2002 Mazda Tribute Heater kills mpg

Tiny
JENN1209
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 MAZDA TRIBUTE
  • V6
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 200,100 MILES
I live in Columbus, OH and in the winter my tribute burns a little more than twice the fuel when I have my heater on than when I have my heater off. I get approx 10.6 mpg w/ heater on and approx 21 mpg w/ heater off. What could be causing this?
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Friday, November 14th, 2014 AT 8:37 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
How are you calculating the fuel consumption?
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Friday, November 14th, 2014 AT 8:46 PM
Tiny
JENN1209
  • MEMBER
I travelled a total 77 miles that day and I have a 15gal fuel tank which was full. I had the heater on during my travels (it was 25 degrees f out). At the end of the day I had half a tank of gas left. So 77miles/7.5 gal =something like 10.26666 mpg. If the heater were off I get between 20-25 mpg even in cold weather.
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Sunday, November 16th, 2014 AT 8:17 AM
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
Gauge may be out of calibration, the best way to test is fill tank re set trip meter, do say 50 miles re fill and see how much is used, do this twice, with heater on and off do this test first.
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Sunday, November 16th, 2014 AT 12:01 PM
Tiny
JENN1209
  • MEMBER
My gas gauge is reasonably accurate. This fluctuation in mpg only occurs when I run the heater. The vehicle burns extensively more fuel. I've tested this multiple times including an assumption that it had to do with my gas gauge, that assumption left me stranded on the side of the road. I understand it doesn't make sense to anyone that running a heater could cause a vehicle to burn double the fuel but it does. I preserve my gas mileage by leaving my heater off which, while effective, is very uncomfortable when it's below freezing.
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Monday, November 17th, 2014 AT 7:32 AM
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
I will pass this on to others as I can't offer an explanation or a possible remedy as I can't see any possible connection between the two
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Tuesday, November 18th, 2014 AT 12:55 AM

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