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Old 06-22-2014, 10:42 PM   #1
Lepercon
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Dizzy substantial fuel mileage drop

i have a 99 SL1, 142K miles. about a month or so ago, i got my oil changed at a Jiffy Lube next to where i work. they gave me a smoking deal on a fuel filter replacement ($40 parts & labor). i have no idea when the last time it was changed (i've driven it for 2 years), so i had them do it. about that same time, i changed out plugs (with NGK) & put a K&N air filter in. and i put in a new-to-this-car AC compressor (with a new Gates serpentine belt).

i used to get 30+ mpg on the streets & 40+ mpg on the highway. now i'm lucky if i get 20 mpg. i use the Saturn as a delivery car, so i check my mileage pretty regularly. the car runs as smooth as it has since i bought it. steady idle, but the antenna vibrates when i'm stuck at a red light.

could it be the new fuel filter screwed it up? i read that the filter & pressure regulator are together. but at the price i paid, i'm wondering if they could have left the old regulator in & somehow, something got screwed up?

thanks in advance for ANY help or ideas.
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Old 06-22-2014, 10:49 PM   #2
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Default Re: substantial fuel mileage drop

That's the first and most likely culprit. Wix 33731 is the only filter you should be using, no substitutes. Otherwise check/replace your ECTS, thermostat, and check the exhaust for any leaks.
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Old 06-22-2014, 11:07 PM   #3
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Default Re: substantial fuel mileage drop

i'm presuming the thermostat to be okay, as i replaced it and the upper & lower hoses when i drained the radiator in April of this year.

i'll replace the ects tomorrow. the exhaust doesn't have any obvious leaks. car runs silent & smooth. no loss of power (except when the AC is on).

thanks!
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Old 06-23-2014, 02:46 AM   #4
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Default Re: substantial fuel mileage drop

^^^^^ +1 fuel filter. Replace at once and don't ever go back to Iffy Lube.
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Old 06-23-2014, 07:55 AM   #5
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Default Re: substantial fuel mileage drop

And really the K&N is only good at keeping rocks out of the intake. You're better off with stock paper filters. K&N might be good on a race track but the street ain't no race track
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Old 06-23-2014, 05:08 PM   #6
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Default Re: substantial fuel mileage drop

OK, i feel dumb now, for going to Iffy Lube (lol).
i won't have a chance to do the fuel filter until this weekend. the ects is going in as soon as the engine cools down. i'll report back early next week, with the results.

THANKS y'all!!!!!



P.S.: Wix 33731 is the one i should go with?
O'Reilly Auto's house stuff is made by Wix, now.
WIX33731 costs $75, MicroGard33731 is $35.
is it safe to save $40? i hate to be cheap, but economics is economics.
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Old 06-23-2014, 05:11 PM   #7
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Default Re: substantial fuel mileage drop

Any SES light? Make sure to let us know!

Good luck!



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Old 06-23-2014, 05:16 PM   #8
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Default Re: substantial fuel mileage drop

nope, no codes. and all the lights on the instrument cluster light up when i start it.

it runs great, just recently has lousy mileage. and of course, lack of power with the AC on. (but i expected that when i replaced the compressor & actually got the AC to work).
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Old 06-23-2014, 05:27 PM   #9
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Default Re: substantial fuel mileage drop

You are not looking for a gaping hole in the exhaust, any leak will cause this. The piping between the CAT inlet must be completely leak tight and that includes the manifold to head and manifold to downpipe flange/gaskets.

How to actually check for leaks without getting burned.
Exhaust leak check.
--Locate a low pressure high volume air source, reversible vacuum cleaner, large fan, leaf blower or what ever you can find.
--Loosely couple to cold exhaust at the tail pipe, or direct fan at tail pipe.
--Spray every inch of the exhaust between the head and CAT inlet with a mixture of 2 or 3 drops of dish soap and water in a spray bottle.
--Pay close attention to the lower flange, lower support clamp, and flex connector.
--The flex connector is under the protective braid so it requires quite a bit of solution to show any leaks.

If you have a preCAT in the exhaust manifold you can try removing the front O2 sensor and seeing if the car runs any better, leave sensor connected.
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Old 06-30-2014, 08:22 PM   #10
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Default Re: substantial fuel mileage drop

i replaced the fuel filter with O'Reilly's house brand filter (made by Wix) 33731. now i'm getting 16 miles a gallon & occasionally smell an "old gas" kinda smell.
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Old 06-30-2014, 08:38 PM   #11
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Default Re: substantial fuel mileage drop

You have a leak somewhere. Run engine on drive and find the leak.
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Old 06-30-2014, 08:56 PM   #12
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Default Re: substantial fuel mileage drop

There is an o-ring down inside each of the 3 click connectors on the fuel filter and it is relatively easy to knock one of those down the tube and cause a leak. I would spend some quality time under the car looking at the 3 lines on that filter regulator.
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Old 07-01-2014, 12:14 PM   #13
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Default Re: substantial fuel mileage drop

o-rings inside the clip locks? or inside the actual metal tubes?

i didn't notice any o-rings at all on the new filter, before i put it in. it came with three plastic clips, but that was all.

son of a naughty word! i'll pull it out and take a look, as well as look at the old one again. it hasn't got tossed out yet, as i'm in the middle of moving & everything is just going to pot.

waaaa!!!!!!
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Old 07-01-2014, 12:28 PM   #14
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Default Re: substantial fuel mileage drop

The o-ring is inside of the fitting, past where the clip-lock seats and locks. First look for a leak. All 3 of those lines have some fuel pressure on them.
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Old 07-01-2014, 03:57 PM   #15
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Default Re: substantial fuel mileage drop

So, you're saying that since you had the AC fixed your mileage has dropped? Is that about right?
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Old 07-01-2014, 07:22 PM   #16
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Default Re: substantial fuel mileage drop

Quote:
Originally Posted by Montreal300 View Post
So, you're saying that since you had the AC fixed your mileage has dropped? Is that about right?
at about the same time as i had the filter replaced, i swapped out air compressors. i expected something of a power loss & mileage drop. but all of a sudden, i was bogging down when accelerating from a dead stop (dangerous in traffic), and i lost close to 10 mpg.

i looked at the Iffy Lube filter that i removed & there's no o-rings on it, either. i hope they're something that i can purchase seperately & put on to the filter i just installed.
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Old 07-01-2014, 07:48 PM   #17
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Default Re: substantial fuel mileage drop

If the filter has male fittings, the O-Rings aren't going to be on it. They're in the female fitting.
Had tons of fun figuring that out with the older style filter, somehow the stupid rings got flipped about in the fitting and then I had to guess what order they went together in until it worked without leaking.
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Old 07-08-2014, 02:09 PM   #18
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Default Re: substantial fuel mileage drop

i pulled my filter out & examined it, as well as the lines. and i also looked at the Iffy Lube filter. the lines on the vehicle looked like they might have some o-rings in them. i couldn't get them out, but they were bright yellow.

i put everything back together, started it up and watched it while running. i didn't hear/see/smell/feel any fuel leak from the filter area, or the engine compartment. i've driven not quite 50 miles and haven't smelled gas, since. (maybe i cocked it up when initially putting the filter in?). but it still bogs down, occasionally, on acceleration (but only when the AC is on).

i'll fill it up in the next day or 3 & check my mileage again
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Old 07-08-2014, 08:43 PM   #19
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Default Re: substantial fuel mileage drop

Search for egr valve problems (making a temporary blocking gasket) and/or removing the front O2 sensor for an alternate exhaust hole if the catalytic converter is disintegrating/partially blocking the exhaust system.
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Old 07-09-2014, 12:14 PM   #20
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Default Re: substantial fuel mileage drop

I actually got brave & took it through emissions testing, on Saturday. passed with no problems. got a brand new 2 year sticker. i think i saw a richpin video about an egr block. guess that's my Friday project!
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