sign of a dead sensor.

Me asking folks with much more experience with the 2.4 than I, do you think changing this will make much of a difference?

As well, I have seen there is an ambient air temp sensor. I'm not familiar with this sensor, but based on the name, I would assume this would make some variation in economy as well, but is this an item that is common to fail?

I welcome any input that can be offered. And thank you in advance for the advice!
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Old 11 Sep 2018, 12:29 pm
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Default Re: 02 Cruiser Fuel Economy

closed loop in regards to fuel is good. open loop is a bad sensor. But those should not have anything to do with coolant. The ambient ait temp sensor is a Quality of Life sensor that displays outside air temp on the compass display. The IAT Intake Air Temp sensor tells the engine what temperature of the incoming air to the engine is, and if it was bad it would throw a check engine light.

3-4x the fuel of a grand caravan.... you should be watching the guage drop driving around a McDonalds. Fill your tank, reset the trip, and see how far you get before you hit empty. Then post results.
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Old 11 Sep 2018, 12:39 pm
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Default Re: 02 Cruiser Fuel Economy

what is the fuel mileage you are getting? 19-26mpg was the normal range for my 2002 depending on time of year and type of driving.

coolant temp sensor should be checked with the car off and cool. it should more or less match the ambient air temp. if you get a funky reading, i would try a different scanner before buying/changing anything.
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Old 11 Sep 2018, 12:41 pm
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Default Re: 02 Cruiser Fuel Economy

i edited/added to my post
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Old 11 Sep 2018, 12:53 pm
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Default Re: 02 Cruiser Fuel Economy

I just filled up this morning and reset the trip, so yes, I will watch it and let you know.

I can't give you definite numbers, but I can tell you this much.. we filled up both vehicles last Wednesday(same time, same station side by side pumps), and both vehicles have been driven( I would guess) about the same amount of distance roughly since then. The van has used just barely 1/8 tank(maybe even a bit less) where the Cruiser has used 1/2 tank.

Recently we took a trip out of town with the Cruiser. We filled up in a town about 220km(about 140 miles-ish) from home. By the time we got back home(all highway) we were almost on empty. The following weekend we had to go back to the same town(to pick up our daughter from camp)but we took the van. We again filled up at the same station and drove home. When we got home with the van, we had barely left the full mark.

PT Cruiser tank-15 gallons

Caravan Tank-20 gallons

Once I have some solid numbers, I will be sure to share them to get some further insights.
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Old 11 Sep 2018, 01:20 pm
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Default Re: 02 Cruiser Fuel Economy

46 mpg at a steady 110 on the autobahn

Unclear if thats US gallons or Imperial but would assume imperial

Shame you lot across the Pond didn't get the diesel - especially the more powerful Mk2 - the engine really suits the car
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Old 11 Sep 2018, 01:36 pm
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Default Re: 02 Cruiser Fuel Economy

By your numbers, the van used about 2.5 gallons and the Cruiser used 7.5 gallons. Of course, guessing the gas usage by the fuel gauge rather than an odometer vs. gas station fuel pump readout is not going to be accurate.

I will tell you that a PT Cruiser will average around 17 mpg around town if you drive it like a modern car and don't manage the throttle. If you use an OBD2 gauge like the UltraGauge or a BT/WiFi adapter and a phone app that displays instantaneous MPG and engine load, you'll see exactly how to get 22 mpg on the same routes and close to 30 MPG on the highway. You'll see that the gas mileage drops like a rock with a > 50% engine load.

The PT Cruiser (as well as most non-CVT cars) gets the best mileage at the bottom end of the top gear. That's around 42 MPH. If you get the car up to that speed and just barely keep it there with the gas pedal, you can average close to 35 MPG. At 65 MPH, you can easily keep a steady 28 MPG.

The gearing of the PT's are such that you get lots of low end power at a monstrous cost of poor gas mileage by modern standards. My wife's 2015 Altima gets 28 MPG around town without any effort and on a trip to SoCal last month, we averaged 40 MPG going down the highway averaging 70 MPH with 4 adults and a full trunk of luggage.

The PT's poor gas mileage along with a small gas tank makes for very frequent fillups at the gas station and about a 250-280 mile range if you don't want to run on vapors and risk damaging the fuel pump. For me, the on-board fuel mileage display is pessimistic by 1 to 1.5 MPG compared to fillup vs. odometer calculations.

Last edited by rsrocket1; 11 Sep 2018 at 01:39 pm.
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Old 11 Sep 2018, 02:00 pm
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Default Re: 02 Cruiser Fuel Economy

I came out to the Cruiser at lunch... 7.6 kms in this tank and the gauge is already off the full mark.... If that means anything...
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Old 11 Sep 2018, 02:24 pm
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Default Re: 02 Cruiser Fuel Economy

How old is your Idle Control Valve..?

My mileage on the 2.0L petrol improved when I replaced it. Not saying it's a cure-all or the improvement was astounding - but it noticeably got a bit better for whatever reason
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Old 11 Sep 2018, 02:29 pm
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Default Re: 02 Cruiser Fuel Economy

IAC will likely be original.

This car came to me with some really bad neglect.

It took me 3 hours and a hammer and chisel to get the oil filter off... no.. I'm not kidding nor exaggerating..

I'm about 90% sure I pulled the factory plugs and wires out at about 230,000 kms....

So it won't surprise me too much if I need to be replacing stuff to get better economy.
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