Gas Mileage Question

pawprint1August 29, 2005

I have a 2005 Nissan Altima, 2.5 SL 175 hp I4. 4,300 miles, 5 months old. The label says it should get 23 city and 29 highway.

The best I can get is 23. This is with ¾ highway driving. Are the city/highway numbers on the label accurate?


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These cars are much heavier and a lot more powerful than the more practical cars of out Father's day..

Under ideal conditions (nigh impossible) you can hit 29.
This would be at over 90% cruising at 50 to 60 mph , the legal limit - lol lol ..
The only cars economical with the use of fuel are the Diesels - and our EPA is trying to do away with them !!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2005 at 10:43AM
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The EPA numbers come from a very specific test cycle that is almost completely unlike the way anyone really drives. So it's no big surprise that your numbers are different (not necessarily lower, just different).

So much depends on how you drive. You get the best mileage when you understand how engines work most efficiently. Most of them work more efficiently when they're closer to full throttle. This doesn't mean "floor it," but take advantage of that by getting into high gear as soon as possible. Even if you have an automatic transmission, you can "game" it a little bit by getting above the shift point (read your manual) and letting up on the accelerator a bit.

A very even foot on the throttle helps, too. Many people don't do this and the fluctuation of throttle positions costs mileage. Get to the right speed quickly and keep an even foot on the throttle, not a 100% even speed on the speedometer. There are other little things you can do, like using the A/C and heater less when the engine is cold, anticipating stops and coasting more, etc.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2005 at 10:56AM
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I agree, the EPA mileage numbers come from a specific and uniform test program, so while they provide a fair comparision they may not reflect your mileage.

I have a record of getting the best gas mileage, my wife does not and I can tell why on the few occassion I ride with her driving. She tend to let off the gas at the last moment when approaching a stop and tends to accelerate much faster than I do. I have a new Chevy with only a few hundred miles on it, third tank of gas, it has the 2.8L I4, with a manual 5 speed. I looks like I'll get or beat the EPA, running about 25 mpg now driving around the rural area I live in, not much highway driving yet. I'll get about 30 on the highway, I believe.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2005 at 2:54PM
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The EPA numbers do come from a specific test cycle, but that cycle is fairly well designed and is supposed to simulate "average" driving.

What I would do if this were my car is fill it up sometime right before I took a highway trip and calculate the mileage on strictly highway driving. That way you eliminate a lot of the variables that could be throwing off the numbers you're coming up with now. My guess is if you drive 60 - 70 mph and make a reasonable attempt to drive in an efficient manner, you'll get the 29 mpg the EPA says you will.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2005 at 9:27PM
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As your car should've 'broken-in' - I would try highway using cruise control. Set your cruise control at 70 or 75 (whatever works in your terrain) and monitor the computer on gas consumption.

I agree with cowboy - EPA is typical driving as I got better mileage vs. EPA specifications on two vehicles. (34 mpg on a 30 mpg car at 75 mph).

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 12:44PM
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I have a 2005 Altima 2.5S (Don't know about the "L"), but it has the same engine. A common mistake some make with the auto transmission shift lever is to put it into "3" instead of "D". The shift lever moves from side to side when in "3" to engage/disengage overdrive. "D" should show in the instrument panel indicator instead of "3" when in overdrive. You will have considerably more RPMs in "3" than in "D" and use more gas. I get about 24 MPG strictly around town and have gotten 30 MPH strictly highway. Mixed driving gets about 25 MPG. BTW, I have ~5,200 miles on mine. My wife only used "3" the first few times she drove the car and I only noticed it when I was with her. Hopefully, this is your problem.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 3:51PM
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Don't use cruise control unless you're on a board-flat road for quite a distance. On roads that go up and down grades, even a little, cruise control will increase throttle to maintain the speed and change throttle again to slow you down once you're over the peak; if you were controlling the throttle manually, you would just let a few miles per hour scrub off on the way up the grade and maybe gain it on the way down. Of course, we're not talking mountain passes here and you need to account for traffic right behind you. But unless you can't do anything but dance on the accelerator, cruise control will not hold as steady a throttle as you can.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2005 at 11:26PM
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Tom: The SL is the fully loaded leather addition. Could be heavier.
No, I make sure it's in D, but I know what your taking about. Made that mistake first week. The notchy gear shift is weird.

I do run the A/C all the time. My allergies are just so bad I can't have windows open. I also keep the tank close to full, which adds extra weight. That could be it.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2005 at 9:18AM
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With a mix of highway and city I got 25 miles to the gallon this week! I'm trying to drive a bit slower.
Getting a front end alignment tomorrow. The car only has 4,300 miles, but it pulls to the left. That might be wasting gas too.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2005 at 12:37PM
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WTF are you saying ? What does Fathers Day have to do with it ?

    Bookmark   September 2, 2005 at 2:47PM
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Carguy64 Just ignore him, as he loves to pretend he's the "Car Guru". What he doesn't know could stock a Library.
Welcome to the forum, I see that you're in the South. Were you affected by the Hurricane ? Take care.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2005 at 3:10AM
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A lot depends on the driver too... I have a 1991 Marquis and get 24 to 25 MPG but when my hubby used it for a week he only got 15 MPG.... ( city driving in both cases ) He has a heavy foot... LOL


    Bookmark   September 6, 2005 at 4:28AM
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Economy published in advertisements and sales literature is usually the best that the said vehicle can accomplish, like a steady 56mph or a vicar driving round town. Who in the real world drives round like that? Cartainly not my local vicar! He had a 3 litre Ford Capri and used every one of those 3,000 cubic centimeters.

Best thing you can do to minimise fuel costs is improve your observation, so if you see red lights or slowing traffic way ahead, ease off the gas now. Not only will you use less fuel but your brake pads will last longer. Also, as you get down to a quarter of a tankful left, check the prices as you drive to work so you know which is the cheapest to fill up at on your way home. Sounds simple but judging by the hundreds who fill up at the rip off forecourts many are either blind, stupid or both.

And there is some good news re fuel prices. It was announced here today that one of Ireland's retailers is to cut prices at the pumps by 5 cent per litre as the cost of a barrel of crude stabilises.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2005 at 8:21PM
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I believe he meant "father's day" as in "the period of time in which our fathers grew up", not the holiday. The word "day" can refer to a period of time, like so:

In it's day, the 5.25" floppy drive was a welcome alternative to the cassette tape then commonly used for data storage.

As far as fuel economy 1996 Ford Contour is EPA rated for 31MPG highway MPG with a 170HP V6 and I can regularly do better than that. I have a Scanguage which is a trip computer that plugs into the OBD-II port and tells me the fuel economy I'm getting. The highest I've managed to get so far is 38.5MPG (on a 50-mile trip on mostly 55MPH 2-lane country roads).

The only, ONLY time I've ever gotten as low as the 21 city rating is when I've gotten stuck in stop-and-go rush hour traffic.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2005 at 8:36PM
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