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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-14-2017, 08:27 AM Thread Starter
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MPG improving?

So, I've had my 05 for a full year now.....put about 23,000 miles on it.....it only had 52,000 on it when I bought it. It was well maintained and has been flawless so far. I've recently noticed a decent improvement in mpg.....and have been wondering what might be the cause. I was curious to hear from other owners if anyone ever noticed a "peak" mpg performance at a certain mileage?? Could it continue to improve?


I'm wondering if the car might actually be breaking in.....since it was driven 52,000 miles in 12 years, then I put on 23,000 in a year.....it's the first time the car has seen regular use. For the first 9 months....it was very consistent in getting 19-20 mpg. VERY consistent.....clockwork.....almost every fill would be within a couple tenths of 19.5 mpg. I go the exact same gas station for about 80% of my fills.


Recently, over the last few fills, the MPG has been creeping up. Last fill, I got 22.3 mpg which is the highest I've gotten yet, tank before that was 2nd highest at 21.7....we're not talking about earth shattering amounts....but it is a solid 10% increase over what I was very consistently seeing for the first 9 months. I think I might have hit 21 mpg once in the 9 months....now I've hit it in the last 3 tanks. I was actually expecting maybe a slight decrease in the summer since I'd be using my A/C more often. I'm seeing the exact opposite.


Is it the car breaking in? My driving has been consistent....same places....same speeds. I was actually babying it much more in the first months and getting less mpg.

Last edited by CP0861; 06-14-2017 at 08:32 AM.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-14-2017, 10:02 AM
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Warmer weather is the main factor for me. Summer MPG vs winter is 20% better. The hotter it is outside, the better is gas mileage.

Just wanted to add that nothing like that is occurring in my Nissan Quest. There MPG is pretty stable all year round, maybe within 5% or so. The pilot on the other hand drives about 350 kms on 1/2 tank of gas in winter and up to 420 kms in summer. I am still convinced the cooling system keeps the engine below optimal operating temperature in winter, but know of no way to verify this theory.



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Last edited by can; 06-14-2017 at 10:17 AM.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-14-2017, 10:21 AM
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Summer will always be better. Cold air is denser. This means it takes more power to move the car through the air. This also means it takes more fuel per a stroke because more air is getting in. This also means it can make more power.

The bad, an engine likes to run hot. A cold engine is not very efficient at making power. In the winter, if you store your car outside, it takes longer to warm up meaning waste of fuel. You want your engine to run as hot as it possibly can, not cold.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-14-2017, 12:22 PM
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Summer vs. winter has been mentioned here so FYI summer blend fuel has 1.7% more energy in it than winter blend. You don't say that it's necessarily a seasonal thing though since you've had it for a year.

In our 2017 Pilot, the breakin and mileage stabilization happened within 2,000 miles. The first 1-2,000 miles were about 20% worse.

You may have also changed your driving habits without realizing it. If you are watching fuel economy you may be trying to maximise it and are learning how best to do that.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-14-2017, 12:54 PM
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I take a 35 mile trip to work every day. The warmup time should have negligible impact on the overall mpg. The difference between the Nissan and Honda is huge on the other hand. Same size engine, same vehicle weight, same gas, same route, same driver.

Just spoke with a co-worker who drives Infinity G37 FWD year round. He puts on winter tires and experienced about 5-10% drop in gas mileage in winter, just slightly over than in my minivan where I drive on all season tires year round. So Pilot does do something completely different. It's thermostat way too open, I am sure, but have no way to prove that.



Honda Pilot 2006 LX 4WD J35A9
, bought May 2015 with 108,000 Kms / 67,000 miles.
Maintenance so far: New aftermarket rad, New OEM PCV valve, New Costco battery, New intake air duct, "Reman" Denso alternator from Amazon, cupro-nickel brake lines on all 4 corners, OEM accesssory belt tensioner...
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-14-2017, 01:28 PM
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Having monitor my mpg for a while in many cars, here is some of the data.

My old Sentra... In the summer, I would get 29-32mpg. Some of my best of 33-34 happened in late july, early august. In the winter, I would get around 24-27.
My old truck, summer was around 16mpg, winter I would get around 11-12mpg.

So many things happen in the winter up north that effect MPG. Another issue is traffic. Another is tire pressure, it becomes lower causing more rolling friction. Start up time, idle time, everything adds up. Even with a 35 mile trip, start up time will effect things.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyfree View Post
Summer vs. winter has been mentioned here so FYI summer blend fuel has 1.7% more energy in it than winter blend. You don't say that it's necessarily a seasonal thing though since you've had it for a year.

You may have also changed your driving habits without realizing it. If you are watching fuel economy you may be trying to maximise it and are learning how best to do that.




No....if anything, I'm driving it a little more normal (harder) this year. I absolutely babied the car the first couple of months last year (June/July 2016) attempting to get "max" mpg........I think I got 21+ mpg twice.


I towed my boat for parts of the last 2 tanks, so I haven't checked it lately. I'm not impressed with towing btw. It pulls my boat adequately (about 2k pounds give or take), but it feels a lot heavier than what it is.


The summer air must be the culprit....thanks for the info.


Anyway.....just filled up again this morning. I'll keep checking. 23mpg would be sweeeeeeet.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 02:18 PM
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Best ever for my 05 was just shy of 24. That was a solid non stop interstate run with a full car AC on in 95deg F. Never repeated the number so I've always seen that as a gas pump aberration.
18-19 is typical everyday mpg. Have done 21 mpg once or twice.

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