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I just purchased a 2005 Scion xA w/114k miles from a private…

Second opinion] Hi, my...

Second opinion] Hi, my name is***** just purchased a 2005 Scion xA w/114k miles from a private party. Love the car but around town, the fuel economy is terrible - 10 mpg, and I'm just putting - no drag racing. Over the highway I'm getting 32 mpg. I happened to get out of the car the other evening while the engine was still running and swore I was smelling gasoline from the exhaust (I had just started the car). There's no check engine light on. The car runs pretty smoothly but I'm planning on having 4 new plugs installed next week because I don't know how old they are. I've read that the gas smell could be due to a clogged or faulty EGR valve or maybe a leaking charcoal canister. car seems to idle fine - maybe a tad low but there's no indication of potential stalling. Any idea what is more than likely causing the poor fuel economy around town?

Mechanic's Assistant: Does the light stay on, or does it blink?

There is NO check engine light on - hasn't been since I bought the car 3 weeks ago.

Mechanic's Assistant: Are you fixing your xA yourself? What have you tried so far?

The only thing I've done is have the oil changed by Meineke and I changed the air filter element today myself. I'm thinking of sending it to the local Toyota dealership next week for them to take a look but I wanted some feedback from someone more knowledgable than me before I did. I can do some simple maintenance but I won't mess with these more complicated issues.

Mechanic's Assistant: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?

No - I think that's about it.

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Answered in 12 minutes by:
1/21/2018
Ted G.
Ted G., ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 6,218
Experience: 20 years auto repair experience, ASE Master Tech, Mechanical Failure consultant, Expert Witness
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Hi Dennis. Several things come to mind. First I would check to make sure the plugs are good, since they are due for replacement. Secondly I would consider servicing the throttle body, cleaning the throttle plats and bore to insure proper operation and airflow. If it continues to run rich I would check the fuel pressure, it could be high and causing the engine to run somewhat rich. When this occurs it can actually run pretty well, but use a lot of fuel. Normally you will have a check engine light on, but it may not have done the proper amount of city and highway driving to set a rich trim code. Finally I would verify that the engine is running hot enough, occasionally a thermostat will stick open and the engine will run on cold cycle, which is rich and uses more fuel. By checking these basics, I suspect you'll find your issue.

Ted G.
Ted G., ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 6,218
Experience: 20 years auto repair experience, ASE Master Tech, Mechanical Failure consultant, Expert Witness
Verified
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thanks! New plugs are going in next week. I'll have throttle body cleaned as well. Hadn't thought about thermostat. The car puts out an amazing amount of heat, even in the single-digit temps we had here in New Hampshire a couple of weeks ago, so I didn't think it was an issue. I want to have a full cooling system flush (done by dealer) as well. Might be a good idea to have new thermostat put in while they are at it. Fuel pressure is another good thought. Appreciate all your input!
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