Last post on Mar 26, 2013 at 8:58 AM
You are in the Chevrolet Malibu
What is this discussion about?
Chevrolet Malibu, Chevrolet Malibu Maxx, Fuel Efficiency (MPG), Hatchback, Sedan
#438 of 470 Re: 2011 malibu ltz 2.4l, 6sp auto [phil53]
Nov 04, 2011 (10:08 am)
"I don't know what my next car is going to be, but it certainly won't be a Malibu... It probably won't be a Chevy"
Thank you phil53.
I've been seriously thinking about buying a Malibu of this generation before it gets shortened for 2013.
But with stories like this... and look at the posts at the Equinox forums on the I4 and V6 engine (shared with the Malibu) problems -- scary...
I think I'll stick with my Opel/Malibus of the sixth generation, thank you.
GM reps (Christina, Sarah):
I realize you have limited if any meaningful roles here (haven't seen a single case where your "offer of help" would help any car owner, but perhaps it did happen, somewhere, sometime). I'll still say this: if not for the over 3000 GM Card points I have, I would not buy another GM car (have had four so far). Not because I don't like mine (I love them) but because I've had my share of troubles with a 1999 Pontiac and don't want to live through that again (while the car was great when not in need of a repair.)
The possibility that, by some reviews, the current GM cars are not less reliable than Hondas or Toyotas doesn't mean a thing to me: you don't have the Japanese firms' reputation. You are starting from ground zero where you have put yourself more than once. Can't read owners' messages on Cadillac, Impala, Equinox and Malibu boards without shuddering. If the GM leadership still does not get it that for this company, pretty much every customer/owner loss is a much harder blow than for believed-to-be-reliable brands... well, what do I say? I say, "Goodbye GM", as others will do.
Read somewhere that there are no more American car manufacturers' dealerships in some areas of CA. Not surprised. That's your future, GM, for the whole country, with the reliability and attitude you keep showing.
Have a good day.
Nov 04, 2011 (9:01 pm)
Two potential problems with listening to people who say that don't get the advertised highway MPG on any car is that they may not know how to drive efficiently and/or they cannot do the math. While some might actually have a vehicle malfunction, I suspect that there are many who just don't know the basics.
To me, highway driving means "no city driving." I don't expect to get the advertised MPG unless on a limited access highway, do not exceed 60 mph, do not drop out of 6th gear very often, do not have a headwind, am not overloaded with people/cargo, is not frigid weather and am not traversing very hilly terrain.
I have a 2008 Saturn Aura with a 3.6 and 6 spd. It is rated as 26 HWY, I can easily get 28 to 30 most of the time and once got 36.5 with a 10 mph tailwind on the turnpike through Ohio (flat). On many occasions where I have been driving at 60 mph, I have been passed by a 4 cly Malibu (one tail pipe) that went flying by me at 75 or more. I even remarked to my wife "I bet he isn't getting 32 mpg."
Before I bought the Aura with the 3.6, I drove a new 2.4 and liked it, but my wife insisted on the 3.6 because she wanted dual exhausts (hence the comment every time a 4 cyl passes me). I took the 2.4 on a 5 mile highway loop and got 34 mpg driving 55 mph, then zero'd the computer in city traffic and drove uphill 1.5 miles and got 22 mpg in traffic.
Yes, I know that I did not gas up to verify the computer. But If you like the car and are skeptical, take the car on a test drive under both city and highway conditions, and see the MPG prior to a decision.
It is more creditible to see posts where someone writes that they checked their computer average and found it overstated MPG by 2% for example, and that they then drove X miles on level interstate in both directions at a steady 55 mph and got 25 MPG before correcting by 2%. You can also correct for the affect on the odometer due to tire circumference as well.
But, you rarely see posts like that, and it leaves you wondering about the accuracy of the poster's statements. If they do not drive efficiently or can't do the math, their posts are worthless to those who read these forumns. And it is hard to tell who has reported accurately unless they lay sufficient groundwork in their post.
#440 of 470 Re: Mileage comment [ohc6sprint]
Nov 04, 2011 (9:40 pm)
This is all very true, on posters' accuracy and attention to the detail. Some posts don't even describe the car well. Reporting MPG per DIC is plain ridiculous. Etc.
But on this I don't agree: " have been passed by a 4 cly Malibu (one tail pipe) that went flying by me at 75 or more. I even remarked to my wife "I bet he isn't getting 32 mpg."
You can find several posts I made on this forum a few years ago where I documented the MPG of my 4-cyl 2005 Bus. I was reporting getting up to 36 MPG, the car loaded, with A/C mostly on -- on several round-trips MA to TN, a 2200 miles loop. By the fuel purchased, everything measured meticulously.
So: those 36 MPG were at the speeds over 75 MPH (as you can imagine).
I have never observed the dramatic effect of exceeding 55 MPG. The MPG loss mostly happens at braking, accelerating and climbing. At a steady speed, 55 or 75 MPH, doesn't make a big difference with a well shaped modern sedan. Well, I'll admit the possibility of getting 37 MPG instead of 36 MPG, traveling over 1000 miles at 55 MPH instead of 75 MPH. Go use that if you want... not me, on the roads with the posted speed of 75 MPH: I was quite content with 3675+
#441 of 470 Re: "A better MPG with more miles on a car" -- the old urban legend [malexbu]
Nov 05, 2011 (1:20 pm)
I have to disagree. My Malibu started out getting 25.4 on first few tanks. Then 26, then 27, then 28, then 29, and now breaking 30 at 9500 miles. It was a steady progression as the first 9500 miles have been put on the car. It now gets 33 mpg even on a slight uphill on a windless day with nobody else near me on the interstate, whether I'm doing 60, 65, or 70 mph. This is according to the DIC which has matched tanks of gas mpg within .1 mpg when I compare.
I don't expect much further improvement as 30 combined is way over the Malibu combined rating of 26. My '84 Camaro peaked at 60,000 miles and my '01 Silverado mpg is still improving at 28,900 miles and 10 years old.
My top off today showed 28.2 and includes 50% interstate and 50% city. The split would be 60/40 if I hadn't gone out to lunch each day. halfway home from the gas station the DIC showed a remaining range of 505 miles.
#442 of 470 Re: 2011 malibu ltz 2.4l, 6sp auto [malexbu]
Nov 05, 2011 (7:41 pm)
Boy, Malexbu, I sure didn't mean to push you towards Honda or Toyota. I'd definitely buy another GM car over a Honda or Toyota. I find those cars a bit too boring and I do think their reputation for reliability is over-blown. The reliability of my GM vehicles has been pretty good. I've just been a bit disappointed with the fuel mileage and the operation of that specific engine and transmission combination. But I've not had problem with the reliability.
Plus, I really like the idea of 'buying American', as cliche as that may be. Yes, I know that Honda and Toyota make cars in the US, BUT - they take money out of the economy more than they put in. All their profits go back to Japan; they build in areas where they get tax abatements so they're not putting any money directly back in our economy and they pay less than the US manufacturers, so they drive down the wages of car builders everywhere and lower the standard of living. Just my humble opinion.
Furthermore, your assertion that GM does not have the reputation of Honda or Toyota shows that you are fairly young and are looking only at recent history. I would remind you that Chevrolet has been around twice as long as either of those brands and that Chevrolet was the top selling and most admired brand in the US for 52 years. I remember well when "Made in Japan" meant it was junk. Chevrolet is a cultural icon. You don't hear songs about Hondas or Toyotas. ("See the USA in your Chevrolet"; "Drove my Chevy to the levy"; ".. in the backseat of my '60 Chevy"; etc, etc.) I think GM is making a major come-back and deserves to be considered side-by-side with their Japanese competitors.
I'll get off my soap-box now....
#443 of 470 Re: "A better MPG with more miles on a car" -- the old urban legend [dave8697]
Nov 05, 2011 (7:28 pm)
On your first tanks' MPG improvement: any chance that the weather was getting warmer? When did you buy your car, and what Malibu is it? (Perhaps you've posted it before, but it's probably easier for you to repeat than for me to search over the old posts...) Also, any chance you've been changing your way of driving, adjusting to the car as you drove it more?
And I have to add that I wouldn't claim that the MPG doesn't improve over the break-in period, which is 600 miles for Malibu. It may or may not, but I am not saying anything about it. But I wouldn't expect that a Malibu with 3K miles will be getting a consistently better MPG when it is at 6 or 20K, all things being equal, which includes the weather and driving conditions and patterns.
#444 of 470 Re: Mileage comment [ohc6sprint]
Nov 05, 2011 (7:39 pm)
I do know 'how to drive efficiently'. I choose not to. That would drive me nuts. I'd rather walk. Quite frankly, if you drive 60 on the freeway/interstate around here, you're a road hazard and you'll get run over. At those speeds, you should stick to the side roads. But maybe that's a midwestern thing.
I should not have to practice 'hypermiling' or drive like an old lady to get the posted mileage. I drive the way I drive and I get the advertised mileage on my Corvette and my Avalanche. I got it on all 3 of my Yukons and my Chevy pickup. I think I got it on my Cutlass and my Bonneville (I don't remember for sure).
All that said, I do agree that highway mileage means no mix of city or suburban - strictly on the highway.
#445 of 470 Re: Mileage comment [phil53]
Nov 05, 2011 (10:56 pm)
All good points; I don't "hypermill" either and I do drive faster than 60, especially when traffic dictates. The thing that I do most consistently is to keep my tires inflated close to 35 psi, stay under 70 mph and anticipate slowing or stopping thereby conserving energy. My point is that one should understand that bad driving techniques reduce MPG through no fault of the car. If they don't get the concept and then post that they are unhappy with their mileage, then they are wasting everyone's time and influencing people negatively.
On the other hand, if someone does everything correctly and still gets substandard fuel economy, then they have credibility and deserve to be heard from. Hopefully, they will lay it out in their post so that readers can determine whether or not their claims have merit.
I will leave you with this link to how the HWY mpg test is conducted:
It is a 12.75 minute test done on a dynamometer between 68 and 86 degrees. According to the test graph, the vehicle starts out at 0, accelerates to 50, slows to 30 once and accelerates to 60 and ends at 0. There are some small fluctuations, but never exceeds 60 mph, and the average speed is 48.3 mph. There are other graphs that are worth looking at, including future tests like cold weather, air conditioning and high speed (80 mph).
This chart gives detailed test comparisons:
Hope this aids the discussion.
#446 of 470 Re: "A better MPG with more miles on a car" -- the old urban legend [malexbu]
Nov 08, 2011 (9:58 pm)
6 spd 4 cyl bought last day of Feb 2010. MPG went up from 25s to 27s by late that year. Then this past summer it went up to 30 by end of summer and 9000 miles on it. So yes, it improved in warmer weather each summer but the second summer was almost a 10% increase from the first summer. It's been 33-37 temps most mornings lately and it is still hitting 30 on the trip to work. Cold weather increases drag but feeds engine more oxygen, possibly balancing out. The drive takes 22 minutes so it is warmed up for most of the trip. Wind can be a big factor.
#447 of 470 Re: "A better MPG with more miles on a car" -- the old urban legend [dave8697]
Nov 09, 2011 (6:49 am)
>Cold weather increases drag but feeds engine more oxygen, possibly balancing out.
I've thought about this often. The cold air has slightly higher density but then summer time brings higher humidity in the air. In the "old days" the higher humidity was thought to help the mixture burn better--sort of like the impression that a car ran better when it was raining due to the higher humidity with the carbureted engines.
Summer time brings more alcohol in the gasoline at some stations and EPA required forumulations on fuel in some regions, which are thought to give less mileage. Now the gasoline probably has 10% ethanol whenever they can get by with it that high due to the government paybacks to big business companies farming the corn and making ethanol from the corn.
The biggest factor I think, is the transmission on the automatic cars I have. I can start out when the trans is garage cool and it takes about 5-8 minutes before the mileage reading gets to higher values. I believe it's the transmission oil giving more drag. I put Dexron VI in my car where it was supposedly compatible with the original Dexron IIIe. The VI is essentially a synthetic and has a thinner viscosity in my judgement at cooler temps, just like synthetic engine oil is more consistent in its viscosity. I think it made a small difference in those cold starts.
The difference in Dex VI affected the shift quality beyond the ability of my transmission to adapt by its computer control of shifts. So I drained and refilled with the original quality fluid.