Mileage Drop - Winter Blend Fuel Time


8thTon

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I noticed about 1mpg less on my fill up yesterday, and that's right on schedule for winter blend fuel. Once you add in colder weather it'll get worse than that.
 


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It couldn't be a difference in driving at all?
 

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It couldn't be a difference in driving at all?
Sure it could be, but over time it will be obvious. Happens every year at this time, so odds are that it's the fuel changeover.
 

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Yep my mileage goes in the toilet during the winter. I really don't notice a difference when they switch to winter blend if the temps are still high (my station starts switching now and it's still 80 degrees). But when the temps start getting down to freezing I watch my gas gauge plummet.
 

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Yep my mileage goes in the toilet during the winter. I really don't notice a difference when they switch to winter blend if the temps are still high (my station starts switching now and it's still 80 degrees). But when the temps start getting down to freezing I watch my gas gauge plummet.
Extra fuel enrichment for cold starts, thicker oil on cold starts, running the lights, etc - it all kills mileage. Still, the fuel blend makes a big difference - start watching and you'll see it now.
 

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I've been through 2 tanks of winter blend so far, like you I might have seen about 1mpg less but I don't watch it that close. When the cold hits I drop like 5mpg. Add in idling time to keep the heat running I've been down to like 10mpg.
 

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Where I live we get the crappy oxygenated gas in the summer. I found it will run better if you switch to 89, but then it costs more so you probably don't really save any money.
 

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I know I'm gonna get flamed for this, but,
On 1996 and later Rangers, or any vehicle that uses OBD2 the only way to get true mpg is with a Scan Gauge or something similar. The method of using gallons divided into mileage, unless you are using the exact method everytime doesn't work that well. It will give you a general figure, but not accurate to measure one mpg more or less. Variables like the truck leaning to one side or another, even by 2 or 3 degrees, the slant of the surface the truck is sitting on, the amount of weight in the bed, unless exactly the same from fill up to fill up, will have an effect on the amount of fuel that your tank takes, thus giving an inaccurate reading. Even the time of day and the temperture can have a slight effect on the amount of fuel that the tank takes.
Just putting in or leaving out 1/4 gallon of gas can easily make up or delete that 1 or 2 mpg from one fill up to the next.
Just saying that a difference of 1-2 mpg shouldn't be any cause for worry, and yes, the winter fuel does make a difference but you have to take into consideration all the variables also.
Scan Gauge works directly off the ECU and is going to give you much more solid and accurate info. I run one on our motor home and wife
s Subi. Will probably get one for the Ranger this season...invaluable for monitoring the trucks systems.
OK, start flamin me...
:black_eye:
Grumpaw
 

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I had an 04 Ranger when we went from gasoline to 10% alcohol and noticed a 5% drop in mileage and an exhaust odor that would make a billy goat puke before the cat got up to temperature. After dealing with mileage complaints as a service manager there are many factors that affect it. One of my old boss's hunting buddies would come in to visit him and leave his F150 idling in front of the building for 30-45 minutes and then complain to me about his mileage. He grudgingly agreed to try shutting it off for one tank and hated admitting to me that the mileage was better. Another customer complained that his new Explorer got a lot worse mileage than his old one and had me come out and look at it. I asked him about the extra wire attached to the coil pack. He said it was for the remote starter- but he didn't use it. A northern New England Yankee is not going to spend money for a remote start and then not use it. He wouldn't believe that it was getting zero miles per gallon while idling in his driveway. The best thing to do for gas mileage in the winter is to not check it, that way it won't make you feel bad. Ever try to pour motor oil when it's below zero?
 

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I know I'm gonna get flamed for this, but,
On 1996 and later Rangers, or any vehicle that uses OBD2 the only way to get true mpg is with a Scan Gauge or something similar. The method of using gallons divided into mileage, unless you are using the exact method everytime doesn't work that well. It will give you a general figure, but not accurate to measure one mpg more or less. Variables like the truck leaning to one side or another, even by 2 or 3 degrees, the slant of the surface the truck is sitting on, the amount of weight in the bed, unless exactly the same from fill up to fill up, will have an effect on the amount of fuel that your tank takes, thus giving an inaccurate reading. Even the time of day and the temperture can have a slight effect on the amount of fuel that the tank takes.
Just putting in or leaving out 1/4 gallon of gas can easily make up or delete that 1 or 2 mpg from one fill up to the next.
Just saying that a difference of 1-2 mpg shouldn't be any cause for worry, and yes, the winter fuel does make a difference but you have to take into consideration all the variables also.
Scan Gauge works directly off the ECU and is going to give you much more solid and accurate info. I run one on our motor home and wife
s Subi. Will probably get one for the Ranger this season...invaluable for monitoring the trucks systems.
OK, start flamin me...
:black_eye:
Grumpaw
On any given tank, yes of course, but averaged over time none of that matters. If the truck was tilted or the pump shut off earlier it will get corrected the next fill up. The drop in mileage I noticed on one tank was only a hint, but I bet it will be consistent. Time will tell.
 

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I use the same station and same pump every time I fill. Keeps things as accurate as possible.
 

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I've compared before , using same pump, same orientation, same fueling routine . Summer blend to winter blend = 5% . Also " Urban region low emmisions blend " vs " Rural Blend " = 5% .
 

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But when the temps start getting down to freezing I watch my gas gauge plummet.
Since the conversation is diesel wouldn't you have a "Fuel" gauge and not a gas gauge? o_O My friend always corrects me when talking about his truck. lol
 

Dirtman

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Since the conversation is diesel wouldn't you have a "Fuel" gauge and not a gas gauge? o_O My friend always corrects me when talking about his truck. lol
Were not talking about diesels here, gasoline also has a winter and summer mix but for different reasons. Winter diesel fuel is all about keeping it from turning to goo. Gasoline has to do with the way the gas evaporates, because gasoline doesn't burn, gasoline vapor does. So in the winter they have to change the formula so the gas evaporates at colder temps so it still burns completely (for EPA reasons). But when they do this the overall efficiency of the gas drops. Hence you loose a small mount of fuel economy because it takes more winter gas to pack the same punch as summer gas.
 

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Were not talking about diesels here, gasoline also has a winter and summer mix but for different reasons. Winter diesel fuel is all about keeping it from turning to goo. Gasoline has to do with the way the gas evaporates, because gasoline doesn't burn, gasoline vapor does. So in the winter they have to change the formula so the gas evaporates at colder temps so it still burns completely (for EPA reasons). But when they do this the overall efficiency of the gas drops. Hence you loose a small mount of fuel economy because it takes more winter gas to pack the same punch as summer gas.

OK, now I'm really confused. I understand the statement gasoline doesn't burn but the vapor is explosive. Doesn't the computer adjust the air fuel mix/spark timing so that it "burns efficiently?" Cold air is more dense than hot air so more fuel is needed when the air is colder to get the best chance of an explosion hence a choke/high idle.

My understanding is that cold air vs. warm air there is very little difference (referring to start up here) except on start up when the computer has the motor running on base settings, cold takes longer to warm up to operating temp for the computer to take over the fine tuning of the engine. This is where the fuel mileage starts to drop carbs were worse with the choke.

So you are saying because summer gas does not explode well with cold air they change their formula to better deal with the national EPA regulations? I'll need to do some research on this one.
 
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