- classifieds - forums

Go Back Forums > Models > Saturn Ion > Ion Tech

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-18-2006, 12:07 PM   #1
Alant2b is on a distinguished road
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 151
Default Poor gas mileage Help

I have Ion 1 2004 model. Seems a fairy tale that most people brage that they get over 30 MPG. I live in NYC and even on the highway it is stop and go.

I have always complained to Saturn about the poor gas economy of my Ion 1 but they have always brushed it away as frivolous. Dealership will not even test. I religiously do oil changes every 3 months and no change after is noticed.

From researching online I have found a couple of possible culprits.

1) In the winder if the windows fog up too much it maybe because of bad gaskets which can cause bad fuel economy.

2) Recently I hear on the radio show that a bad thermostat is the cause of bad mileage because the car always thinks it is not hot enough and is burning too much gasoline.

================================================== ====
Any suggestions? Should I spend my own money and have thermostat replaced, becuase Saturn will not do it.
Alant2b is offline   Reply With Quote Sponsored Links
Old 08-18-2006, 12:32 PM   #2
Master Member
piney will become famous soon enoughpiney will become famous soon enough
piney's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: The South
Posts: 4,161
Default Re: Poor gas mileage Help

It is the stop and go, city driving that is the culprit. I'm in Fort Lauderdale where it is stop and go grid traffic and 90+ most of the year. I rarely ever see 70% of the EPA city MPG on any car when driven here. On the road is another story. I'd suggest you take your ION on a road trip of at least 250 miles, each way and see what you get.
piney is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2006, 12:36 PM   #3
Gerry Proctor
Master Member
Gerry Proctor has a spectacular aura aboutGerry Proctor has a spectacular aura about
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 2,682

2008 Astra XR
2008 SKY Red Line
Default Re: Poor gas mileage Help

Your windows can also fog up if you don't know how to use the HVAC system. Fogging windows when they shouldn't be (climatic conditions and proper use of the HVAC controls)could only mean high moisture levels in the HVAC plenum, which would lead you to a leak in the cooling system and that would have no affect on fuel economy.

Yes, a faulty thermostat (stuck open) will cause poor fuel economy. But your car's computer will see this in the coolant temp sensor as an engine that is not coming up to an acceptable temperature over time and set your check engine light. This can also be easily read in the datastream. So can intake air temperature, so can Ho2S, MAF, and everything else that either affects or tattles on engine efficiency.

You can spend your own time and money replacing the thermostat. But I can save you some time. Take the money you'd spend on this job and stuff it down a rat hole. Much faster and it's a repair cost and method that even the mechanical novice can accomplish.

Your Saturn service department could only repair something that shows faulty operation. They will not replace the thermostat because some guy on the radio mentioned it. The guy on the radio is right, but only if that is showing as a problem. Poor fuel economy is a symptom of a failed thermostat but only a hack mechanic would replace the thermostat without proof (diagnostics) that it was the cause of the problem. To do otherwise means that cars get fixed by throwing parts at them until the problem goes away. Maybe you just need a new air filter and a thermostat won't fix a dirty air filter.

It is not too difficult for your service dept to scan the datastreams and read the sensors and fuel trims. But this is usually a waste of time for fuel economy compaints.

Fuel economy comes down to how you drive and the conditions the car is driven in. In many cases, it also comes down to people who do not know how to correctly compute fuel economy. If your commute is NYC traffic and you squirt around through traffic, then there are not enough thermostats in the world that will increase your fuel economy. You will never get anywhere near the city EPA-rated fuel economy. The reason for this is that when a car is sitting still stuck in traffic it gets exactly zero miles per gallon.
Gerry Proctor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2006, 02:33 PM   #4
Alant2b is on a distinguished road
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 151
Default Re: Poor gas mileage Help

Sorry your rat hole comment pissed me off - if I get a little carried away now:

All those people posting they get 30+ MPH with city driving ha - It is the Saturn way to blame the driver - the car is freaking perfect.

So I guess if I were having the same problem in Waynesboro, MS, it would be a different story. Obviously, there is a problem with this perfect machine. But no one can play the music and admit it. There are dozens of secrets which GM has buried on this car which none will ever know. I thought I was doing the right thing and buying American but I got screwed.

Not a bad car for the money but nothing special either, no great fuel economy, no comfort, no frills. Plenty of known poor design and defects (Bushelings, ignition switch) I probably bought the last generic car ever made. I can't wait until the 3 years magic date when the warranty is over and all of a sudden all the problems start happening that should have been covered under warranty.

Last edited by Alant2b; 08-18-2006 at 02:39 PM.
Alant2b is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2006, 03:00 PM   #5
Gerry Proctor
Master Member
Gerry Proctor has a spectacular aura aboutGerry Proctor has a spectacular aura about
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 2,682

2008 Astra XR
2008 SKY Red Line
Default Re: Poor gas mileage Help

Okay, it looks like you got our number. Yes, we're all part of a grand conspiracy. None of us get more than 5mpg, but we're in cahoots to tell everyone we get great economy.

This is a broad conspiracy, by the way, you can get your secret handshake and decoder ring by registering on and passing a background check.

Don't tell anyone this but it's not your driving conditions, or driving habits. It is the car. A Honda Civic will tripple what you're now getting.
Gerry Proctor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2006, 05:47 PM   #6
Senior Member
Bigdaddy94sc2 is on a distinguished road
Bigdaddy94sc2's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Anderson, SC (Clemson)
Posts: 1,543

2006 ION-2 Sedan
2005 VUE 3.5L
Default Re: Poor gas mileage Help

How bad is bad when it comes to your MPG? In NYC traffic.... I would honestly estimate that you should and would be happy with anywhere from 20-25 mpg..... That traffic is nothing to shake a stick at, and is not like traffic ANYWHERE else in the the US. When you sit and idle that much, you are still burning fuel and going nowhere.... I get about 27-30 in the city, and around 33-34 on the highway, but I live in Dayton, where the only time there is gridlock is for construction or an accident... If it were me driving in NYC, I would honestly be content with getting 20-25 mpg, because I know that Chevy truck next to me is probably getting 4!
GM, Saturn, and ASE certified Technician. Always glad to try to help, just ask!!! Now own an 06 ION.2 as of 7/2/06 with 2988 and counting (7/28/06) 13131 as of (1/8/07) 24901 as of (7/30/07)
Bigdaddy94sc2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2006, 06:17 PM   #7
Asinity is on a distinguished road
Asinity's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 452

2008 Astra XE
Default Re: Poor gas mileage Help

It's definitely the clogged city driving, err... parking though. My 2.4 Ion is absolutely amazing on the highway, in city it's not terrible either, considering the performance in the engine I'm very, very content with an average of 30.4mpg On a weekend though without highway driving, I'm usually in the 28-29 area.

Obviously though you aren't happy with your Ion, lots of things can cause poor mileage, thermostat obviously being one... Check your spark plugs lately? Air filter? Heck, your tire pressure? Are you carrying a few dead bodies in the trunk too? All that stuff will affect your mileage too, you need to make sure you're on top of all that stuff as well. Not saying you are either, but if in between traffic if you're a lead-foot that sure doesn't help either.

No car is perfect, nobody here would ever claim that (I hope). But a LOT of the time it IS the driver causing poor gas mileage because of lack of maintenence and or treating the car like it belongs in NASCAR (With a few right turns in there for good measure).

Check all those things and if all is well THEN start trying to see if it's something deeper. As it's been suggested, go out on the weekend for a drive, take it really far if you've got some time, put the miles on it. If you end up with 27-33mpg you know its the city driving.

Out of curiosity though, what kind of mileage do you get right now?
You'll have to speak up, I'm wearing a towel.
Asinity is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2006, 06:46 PM   #8
Master Member
davidsky will become famous soon enoughdavidsky will become famous soon enough
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 3,962

2005 ION-1 Sedan
Default Re: Poor gas mileage Help

What kind of mileage are you getting? I get from 24-27 in stop and go traffic. 27 is only if I'm careful.
Member of the Crank Window Club
davidsky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2006, 09:27 PM   #9
Master Member
SaturnSdn will become famous soon enoughSaturnSdn will become famous soon enough
SaturnSdn's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Az
Posts: 3,214

2007 ION-3 Sedan
2007 ION-3 Sedan
Default Re: Poor gas mileage Help

I'm getting about 23mpg city....with my 2.4L auto. Thats not stop and go puttputt traffic. I tend to push the pedal a bit so others might come up with a better number.
SaturnSdn is offline   Reply With Quote


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Poor gas mileage... where to look? phool S-Series General 7 03-25-2008 08:27 PM
poor gas mileage nascardemon L-Series Tech 4 12-15-2006 11:23 PM
Very Poor Gas Mileage 04redline Vue General 13 12-16-2004 12:47 AM
Poor Gas Mileage StuartLittleSL2 S-Series Tech 3 09-28-2002 04:20 AM
Very Very POOR Gas Mileage? jman Mods and Performance 6 12-28-2000 01:19 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:36 PM.

Advanced Forum Search | Advanced Photo Search

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions Inc. The Saturn Enthusiasts Site.