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2011 Toyota RAV4: MPG Went Down Considerably

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New User

Jun 25, 2013, 8:52 PM

Post #1 of 4 (1036 views)
2011 Toyota RAV4: MPG Went Down Considerably Sign In

I bought a 2011 RAV4 couple of years ago. The car was bought brand new. Its a V6 3.5 Liter engine.

3 weeks ago, i was towing my jet-ski for the first time, and i pressed pedal to check on how the vehicle will handle added load (About 800 Lbs). The vehicle picked up just fine and ran like a champ.

3 days later, i started noticing a sharp drop in MPG, even when the jet ski was not towed. Before i was getting 23-24 MPG City and about 28 MPG Highway miles, going at 80 MPH. I was proud of the MPG, cause it was like insanely high.

Now i am getting only 18-19 MPG city and about 23-25 MPG Highway. What happened here? Did i somehow jacked up transmission, when towing the jet ski? I have 60K miles on my RAV4.

Please help. Advice, what should be checked to get the MPG back to where it was.

MarineGrunt profile image

Jun 26, 2013, 8:25 AM

Post #2 of 4 (979 views)
Re: 2011 Toyota RAV4: MPG Went Down Considerably Sign In

I doubt you jacked up the tranny. It may just be coincidence that it happened after towing your jet ski. Granted it's only a V6 but that's not a heck of a lot of weight.

I'd maybe check some of the basic things first such as the air filter and cleaning the throttle body.

Is the check engine light on?

In the future take it easy when towing. The number one cause of transmission failure is heat. When your towing the tranny fluid gets a lot hotter. I personally don't think the towing caused any damage to the tranny but just thought I'd mention it.

There are some great professional mechanics on here who volunteer their time. Be sure to check back. They'll be able to give you much better advice than I can.

Isn't it still under warranty? If so, take that sucker in!

New User

Jul 1, 2013, 9:32 PM

Post #3 of 4 (926 views)
Re: 2011 Toyota RAV4: MPG Went Down Considerably Sign In

Weooo. Glad to hear that. Yes, the vehicle is in extended warranty. I did MPG check. Filled vehicle with 14 gallons of Reg unleaded and got 280 miles. Thats 20 MPG combined highway and in city. That is really bad for this car. I used to get 25+ MPG combined. I drove it to California 6 months ago and got 380+ miles outta single fill up, every single time, and it was a 2800 Miles round trip.

Me very very Frown now. I will be taking it to Toyota of Dallas and raise all sorts of hell there. Do you think, changing spark plugs may help?

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jul 1, 2013, 10:26 PM

Post #4 of 4 (912 views)
Re: 2011 Toyota RAV4: MPG Went Down Considerably Sign In

Just how are you calculating MPG, highway and city driving and how much towing for just a beginning? Cooler weather alone you'll get more because air is thicker than hot air.

What % of ethanol was used? Ethanol gets crap for MPG, just compare E-85 if car is designed for it to E-10. to I believe TX has more than states in between to CA and seasonally there are about 200 formulations of fuel used/sold and none will achieve the identical MPG.

You must be on a different set of tires by now @ 60K and that matters.

So many factors are involved it's very difficult to prove a real problem or if it's within norms for the fuel and use conditions so don't be so fast to "raise hell" with a dealer as if nothing is found wrong with the thing it's some other factor,


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