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I have a 2003 RAV4 with 71,000 miles on it, I purchased a 2 years ago from a little old lady that rarely drove it. There are no issues, warning lights or problems with it, solid as a rock. It still has the the original Denso iridium spark plugs..with good clean idle. I have new Goodyear Assurance tires on it and the oil is changed regularly at the Toyota dealership. The air filter is new I am still getting terrible gas mileage..."if I am lucky maybe at best" around 15-18 mpg in the city... this can't be normal?

I live in the Orlando area and most of my driving is in town and it is constantly stop and go driving. When I do drive on the highway the mileage is a little better but not even close to the suggested 25 city / 31 highway. I have no idea what else to check...maybe the Mass Air Flow sensor? Any ideas/suggestions would be great.
 

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Does the check engine bulb light up for a moment when the key is first turned? It should, as a bulb test. If it doesn't, might be the bulb is burnt out. Happens a lot when people drive a long time with the CE light on.

Lazy O2 sensor, maybe? They can be walking wounded and not trip a CE light.

Brakes dragging from a stuck caliper or caliper piston? After it's been driven a while, put your hand on the wheels near the lug bolts. If a brake is dragging, it can be HOT, so be careful. Warm is normal.
 

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Thanks, I did check the brakes and engine light...both working good. I don't know what else to check but it seems generally speaking that RAV's get lousy gas mileage in the city (stop and go driving).
 

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I have a 2003 RAV4 with 71,000 miles on it, I purchased a 2 years ago from a little old lady that rarely drove it. There are no issues, warning lights or problems with it, solid as a rock. It still has the the original Denso iridium spark plugs..with good clean idle. I have new Goodyear Assurance tires on it and the oil is changed regularly at the Toyota dealership. The air filter is new I am still getting terrible gas mileage..."if I am lucky maybe at best" around 15-18 mpg in the city... this can't be normal?

I live in the Orlando area and most of my driving is in town and it is constantly stop and go driving. When I do drive on the highway the mileage is a little better but not even close to the suggested 25 city / 31 highway. I have no idea what else to check...maybe the Mass Air Flow sensor? Any ideas/suggestions would be great.
I would first scan the computer to see the fuel trims to see if the truck is running rich or lean. If it runs rich it may be due to problem with the injectors that are spraying too much gas. Can you smell gas out of the tail pipe? Make sure also that the PVC Valve is clean. If its 4x4 it will burn more gas than the 2 wheels model. Also, when scanning the computer for codes were all the driving cycles completed or not?
 

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I have a 2003 Toyota RAV4 automatic with 93,000 miles and have no issues, good tires, & runs great but the gas mileage is horrible. What I don't get is that some people here post they get 25-26 miles per/gal in the city, I get that on the Highway? Am I missing something or are there any suggestions?
I take my RAV4 to the local Toyota dealership for my oil changes and everything is great with the exception of a few up-sell items like adjusting the rear drums or trans flush. I know the 03 RAV4 does not have the best aerodynamics & the motor is a little under powered but there has to be someway to get better gas mileage???
 

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Some thoughts: AWD is worse than FWD, roof rack will impact highway mileage, maintain tire pressure, ethanol has lower energy content.
 
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