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My o2 sensor went bad...CEL light was on...replaced it and, woah, more power, smoother delivery and way better gas mileage.
I bought this lil Protege about a year and a half ago...did some some routine maintenance and just drove the tar out of it. It's always gotten around 30-32mpg around town. Freeway, maybe 35mpg. I'd start looking for a gas station around 300 miles, even pushed it to 360 one time.
Well, the check engine light came on. I took it down to the Mazda dealer to see if they would plug in an OBD scanner and tell me the code...pay maybe 15min to half an hour of labor. They wanted $85 for "diagnostic time". I told them to stick their scanner where the sun doesn't shine.
Called a friend in San Antonio (about an hour away) who owns a garage. He said he'd read it for free (but they usually charged $37.99...what a rip the dealer is). Turns out it was the o2 sensor.
Paid $92 for a new one, took it home and plugged it right in.
The car runs noticeably better. I've used a little over a 1/4 of a tank and gone 160 miles. I was getting about 150 miles on 1/2 a tank before. I'll be curious to see what mpg end up being on a new full tank.
damn, my 98 1.5L has over 90,000 mi. and i'm averaging 320-340mpg. of course, i live in CA where they're not exactly giving gas away. anyone else notice when you run the A/C on a 1.5L u can barely get the thing to move? might be time to change my o2 sensor too.