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Legacy Wagon 2.2 mpg problems ??

gregnw44gregnw44 Member Posts: 9
edited April 2014 in Subaru

And thanks for any ideas and help :)

I'm buying a '95 Legacy "L" wagon with the 2.2. It has 160K on it, and is all stock. It has had average, to below average, care and upkeep. Mechanically, it has been kept up ok (I think :)
I've been shopping this model for a while, and one of the things I've heard from several owners regarding gas mileage, is that they get 22-25 mpg around town and 26-30 mpg on the freeway. And these are similar aged cars, with the same or more miles on the odometer.

Question - The guy I'm buying my car from, seems to have his act together... yet he tells me that his mileage is 20 mpg, combined city/Hwy. He says that he checks it quite a bit, and that he's gotten this mileage for many years.

This car has stock sized tires, and I imagine that the odometer is right... and that he has good math skills.

So - How can this be?

I want better mileage than this. What can I do? I'm taking it to a Subaru mechanic, to check some other things out. What else can he check, to see what's wrong with this engine, that it would get such poor mileage??

Thanks a ton, Greg


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    ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    That engine is generally well regarded, especially for durability, but it's not very powerful and the previous owner probably works it hard to keep up with faster traffic.

    His average does sound low, though.

    Have the mechanic to a compressoin test to see if the piston rings and heads are sealing well.
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    gregnw44gregnw44 Member Posts: 9
    Thanks.... and I'll have that done. What should the compression #'s be for that car, with those miles?

    And is that the main thing to check for low fuel mileage?

    Any other things to check?
    fuel injection
    air intake

    I'm not a mechanic... just tossing out words here.

    Any tips or advice would be great before I get the car in.

    Thanks, Greg
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    morin2morin2 Member Posts: 399
    I had a 94 Legacy sedan with the 2.2 auto and got around 30. I sold it to my son when he got his license and I suspect he must get closer to the 20. There is a huge difference in our driving styles. I was taught to drive like there were eggs under the gas and brake pedals and was rewarded with great fuel economy. My son, unfortunately, is always in a hurry and accelerates and brakes hard. I coast. I have always recorded every fill-up in a small notebook and so, have a running tally of fuel economy - as well as a convenient place to record all maintenance. The columns in my record book are: date, odom, miles since last fill (delta odom), gals, $, mpg. I have recorded every fill-up since 1972 in this way.
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    ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    My guess is tire pressure and condition, plus alignment, are even bigger factors.

    Not to mention driving style, and the previous post mentions.

    My minivan has a trip computer and I can break 30mpg on highway trips if I drive smoothly and keep speeds down. We were driving to Florida and my brother got a turn behind the wheel while I slept, I think he was doing 90, and he got 25.somethign mpg.

    Speeds make a big difference, also. Wind resistance increases with the square of speed, while rolling resistance only decreases linearly.
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