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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 12-29-2012, 07:00 PM   #1
chrism24
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Fuel economy

I've been reading around and it seems to me that other people on the forum are getting their mpg in the mid to high 20's. I have an 05 325i and in the city I average around 15-16 and highway 18-19. Why is this? I'm a "spirited" driver but its not like I thrash it, so what could be causing such low mpg?
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Old 12-29-2012, 07:10 PM   #2
shovelit
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Lots of hills and such in Colorado?
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Old 12-29-2012, 07:13 PM   #3
chrism24
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Haha you'd think so from that mpg but honestly where I live and do most of my driving its relatively flat and no more hilly than where I used to live in California and the mpg was higher there so...
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Old 12-29-2012, 07:23 PM   #4
shovelit
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I'm getting about 18-19 around town here but it's awful hilly and I have an xi.
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Old 12-29-2012, 07:33 PM   #5
TArse
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I averaged 29 on the way to NC (600mi drive) a few weeks ago
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Old 12-29-2012, 07:35 PM   #6
chrism24
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Wow I'm jealous
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:09 PM   #7
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What elevation are you at in Colorado?

Might be Winter fuel blends?

First change gas station and blend and see what values you get by manually calculating mileage.

Make sure your thermostat is good, see 3rd link in my signature, display coolant temp on OBC display, should be around 95C.

DISA and VANOS seals play into mileage as well.

For DISA info, see first link in my signature.
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Solve your misfires, lean codes, rough idle - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616

Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

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Old 12-29-2012, 08:14 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by TArse View Post
I averaged 29 on the way to NC (600mi drive) a few weeks ago
I consistantly do better than 30 on the highway on trips in sixth gear, so the OP mileage is low.
Drive like grandpa for a while to test if you can see an improvement. If you can!

Last edited by Stinger9; 12-29-2012 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:18 PM   #9
sfcjetjr
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65 cruise control on highway 430 a tank. City driving, 320 or so. I live in flat a$$ Florida.
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:20 PM   #10
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On the highway, you should be somewhere around 35 mpg at an avg speed of around 70. I get 34.5 in fifth...ymmv slightly...and should be slightly better.

Start with thermostat...bet you're showing a little to the left of dead center on a cruise. Shows it's broken open and will rob mpg.

Fuel filter also will take mpgs.

Then other basics, maybe ignored...air filter, plugs (at 100K miles), and then, there's the odd malfunction that seems to hold the brakes on...e-brake sometimes binds...(some odd ball things like this happen rarely, but they happen).

Start with basic tune up stuff and go from there. Get codes read too...oh, and you could have an air leak too...almost everyone does...and when the car sees it's running lean, it adds fuel...lower intake boot is one common leak...but check as many vac lines as you can...look beneath cabin air filter housing behind intake manifold.

see jfoj's sig
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:23 PM   #11
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Tire pressure, file filter, and air filter play a big role. Also check your lower intake boot because its probably cracked. They aren't to expensive (@ about 15 bucks from your local dealer) so just replace it if you haven't yet.
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:24 PM   #12
chrism24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfoj View Post
What elevation are you at in Colorado?

Might be Winter fuel blends?

First change gas station and blend and see what values you get by manually calculating mileage.

Make sure your thermostat is good, see 3rd link in my signature, display coolant temp on OBC display, should be around 95C.

DISA and VANOS seals play into mileage as well.

For DISA info, see first link in my signature.
Close to a mile high and I never run on anything other than shell v-power
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Last edited by chrism24; 12-29-2012 at 08:26 PM.
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:57 PM   #13
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oh, and you could have an air leak too...almost everyone does...
So true in many ways!



Need to add this one to your standup routine!
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Solve your misfires, lean codes, rough idle - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616

Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose fan switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:15 PM   #14
adaseb
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I get 23mpg always.

In your hidden odc menu it tells you how much fuel you burnt since your last inspection. Use that to get a good average value
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:17 PM   #15
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I averaged 30.5 mpg from Leitchfield, KY to Clemson, SC (533 miles). In town, I get 20 if lucky.
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:01 AM   #16
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I live in Albuquerque and we are at.5200' elevation. I have two E46s one is an automatic 02 325i average mileage in mixed driving is 22 mpgs. My other is car an 04 325ci 5-speed and I have been averaging 24 mixed driving. On a recent trip to Denver I averaged 29mpg going and coming back 31 mpg with my 325ci. I've also notice my mileage is better in the summer and I always use 88-89 octane. Sometimes I use 91 octane and I have noticed 1 mpg improvement. All mileage is calculated and every fillup is recorded. I have installed KN filters an maintain tire air pressure. I probably would get better mileage on my automatic if I remove the roof rack.
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:03 AM   #17
trj
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OP, I get 21mpg mixed(more like city than highway).
I have to drive from DU to Anschutz Medical and back 2 times a day at 8 30am and 5 pm.
You can imagine i25 then 225 or Colorado blvd at those times.
If I take it for a highway run, to Georgetown or Idaho springs to fish I get around 28mpg.

I use shell 91 mostly.

Your car might need a little tune up.

PS: I drive an 01 auto 325.
Shoot me a PM. I am here in Denver, there may be a Denver meet up soon.
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:33 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trj View Post
OP, I get 21mpg mixed(more like city than highway).
I have to drive from DU to Anschutz Medical and back 2 times a day at 8 30am and 5 pm.
You can imagine i25 then 225 or Colorado blvd at those times.
If I take it for a highway run, to Georgetown or Idaho springs to fish I get around 28mpg.

I use shell 91 mostly.

Your car might need a little tune up.

PS: I drive an 01 auto 325.
Shoot me a PM. I am here in Denver, there may be a Denver meet up soon.
Not to thread jack but wasn't your car getting bad mpg couple months ago? What changed?
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:38 AM   #19
TArse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stinger9 View Post
I consistantly do better than 30 on the highway on trips in sixth gear, so the OP mileage is low.
Drive like grandpa for a while to test if you can see an improvement. If you can!
I used to be over 30 until I got a tune.
I'm still doing good for a 330xi. 6th gear cruising is where it's at.
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Old 12-30-2012, 07:50 AM   #20
jfoj
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The real question is what is the coolant temperature?

These thermostats fail open ALL the time and the engine can run too cold, when this happens, fuel economy is the first thing to take a dive.

95C is about typical, maybe slightly higher.

Hidden OBC will answer this question in a single trip.
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Solve your misfires, lean codes, rough idle - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616

Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose fan switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299
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