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Old 03-07-2013, 09:20 PM   #1
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Mpg gauge never reads more than5 mpg

The last time I drove my 86 itasca the mpg gauge would read about 20 mpg at idle. Now it reads no better than 5 mpg. Can anyone help?
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:21 PM   #2
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Also it seems to be idling rough. Recently replaced the fuel filter and discovered trace amounts of rust. Would an obstruction in the fuel line cause this? I recently posted that my fuel gauge was reading incorrectly. I know am beginning to suspect something's wrong and its drinking gas. I found the vacuum line where the gauge is connected and it seems to be free of obstruction. However when I unplug the top tube ( it goes into a three way splitter) the engine dies. Unplugging the mpg gauge seems to have no effect. Getting tired of this thing. My sell it soon as we have been unable to go anywhere in it. It just sits in the driveway and consumes money.
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:39 PM   #3
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Most aftermarket mpg gauges on older MH are not acurate. I would assume it has a 454. My 87 Allegro drank gas like water and lacked power. Put a tune-up on it and changed all filters and the mpg went up a little and the power alot. Those carbs are very touchy and I was going to have mine rebuilt, but sold it instead. My dad used to say that when the mechanic knows your car better then you and it begins to dollar you to death then it's time to sell. There comes a point that it's not worth the hassle.

Good Luck
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:25 PM   #4
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Other posters are correct in doing a tune up first. Here's another thought. That gauge likely gets it's reading off of vacuum. An old trick my dad showed me many years ago to find vacuum leaks was to spray WD40 on the vacuum hoses. The engine would idle kind of rough if there was vacuum leak somewhere. The challenge was finding the vacuum leak. If the WD40 was sprayed on the leaking portion of the vacuum hose it would seal it for a moment and the engine would smooth out for that moment. Eventually I would figure out where the hose was leaking and fix it. It was usually at the end of the hose that was on a nipple, and cutting off a little bit would would give it a tighter fit and eliminate the leak. Hope that's helpful.
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Old 03-08-2013, 03:01 AM   #5
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I believe a better name for the gauge is simply "vacuum gauge," as compared with the more sophisticated electronic gauges now available which do provide actual mpg calculations/estimations.

The low readings do indicate a vacuum leak somewhere.
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:40 AM   #6
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I found a vacuum leak. Well I found a few vacuum leaks. Well....... To be exact I think all the vacuum lines leak. Gonna freshen them all up. Fixed the mpg gauge tho.
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:46 AM   #7
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The guage is a vacumm guage it reads in inchs of water not Miles per Gallon. 20" is a normal reading at idle.
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