2002 Tacoma - low mileage

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  #1  
Old 02-28-07, 08:06 AM
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2002 Tacoma - low mileage

I bought the Tacoma new. PreRunner 2WD, 4cyl engine. Should have gotten the V6 but thought the 4cyl would give better gas mileage. After checking the mileage over a period of a year, mileage average was 13-14 mpg in town. I fainted! I was looking at at least 20 - 28 in town. Took it to TWO dealers and they checked it out and said it was ok. On the highway I would get 26 mpg. In town was what I was talking about. Told them that 13-14 MPG is town for a 4 cyl is stupid! Called the Toyota Regional Manager, which of course worked at one of the dealers I went to and no satisfaction out of him.
Finally installed a KLN air filter on the Tacoma and now I get around 17 MPG in town. I noticed that the tail pipe is still BLACK so it is still running rich. Don't know what else to do.
Oh, the dealer said that the low mileage is due to the ratio in the rear in. I guess but 13-14 MPG and tail pipe black. To me, thats burning rich....

Any one have any suggestions besides selling the truck and not buying a Tacoma again?

Ron
 
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Old 02-28-07, 08:45 AM
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You say you bought it new, so you've been driving it for about 5 years? The low mileage is new or has always been low? The revised epa estimate is 19 in town, so 20-28 would have been pretty optimistic.
 
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Old 02-28-07, 09:04 AM
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It was always low until I put that new air filter on. I could have handled 19mpg... still don't know why the tail pipe is black with smut.. even cleaned it and sanded the insided. Black can back...
 
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Old 02-28-07, 11:20 AM
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Might be worth swapping the O2 even without a code except that (a) that's not very good troubleshooting, and (b) Toyota sensors ain't cheap.
 
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Old 02-28-07, 01:28 PM
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pardon my ignorance but I do not know what you mean by 'O2'. If you think this could help, would like to know. Thanks!
 
  #6  
Old 02-28-07, 03:35 PM
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check easy stuff

I also have a Tacoma 04 model 2.4l I get about 24 mpg. Things to check are tire pressure junk in the back, and general tuneup stuff.
A black tailpipe is a sign of unburnt fuel. Get a second opinion and show dealer or mechanic black exaust also explain your gas mileage concerns.
I assume your check engine light is off.
 
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Old 03-01-07, 04:37 AM
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Sorry, meant O2 (oxygen) sensor; but as I said that's not a sure thing, only one of many items that could affect your mileage and also give you the black tailpipe. I agree with michael to exhaust (pardon the pun) all the cheap possibilities first. A second opinion, perhaps a good independent garage not beholden to Toyota, would be a good idea.

I was also assuming your check engine light isn't on; can't imagine any dealer letting you out the door with it lit. Just for the heck of it, though, you might swing into your nearest AutoZone and have them scan it to see if any historic codes are stored. Probably a long shot, but it's free.
 
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Old 03-01-07, 05:52 AM
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No check engine light....
If I get an oxygen sensor, can you tell me where it is installed at?

Also, if I can get AutoZone to check my codes, would they be able to tell me what they mean.

Thanks alot for the advice. I do appreciate it....

Ron
 
  #9  
Old 03-01-07, 01:57 PM
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In the exhaust system either near the exhaust manifold or underneath the vehicle.

Here's an example from an older model Toy truck:

http://www.autozone.com/servlet/UiBroker?ForwardPage=/az/cds/en_us/0900823d/80/16/0f/e2/0900823d80160fe2.jsp

Realistically the O2 sensor should not be bad on a three year old vehicle, so I would lean towards finding a good independent shop to troubleshoot it (you can get about 1 1/2 - 2 hours worth of troubleshooting time for what an O2 sensor will run you).

When they read codes they CAN more or less tell you what they mean and what component is indicated, but it's fairly easy to misidentify a part as faulty because of how different components interact with each other. Part of what a good mechanic is charging you for his labor is the knowledge of how things work.
 
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Old 03-01-07, 02:16 PM
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exaust tube

They are in the exaust pipe they have wires going to them. You should have two. One will be after the convertor one before.
 
  #11  
Old 03-02-07, 05:20 AM
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I will do as you suggested and see about getting another shop to check it out.
If all else fails will check the oxygen sensor. Thanks for the site to show where the sensor is. That will make it alot easier.

Want ya'll to know that I really appreciate the comebacks on this and the information you gave me. Very, VERY helpful.

Will let you know what I find out

Thanks again..
Ron
 
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Old 03-02-07, 08:12 AM
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I would ask around for shop references; you're going to want a tenacious troubleshooter who's on the same page with you that there's about 5 mpg or so missing from your fuel economy.
 
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Old 03-03-07, 07:34 AM
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If vehicle is 5 years old, might be time to change plugs. Unlikely O2 sensor is bad IMO. Do simple cheap stuff first.
 
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Old 03-06-07, 05:59 AM
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Maybe so.... it's only got 21,000 miles on it. All in town but changing plugs might not hurt. Same plugs have been in it since I got it....

I am going to check out Auto Zone too to see if I can get them to run that test on it. I looked into the O2 sensors and man they are not cheap!
 
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Old 03-06-07, 09:42 AM
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The plugs won't be, either, if it's got the kind that came in my wife's Camry, but cheaper than an O2 sensor for sure. What did the sensor price at, about $125?
 
  #16  
Old 03-06-07, 11:40 AM
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O2 sensor

Try looking at Rockauto.com they list 2 4cyl engines in that truck 2.4L & 2.7L
O2 sensor listed under emission I like the bosch brand not much luck with standard O2s
 
  #17  
Old 03-26-07, 08:29 AM
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Checked on the sensor and it was over $100. Have to AutoZone and get them to check it out..
That rockauto.com has the bosch for around $80, so if I need one I will try there first. Thanks for the web site!

Ron
 
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