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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2008 Pilot and have been getting really poor mileage.

This July we took a trip to Atlanta from Milwaukee. We averaged 16.1 MPGs on the trip while going about ~75mph. We did have a roof sack with luggage etc... and 5 people which may have weighed it down. Day to day, my driving is probably about 50/50 city/highway. If I drive really nicely I can get around 320 miles from a tank. Usually the light goes on around 280 miles.

Is there anything I can change to improve my mileage? Tires are around 38psi front and rear. I run standard 87 octane. Would spark plugs or my fuel filter or anything like that help to improve my numbers? I saw that some people average 23mpg which is crazy to me.
 

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I have a 2008 Pilot and have been getting really poor mileage.

We averaged 16.1 MPGs on the trip while going about ~75mph.
We did have a roof sack with luggage etc... and 5 people which may have weighed it down.

Is there anything I can change to improve my mileage? Tires are around 38psi front and rear.
Drive slower - the EPA highway test cycle never really gets above 60mph.
Keep the roof clear.
The OEM tires can be inflated up to 44psi.
Switch to 0W-20 synthetic oil.
Shop for ethanol-free fuel: Ethanol-free gas stations in the U.S. and Canada
 

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Check out the current EPA test schedule, it does include a high-speed test for the new ratings.

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/fe_test_schedules.shtml

That said, their testing only makes sense if your driving style/area is similar to what the test simulates. Any difference will result in you getting different results than the EPA. This is why they're estimated ratings.

Sent from my A500 using AutoGuide.com App
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Drive slower - the EPA highway test cycle never really gets above 60mph.
Keep the roof clear.
The OEM tires can be inflated up to 44psi.
Switch to 0W-20 synthetic oil.
Shop for ethanol-free fuel: Ethanol-free gas stations in the U.S. and Canada
Thanks for the info. Unfortunately I think my county requires some ethanol because no gas stations around me have ethanol-free gas.

In normal day to day driving, I don't have the roof rack on and I am usually driving slower on the highway and I still get 16mpgs.
But some days/weeks when I don't care about gas I probably average about 80 on the highway, yet my mileage doesn't really decrease (maybe 15mpg average instead of 16)

I don't see how it's possible that some people get 22. Even if I baby it I still don't get above 16 combined.
 

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2016 CRV Touring AWD, 2005 Pilot RIP.
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The other way to kill mpg to 16 is short journeys with full ac in serious summer heat use or deep winter short journey full heat. BTDT.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
We'll see how my mileage turns out this tank. I'm trying to keep it to 2500 rpms at all times when accelerating. I'll also take the back roads instead of the interstate when possible so that will keep the speed to ~55.

Will post back with results
 

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It could be mechanical, e.g., related to an oxygen sensor, bad spark plug,timing or even a frozen brake caliper. If you tend to use the same gas station, it might be related to someone playing with the pumps or gasoline.
 

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I thought I had the same issue with my 08. The first couple of tanks we ran about 16-18 which I've seen on here is common for lead foot. Then we took it on a longer trip which has a ton of slower highway which averages 50 mph all really flat roads. I set the cruise control to 55-60 and got 25 mpg. It could be something wrong with your pilot or how you drive. I know the Mrs. couldn't keep the rpms down below 3000 when we first got our pilot.
 

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In addition to what others said. other ways to improve MPG:
*Drive with windows up and sunroof closed.
*Use cruise control as much as possible. If driving around town baby the accelerator.
*Use synthetic fluids for oil & front diff.
*Bump up tire pressure by 5 PSI.
*Don't drive when it's cold.
*Don't drive when it's rainy.
*Empty the vehicle if it's full of crap (if possible).
*If you're using a roof rack, get rid of it and use a bin that sits behind the vehicle and plugs into the hitch receiver.
*Stop giving in to all of your friends that always want you to drive because your vehicle will sit 8 people.

I've got a 2012 4x4 and can easily get 24 MPG with 4 people when I'm cruising on the highway at ~70 MPH.
 

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16 city 23 highway is about par for these things. That's a pretty drastic reduction in mileage. On the highway it's just a matter of cruising so driving style should be irrelevant. Things like tire pressure just can't make up that difference. Plugs/sensors/vacuum leaks would also fire a code if the problem is that bad (think big vacuum cleaner sucking sound under the hood or plugs so bad they are misfiring). Never personally seen on O2 sensor make up for 8mpg loss. The exhaust would smell like gas at that point. Have the long/short term fuel trim read out and see what they look like. Maybe it's a freak combination of all of the above?

When your on the highway does the "ECO" mode turn on? This disables the rear bank so your only running on the front 3. Also at what RPM is the motor turning at that 75mph? My 06 sits around 2200-2300. Make sure the transmission is not only getting into 5th but the lockup clutch is engaging.

A dragging caliper as mentioned in an above post is way more common than you think.

I just got about 23 highway with the wife, 2 kids, dog, trunk full of camping gear and cargo carrier fully loaded. 15 put puting around running errands


....edit
Also is the vehicle getting up to temp? ie is the temp gauge running just shy of half and does the heater knock your socks off?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Things like tire pressure just can't make up that difference. Plugs/sensors/vacuum leaks would also fire a code if the problem is that bad (think big vacuum cleaner sucking sound under the hood or plugs so bad they are misfiring). Never personally seen on O2 sensor make up for 8mpg loss. The exhaust would smell like gas at that point. Have the long/short term fuel trim read out and see what they look like. Maybe it's a freak combination of all of the above?

I've never had the Check Engine Light come on (85,000 miles) so I'm assuming it's none of these.

When your on the highway does the "ECO" mode turn on? This disables the rear bank so your only running on the front 3. Also at what RPM is the motor turning at that 75mph? My 06 sits around 2200-2300. Make sure the transmission is not only getting into 5th but the lockup clutch is engaging.

At 75 I'm revving at about 2250. It definitely goes into 5th. Also, I don't have eco mode since it's an 08 (I think they introduced it in 2009).

A dragging caliper as mentioned in an above post is way more common than you think.

I'll check it out, but wouldn't I hear it?

Is the vehicle getting up to temp? ie is the temp gauge running just shy of half and does the heater knock your socks off?

It always sits just a tick under half.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Alright so I drove like a grandma this tank. 95% of the time I kept it under 2500 RPMs while accelerating. I was the only person in the car most of the time (max of 1 other person) , no extra stuff.

I also took the frontage roads instead of the interstate, so I was driving 45-55 instead of 65-75, and also avoiding on-ramps (I tend to gun it on on-ramps). It came out to 17.5 which isn't terrible considering it was a decent amount of around town driving.
 

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What (make and model) tires do you have on your Pilot?

The difference between a set of high rolling resistance tires and low rolling resistance ones can easily be 2mpg.
 

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O2 sensors degrade before they trigger the check engine light. If there is a noticeable decrease in mpg, it could be symptomatic of a sensor that is degrading.

If you changed tire size, that could have some effect on the odometer readings and the mpg calculation. (ex .5 mpg or more if you made a significant change)

If you think your mpg is a little low, these are possibilities.
 

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17.5 mpg is solid for around town. If its flat in your area use cruise control. I use cruise all the time. It works almost works like an overdrive gear kicking the rpms down to 1600 range at certain speeds.


Sent from my iPhone using AG Free
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
17.5 mpg is solid for around town. If its flat in your area use cruise control. I use cruise all the time. It works almost works like an overdrive gear kicking the rpms down to 1600 range at certain speeds.


Sent from my iPhone using AG Free
I agree. I should probably clarify that I say around town because I never really went on the highway and my drive to school is about 15 minutes. So there are some stop lights on the way, but once I get up to speed I just set the cruise for the straight parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
O2 sensors degrade before they trigger the check engine light. If there is a noticeable decrease in mpg, it could be symptomatic of a sensor that is degrading.

If you changed tire size, that could have some effect on the odometer readings and the mpg calculation. (ex .5 mpg or more if you made a significant change)

If you think your mpg is a little low, these are possibilities.
Well the MPG hasn't noticeably changed since we bought it with 25,000 miles. But I'll check it out. Tires are stock 235/70/16.

17.5 mpg is solid for around town. If its flat in your area use cruise control. I use cruise all the time. It works almost works like an overdrive gear kicking the rpms down to 1600 range at certain speeds.

Sent from my iPhone using AG Free
I have noticed that. That's just the fifth gear. So it'll do it without cruise too, but I find that it shifts into fifth earlier if the cruise is engaged.
 
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