A/C buttons, and lousy gas mileage all the sudden

mnypitTBEXT

Original poster
Member
Jan 29, 2012
133
We recently got the wife a new car, so now I have the TB full time. Well, I have a company car and a Jeep, but she wont be driving it daily anymore.

Alright, first things first. Last year on long trips I was getting over 22mpg pretty regularly. This was the first time I started checking, and I had just put in Autolite Platinums and new plug wires. Recently I have been getting a miss at idle. Well having used the cheapo plugs, I figured I had a plug going bad or something. Either way I was still getting upwards of 20mpg even with the miss. I replaced the plugs with Delco Iridiums and put on another set of new wires. Now it runs perfect, no more miss, running better than it has in a while. Only issue is that now I am barely hitting 19mpg on a 150 mile round trip drive, all highway.


Second thing. About a year ago, my wife left the GPS hanging on the windshield on an extremely hot day and it fell off and broke one of the buttons on the Climate Control panel. The rest is perfect, no other issues at all. I know they sell just the buttons for our Saab 9-3 Viggen, and I was wondering if they sell just the buttons?? Hoping so because my experiance with buying used parts like this has not been good. Sellers tend to cover up wear on these items with a sharpie. I recently bought an SS steering wheel like this, luckily I was able to make it work with parts from my old one. Plus my part is absolutely perfect except for the one button.

Thanks guys
John
 

Sparky

Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
Well right now it is winter and that is going to knock a couple mpg off. Although I'm not sure how much FL gets affected by this.
 

Wooluf1952

Member
Nov 20, 2011
2,663
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
CaptainXL said:
A 5.3 liter 5500 lb ext with 22mpg and no AFM? No way. 19 sounds much more realistic.

I don't know what gears the OP is running, but since he has 2wd, 22 mpg is not out out the question.
 

mnypitTBEXT

Original poster
Member
Jan 29, 2012
133
CaptainXL said:
A 5.3 liter 5500 lb ext with 22mpg and no AFM? No way. 19 sounds much more realistic.

Seriously, I actually got 22.8 driving to Savanah last winter. We went there for New Years 2011. Set the cruise at 70mph and I checked it at the gas pump, not just on the DIC. Normally I get around 20-21 on the highway, but I was having a hard time keeping it over 18 the other day, and toped out at about 18.8 or so. Mostly just about 17-18. And I just checked it before while it was missing, and it was better.

Weather here when I tested was probably mid 70s with normal humidity.

We threw it on HPTuners the other day and it is running perfect. Nothing weird, no stored codes. It has to be the plugs. I am very happy with the new found performance it has been lacking for a while, and I guess I can live with the lousy mpg since we are no longer driving it regularly, but damn.
 

BRomanJr

Member
Dec 9, 2011
371
CaptainXL said:
A 5.3 liter 5500 lb ext with 22mpg and no AFM? No way. 19 sounds much more realistic.

I thought all 2005 and above 5.3 were DOD (later AFM) I'm betting the OP's is.
I have recorded ~20 on my non DOD 5.3 3.42 on long trips.
22 is believable with DOD.

OP:
What is your current Mileage? Fluid maintenance? Engine running temp?
Have you replaced the two front O2 sensors?


Don't know what to recommend on the button problem, I've never heard of GM offering them but have seen Radio button replacements on E-Bay, could search there.
You didn't mention what system you have (Manual or Automatic), Sounds like you are particular (me too) and only a new panel would do.
 

mnypitTBEXT

Original poster
Member
Jan 29, 2012
133
BRomanJr said:
I thought all 2005 and above 5.3 were DOD (later AFM) I'm betting the OP's is.
I have recorded ~20 on my non DOD 5.3 3.42 on long trips.
22 is believable with DOD.

OP:
What is your current Mileage? Fluid maintenance? Engine running temp?
Have you replaced the two front O2 sensors?


Don't know what to recommend on the button problem, I've never heard of GM offering them but have seen Radio button replacements on E-Bay, could search there.
You didn't mention what system you have (Manual or Automatic), Sounds like you are particular (me too) and only a new panel would do.

Yes, it is DOD, and 2005 TB was the first year of this option.

Only a week ago, before the new stuff and with a miss, I was getting over 20mpg. I am a nut about maintanance. I keep Mobile 1 in it and change it around 6k. Temp stays around 210 or below, and always has.

When we put it on HPTuners the O2 sensors were functioning properly. I replaced them about 20k ago.

I am going to install a CAI and exhaust and have it dyno tuned, so maybe we can tinker with it then. I wanna do a cam too, but there is virtually no info on it anywhere.

I honestly do not care about the gas mileage going down, I just dont want something to be wrong with it and cause damage. We hardly drive it now, so I could care less. Most of its life will be me driving it on my off day and towing the boat, and obviously I am happy to keep it around 12mpg towing the boat.

As for the a/c. It is digital display auto a/c unit. The left top buttin is cracked. Nobody else even notices it, but it drives me nuts. I cant justify the expense of buying a new one, and I am scared to death about what I will end up with off eBay.

I am very particular about my vehicles. I know every ding and nick, and ever spot. If anything is wrong while driving, I know it right away. My wife just keeps driving unless a light comes on. Drives me nuts.
 

Jkust

Member
Dec 4, 2011
945
So the difference in weight between an ext and a swb varies between the model. The 9-7 according to the numbers I saw is the fat cat of the swb's so closest to an ext's weight. In the summer with the on demand awd always on as is the only way they come, I get 22 on the highway sometimes slightly more. The instant I add any other sort of driving to the mix it tanks. I can believe the 22 based on owning three swb's all with 5.3s and two with DOD. Winter is a completely different story and I'm nowhere near that 22.
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
Great info. I stand corrected. Perhaps the OP should check compression on all cylinders. It usually is the only thing left to suspect if everything else is up to par. And would be a cause for less mileage.
 

mnypitTBEXT

Original poster
Member
Jan 29, 2012
133
Jkust said:
So the difference in weight between an ext and a swb varies between the model. The 9-7 according to the numbers I saw is the fat cat of the swb's so closest to an ext's weight. In the summer with the on demand awd always on as is the only way they come, I get 22 on the highway sometimes slightly more. The instant I add any other sort of driving to the mix it tanks. I can believe the 22 based on owning three swb's all with 5.3s and two with DOD. Winter is a completely different story and I'm nowhere near that 22.

We dont get a differnt fuel blend in winter here in Florida. Weather is mild so far, a couple cold nights, but usually things run better in that weather. Compression is fine. We were getting great gas mileage, then changed plugs and wires and it went down dramatically.
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
mnypitTBEXT said:
We were getting great gas mileage, then changed plugs and wires and it went down dramatically.

The only logical thing it could be then is either the plugs are the wrong reach/gap/type or the wires have the wrong characteristics/ i.e. resistance or they weren't fully seated. I know this is also a stretch but check for proper sparkplug torque and see if any dielectric grease was overused, etc...

It's possible that one or more of the coils was damaged when you had misfires earlier.

And also, about compression. You have physically checked it right? I mean it's pretty much something you want to keep an eye on anyway on a higher mileage or older engine just so your not pulling your hair out trying to track down performance related issues.
 

Jkust

Member
Dec 4, 2011
945
mnypitTBEXT said:
We dont get a differnt fuel blend in winter here in Florida. Weather is mild so far, a couple cold nights, but usually things run better in that weather. Compression is fine. We were getting great gas mileage, then changed plugs and wires and it went down dramatically.

I did a quick google search and it seems Florida does get a winter blend. It was a 10 second cursory search but it's on the internet so has to be true.
 

mnypitTBEXT

Original poster
Member
Jan 29, 2012
133
CaptainXL said:
The only logical thing it could be then is either the plugs are the wrong reach/gap/type or the wires have the wrong characteristics/ i.e. resistance or they weren't fully seated. I know this is also a stretch but check for proper sparkplug torque and see if any dielectric grease was overused, etc...

It's possible that one or more of the coils was damaged when you had misfires earlier.

And also, about compression. You have physically checked it right? I mean it's pretty much something you want to keep an eye on anyway on a higher mileage or older engine just so your not pulling your hair out trying to track down performance related issues.


All been checked. Rechecked the gap, used a torque wrench to tighten them. Interesting you mention the coil because when I took it apart to recheck the gap, i noticed the right rear is cyliner part where the wire goes over it is cracked. It doesnt appear to be leaking spark, but it is definately cracked. Anybody have a part number for them?

I check compression regularly. Especially since I had that miss and couldnt find anything obvious.

Incidently, I towed the boat yesterday and wow what a differance. I have my old truck back. I thought I was looking at a rebuild or something, but it performs better now than I remember it even when we first bought it. With the performance I have now, I can certainly live with the lousy gas mileage. I may stop looking. LOL.
 

mnypitTBEXT

Original poster
Member
Jan 29, 2012
133
Jkust said:
I did a quick google search and it seems Florida does get a winter blend. It was a 10 second cursory search but it's on the internet so has to be true.

HMM, interesting. My brother in law's father works for one of the big oil companies and was telling me about the differances between places like Racetrac, Sam's etc that get bulk gas, and Shell, Amoco etc that has much better gas. Apparently the bulk gas uses butane to bump the octane rating, wheras the others do not. He also told me that Florida did not get winter blends. But who knows. The Government probably mandated it recently and we probably do get the shitty winter blend now too.
 

Jkust

Member
Dec 4, 2011
945
mnypitTBEXT said:
HMM, interesting. My brother in law's father works for one of the big oil companies and was telling me about the differances between places like Racetrac, Sam's etc that get bulk gas, and Shell, Amoco etc that has much better gas. Apparently the bulk gas uses butane to bump the octane rating, wheras the others do not. He also told me that Florida did not get winter blends. But who knows. The Government probably mandated it recently and we probably do get the shitty winter blend now too.

Yeah, I know nothing about Florida and their gas but it struck me as odd that the government would leave states out of the regs. I mean a whole state they could tell what to do and not take advantage of it?
As to your better/not as good gas comments, it makes me wonder if there really is a difference. I only get my gas at Sams since they are the lowest price by a dime usually. Honestly in all the time i've had the 9-7 I've maybe only gotten gas two times elsewhere when it is late and they are closed. Just makes the wheels in my head spin a little.
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
I think Sam's gas is ethanol free. Went there the other day and nowhere on their pumps does it say ethanol is added which I believe is required by law if it is added. But this could be different depending on location.
 

mnypitTBEXT

Original poster
Member
Jan 29, 2012
133
Jkust said:
Yeah, I know nothing about Florida and their gas but it struck me as odd that the government would leave states out of the regs. I mean a whole state they could tell what to do and not take advantage of it?
As to your better/not as good gas comments, it makes me wonder if there really is a difference. I only get my gas at Sams since they are the lowest price by a dime usually. Honestly in all the time i've had the 9-7 I've maybe only gotten gas two times elsewhere when it is late and they are closed. Just makes the wheels in my head spin a little.

Prior to talking to him, We have always used either Racetrac or BJ's gas for the life of the TB, and that is all we were using in the Boat and the Jeep too. We got water in the tank in both the boat and the Jeep, so....... He said you probably wont notice any differance unless the gas is let to sit a long time and the butane starts to break down, plus it generates more condensation. So I am thinking in my Jeep, the boat, and now the Trailblazer(since it will not be driven daily anymore), I will just pay the extra and get a name brand. My wife uses Shell for the Saab anyway because of the Winn Dixie fuel perks. She usually gets upwards of $1.50 and more off. Cant beat that and its a name brand. I have also been using on the water fuel lately in the boat. NON ethenol. It doesnt sit very long usually, but I figure better safe than sorry. I ran 100 octane in the Camaro when I had it, so never had any issues when it sat.

He sort of indicated that southern states didnt have to do the winter blend due to the warmer weather. He tried to explain the differances but by then we had drank way too much and I cant remember half the stuff he told me. So my memory of the event may or may not be accurate.
 

mnypitTBEXT

Original poster
Member
Jan 29, 2012
133
CaptainXL said:
I think Sam's gas is ethanol free. Went there the other day and nowhere on their pumps does it say ethanol is added which I believe is required by law if it is added. But this could be different depending on location.

Now that is something I am an expert on. Sam's gas in NOT non-ethanol. I have scoped out all the non-ethanol gas stations in my area for the boat. Sam's was not one of them. There are 2 places within 30 miles of my house, that are not on the water, that have it, but they are more than double the price of the ethanol crap.
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
mnypitTBEXT said:
Now that is something I am an expert on. Sam's gas in NOT non-ethanol. I have scoped out all the non-ethanol gas stations in my area for the boat. Sam's was not one of them. There are 2 places within 30 miles of my house, that are not on the water, that have it, but they are more than double the price of the ethanol crap.

Are you saying all Sams have ethanol or just the ones near you?
 

mnypitTBEXT

Original poster
Member
Jan 29, 2012
133
CaptainXL said:
Are you saying all Sams have ethanol or just the ones near you?

I would be very surprised if a discount fuel supplier would be non ethanol. I know none in Central Florida are. If they were I would use nothing else. My understanding is that the government is going to be phasing out all non ethanol fuel sometime this year. Of course I havent done a search or anything on the internet, that is just what I heard.
 

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