Question about 2008 Chevrolet Hhr

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I have a chevy hhr 2006, automatic. I have been getting about 27mpg around town/back and forth to work for the past 2 years. All of a sudden, over the past 2 months my gas milage has dropped to 18mpg. no difference in my driving habits or distances. Brought it to the dealer who said they checked it and nothing is wrong...just the way it is.

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Odds are pretty good I know what'swrong... but we'll cover some stuffyou should do first, anyhow.

Check your tire pressure(low pressure is good for 3-4MPG loss)
Change your air filter.(can eat 1/2-5 MPG depending on how dirty/clogged)
Change your oil and oil filter.(going from dino to full synthetic was good for 1/2MPG and a "noticable" power increase)
Get the parts to redo your brakes. pads, and probably front rotors(ours were really **** steel. new rotors decreased stopping distance from 60 by over 10 feet, and they'vealready outlasted the old rotors by more than doublethe milage with no signs of wear).

Here's where i THINK your problem is going to be.
your rear drum brakes.
specifically, either the parking brake adjustment, or a broken spring on the rear drum brakes.
Either problem will cause the rear brakes to drag, signifigantly reducing your milage(and you may not even notice the loss of power or the sound of the drag). Using arear brake repair kit should takecar of either or both of those problems, and return your milage back toa respectable 25+.

Ignore the dealer, and find yourself a decent mechanic to go over the car.
The dealers people just follow the diagnostic directions the company gives them.
We'vehadthe steering column replaced4 times, becausethat's their SOP for drivers side clunking noise.... turned outto be a loose bolt on the front steering stabilizer!

If you want to eek a few more MPG out of your automatic HHR... Get the optional rear spoiler. It's good for around a 1/2 MPG. Lowering the suspension a halfinch(retaining at least 2"ground clearance) will be good for another 1/2 to1 MPG. And finally, change how your drive. When I drive the HHR, I routinely get 30-31MPG. When she drives, the average is closer to 26-28. Most of the differance comes from the fact that I accelerate more slowly, and cruise into red lights. She guns it at starts, and stays on the gas, then slams on the brakes.

Posted on Oct 11, 2008

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