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Hi, I am new to this forum. I have recently (within the past few months) purchased a Cobalt. I have some questions about it and I thought that this place was maybe my best chance of learning anything.

I have the base model sedan, not SS. It is an automatic with AC, no power group or cruise control. I have just over 10,000 miles on it now (had 37 when I purchased it) and I think that the fuel economy is rather low for this vehicle. I have yet to average (on the blue display) more than 28.4 mpg. This is with some pretty serious hwy driving. In fact, when I first purchased the car the blue display said that my estimated mileage for the fuel available was 412 miles. Today I filled up and it displayed that my range for the fill up was 337!!! What gives? My window sticker shows 24/33. How come I am always on the low end? My friend who has the same exact model, only with the power group and cruise, avgerages 34 mpg and she does mostly city driving. This cannot be right.

On that note, I was wondering if anyone could confirm my suspicions that the AC is always running. The reason I say this is because if I am driving and I only turn the fan on but hit the recirculation button, it gets mighty cold in my car (don't even need to use the AC). It's as if the AC is always on and somehow when I recirculate the air it is cooled by the coils automatically. The reason I suspect this is because today I cranked up the heat in the car, using outside air, outside temp was about 52'. When the car got good and warm inside I switched the recirculate button on and turned the heat all the way down. Now, by my calculations the car should have been recirculating the already warm cabin air back through and thusly it would have blown somewhat warm air out of the vents... not so. It blew substantially colder air than what was in the cabin of the car. How can this be unless it was being cooled by the always running AC.

Could this be why I am getting such poor mileage all the time? If anyone out there knows or has had similar issues or experiences please let me know!
 

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It all depends on the acceleration and max speed, I know you can hold down a button and reset your stats maybe its just one or two days and you just accelerated hard.
 

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Welcome to the forum.

Yes, when you use the recirculate function it DOES turn on the A/C. This would have a lot to do with your mpg. You may also be driving a bit too fast.
 

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I'm pretty sure the recirc. button does run the A/C. look in your owners manual.

I am getting 35 mpg without even trying to get good mpg. When I was kind of trying I was getting 38 easy.

---------- Post added at 08:12 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:12 PM ----------

and Welcome!!
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Hmmm... well, from all the reading I have done in here so far, it is somewhat apparent that I am driving WAY TOO HARD! I normally cruise the hgwy at about 75- 80 MPH. I love how this little car just goes! So, it appears that I need to baby this thing quite a bit to really squeeze some good numbers out of her... what would some of you really high MPG achievers say was your average to max speed on the hgwy? I am also guessing that you never use the air recirculate switch either... I ALWAYS use it. I was REALLY hoping that you all in here would suggest a performance chip or maybe suggest where I can get an after market cruise control (GM will not do it). I have had cruise control for 13 years and used it religiously but alas, no more, this vehicle is rather bare bones as they go.

I appreciate all the tips and by the way, I forgot to mention that I live in NW PA. Glad to be Cobalt owner... even happier when I can get this guzzler to tease me with some really HOT mpgs...!

I am a Union Plumber... had to have a US, Union Made car... made just down the road from me over in OH! Can't do "supporting your local economy" better than that I think!
 

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yeah that high of a speed will drink some serious gas lol.

I have never been much of a fan of cruise so I don't miss it in my car at all.

---------- Post added at 08:54 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:53 PM ----------

oh and using cruise will suck down more gas as well. go into the gas mileage threads here on YC and you can learn a lot of tips.

---------- Post added at 08:55 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:54 PM ----------

All about MPG
 

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Yes, you are driving way too fast. I drive between 60 and 65 on the interstate depending on circumstances. Now a lot of people will tell you that "oh if you drive that slow here you will get hit." It's not true and never has been, except maybe on the 294 in Chicago.

If I am driving by myself I do about 65. If I come across one of those trucks doing 60 or so I get behind them.

It's a good thing you do not have cruse control. Those things are horrible for mpg.

Here try this experiment:

Get on the interstate and speed up to 65 mph. Put your display in INST MPG at say 35 mpg by using lighter pressure with your foot. Check this display often as you go down the road, and vary the pressure with your foot to keep it at 35. You will find that you speed up going down hill and slow down going uphill. That's fine, as you are trying to keep up your mpg and not your speed.

People will fly by you like you are standing still, and some will be angry. Don't let them bother you. Most people on the road seem to think they are Mario Andretti.

Report back what results you get, and when you get it down try to maintain 37 mpg...
 

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Ya i would NEVER suggest putting a performance chip in your car, honestly those things are crap and are only good for diesels....IMO. There are mods you can do to get better mpg for your car on the site. im getting 34mpg but i never use the air conditioner or heater and i drive it alittle rough so they cancel each other out lol. Anyways, Welcome to YC!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Okay... so none of you are getting better mileage because you drive coupes or because you drive standards? I will keep an eye on my speeding and quit using the re-circ button. I already know about the tire pressure. What about fuel or additives? Different types of engine oil? No economy chip then? What about my display differences... the first few weeks I had the car when I filled up the tank it said that I could drive 410 miles! Now it says 337 miles, what the heck is that all about?!? And how about fuel tank... How big is it REALLY? I was told at the dealership 12 gallons, my manual says 13 and I have personally put 13.5 gallons in the car... what is it, really?

You guys are a GREAT HELP, THANKS!
 

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Welcome! It’s harder to get good mileage with an automatic. I get about 33-34mpg with mostly highway driving. The highest I’ve gotten is 37mpg with all hwy driving. The terrain you drive on can make a difference too.
 

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Okay... so none of you are getting better mileage because you drive coupes or because you drive standards? I will keep an eye on my speeding and quit using the re-circ button. I already know about the tire pressure. What about fuel or additives? Different types of engine oil? No economy chip then? What about my display differences... the first few weeks I had the car when I filled up the tank it said that I could drive 410 miles! Now it says 337 miles, what the heck is that all about?!? And how about fuel tank... How big is it REALLY? I was told at the dealership 12 gallons, my manual says 13 and I have personally put 13.5 gallons in the car... what is it, really?

You guys are a GREAT HELP, THANKS!

One thing at a time. You are black and I am red.

Okay... so none of you are getting better mileage because you drive coupes or because you drive standards?

If there is a difference in coupe and sedan its too small a difference to matter. The manual vs. automatic is a different case. Manual transmissions will get better mpg than autos if all other factors the same. This does not mean that you cannot still get excellent mpg numbers from an auto.

I will keep an eye on my speeding and quit using the re-circ button. I already know about the tire pressure.

What about fuel or additives?

I use regular gas. I do not use premium, and no fuel additives are needed.

Different types of engine oil?

Using synthetic oil will reduce the friction in an engine, and help with mpg, but again to such a small degree you can never really see it. The best reason for using synthetic oil is the added protection over conventional oil.

No economy chip then?

There is no such thing as an economy chip. It's modern snake oil. If there was a such thing auto makers would be using them.

What about my display differences... the first few weeks I had the car when I filled up the tank it said that I could drive 410 miles! Now it says 337 miles, what the heck is that all about?!?

Your car automatically adjusts the fuel range depending on your recent driving habits. If you have been getting 30 mpg your range maybe 300, but if you are getting 20 it might be 200. When you begin increasing your mpg you will see the fuel range get higher.

The pics below are not to brag, but to demonstrate this point. As I got more in tune with my balt, and got better at getting good mpg my fuel range began going up.









And how about fuel tank... How big is it REALLY? I was told at the dealership 12 gallons, my manual says 13 and I have personally put 13.5 gallons in the car... what is it, really?

It's supposed to be 13.1 gallons. You can go a little more, but you are just filling the neck at that point.
 

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I'm only happy for the much higher mpg compared to my old Taurus. I'll be lucky to get 25 hwy which is good for a midsize Duratec V6 sedan.

I'm just saying be happy for most fullsize truck owners would crave for 28+ mpg ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks to everyone! We will see what I can make this car do yet! I know what my two trucks got MPG wise but the car that I traded in was getting 22 hwy and I was hoping for more than just a few mpgs difference for my new car money!
 
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