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2010 Forester
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All,

I am new to the forum but not new to Foresters. This is my third one. My first PZEV. For the past 10 years I've driven Foresters that gave great mileage. Pretty much around an avg of 24 with mixed driving, mostly city.

I bought the 2010 Forester PZEV in Oct 2009. Right from the dealership, we took the car 200 miles on a road trip on the highway and got 24.3mpg (computed based on filling up the tank and calculating based on trip odometer reading). After that the car is used mostly for local driving, such as driving to the kids schools and grocery store etc. A few trips a month on the highway for about 6-8 exits.

Over the winter, I got abyssmal mileage:
Nov-11.0mpg, Dec-15.5mpg, Jan-14.1mpg, Feb-14.1mpg, Feb-15.6mpg, Mar-16.4mpg

Even now:
April-15.4mpg, May-17.1mpg

Every time I fill up the tank, I get higher mileage for a while and it slowly drops as the tank empties. I try to gas up the car at a quarter tank.

I spoke with the dealership a few times about it and they offered to "run a computer" on it. They kept the car overnight, filled up the tank and drove it for a while, computed the mileage, filled up the tank again, drove it for a while and computed the mileage. They got 21.5mpg for mixed driving each time.

They claim they found nothing wrong with the car, the computer read-out was fine etc. But they did mention one little nugget of information which would have been useful if shared when I bought the car - PZEV vehicles give bad mileage in the winter because of the winter blend of gas. They are basically made to be driven with a typical blend.

Living in MA, that would have put up a red flag for me right away.

But now that we've moved back to a non-winter blend of gas (I use Sunoco, for convenience more than anything else) I am still getting very low mileage.

Does anyone else out there have a similar experience?

Did your dealership make it clear that you would get lower mileage in the winter?

I realize that I don't drive the car too much. Could it be that the PZEV engine takes longer to warm up and start performing at par, but by the time that happens, I have reached my local destination so I stop the car?

I do drive on the highway but the only time I see a rise in mileage is if I take the car out on the highway soon after gassing up. I took the car on the highway today (just before getting gas, so close to 3/4 empty) for about 7 exits going and 7 returning and the mileage rose from 17.4 to 17.7 on the instant readout. That's it. If I had done the same trip right after filling up the tank, I would have gotten higher mileage (from past experience). Is this inconsistency normal?

In any case, my 2004 Subaru (which I traded in towards this one :( ), doing the same kind of driving, was giving much higher mileage. Same driver, same commute, only difference is the vehicle.

I am quite bummed out and am unable to understand how a car producing lower emissions could be using up more gas?

I would love to hear back from anyone with a similar experience or any advice. I'm worried - Is my car a lemon?

Thanks
 

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2005 Impreza RS Wagon Auto
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3,658 Posts
-Winter mileage will always be less, 11 does sound kind of low though, I get down to 18mpg in the at the lowest.
-How many miles are on the car? The car won't get better mileage until it's past the broken period.
-Don't go by the computer mileage, start doing everything by hand, those computers are almost always wrong.
-If you look around a bit there are MANY threads on poor mileage with new Foresters.
 

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2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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4,255 Posts
YIKES!! :icon_eek: That is abysmal. :icon_frown:

For reference purposes, my '09 PZEV Forester's worst fuel economy was 19.4 mpg for all suburban driving this past January and early February. Details are here.

Right from the dealership, we took the car 200 miles on a road trip on the highway and got 24.3mpg (computed based on filling up the tank and calculating based on trip odometer reading).
Unless you know that tank was really full, this calculation might be off. You may have done better than 24.3 mpg.

But they did mention one little nugget of information which would have been useful if shared when I bought the car - PZEV vehicles give bad mileage in the winter because of the winter blend of gas. They are basically made to be driven with a typical blend.

Living in MA, that would have put up a red flag for me right away.

But now that we've moved back to a non-winter blend of gas (I use Sunoco, for convenience more than anything else) I am still getting very low mileage.

Does anyone else out there have a similar experience?

Did your dealership make it clear that you would get lower mileage in the winter?
For a variety of reasons, cars generally take a fuel economy hit in the winter. But, not like what you're describing. For example, I managed 27.8 mpg on a trip down to SC and back between Xmas and New Year's, and that was running on winter tires.

I realize that I don't drive the car too much. Could it be that the PZEV engine takes longer to warm up and start performing at par, but by the time that happens, I have reached my local destination so I stop the car.
I suspect you may be on to something here. Some questions for you:

  • Which transmission: manual or auto?
  • Does your car have the All-Weather Package (heated seats, heated mirrors, windshield wiper deicer)?
  • Is car garaged or parked outside?
  • How do you clear accumulated snow and/or ice off the car?
  • Do you let the engine idle and warm up the car before driving off?
  • Do you use the windshield defroster regularly?
  • What's the pressure in the tires?
  • What is the trip distance for runs to school and grocery store?
  • How bad is traffic when you're running your errands?
More later,
Jim / crewzer
 

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2009 Forester 2.5x
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702 Posts
Hmmmm....those are some awful mpg numbers. I'm also from MA and drive an 09 PZEV automatic. Mostly town driving, this winter I averaged an honest 20mpg. Do better on a long highway trip. Never heard anything from the dealer about the PZEV getting lousy mpg in winter. I did buy the Subaru block heater and used it all winter. Your vehicle is rated right on the sticker 20-26 mpg, is it not? If you keep getting such lousey mileage, something somewhere's out of whack. Does the engine rev like a mad when you first start it up, I mean like 2500+ rpms? If so, tap the accelerator and it will drop to a more normal idle. Good luck.
Steve
09 2.5 X AT
 

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2014 CVT
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824 Posts
if those numbers are in fact right, aka no outside factors effecting the performance, i would in fact get in touch with subaru or at least try another dealer
 

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2006 Forester
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We picked our 2010 up the last week in March with less than 20 miles on it. Mileage with that tank full and at least the next three were all 27 or better. This is in PA with many hills and trying to vary speeds as per break in method, but mostly 50 to 100 mile destinations and then the returns, so it was basically mostly highway miles. I was beginning to think I was losing my mind when the next couple of tanks were used mostly around town with frequent starts etc. and it plummeted to like 21, so I figured I really was getting that good mileage from the get go. I'd never checked the mileage on our 06 during that type of driving so I can't compare but I used to always get 26-27 on trips. I can't wait to see what it will do after it has 10,000 on it. I turned the computer on recently and it ended up that its mileage number was less than my manual calculation.
 

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2015 Forester X 6MT 6-Gear Manual
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1,373 Posts
We got 28-31 last year(09 mT), then 23-24 this winter. The fuel in the northeast now is GARBAGE and often has more than 10% ethanol. My yaris which always gets 38-41 got 31 last winter. Service stations carriers dont know how to splash blend E10 - they cant do the math ( especially if they dont know whats in the UG tank) there are ethanol test kits online - if you get bad mileage after a fillup - go back and test the fuel - and if its out report to state bureau of weights and measure or EPA or Asst Att Gen . You cat may be toast do to the ECU retarding the timing and maxing injector PW to struggle with the misblended fuel. BTW our forester gets much better mileage around town running 40-50 MPH (31) the mileage TANKS on the highway over 65 MPH (25mpg)
 

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2015 Forester X 6MT 6-Gear Manual
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Premium can help by up to 3mpg according to my wife who tracks the mileage, especially if its non-ethanol premium. Find a better gas station.
 

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2010 Forester
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2 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Hi,

Thank you everyone for your input. Atleast I feel vindicated about being unhappy with the performance.

Answers to Crewzer's Q's:

[*]Which transmission: manual or auto?
Automatic

[*]Does your car have the All-Weather Package (heated seats, heated mirrors, windshield wiper deicer)?
Nope

[*]Is car garaged or parked outside?
In a garage

[*]How do you clear accumulated snow and/or ice off the car?
Push it off with a brush

[*]Do you let the engine idle and warm up the car before driving off?
No

[*]Do you use the windshield defroster regularly?
Only when needed in the winter

[*]What's the pressure in the tires?
A half pound above what the specs say, on all 4 tires.

[*]What is the trip distance for runs to school and grocery store?
Very short. To schools is under a mile each. To grocery store or PO etc is under 2 miles each. As you can tell, I only end up filling gas about once a month.

[*]How bad is traffic when you're running your errands?
Live in suburban MA, traffic is pretty light.

Thanks
 

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2015 Forester X 6MT 6-Gear Manual
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I am quite bummed out and am unable to understand how a car producing lower emissions could be using up more gas?


Thanks
They do use more fuel - they have to run stoichiometric fuel /air ratio to keep the cats happy (low NOx/HC). They cant run Lean burn and be low emissions. Without smog constrains economy tuned cars would be getting >20% better fuel mileage.
 

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2015 Forester X 6MT 6-Gear Manual
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1,373 Posts
I think the OP needs an electric car :) I cant see the fuel mileage being over 18-21 in those short trips. Make sure you run the lighest oil the spec will allow. Hav DS or PYB 5w-30.
 

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2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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4,255 Posts
[*]Is car garaged or parked outside?
In a garage


[*]Do you use the windshield defroster regularly?
Only when needed in the winter
[*]What's the pressure in the tires?
A half pound above what the specs say, on all 4 tires.
[*]What is the trip distance for runs to school and grocery store?
Very short. To schools is under a mile each. To grocery store or PO etc is under 2 miles each. As you can tell, I only end up filling gas about once a month.
My take is that the problem lies in these areas.

In more-or-less reverse order, the short winter trips are killing your car’s mileage. There’s just not enough time for the engine to warm up to normal operating temperature. As a result, I suspect the engine is operating in “open-loop” mode, and the air-fuel mixture is probably rather rich.

Whew used, the defroster can be quire a load on the engine, as it air conditioner compressor is operating.

The cold tires are probably offering up a fair amount of rolling resistance, and they never really warm up. The tire pressure typically drops when moving the car from the garage to the outside.

Some suggestions:

Install an engine block heater to pre-warm the engine. Here’s a link to a useful report on the benefits of a block heater, and here's another link to a forum discussion. You just need to remember to unplug it before you drive away!

Increase winter tire pressure to ~4 psi or so above the “normal”. Here are some links to related topics:


However, with warmer ambient temperatures returning, you should see some improvement in fuel economy. But, the short trips will continue to be a mileage-killer, and you'll also need to follow Subaru's maintenance recommendations for specific "severe driving conditions" (i.e., repeated short distance driving, extremely cold weather?, road salt use area?).

HTH,
Jim / crewzer
 

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2010 Forester X Premium
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932 Posts
I get 19.5 mix driving and I do warm up my car every morning.
 

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2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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4,255 Posts
...and I do warm up my car every morning
Using an engine block heater or idling?

Thx,
Jim / crewzer
 

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Sahuarita, Arizona USA 2018 Forester Limited
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2,281 Posts
I, too, drive a 2010 PZEV with an automatic transmission. However, I have been been very pleased with my mpg's. I reset trip meter B when I drove my FOZ off the dealer's lot at 114 miles and have not reset it since. I currently have 3,200 miles on my vehicle and my mpg over the past 3,000+ miles is 27.3 mpg according to built-in mpg calculator. After each fill-up I reset trip A and am currently averaging 30.3 mpg on my latest tankful (just 62 miles driven thus far). I expect that the current tank's mpg will gradually fall to the low 27 mpg range as my driving mix varies.

I also manually calculate my mpg with each fill-up. My manual mpg calculations are usually less than the built-in mpg calculator, but it is close - within .5 mpg. My manual caluculations suggest that I'm averaging 26.5-27.0 mpg since I drove off the dealer lot.

I live in a relatively warm climate (southern AZ) and drive a mix of city streets, rural highways, interstate highways, and an occasional bumpy Forest Service road. However, most of my driving is on rural roads where I'm driving round 50-55mph with few stops. I'm also easy on the gas pedal.

My only complaint with my new FOZ is rattles, rattles, rattles. But that's another thread!
 

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2010 Forester 2.5X AT
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14 Posts
I live in a relatively warm climate (southern AZ) and drive a mix of city streets, rural highways, interstate highways, and an occasional bumpy Forest Service road. However, most of my driving is on rural roads where I'm driving round 50-55mph with few stops. I'm also easy on the gas pedal.

My only complaint with my new FOZ is rattles, rattles, rattles. But that's another thread!
My new 2010 Forester AT is almost 3000 miles here in SoCal. My morning commute is 4 miles of city traffic, 8 miles of freeway (65-70MPH). I average about 23-24MPG when I don't do any side trips and just do my normal commute. This is in line with what I'd expect.

However, I have noticed that my Forester's MPG rises dramatically on rural roads. When I'm going about 50MPH or so, I routinely get 27MPG on average. On freeways at "highway" speeds, its about 26, right on the mark for the EPA estimate.

My conclusion is the Forester is *very* sensitive to speed with regards to MPG.

And yes, I agree with the rattles. I hit a dirt road with washboarding and the rattle in the back gate was exceptionally annoying. Not sure if its a "problem" per se. On a regular bumpy dirt road, the rattles and squeaks are acceptable.
 

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2010 Forester X
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4 Posts
Hi,

I bought my 2010 Forester about 3 weeks ago. I have gotten 27mpg with a mixture of Local and Highway mileage. The past week I have been doing local (Town) driving and I got 22mpg. The car has just passes 1000 miles so I expect it to get better soon.

Just my 2 cents , oh by the way its an Auto

Glyn
 

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2010 Forester 2.5X
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38 Posts
Forester mpg

I've had my 2010 Forester PZEV for 2 weeks and it gets great mpg so far. Around town - 25mpg...........highway - 30mpg. When the motor gets broke in they say i'll get even better mpg.
 
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