Poor Gas Mileage

courtesy of Bob, The Auto Answer Man

Hi Bob,
I recently bought a 2005 Honda Odyssey EX. The mileage estimated was 19/25. I have driven it about 900 miles. The mileage that it has given until now has been disappointing. In the city, it gave between 13 and 14 mpg. On another fill up with half the miles on a flat highway, it gave only 17 mpg. My concern is that something is wrong with my van for it to be so far off the advertised mileage.

I live in Duluth, MN. City driving involves going up and down a few hills. Rarely is it possible to drive faster than 40 mph. Do I need to worry about the mileage this van is giving me? Will it improve? The dealership and Honda tell me that the advertised mileage is only an EPA estimate under lab conditions and not tested on every vehicle.

Well, I suggest that you visit FuelEconomy.gov for an explanation of the numbers and how the tests are performed that are displayed on the window sticker. Your mileage will vary from those shown on the label. Some things that would affect your fuel economy are driving habits, terrain, vehicle loading, and the season.

Most states use a winter fuel in the colder months. This fuel gives better emissions characteristics at the expense of fuel economy. The traffic you drive in and ascending hills can also affect your economy. Also, in the morning, how long do you let the car warm up before you leave? That extended idle period also uses fuel.
Good Luck!
Drive Safely!
Bob, The Auto Answer Man

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