Poor gas mileage and shifting - Saturn Outlook Online Community
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post #1 of 46 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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Poor gas mileage and shifting

I have a 2007 Saturn (front wheel drive) that now has 10,200 miles on it. While we love the comfort and the roominess for my 4 children, the gas mileage is deplorable. We purchased it instead of a Tahoe or Aspen because of the mileage it professed to get. We are getting (big sigh) about 9-10 miles per gallon, city or highway. And what drives me crazy is the hard shifting when going up a hill. I have to literally pound on it to get it up even the slightest hill, and if I don't keep my foot down, it constantly downshifts to the point where the tach jumps to 3K then down to 1500K and back until it finally reaches the level.

We took it back to the dealer at about 3K miles, and they ran their diagnostics on it and said all was okay with the computer. There was also a computer software upgrade they made, which we had received a voluntary notice for. We had high hopes this would alleviate the problem, but it hasn't.

Does anyone else have the problem with gas mileage and/or tranny shifting? I have a 2003 Caravan with a 6 cylinder and a 2005 Hyundai 4 cylinder that have more guts than the Outlook.

Thanks.....
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post #2 of 46 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 11:33 PM
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Re: Poor gas mileage and shifting

I have the same vehicle. My mileage in the city is between 11.5 and 14 - highway 25 - 30. I can live with the mileage as I do mostly city with very very little highway and the fact that I do tend to push a little to hard.

As for the shifting - when I got mine last June it broke in fine and I had a few downshifting problems. I had the flash upgrade (tran and DIC) back in October. Since I have had no problems with any shifting and the vehicle has learned my driving habits very well. No accelerating problems at all in any condition.

I have 9900 miles on mine.

Did you receive the flash update for both (is that what you mean by the computer software...)?

Signature: <br /><br />Proud Former Owner of a 2007 Outlook and 2009 Acadia
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post #3 of 46 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 11:52 PM
 
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Re: Poor gas mileage and shifting

Something doesn't seem right, at least as far as mileage--are you calculating mileage divided by gallons to fill, etc. or just based on the DIC (information center)?

Even if you're doing the former, if the dealer didn't reprogram both modules as needed when doing the new trans calibration, your odometer/trip meter, etc. will be far off and would definitely be giving you far off readings in mileage.

Otherwise, most people tend to get a "low" of mid teens around town with many also getting high teens to right around 20, and then most get low to even mid/upper 20's doing a highway cruise.

So...something is amiss. I'd check on the mileage actually being correct after the flash and/or how you're calculating it. As far as the responsiveness, that has been complained about before, though most are satisfied.
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post #4 of 46 (permalink) Old 04-09-2008, 11:29 AM
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Re: Poor gas mileage and shifting

This seems very strange, and I would guess it is either a problem with the engine, or with how you are calculating the mileage. I typically get about 17mpg city and about 22-24mpg highway. In mixed driving, we usually end up with about 19-20mpg per tank.

As for the transmission behavior, even after the upgraded flash, it takes some getting used to. Part of that is due to the fact that it has 6 gears and part of the goal is to get higher gas mileage rather than providing pure power at a moments notice. Much of this is simply how the car is set up, and once you get used to it (and it gets used to your driving style), it will feel more familiar. My second car is a sports car, so going back and forth takes a bit of a shift for me, but overall, I appreciate the gas savings for what I feel is the small trade-off of an upshift happy car.
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post #5 of 46 (permalink) Old 04-11-2008, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Poor gas mileage and shifting

Thanks all for your insights. I will have to check and verify what the computer program upgrade was that the dealer completed. I remember I received a document in the mail indicated it was a voluntary procedure and it had to do with the computer.

To calculate the gas mileage, I do the old school method---mileage at fill up minus the miles to the next fill up divided by the gallons it took to fill up (sorry about the wordiness..hope that made sense). My DIC doesn't have a MPG field. Perhaps because it is the base model Outlook?

I will post what I find out about the computer upgrade that was completed. Again, many thanks for responding.
Larry
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post #6 of 46 (permalink) Old 04-13-2008, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Poor gas mileage and shifting

Okay, I checked the document provided to me by Saturn in October, 2007. It indicated that there was a voluntary update to enhance "shifting performance".

The work receipt from the dealer indicated it was "Campaign #07217, Transmission software & calibration update"

This is all it (warranty work receipt) said---the October 2007 document referenced above did have wording about ".....making you aware of an engine and transmission computer software update that is being made available to you for improved performance".

I am going to contact the dealer to ask them to check everything again, based on the poor gas mileage and the rough shifting. Does anyone have any other advice to offer? I have checked the gas mileage again, doing it by hand, and it comes between 10-12 MPG in regular driving (nearly all non-city). I live in Western Penna, so while we do have hilly topography, it seems that the shifting uphills should be better so that I don't have to pound on it to have it stop shifting up and down before I get to the top of the hill.

Thanks everyone...
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post #7 of 46 (permalink) Old 07-05-2008, 08:19 PM
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Re: Poor gas mileage and shifting

We still have under 2,000 miles on our 2008 we picked up in March and finally took it on a road trip, Philly to Pittsburgh, 308 miles each way. I did the trip in 5 hrs, including stops. I would guess I averaged 73 MPH, and we got 17 MPG out and 18 MPG back. With my 2001 V8 Sierra I get 25 MPG on the same trip, and a little harder driving. I hope the mileage increases, we plan to hit Cedar Point in August, and at this rate it would cost almost $300 in just gas.

Dave<br />2008 Outlook XR
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post #8 of 46 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 09:32 AM
 
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Re: Poor gas mileage and shifting

Do you use cruise control at all? Percent of the time?
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post #9 of 46 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 10:32 AM
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Re: Poor gas mileage and shifting

I have a 2008 XE and I have had mixed results with mileage. I have gotten as low as 18-19 on the highway and as high as 22-23 on the highway. What seems to be the key in higher MPG for me is:

1.) avoid using the break as much as possible
2.) accelerate slowly from a stop (avoid surging)
3.) coast where you can (downhill or when you see congestion up ahead)
4.) avoid constant use of A/C on long rides
5.) Keep speed at or below 65 MPH (very important, makes a huge difference)

Other variables like wind and rain or steep inclines can create more resistance and cause you to burn a lot more fuel on trips.

These are also key "hypermiling" techniques... but they do make the difference for me.
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post #10 of 46 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 02:59 PM
 
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Re: Poor gas mileage and shifting

Has anyone heard of a chip, or any modification to get more MPG's or performance?

I was thinking about looking into some air intake work (maybe a K&N system) to see what that does.

Any thoughts or anyone have any experience with this?
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