Is anyone else getting as horrible of gas mileage as mine is? 17/city and at most 20/highway.


Asked by Jan 20, 2008 at 04:41 PM about the 2003 Ford Taurus SES

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have had this car since it was new.  I now have 41k on it and am getting sick of the gas mileage on this car.  I also have a 2000 ford explorer and a 1999 Suburban, neither of which costs much more to drive than this car does.  

Do you know of any problems with this engine/transmission that would make this thing get such horrible gas mileage?  If so, are there any recalls etc?  I've talked to other people that also have identical cars (year, engine,tranny, etc.) and they are doing high 20's and low 30's on the highway with theirs.  I've found one other person with same year, make, model, etc. that is doing as horrible of mileage as mine, so obviously it's  not just my car alone.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!  Thank you!

16 Answers


Don't know what engine is in yours, or how you drive, but perhaps a tune-up is in order, it's entirely possible that at 41k you are seeing the effects of bad plugs or wires. Have you changed air filter and are you using the prescribed weight of oil, i.e. 5W20 or whatever is factory recommended?

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

had a 96 f 150 with bad timeing practically from the factory less than 10000 klm was only getting 10 miles to the gallon highway dealer fixed it though and it was ok there after

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

I have a 2002 Taurus LX V-6 and I get the exact same gas mileage - I don't know who you are talking to with a V-6 (guessing) in a Taurus that get more than that. I am 2nd owner (unfortunately) and have 116,000 on this car. I previously had a 1991 Thunderbird that got about 15 if I was lucky. I did expect better gas mileage for a car that was only 6 years old, but I guess not.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

well i have a 99 se and i get 43 highway and average 32 around where i live, if you have the overhead cam, something is seriously wrong, if you have the double overhead, its prob. just out of tune, need to maintain your vehicle.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

i have a 2002 taurus sel dohc. i'm getting around 14-15 mpg. been a lot of places and they've told me maf sensors, fuel system cleaning, spark plugs, fuel filter so on and so on. but recently ford dealer told me my exhaust valve stems were bad and i had misfires on 3 cylinders and 3 fuel injectors were bad. i just recently fixd all that so we'll see if it works. some people even said tire pressure and change your oil. it's not that kind of problem.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

This has the 6 cylinder engine...don't remember exactly which one, but the car has done this gas mileage since driving it off of the when it was brand new. This car has NEVER done more than 20mpg highway and a lot lower in city driving. Doesn't matter how you drive it either.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

I understand what you are saying about a tune up, but shouldn't it be "tuned up" enough coming off of the dealer delivery truck from the factory? I don't believe you can get anymore "tuned up" than that--don't you agree? Again, I believe this is a problem from FORD. I know other people that have the exact same car, same engine/tranny set up and they 30+ mpg on the highway and 25+ in town. I know one other person that has the same car and set up, and they have the same problem I do, so it's not just my car. The car was like this from the factory, so I don't believe it is a "tune up" problem. I believe I was lucky enough to get a lemon from the factory. Any help would be greatly appreciated. And, forgive me, but a car that has 41k on it should not need a tune up yet.


Have any of you checked the odometer for accuracy? All four of mine (88, 95, 02 and 07) have been in the same ballpark. Wife got 16-17 in town and I get 18-19 (driving styles). Hwy is 23-27 depending on weather. I wanna know where that 43 mpg highway is coming from for sure!


I was poking on these sites because my gas gauge is broken. I recently aquired the car and I have to say that there are two other people i know that have the same make and model with broken guages. Is this a Taurus problem? I have been told that it is expensive to fix, so I came here looking for mileage info. The conflicting info is very discouraging to say the least

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

I have 2006 and the gas milage is bad at first now its awful tuned up and everything please help or should I just sale this thing

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

the most common problem on ford tarauses with bad milage is the fuel pressure regulator or fuel pressure control what ever way you want to call it anyway i have replaced more than a few with positive results. I had a 95 windstar which is really a taraus with a van body and mileage went from 13 mpg to 22-23, its amazing but worth a try your car will not run any different but not using nearly as much gas. This will not show up on an analyzer. good luck

12 of 12 people found this helpful.

I have a 1991 Taurus I usually get 20 or less putting around home not much better on trips until I put in highest octain gas. Best I have done is all most 31 on (I believe 91 octain) the next tank I got 20 using 87 octain. This trip I put in same 91 octain (from same station) got 25. My son-in-law noticed in owners manual it says use 91 octain or higher). You might try. I don't understand stand the difference in the same gas though. JH

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

I currently have a 2005 Taurus since 2007. Prior to that a 2004 which I bought new - both get the same fuel economy. Prior to those I had a 1989 Taurus with the same 3.0 but it got about 15% BETTER gas mileage on the highway. The reason? The newer Fords burn MORE fuel to lower the NOx emissions - apparently burns hotter - at least that is what the Ford maintenance told me. Kinda stupid, eh?

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

don't feel bad mine gets ten around town but I rarely drive it so gas mileage isn't a problem


Barry here again . . . I put this up on my Facebook page ***************** March 5 at 12:00am ยท Today I drove up to Titusville Florida, to watch the Spacex rocket launch in the early evening. I am driving a 2015 Ford Focus rental (peppy & great handling) and on the drive back south I wanted to check out how accurate the on-board fuel consumption calculator is. I was in a 60 mph construction zone so I set the cruise for several miles and this is a picture of the dash read out stating 55.5 miles per US gallon @ 60 mph which converts to 4.23 L/100 km - pretty good, eh? but I wanted to double check this figure. I had filled up in Titusville and refilled when I arrived in Boynton Beach. Much of the 170 mile trip was driven between 70 - 80 miles per hour with a consumption of 3.26 US gallons = 52.15 miles per US gal. (62.6 miles per Imp. gal.) which equals 4.51 L/100 km With fuel consumption like this why bother with electrics or hybrids - or Smart Cars??

putting cruise on is only way i can get better mpg on the instrument panel but fill Up tells the story . 10mpg in town and 15mpg at 75mph.... 45-55 is best milage with cruise on. I heard this car could have bad emission or exhaust my engine light comes on at a drop of the hat. I take to get Codes off it .they came out 000001 Code meant no problems. The air sensor does need cleaned twice year with electronic cleaner

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