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I own a 2009 RAV 4 Limited V6 2wd. I have been noticing that my gas mileage (which has never been great) has steadily been dropping.

This last tank had me averaging 13 MPG. The best i've ever had on the highway was around 21 MPG.

The tires are new (from the Toyota Dealership), I get my oil changed every 3k-5k miles, and the car has 60k miles on it.

I have tried different gas stations, running without the ac, keeping the speed down, and numerous other things.

Any thoughts as to what could be causing this?
 

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21 mpg on highway is low. You should be getting at least 24-26 mpg.

How are you calculating the mpg? are you using 5w-30 engine oil? Any additives?

Try some Techron concentrate on the next 2 tanks of gas and get an oil change to see if it helps.

When did you last change the air filter? May be clean the MAF sensor and throttle body, easy and cheap. Also open your hood and make sure all hoses are tight.

After getting the new tires, did you get an alignment done? I am guessing that there is no vibration or shaking when driving on the highway?
 

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The first question is: how are you calculating your gas mileage?

The second question is: are you sure you are in Drive?

Your fuel economy is pretty poor. If the engine is burning cleanly, there's a lot of energy going somewhere, and it can only be in the form of heat. So, if your brakes are dragging or your wheels are out of alignment, you'd smell and see a lot of wear somewhere. If the engine isn't burning cleanly, you'd have a check engine light lit up. Otherwise, it's hard to explain such poor mileage.
 

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Thanks for all the quick replies. Lemme answer what I can.

1. Tires - The tires were what Toyota Recommended (I would need to go look at the brand). The alignment was recently checked (I had a nail in a tire). My mileage had already dropped. There is no shaking or noise while i'm on the highway and everything steers straight ahead.

2. Oil - My mileage usually gets better after an oil change. I use 5w30 and the filter is new. I had a plan with Toyota to do my oil changes so they have always done those in-shop. The air filter is also good and recently changed. No additives that i'm aware of.

3. Driving Habits - Due to the drop in mileage, we haven't been using this car as much. (Not when my Camry gets a LOT better gas mileage). But, the car is being driven daily. There are no new drivers, just myself.

4. Gas Mileage - I calculate my gas mileage when I fill up the tank. I take my trip total (which I reset every tank) and divide that by how many gallons of gas I just put in the tank. I am definately "in drive" when I drive (I checked that).

I cannot find any wear from brake rubbing and there aren't any "burning" smells that we can detect. It's the strangest thing. I feel like my gas is either being syphoned off (that might be difficult) or it's evaporating on me.

I haven't tried any additives as I don't know if they would help. I'll look up cleaning the MAF sensor if you think that would help.

Also, the check engine light has never come on.

Any other thoughts or suggestions? I really don't want to take the car into the shop if I can help it...
 

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That is dismal mileage. I can get what you state as your highway mileage in town if I drive very carefully. Something is indeed wrong, I would bite the bullet and get it to a mechanic for a full diagnostic. (Sounds like a Star Trek episode........"Data, run a full diagnostic". :) )
 

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Dare I say it, is it possible there is a leak in the fuel line (or the return to tank line)? It would only take a very small leak to add up.
Have you possibly been on a dirt track or metaled road recently and maybe thrown up a stone that's caught the line.

Terry
 

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I know that you mentioned no unusual wear but is it possible that one of your brake calipers is seized i.e. not retracting fully when brakes are released? Get the mechanic to check that too.

After doing city driving for a few minutes and stopping the RAV, check both sides of the wheels with your hands ... carefully to see if the wheels on the same axle feel about the same. The fronts should be hotter through. But if one wheel is much hotter than other ON THE SAME AXLE, then you know the caliper is not retracting.

An Infrared thermometer might come useful for this exercise but examining the caliper is always better.
 

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Some additional questions. Have you checked your transmission fluid? Is it full and is the color still a pinkish red? When you are driving on the freeway, what RPMs does the engine show at 60 MPH? Does your Rav seem to roll along as well as it always has when you let off the gas?
 

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I am far from a mechanic...and in many respects not even mechanically inclined, LOL...but I do know where the mechanic is and when to bring my car there...and, in my opinion, this is one of those times. There is something wrong here.

Getting a couple of miles to the gallon less than the "norm" is one thing -- "hard" driving, overdue oil change, a lot of A/C or heat use, etc. (stuff like that). But, this is a very substantial deviation from the "norm" so to speak. I would definitely take the car to a quality mechanic for a full check up, diagnostic, etc.

Good luck.
 

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This is concerning ONLY because your mileage has been dropping, not because your averaging 13MPG...

So many drivers who calculate their gas mileages don't understand that not every city or town isn't the same. Take NY (Queens) for example, in-city driving cannot be compared to Orlando city driving...I just took a trip to Orlando last week, averaged 28-30MPG on the highway and about 20-22 in the city. Got back to NY and I am lucky to get 15 city...
 

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I own a 2009 RAV 4 Limited V6 2wd. I have been noticing that my gas mileage (which has never been great) has steadily been dropping.

This last tank had me averaging 13 MPG. The best i've ever had on the highway was around 21 MPG.

The tires are new (from the Toyota Dealership), I get my oil changed every 3k-5k miles, and the car has 60k miles on it.

I have tried different gas stations, running without the ac, keeping the speed down, and numerous other things.

Any thoughts as to what could be causing this?
Spain246, you didn't mention the mileage you have on the car. All of the suggestions I've seen posted are valid options to address poor mileage. High mileage on the engine will produce carbon buildup in your throttle bodies that will, along with all the prior suggestions, adversely affect you gas mileage. The mileage your quoting would prompt me to take quick action to correct the problem....all that gas is going through your engine inefficiently and can break down your oil, wash the cylinder walls, etc. etc. etc.....in general do some serious damage. If I were you, I'd get to the dealer or your trusted mechanic and get it addressed ASAP.
 

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OK......sorry I missed that.....I'd say it might be to early to have your throttle bodies cleaned, it's not cheap (at least at the dealer). But if you can't find the issue yourself (tires, oil, air filter) I'd encourage you to get in to a shop and have it diagnosed.
 

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This is an old thread, so I'm not sure that the original poster will see this, but if you do - I'd love to learn what happened to your Rav4. I'm having similar issues with mine and am trying to do as much reading as possible before forking out $$ at the mechanic to figure it out.

I own a 2009 RAV 4 Limited V6 2wd. I have been noticing that my gas mileage (which has never been great) has steadily been dropping.

This last tank had me averaging 13 MPG. The best i've ever had on the highway was around 21 MPG.

The tires are new (from the Toyota Dealership), I get my oil changed every 3k-5k miles, and the car has 60k miles on it.

I have tried different gas stations, running without the ac, keeping the speed down, and numerous other things.

Any thoughts as to what could be causing this?
 

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Most of my in-town type of driving involves trips of only a few miles. Our home is atop a somewhat steep grade. Mileage under these circumstances with my '11 V6 RAV4 ranges from 13-16, most being in the 14-16 range. It is generally in the lower range in winter when gasoline is modified for seasonal use.
 

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This is an old thread, so I'm not sure that the original poster will see this, but if you do - I'd love to learn what happened to your Rav4. I'm having similar issues with mine and am trying to do as much reading as possible before forking out $$ at the mechanic to figure it out.
A few questions: year, model FWD, AWD, engine, miles, type of driving ie local, highway. What mileage are you getting? Do you live in a cold area?
 
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