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New car is fuuuucked

FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
edited December 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
So I bought a 2011 Matrix a few weeks ago. The first time I sat in it, I noticed the on-wheel radio controls weren't working. I tell the salesman, and we make an appointment to come back and get it fixed. Apparently, they didn't hook it back up properly when installing the Bluetooth.

I come back, wait an hour, and get back in my car when it's done. Nice little scratch on the radio display panel. I talk to the salesman, and he says he'll order a new one and give me a call when it's in. Fine.

Now, I've been driving it for a few weeks now and have had the feeling that the gas mileage is ridiculously awful. I drive 90% on the highway, and it looks like I'm getting under 500km per tank (50L tank according to the manual and website). Coming home from work today, I went through about an eighth of a tank in an 18km ride. This is not normal.

The specs on the website list three different consumption stats for my model. City/Highway/Something else? In any event, it's 12.35 / 15.87 / 13.7 KM per L. I'm just over empty right now and sitting at about 425KM on my trip meter. If I shoot high and estimate I'll hit 450KM before I run out of gas, that's 9 KM per L with 90% highway driving.

On the highway, I notice a very, very, very slight rumble in the car that comes and goes in spurts as I drive. Like I'm driving over a series of rumble strips, but very faint. When going up an incline, I pretty much have to put the pedal to the floor just to keep up with the slow lane, let alone go at a speed I'm used to. I'm guessing the brakes could be stuck slightly, causing a lot of drag and explaining these symptoms.

I'm going to go to the dealership (for the third time now) tomorrow and talk to them. What should I do here? If it is a problem with dragging brakes, isn't that a lot of unnecessary wear on the engine/brake pads/rotors/etc? Even if they are able to fix it, I've wasted $200 or so on gas in the past few weeks and shortened the life span of a number of components (and possibly the engine). The odo is at about 1850KM total now, so that's a long ways to drive with something like that wearing on the car.

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Comments

  • BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    Can you push the car easy when it's on level tarmac? If yes then it's not the brakes dragging.

    If your brakes are dragging the wheel rims will get hot even after a short drive and after a longer drive they'll be so hot you'll smell it when getting out. Also you will notice slowing down pretty quick if you put it in neutral so I'd say it's likely an engine issue not a brake issue.

    Go to the dealer give them a chance to fix things and wait with the other concerns till the main issue is corrected (or they try to send you away with a faulty car). Also check consumer laws.

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  • MushroomStickMushroomStick Registered User regular
    Look up lemon laws.

  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    Can you push the car easy when it's on level tarmac? If yes then it's not the brakes dragging.

    If your brakes are dragging the wheel rims will get hot even after a short drive and after a longer drive they'll be so hot you'll smell it when getting out. Also you will notice slowing down pretty quick if you put it in neutral so I'd say it's likely an engine issue not a brake issue.

    Go to the dealer give them a chance to fix things and wait with the other concerns till the main issue is corrected (or they try to send you away with a faulty car). Also check consumer laws.

    How far should the vehicle coast in gear? I've only really driven manual transmissions in the past, so I'm not familiar with how an automatic coasts. This car barely coasts at all in gear.

    And getting up to speed on the highway requires punching the pedal so far that the engine revs extremely high to gain speed. I know this is only a 1.8L, but I find it extremely weak. My last vehicle was a protege, which was the same size engine.

    Edit: come to think of it, the protege was a 1.5!

    Post edited by Figgy on
    daniant wrote:
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  • MrDelishMrDelish Registered User regular
    I occasionally shift into neutral while going about 25 MPH on my automatic transmission car and coast a hundred+ feet into my parking lot.

  • NappuccinoNappuccino Registered User regular
    Is there a chance that your car isn't changing gear properly?

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  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    Nappuccino wrote:
    Is there a chance that your car isn't changing gear properly?

    Could be. It does seem to shift late, but again I'm coming from driving standard most of my life. I do know that when getting on the highway, I have to push the pedal almost all the way down and it seems to rev really high in order to get up there.

    With a light foot, there is no way the car will get up to speed on the highway before running out of ramp.

    Edit: And what are the chances they'll just give me a completely new car if it's something as serious as a problem with the engine or tranny? Would insurance be as easy as calling them up and giving a new VIN?

    Post edited by Figgy on
    daniant wrote:
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  • ToxTox I kill threads Pharezon's human garbage heapRegistered User regular
    edited December 2011
    I would definitely make an appointment with the dealer. The thing about new car models is that there could be a problem with the model's design that was missed. This is where recalls kick in. First of all, check here to see if there are any recalls on your model. It may be new, but it's a year old, so if it's a manufacturing problem, the recall should already have been made. They may have missed yours since it wasn't yet sold, or they may have ignored it, who knows.

    It could be brakes, could be trans, could be also be any number of electronic components that work with those systems.
    Figgy wrote:
    Could be. It does seem to shift late, but again I'm coming from driving standard most of my life. I do know that when getting on the highway, I have to push the pedal almost all the way down and it seems to rev really high in order to get up there.

    This could simply be something you're noticing because of being used to manual/standard trans. Automatics generally have to shift down a gear to accelerate up hill, and you generally have to push the pedal down hard to get it to downshift.

    Post edited by Tox on
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  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
    An intermittent rumble at highway speeds? Lacking in power? It sounds almost like a misfire.

    Or maybe the "smart stop" is messed up?

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  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
    Tox wrote: »
    This could simply be something you're noticing because of being used to manual/standard trans. Automatics generally have to shift down a gear to accelerate up hill, and you generally have to push the pedal down hard to get it to downshift.

    In older cars, yeah. But newer cars with newer designed auto boxes are much more active. Although I see the Matrix auto is only a four speed? Really, Toyota?

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  • KiplingKipling Registered User regular
    Is that the Matrix you test drove?

    Even with that, tell them your concerns. You could also get them to let you test drive a Matrix on the lot as a comparison.

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  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    Kipling wrote:
    Is that the Matrix you test drove?

    Even with that, tell them your concerns. You could also get them to let you test drive a Matrix on the lot as a comparison.

    Nope. This one was brought in from another dealer. They didn't have a blue one there.

    Another thing I thought was odd was the final bill of sale said 12km but when I got in the car it was at 80. Probably from driving it from the other dealer, but shouldn't they have shown that?

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  • RuckusRuckus Registered User regular
    That fuel efficiency is conspicuously poor, I drive a '10 GMC Terrain 2.4L AWD, and my average consumption is about 11.4L/100km (8.77 KM/L, 24MPG) with about 80% city driving, on the highway I usually get between 8 and 9L/100km (31-35MPG).

    Raneados wrote: »
    so what SPECIFICALLY is the problem with my hole?
  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    Yeah, I have no doubt it's due to a malfunction somehow. There is no way this car should be getting such poor mileage, no matter how it's driven.

    One thing, though, is a few weeks ago (had it for a only a few days) a brick flew off a truck in front of me and I knicked it with my front tire. I didn't run it over, but it scuffed my wheel cover and dinged the metal on the rim itself a bit. Is it possible this is somehow related? I don't think I was getting normal mileage/power out of it beforehand from what I can recall.

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  • wmelonwmelon Registered User regular
    Take it back to the dealer. They have service mechanics who are paid to work on these types of things and you should have a full warranty that should cover anything that they should come across.

    The brick thing? I seriously doubt it's the cause of your poor fuel economy but it could very well be the cause of your occasional vibration if you managed to bend the wheel a little.

  • acidlacedpenguinacidlacedpenguin Registered User regular
    yeah that's worse fuel economy than my juke, if yours is at all equivalent to my coworker's 4wd Matrix, you should be seeing around 2L/100km better than you're currently getting. The rumble could be something as simple as poorly balanced wheels, which would partially explain the fuel economy, but the low power is worrisome.

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  • NibCromNibCrom Registered User regular
    Older Toyota Matrix/Pontiac Vibes had an "Overdrive Off" switch right on the shifter. Does yours have one? Overdrive should be on, unless maybe you're towing.

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  • Shoe-EaterShoe-Eater Registered User regular

    Have you checked to make sure the manual brake isn't engaged?

    I'm pretty sure you would have checked this, but since it's a new car and may not be familiar with the location of all the controls, it's possible you may have forgot to disengage the manual/e-brake.

    the symptoms you've described match up with the E-brake being left on.

    If you've checked and that's not it great.
    I just wanted to save you some potential embarrassment form showing up at the dealership, only to find out the E-brake was on the whole time.

    best of luck.

  • JustinSane07JustinSane07 __BANNED USERS regular
    What trim Matrix did you buy? If you bought the S, then it has a bigger engine than the base model and gets slightly less fuel economy.

  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    This is the FWD model, for clarification. There is no overdrive switch, and the parking brake is definately off. Unless it's misaligned and engaged while being fully lowered.

    I called the dealer today and the salesman said I could bring it in later in the week. I told him I don't even want to drive it any more and would rather just drop it off today, so I'm doing that at 2:30.

    I don't know why it has to be a specific time and I can't just leave it there, but whatever.

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  • ToxTox I kill threads Pharezon's human garbage heapRegistered User regular
    Don't talk to the salesman anymore. He sold you the car, his job is done. Now you're just a monkey on his back. When you call the dealership, ask for the service department, not sales.

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  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    Tox wrote:
    Don't talk to the salesman anymore. He sold you the car, his job is done. Now you're just a monkey on his back. When you call the dealership, ask for the service department, not sales.

    Well, I'd like to give him a chance to make it right. I know if I were in his shoes, I'd want to do right by my customer and make sure he'll recommend me/come back again. He did call me a few days ago because Toyota called my house with a survey and my wife answered.. bad luck. She gave them 5/10 on customer satisfaction because of the dash problems/scratch alone. He was concerned and wanted to know if there was anything he could do so that when we did the email portion of the survey we were satisfied. I know he's just interested in his approval rating, but after this new issue, I'd like him to know fully well why I'll be giving a low rating, rather than him thinking, "He never gave me a chance!"

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to have the salesman look it over and be done with it. I'm still getting an appointment in the service department, but it's him that's booking it. I also want to make sure I get a loaner car for free, which I don't believe is normally covered.

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  • Arson WellesArson Welles Registered User regular
    Figgy wrote:
    Edit: And what are the chances they'll just give me a completely new car if it's something as serious as a problem with the engine or tranny? Would insurance be as easy as calling them up and giving a new VIN?

    Yeah, it would be this easy. They would probably confirm everything with you again, but changing a vehicle is pretty common place for an insurance company. If you called me, I could do it in less than 10 minutes.

  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    So I dropped off the car. I am beyond shocked at how poorly Toyota is handling this.

    Explaining the symptoms to one of the techs there resulting in me standing there and arguing with three techs who gathered around to tell me that 400km/tank is normal because it is winter and the car hasn't been broken in yet.

    One tech then said there can't be anything wrong with the car because the check engine light would be on. I said, "You're trying to tell me that every problem with a car will result in a check engine light?" "yeah, pretty much."

    Another tech then started asking about aftermarket parts. I said, "The car is three weeks old. i havn't touched anything." "That doesn't answer my question." "Yes it does." "So there are no matts?" "Yes, there are matts." "Toyota matts?" "No, just regular winter rubber matts. And they aren't under the pedal."

    Another tech then quoted me the mileage his Tacoma gets. It took every ounce of my patience not to ask him if he was dropped on his head as a child. Instead, I said, "I don't think the mileage you get on your truck is a relevant comparison to a 4 cylinder hatchback." "sure it is."

    I basically put the key on the counter and told them the check it out and call me. I also asked the salesman at that point (who was standing beside me the entire time) if he still had any questions as to why my wife gave this dealership a 5/10 on the feedback survey.

    So I've got the salesman's car at the moment. I don't even want this matrix anymore. It has been nothing but a disappointment since I bought it and the dealership is telling me everything is working as it should.

    They are going to drive it and do a fuel trim test, so I'll report back when I hear more.

    daniant wrote:
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  • NibCromNibCrom Registered User regular
    Not sure what engine you have, but:

    Here's a thread about a guy getting bad gas mileage in a 2006 Vibe:
    http://forums.genvibe.com/zerothread?id=45043

    They suggested it might be a VVT oil filter.
    http://forums.genvibe.com/zerothread?id=42494

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  • ComahawkComahawk Registered User regular
    Figgy wrote:
    So I dropped off the car. I am beyond shocked at how poorly Toyota is handling this.

    Explaining the symptoms to one of the techs there resulting in me standing there and arguing with three techs who gathered around to tell me that 400km/tank is normal because it is winter and the car hasn't been broken in yet.

    One tech then said there can't be anything wrong with the car because the check engine light would be on. I said, "You're trying to tell me that every problem with a car will result in a check engine light?" "yeah, pretty much."

    Another tech then started asking about aftermarket parts. I said, "The car is three weeks old. i havn't touched anything." "That doesn't answer my question." "Yes it does." "So there are no matts?" "Yes, there are matts." "Toyota matts?" "No, just regular winter rubber matts. And they aren't under the pedal."

    Another tech then quoted me the mileage his Tacoma gets. It took every ounce of my patience not to ask him if he was dropped on his head as a child. Instead, I said, "I don't think the mileage you get on your truck is a relevant comparison to a 4 cylinder hatchback." "sure it is."

    I basically put the key on the counter and told them the check it out and call me. I also asked the salesman at that point (who was standing beside me the entire time) if he still had any questions as to why my wife gave this dealership a 5/10 on the feedback survey.

    So I've got the salesman's car at the moment. I don't even want this matrix anymore. It has been nothing but a disappointment since I bought it and the dealership is telling me everything is working as it should.

    They are going to drive it and do a fuel trim test, so I'll report back when I hear more.

    Is there any way you can switch to another dealership?

    Also, talk to the manager about the conduct of those mechanics, that is an intimidation tactic and entirely unacceptable. Don't be afraid to cause problems over this, you are buying something worth several thousand dollars and should be getting a perfectly functioning product. To accept any less would be to screw yourself over.

    Basically, raise shit, be the annoying customer, and don't let them push you around.

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  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    i would go over their head to the dealership manager

    also if it was the brakes not disengaging. you would definitely smell it

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  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    My main concern about raising more of a stink than I already am is if I am wrong. Could they be right? Could this fuel efficiency be entirely normal in these conditions? I mean, it's only 5C outside right now, so that's hardly "winter conditions," but they were all very adamant that 400-450km/tank is not outrageous. I fully expected them to be shocked at that number when I said it. They didn't even flinch.

    And what about 'every car problem results in a check engine light.' That seems absolutely ridiculous. He's saying he knows the car is fine because the light isn't on. I wish cars worked that way. That would be fantastic. Is it still possible there's a major issue with the car even though no indicator lights are on?

    And could I be just anal about the lack of power? It's a 1.8L 4 speed automatic. My last car was a 1.5L 5 speed manual. The different in power is staggering. I'm talking almost-pedal-to-the-medal to get onto the highway, unless I want to piss everyone off behind me as I take 5-10 seconds to reach 100-120km/hr.

    I've also seen it shift at around 4500RPM. That seems kind of high, no? I think that was from 2nd to 3rd, but I can't be sure since there is no gear indicator and I'm sure the speed-gear ratio is vastly different given the transmission differences compared to my last car.

    I guess since it's been about an hour since I dropped it off that's "good" news, instead of hearing back 10 minutes later that everything looks hunky dorey. What exactly is a "fuel trim" test?

    Edit: And what about saying I'm simply not happy with the car and I don't want it anymore? Lemon law here says that if there is a substantial difference in odometer readings when you buy the car, you can break contract. The final bill of sale was 12KM, but the car ended up having 80KM. Is that substantial, and can I even prove that was the case? And as far as "as advertised," 9KM/L HWY is a far cry from 16KM/L HWY. Could that be considered a feature not functioning as advertised? One of the techs was arguing with me that those numbers are "government tested" and can't be compared to real world usage. I understand those are optimal stats, but a 7 point difference? That's nearly half.

    Edit: I forgot to mention, I tried "pushing" the car in neutral down my driveway (slight incline) before I went to the dealership. I didn't have someone around to help, so I just sat in it with the door open and pushed with my foot. It wasn't easy, but any stretch. Given that my driveway is an incline, shouldn't it have just rolled right down on its own?

    Post edited by Figgy on
    daniant wrote:
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  • NibCromNibCrom Registered User regular
    I have a 2005 Vibe with the 1.8L and 4-speed auto. Just for reference, I probably get 26mpg in mixed driving, and 30 - 36 on the highway, depending on the speed I'm driving and weather conditions. Mileage drops in the winter of course.

    4500RPM seems way high to me. I'm not sure I've ever gotten this engine that high honestly. Never needed to.

    It definitely sounds like something is wrong. It is possible that something is wrong and the computer doesn't know it. It's just extremely more difficult for the service people to fix it if they don't have an error code.

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  • CabezoneCabezone Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    My 2005 Vibe still gets around 30mpg(13KPL or so) when driven 80% highway. That's driving around 70mph(112kph)

    Post edited by Cabezone on
  • EncEnc FloridaRegistered User regular
    I don't know how it is at the UK or with your specific car, but in Florida if the company refuses to fix the problem and you take it to a secondary dealership or trustworthy mechanic and they find the problem, your warranty usually requires they pay for the repairs at the secondary location. A second, more unbiased, pair of eyes could be a good idea here, though you'll have to pay he diagnostic cost out of pocket at the mechanic.

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  • bwaniebwanie Registered User regular
    450 on a 50 ltr tank with a 1.8 is really poor.

    my 2 ltr ford focus gets about 600-650, and those high-end duratecs were anything but economic.

  • VarinnVarinn Vancouver, BCRegistered User regular
    One thing you haven't mentioned (as far as I can see) is how long you let the car sit at idle every day to warm up. This is a MAJOR gas guzzle time for cars, when cold they suck back extra fuel to stay running and it can take a long time for an engine to reach operating temps when sitting at idle. Start your car, wait 30 seconds or as long as it takes for the windows to start to defrost, and get cruising. An example in my case

    I have a 55L tank in my 91 BMW with 1.8L I4
    In the summer I average 550KM between full tank and fuel reserve light (7L) with a 30 second warm up period at idle
    In the winter I average 400KM between full tank and fuel reserve with a 5 minute warm up period at idle before and after work

    I drive much harder in the summer than I do in the winter, with winter reserved to "dont be an asshat" mode.

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  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
    Figgy wrote: »
    So I dropped off the car. I am beyond shocked at how poorly Toyota is handling this.

    Explaining the symptoms to one of the techs there resulting in me standing there and arguing with three techs who gathered around to tell me that 400km/tank is normal because it is winter and the car hasn't been broken in yet.

    Nope, not relevant. You will see slightly higher (5-10%) fuel usage for the first 500-1000 kms during 'run-in'. You're well past that. They're full of shit.
    Figgy wrote: »
    One tech then said there can't be anything wrong with the car because the check engine light would be on. I said, "You're trying to tell me that every problem with a car will result in a check engine light?" "yeah, pretty much."

    Lying to your face. Would the ECU throw a check engine light if your power windows stopped working? (No.)
    Figgy wrote: »
    Another tech then started asking about aftermarket parts. I said, "The car is three weeks old. i havn't touched anything." "That doesn't answer my question." "Yes it does." "So there are no matts?" "Yes, there are matts." "Toyota matts?" "No, just regular winter rubber matts. And they aren't under the pedal."

    Irrelevant. Floor mats won't suddenly turn a car into a gutless piece of shit.
    Figgy wrote: »
    Another tech then quoted me the mileage his Tacoma gets. It took every ounce of my patience not to ask him if he was dropped on his head as a child. Instead, I said, "I don't think the mileage you get on your truck is a relevant comparison to a 4 cylinder hatchback." "sure it is."

    No, it isn't. He's a dick. Fuck him.
    Figgy wrote: »
    I basically put the key on the counter and told them the check it out and call me. I also asked the salesman at that point (who was standing beside me the entire time) if he still had any questions as to why my wife gave this dealership a 5/10 on the feedback survey.

    So I've got the salesman's car at the moment. I don't even want this matrix anymore. It has been nothing but a disappointment since I bought it and the dealership is telling me everything is working as it should.

    Is there a way you can cancel everytihg and walk away if the product you were sold does not work as specified? Do that. Financially you should be able to walk away pretty much as if all this never happened, and go and buy something much better, like a Mazda 3.
    Figgy wrote: »
    They are going to drive it and do a fuel trim test, so I'll report back when I hear more.

    A 'fuel trim test'? That sounds like they are going to check the air-fuel ratios (mixture). If it was running lean enough to kill power and cause rough running, it would also have been pinging, which is a rattly knocking sound coming from the engine. It is also violent death for your pistons, and little and big end bearings. If it was running rich enough to create the problems you describe, there would have been unburned gasoline dribbling out the end of the exhaust pipe. Every time you were stopped at lights, a parking lot or in your driveway with the engine running you would have been able to smell gasoline, quite strongly in fact.

    Do you have a Consumer Protection organisation in your state, or is there a federal department that does that kind of thing? Contact them. You have been sold a lemon.

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  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
    Varinn wrote: »
    One thing you haven't mentioned (as far as I can see) is how long you let the car sit at idle every day to warm up. This is a MAJOR gas guzzle time for cars, when cold they suck back extra fuel to stay running and it can take a long time for an engine to reach operating temps when sitting at idle. Start your car, wait 30 seconds or as long as it takes for the windows to start to defrost, and get cruising. An example in my case

    I have a 55L tank in my 91 BMW with 1.8L I4
    In the summer I average 550KM between full tank and fuel reserve light (7L) with a 30 second warm up period at idle
    In the winter I average 400KM between full tank and fuel reserve with a 5 minute warm up period at idle before and after work

    I drive much harder in the summer than I do in the winter, with winter reserved to "dont be an asshat" mode.

    Sounds like your cold start enricher is staying on in winter.

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  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    You're getting 16 mpg city, that's terrible. My SUV is getting better MPG than your rinky dink crossover.

    Give them a chance to fix it, switch to your typical dealer if you can. Get a quote form a reputable mechanic to see what it would take to fix this, then if they don't fix it, start suing the piss out of them.

    Winter weather will be worse mpg probably, but, we're not talking 10 mpg difference.

  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    So they said they tested it and everything is fine. The salesman asked me to fill it up and measure it again, come back, and then if there is still a concern i can take another matrix for a bit and see if I notice a difference.

    What I don't get is that everyone here is agreeing with me in that this is far below normal economy and yet everyone at the dealer is just shrugging their shoulders like I'm nuts.

    When I got in the car again the fuel light was on. It was on 1/8th tank when I brought it there. How can they possibly have used that much fuel on a test run?

    Should I do something else?

    daniant wrote:
    Alright, looks like I'm giving up golden showers for Lent.
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  • MushroomStickMushroomStick Registered User regular
    I would try a different Toyota dealer if I were you.

  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    I would try a different Toyota dealer if I were you.

    And say what? Aren't they just going to run the same test?

    daniant wrote:
    Alright, looks like I'm giving up golden showers for Lent.
    XBL : Figment3 · SteamID : Figment · Website : www.nathanswyers.com
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic I've Done Worse Registered User regular
    With that three guy shakedown I would think long and hard how much you trust their service department to report the results honestly.

    If you have another dealer that is convenient it might be worth a second opinion. Even if it's out of pocket it's probably worth it to find this problem earlier rather than later.

    Trogg wrote: »
    Not as positive as AIDS and cancer, but positive nonetheless.
  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
    Do you have a Consumer Protection organisation in your state, or is there a federal department that does that kind of thing? Contact them. You have been sold a lemon.

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