2004 Camry: 15 MPG

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Old 26 Aug 2006, 10:28 pm   #1 (permalink)
ania bibikova
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Default 2004 Camry: 15 MPG

Hi,

I have a 2004 Camry, 4 cyl PZEV; it doesn't have any apparent problems, was
well kept and has 9,300 miles . I drove it for the last 1000 miles (for 3
months), mostly for short trips of 1-10 miles a day. I monitor MPG closely
and every time I fill the tank it comes down to about 15.5 mpg. Once I took
it for a spin on a freeway (about 300 miles) and it was about 17 mpg. I use
up 1/2 to 3/4 of the tank before refilling, and it never gives better than
17 mpg. I tried all kinds of fuel with no difference to be noted. This is
very frustrating, as the nominal mpg quoted is always 20 city / 29 highway
for this Camry.

I took the car to the dealership, they said they couldn't find anything
wrong with it and basically didn't want to do anything. They said 17 mpg is
fine, "that's the nature of the beast" and all that crap.

I had rear tires underinflated for a while, then corrected that, but it
didn't affect the gas mileage. I don't drive aggressively, but I mostly
drive short distances, maybe that's the reason? But I drove 300 miles on a
freeway once and it still got only 17 mpg... I suppose PZEV thechnology may
cost me some gas due to higher outbound (or whatever it's called) pressure ,
but not that much - that would kinda defeat the purpose..

Anybody, can you share your insights? Any comments?

Thanks,
Sergiy


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Old 26 Aug 2006, 10:57 pm   #2 (permalink)
Mark A
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Default Re: 2004 Camry: 15 MPG

"ania bibikova" <anchik1@hotmail.com> wrote in message
newsj8Ig.1389$Xl5.1333@trnddc06...
> Hi,
>
> I have a 2004 Camry, 4 cyl PZEV; it doesn't have any apparent problems,
> was well kept and has 9,300 miles . I drove it for the last 1000 miles
> (for 3 months), mostly for short trips of 1-10 miles a day. I monitor MPG
> closely and every time I fill the tank it comes down to about 15.5 mpg.
> Once I took it for a spin on a freeway (about 300 miles) and it was about
> 17 mpg. I use up 1/2 to 3/4 of the tank before refilling, and it never
> gives better than 17 mpg. I tried all kinds of fuel with no difference to
> be noted. This is very frustrating, as the nominal mpg quoted is always 20
> city / 29 highway for this Camry.
>
> I took the car to the dealership, they said they couldn't find anything
> wrong with it and basically didn't want to do anything. They said 17 mpg
> is fine, "that's the nature of the beast" and all that crap.
>
> I had rear tires underinflated for a while, then corrected that, but it
> didn't affect the gas mileage. I don't drive aggressively, but I mostly
> drive short distances, maybe that's the reason? But I drove 300 miles on a
> freeway once and it still got only 17 mpg... I suppose PZEV thechnology
> may cost me some gas due to higher outbound (or whatever it's called)
> pressure , but not that much - that would kinda defeat the purpose..
>
> Anybody, can you share your insights? Any comments?
>
> Thanks,
> Sergiy


Sound like poor gas mileage to me. Try using a better brand of gasoline, and
maybe even try one tank of mid-grade. Switch to Mobil 1 Full Synthetic 5W-30
oil.


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Old 27 Aug 2006, 01:05 am   #3 (permalink)
sqdancerLynn
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Default Re: 2004 Camry: 15 MPG

Check he brakes & make sure they are not draging
esp the front calapers

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Old 27 Aug 2006, 01:58 am   #4 (permalink)
johngdole@hotmail.com
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Default Re: 2004 Camry: 15 MPG

Yeah, heard this a number of times. People getting low MPGs for no
apparent reason. If the dealer can't find the problem, they'll tell you
its normal. Some models were affected by bad oxygen sensors. The bad
sensors junk the catalytic converters in some cases. If not dragging
brakes maybe bad sensors that haven't been setting the MIL light. Give
Toyota HQ a call and see if they can help.


ania bibikova wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I have a 2004 Camry, 4 cyl PZEV; it doesn't have any apparent problems, was
> well kept and has 9,300 miles . I drove it for the last 1000 miles (for 3
> months), mostly for short trips of 1-10 miles a day. I monitor MPG closely
> and every time I fill the tank it comes down to about 15.5 mpg. Once I took
> it for a spin on a freeway (about 300 miles) and it was about 17 mpg. I use
> up 1/2 to 3/4 of the tank before refilling, and it never gives better than
> 17 mpg. I tried all kinds of fuel with no difference to be noted. This is
> very frustrating, as the nominal mpg quoted is always 20 city / 29 highway
> for this Camry.
>
> I took the car to the dealership, they said they couldn't find anything
> wrong with it and basically didn't want to do anything. They said 17 mpg is
> fine, "that's the nature of the beast" and all that crap.
>
> I had rear tires underinflated for a while, then corrected that, but it
> didn't affect the gas mileage. I don't drive aggressively, but I mostly
> drive short distances, maybe that's the reason? But I drove 300 miles on a
> freeway once and it still got only 17 mpg... I suppose PZEV thechnology may
> cost me some gas due to higher outbound (or whatever it's called) pressure ,
> but not that much - that would kinda defeat the purpose..
>
> Anybody, can you share your insights? Any comments?
>
> Thanks,
> Sergiy


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Old 27 Aug 2006, 03:09 am   #5 (permalink)
mack
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Default Re: 2004 Camry: 15 MPG


<johngdole@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1156661885.793250.93870@p79g2000cwp.googlegro ups.com...
> Yeah, heard this a number of times. People getting low MPGs for no
> apparent reason. If the dealer can't find the problem, they'll tell you
> its normal. Some models were affected by bad oxygen sensors. The bad
> sensors junk the catalytic converters in some cases. If not dragging
> brakes maybe bad sensors that haven't been setting the MIL light. Give
> Toyota HQ a call and see if they can help.
>
>
> ania bibikova wrote:
>> Hi,
>>
>> I have a 2004 Camry, 4 cyl PZEV; it doesn't have any apparent problems,
>> was
>> well kept and has 9,300 miles . I drove it for the last 1000 miles (for 3
>> months), mostly for short trips of 1-10 miles a day. I monitor MPG
>> closely
>> and every time I fill the tank it comes down to about 15.5 mpg. Once I
>> took
>> it for a spin on a freeway (about 300 miles) and it was about 17 mpg. I
>> use
>> up 1/2 to 3/4 of the tank before refilling, and it never gives better
>> than
>> 17 mpg. I tried all kinds of fuel with no difference to be noted. This is
>> very frustrating, as the nominal mpg quoted is always 20 city / 29
>> highway
>> for this Camry.
>>
>> I took the car to the dealership, they said they couldn't find anything
>> wrong with it and basically didn't want to do anything. They said 17 mpg
>> is
>> fine, "that's the nature of the beast" and all that crap.
>>
>> I had rear tires underinflated for a while, then corrected that, but it
>> didn't affect the gas mileage. I don't drive aggressively, but I mostly
>> drive short distances, maybe that's the reason? But I drove 300 miles on
>> a
>> freeway once and it still got only 17 mpg... I suppose PZEV thechnology
>> may
>> cost me some gas due to higher outbound (or whatever it's called)
>> pressure ,
>> but not that much - that would kinda defeat the purpose..
>>
>> Anybody, can you share your insights? Any comments?
>>
>> Thanks,
>> Sergiy

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My '97 4 cyl. camry has gotten as much as 35 mpg on the highway (on flat
ground, 65-70 mph with cruise control on) and usually gets 15-22 around
town. Your mileage is so poor that it must be either in the engine or
brakes or extremely low tire pressure. Don't let the dealer's people tell
you it's normal, because it isn't anywhere near normal....you should get
that kind of mileage towing a house trailer uphill!


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Old 27 Aug 2006, 07:13 am   #6 (permalink)
Bassplayer12
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Default Re: 2004 Camry: 15 MPG

There a re number of things to look at. Like some other people mentioned,
brakes could be dragging, O2 sensors might have gone bad, catalytic
converter, plugs, air filter, thermostat, etc. Cleaning the injectors at a
reputable shop might help.
If you mileage WAS good and has gone that bad, and your mechanic can't find
anything, go somewhere else.
17 mpg is not normal.

"ania bibikova" <anchik1@hotmail.com> wrote in message
newsj8Ig.1389$Xl5.1333@trnddc06...
> Hi,
>
> I have a 2004 Camry, 4 cyl PZEV; it doesn't have any apparent problems,
> was well kept and has 9,300 miles . I drove it for the last 1000 miles
> (for 3 months), mostly for short trips of 1-10 miles a day. I monitor MPG
> closely and every time I fill the tank it comes down to about 15.5 mpg.
> Once I took it for a spin on a freeway (about 300 miles) and it was about
> 17 mpg. I use up 1/2 to 3/4 of the tank before refilling, and it never
> gives better than 17 mpg. I tried all kinds of fuel with no difference to
> be noted. This is very frustrating, as the nominal mpg quoted is always 20
> city / 29 highway for this Camry.
>
> I took the car to the dealership, they said they couldn't find anything
> wrong with it and basically didn't want to do anything. They said 17 mpg
> is fine, "that's the nature of the beast" and all that crap.
>
> I had rear tires underinflated for a while, then corrected that, but it
> didn't affect the gas mileage. I don't drive aggressively, but I mostly
> drive short distances, maybe that's the reason? But I drove 300 miles on a
> freeway once and it still got only 17 mpg... I suppose PZEV thechnology
> may cost me some gas due to higher outbound (or whatever it's called)
> pressure , but not that much - that would kinda defeat the purpose..
>
> Anybody, can you share your insights? Any comments?
>
> Thanks,
> Sergiy
>



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Old 27 Aug 2006, 02:12 pm   #7 (permalink)
Wolfgang
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Default Re: 2004 Camry: 15 MPG

Do you happen to drive with one foot on the brake and other on the
gas? -- don't laugh I see a lot of cars going 50 mph with rear brake lights
on. Try inflating tires a few pounds over the "comfort" setting in the
glove box. If indeed trips are that short it never gets hot enough to
operate efficiently. Also check to ensure OD kicks in on transmission vice
the "power" setting.

"ania bibikova" <anchik1@hotmail.com> wrote in message
newsj8Ig.1389$Xl5.1333@trnddc06...
> Hi,
>
> I have a 2004 Camry, 4 cyl PZEV; it doesn't have any apparent problems,
> was well kept and has 9,300 miles . I drove it for the last 1000 miles
> (for 3 months), mostly for short trips of 1-10 miles a day. I monitor MPG
> closely and every time I fill the tank it comes down to about 15.5 mpg.
> Once I took it for a spin on a freeway (about 300 miles) and it was about
> 17 mpg. I use up 1/2 to 3/4 of the tank before refilling, and it never
> gives better than 17 mpg. I tried all kinds of fuel with no difference to
> be noted. This is very frustrating, as the nominal mpg quoted is always 20
> city / 29 highway for this Camry.
>
> I took the car to the dealership, they said they couldn't find anything
> wrong with it and basically didn't want to do anything. They said 17 mpg
> is fine, "that's the nature of the beast" and all that crap.
>
> I had rear tires underinflated for a while, then corrected that, but it
> didn't affect the gas mileage. I don't drive aggressively, but I mostly
> drive short distances, maybe that's the reason? But I drove 300 miles on a
> freeway once and it still got only 17 mpg... I suppose PZEV thechnology
> may cost me some gas due to higher outbound (or whatever it's called)
> pressure , but not that much - that would kinda defeat the purpose..
>
> Anybody, can you share your insights? Any comments?
>
> Thanks,
> Sergiy
>



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Old 27 Aug 2006, 04:16 pm   #8 (permalink)
harry
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Default Re: 2004 Camry: 15 MPG

One of my friend's Camry had the same problem and he solved it by putting
name brand "premium" gas. Give it a try.


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Old 28 Aug 2006, 10:47 am   #9 (permalink)
Daniel
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Default Re: 2004 Camry: 15 MPG

ania bibikova wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I have a 2004 Camry, 4 cyl PZEV; it doesn't have any apparent problems, was
> well kept and has 9,300 miles .

I use
> up 1/2 to 3/4 of the tank before refilling

===========================
The problem is most likely that you're driving less than 5,000 miles
per year, plus you mentioned doing a lot of city driving.
When you're powering the car with gasoline, it isn't actually the
gasoline that ignites -- it is the vapor. When the car is first
started, the engine is cold and the gasoline doesn't vaporize as
readily as it does when the engine is hot, so the computer adjusts the
mixture to put more fuel into the combustion chambers which reduces
your overall mileage quite a bit. Even when the temperature gauge comes
up, that's the water temperature, the automatic transmission oil takes
about ten miles of driving to warm up. So you use more "gas" when the
engine is "cold."
Also, when the engine is running "rich" to compensate for less fuel
vaporization when cold, there's a greater chance for unburned fuel to
accumulate. These are called unburned hydrocarbons and can coat the
inside of the combustion chamber and top of the piston.
Some people think lots of idling and slow driving in the city is easy
on the engine because you're not driving very fast, but actually,
because the engine is under load at low speed when idling it puts more
stress and wear on the parts and combustion tends to be less efficient.
Then because the car spends a lot of time not being driven, the
volatile organic compounds in the gasoline which are the part that
ignites, can evaporate off, leaving a less efficient fuel.
Additionally, you tend to fill up at half empty, so half the old fuel
stays in the tank each time.
If it were me, I'd try running the tank down close to empty, and adding
a bottle of Redline complete fuel system cleaner, then adding a name
brand gasoline like Chevron. I would not use other so call injector
cleaners that can contain harsh solvents.
I would also change the engine oil if it is not already clean looking
on the dipstick. Cars that are driven infrequently can accumulate
moisture in the oil which turns the oil acidic.
Then get the car thoroughly warmed up by driving fifteen to twenty
minutes and try the "Italian tune up" by finding a highway with a hill
and accelerating up the hill at 3/4 to full throttle for a couple of
minutes. If you have an automatic transmission the computer will
automatically prevent the engine from turning too fast, but this will
help open up the injector flow rate, and perhaps break loose any
accumulated soft carbon.
By using stale fuel, mostly cold engine operation, and lots of short
trips in the city, you're actually putting the car under some of the
most difficult conditions, so by allowing it to reach full operating
temperature, get out and "stretch its legs" I'm quite certain you will
notice an improvement.
Another old mechanics trick that you may wish to entertain is "water
injection."
Get a low pressure garden sprayer with a pump handle and fill with one
quart of distilled water.
Bring the engine up to normal operating temperature, so it is fully
warmed up by driving at least fifteen to twenty minutes.
Then turn off the engine and remove the air intake hose (usually a
single clamp at the throttle body).
Restart the engine, and by using your hand on the throttle cable, keep
it at a fast idle while slowly spraying a water mist into the throttle
opening.
The water will turn to steam when it enter the engine, chemically steam
cleaning carbon by turning the H20 to H2 and CO which is hydrogen gas
and carbon monoxide, that is the carbon combines with the oxygen so
you're left with a cleaner combustion chamber. You will see white steam
exiting the tail pipe during the process, and if you are releasing a
lot of unburned hydrocarbons the catalytic converter may heat up
additionally. If you had actually accumulated enough carbon to cause
the compression ring to "stick" this procedure will be even more
beneficial.
Obviously this is "usenet" advice and I'm not responsible for any
damage or injury.

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Old 25 Sep 2006, 02:02 am   #10 (permalink)
Sergiy Migdalskiy
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Default Re: 2004 Camry: 15 MPG

Hi,

Thanks a lot for so detailed recommendations!

Well, I refilled the gas tank with another brand of gas and went on a
300-mile trip and it yielded 26.5 mpg, which I was pleased with. I went 50
miles in the city, 250 on freeways. And if I take into account that those 50
miles probably yielded 17 mpg, the freeway miles really were 29 (even 29.4)
mpg, which is in line with the official figures.

So it's probably the harsh driving conditions (all-city, always cold engine,
low speeds) that cause my 15-16 mpg.

Cheers,
Sergiy


"Daniel" <nospampls2002@yahoo.com> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
news:1156780024.264796.83970@h48g2000cwc.googlegro ups.com...
> ania bibikova wrote:
>> Hi,
>>
>> I have a 2004 Camry, 4 cyl PZEV; it doesn't have any apparent problems,
>> was
>> well kept and has 9,300 miles .

> I use
>> up 1/2 to 3/4 of the tank before refilling

> ===========================
> The problem is most likely that you're driving less than 5,000 miles
> per year, plus you mentioned doing a lot of city driving.
> When you're powering the car with gasoline, it isn't actually the
> gasoline that ignites -- it is the vapor. When the car is first
> started, the engine is cold and the gasoline doesn't vaporize as
> readily as it does when the engine is hot, so the computer adjusts the
> mixture to put more fuel into the combustion chambers which reduces
> your overall mileage quite a bit. Even when the temperature gauge comes
> up, that's the water temperature, the automatic transmission oil takes
> about ten miles of driving to warm up. So you use more "gas" when the
> engine is "cold."
> Also, when the engine is running "rich" to compensate for less fuel
> vaporization when cold, there's a greater chance for unburned fuel to
> accumulate. These are called unburned hydrocarbons and can coat the
> inside of the combustion chamber and top of the piston.
> Some people think lots of idling and slow driving in the city is easy
> on the engine because you're not driving very fast, but actually,
> because the engine is under load at low speed when idling it puts more
> stress and wear on the parts and combustion tends to be less efficient.
> Then because the car spends a lot of time not being driven, the
> volatile organic compounds in the gasoline which are the part that
> ignites, can evaporate off, leaving a less efficient fuel.
> Additionally, you tend to fill up at half empty, so half the old fuel
> stays in the tank each time.
> If it were me, I'd try running the tank down close to empty, and adding
> a bottle of Redline complete fuel system cleaner, then adding a name
> brand gasoline like Chevron. I would not use other so call injector
> cleaners that can contain harsh solvents.
> I would also change the engine oil if it is not already clean looking
> on the dipstick. Cars that are driven infrequently can accumulate
> moisture in the oil which turns the oil acidic.
> Then get the car thoroughly warmed up by driving fifteen to twenty
> minutes and try the "Italian tune up" by finding a highway with a hill
> and accelerating up the hill at 3/4 to full throttle for a couple of
> minutes. If you have an automatic transmission the computer will
> automatically prevent the engine from turning too fast, but this will
> help open up the injector flow rate, and perhaps break loose any
> accumulated soft carbon.
> By using stale fuel, mostly cold engine operation, and lots of short
> trips in the city, you're actually putting the car under some of the
> most difficult conditions, so by allowing it to reach full operating
> temperature, get out and "stretch its legs" I'm quite certain you will
> notice an improvement.
> Another old mechanics trick that you may wish to entertain is "water
> injection."
> Get a low pressure garden sprayer with a pump handle and fill with one
> quart of distilled water.
> Bring the engine up to normal operating temperature, so it is fully
> warmed up by driving at least fifteen to twenty minutes.
> Then turn off the engine and remove the air intake hose (usually a
> single clamp at the throttle body).
> Restart the engine, and by using your hand on the throttle cable, keep
> it at a fast idle while slowly spraying a water mist into the throttle
> opening.
> The water will turn to steam when it enter the engine, chemically steam
> cleaning carbon by turning the H20 to H2 and CO which is hydrogen gas
> and carbon monoxide, that is the carbon combines with the oxygen so
> you're left with a cleaner combustion chamber. You will see white steam
> exiting the tail pipe during the process, and if you are releasing a
> lot of unburned hydrocarbons the catalytic converter may heat up
> additionally. If you had actually accumulated enough carbon to cause
> the compression ring to "stick" this procedure will be even more
> beneficial.
> Obviously this is "usenet" advice and I'm not responsible for any
> damage or injury.
>



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