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Toyota Service
Toyota Service, Lexus and Toyota expert
Category: Lexus
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Just purchased a 2013 rx450h certified from the dealer with

Customer Question

Just purchased a 2013 rx450h certified from the dealer with 20k miles. It only gets 19-20mpg or so. Dealers says all the computer checks are ok but when I was driving the loner 2015 rx450h I get ~25mpg using similar route and driving. Seems like something is wrong with mine but they are just going by what the computer is saying. Any ideas on how to resolve or what to check?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Lexus
Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.

Hello. Welcome to Just Answer. Please allow me to assist you. There are a lot of variables when it comes to MPG on hybrid vehicles. The biggest one is tires. Some hybrids have "low rolling resistance" tires fitted. This increase the gas mileage. More aggressive/all weather tread patterns on the tires Increase the rolling resistance, and drags the MPG down. TIre inflation pressure is critical. Fuel choice is critical too. You get better MPG with 89 octane than with 87. Never use 93 or 84. These cars are some of the most elaborate when it comes to looking for problems. If you do not have any warning light on at the dash, the dealer will not be able to improve anything for you, as the computer is not indicating any problems. The first thing I would here if these 2 cars were my shop would be to compare tires. That and the difference in trim, like a rear wing on one and not the other.

Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the info. The tires are the factory installed ones with < 21K miles on them so I doubt this is the issue. The things I am thinking about are maybe there is excess friction somewhere (the brake is engaged when it shouldn't be) or one of the filters is clogged--I'd think they would have checked these things though. The tire pressures are all monitored and appear to be in specs. Any further ideas? or things to check? Thanks!
Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.

I would not think a clogged filter. Perhaps a dirty or non - factory air filter, yes, but not clogged. A clogged filter would set one of many check engine lights. Perhaps a dirty mass air flow sensor. Brake calipers sticking is always a possibility. Total vehicle weight is a major factor. If there is a towing package on the 2013, or a different style of sunroof, the 2013 weighs a bit more. Same with 2wd vs 4wd. The 4WD version weighs more. I am also pretty sure (although I cannot find the spec right now) that the 2015 high voltage battery is like 25-30 lbs lighter than the 2013 unit. This is all based on the MPG setting to be set to 'average', and not 'instant'.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Any ideas what steps I can take to try to resolve this? They did install a tow package but it is simply a bar and electrical connection as best I can tell. A few 10s or even 100s of pounds shouldn't drag the mileage down 20-25% I wouldn't think. If the tow package did something to the breaks that could be an issue.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Oh and by the way, I haven't towed anything yet. I'm just wondering if they may have messed somthing up when installing it.
Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.

A trailer hitch usually weighs about 125-150 lbs. The wire is negligible. A tow hitch would not have anything to do with the brakes.

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