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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-09-2008, 02:25 AM Thread Starter
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Horrible MPG on a 2002 Intrepid ES???

I just got a 2002 Intrepid ES and I read online that it has an 18 gallon tank and the low fuel light comes on when there are 2 gallons left. So, I filled up the tank and will see how many miles I get until the low fuel light comes on. I am SHOCKED to see the MPG is much worse than advertised. I have only gotten about 80 miles and the tank is already pretty close to halfway point!!

I estimate that I'll get about 100 miles by the time I reach the halfway point and then IF I get another 100 by the time it reaches the low fuel light then that will only be about 200 miles from 16 gallons used! That's only about 12 MPG!! HOW can it be so AWFUL???

I am now doing driving mostly in the subarbs but I should be getting 18 to 20 MPG!! Is the fuel tank capacity not 18 gallons or what?? WHAT on earth could be causing such horrible fuel efficiency???

Last edited by Thundersnow; 01-09-2008 at 02:29 AM.
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-09-2008, 03:13 AM
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Any trouble codes?
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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-09-2008, 09:17 AM
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The listed capacity of the tank is 16 gallons. I'm not sure how accurate that is b/c i'll run mine pretty low at times and even then the tank won't take anywhere near 16 gallons. Otherwise, change the spark plugs and air filter to make sure they're up to par. An aftermarket intake may net you a couple more mpg's and certainly some more power.
My '02 3.5L, if i behave, averages about 20mpg and that's with an intake, K&N filter, and a Magnaflow exhaust. I also run Royal Purple full synthetic oil...not that it should make a whole lot of difference when it comes to mileage. Check the basics and go from there.
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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-09-2008, 09:37 AM
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I would wait until you actually put fuel back into the car and calculate the mileage from that. Do that at least twice before panicking.
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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-09-2008, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCE2WIN View Post
The listed capacity of the tank is 16 gallons. I'm not sure how accurate that is b/c i'll run mine pretty low at times and even then the tank won't take anywhere near 16 gallons. Otherwise, change the spark plugs and air filter to make sure they're up to par. An aftermarket intake may net you a couple more mpg's and certainly some more power.
My '02 3.5L, if i behave, averages about 20mpg and that's with an intake, K&N filter, and a Magnaflow exhaust. I also run Royal Purple full synthetic oil...not that it should make a whole lot of difference when it comes to mileage. Check the basics and go from there.
So the capacity of the fuel tank is 16 gallons and not 18 and there is about 2 gallons left when the low fuel indicator light comes on so that still means I'm only getting about 14 mpg. What is an aftermarket intake? How much would an intake, K&N filter, and a Magnaflow exhaust cost me labor included unless I could do it on my own?

Of course, I shouldn't have to spend a penny because I should be getting the 18 to 20 mpg that is listed for the Intrepid ES or at least very close to it.

Last edited by Thundersnow; 01-09-2008 at 10:47 AM.
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-09-2008, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Texsox View Post
I would wait until you actually put fuel back into the car and calculate the mileage from that. Do that at least twice before panicking.

So, like RCE said you think my capacity is not even 16 gallons. That would help explain things somewhat but shouldn't the fuel tank capacity be standard on all 2002 Intrepid ES cars so we shouldn't have this wavering from car to car, you know?

And I have no trouble codes. I'm assuming I would get trouble codes from a warning light or "service vehicle soon" light but I don't have any of those.
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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-09-2008, 10:39 AM
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doesnt your ES have the OTIS, if so what is it reading for average MPG?
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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-09-2008, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
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doesnt your ES have the OTIS, if so what is it reading for average MPG?
What is the OTIS and how do I check if I have it?
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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-09-2008, 10:49 AM
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the OTIS is an overhead vehicle information thing, it would be where your maplights are if you have one.

looks like this

Last edited by K9; 01-09-2008 at 10:52 AM.
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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-09-2008, 11:40 AM
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I have an 02 ES and when I drain my tank I get about 14 gallons into it. I am averaging 17 mpg right now on strictly city driving (very short drives less than 5 miles on average). I believe the low fuel light actually comes on when your distance to empty is ~20 miles left.
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post #11 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-09-2008, 01:11 PM
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Hmm....

I get 27 mpg @ 65 mph Maybe 20 mpg in the city.
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post #12 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-09-2008, 01:31 PM
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Well... you have a problem somewhere.. that's for sure. I have a 2000 ES 3.2 and always get 18-19 mpg 100% city driving.

Good luck and keep us posted on what was your problem.

Regards.
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post #13 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-09-2008, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thundersnow View Post
...shouldn't the fuel tank capacity be standard on all 2002 Intrepid ES cars so we shouldn't have this wavering from car to car, you know?
There are tolerance variatons on everything (tank volume, fuel level sender, etc.). There's no reason for the manufacturer to spend money to maintain a tight tolerance on the fuel tank capacity and where "empty" is on the gage.

Like has been said, calculate it from what you actually put back in it to bring it back to full - not what the nominal capacity of the tank is. Stated capacity and amount left after gage reads "E" are ball park figures. Calculating from what you put in to refill would also be more accurate than the OTIS or EVIC readings, especially if you are consistent from one tankful to the next on how you fill it (i.e., when you stop filling, if you top off, etc.).


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post #14 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-09-2008, 08:32 PM
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How many miles are on it? If it has over 70K, consider replacing the spark plugs.

Check the air filter.
Check your tires.

At the next fillup, run a big bottle of Techron Concentrate Plus in the gas. Add it right before you fill up at the station so it mixes with the fuel. This cleans deposits out of the engine which might help out.

Watch where you get your gas....buy Top Tier certified fuels. It costs hardly anything extra. Go to www.toptiergas.com for a list of stations that sell it. Top Tier fuels produce less deposits in your engine, which helps with your mileage.

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post #15 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-10-2008, 12:19 AM
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I can't believe that no one has mentioned seafoam!!

About once a week someone does a gas milage thread. I always recommend seafoam, because I did it on my concorde, and my milage went from 15 city to 20-21 city.

That is a huge improvement.

It also makes your idle smoother and stuff like that. I posted a previous thread about this, which tells how to do it and stuff like that --

http://www.dodgeintrepid.net/forums/...ad.php?t=96046

Look at post #12 for specific procedure.
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