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I bought my 2002 Camry XLE almost three years ago, and at the time, it was getting over 30 mpg in daily, mixed driving. The gas mileage has been steadily falling. This winter, it reached a low of ~26 mpg. I get all the scheduled maintenance on my car, which now has 80,000 miles on it. I asked the dealer about changing the spark plugs, and he said "No, they*re 90K spark plugs". Any ideas of what could be causing my gas mileage to plummet? My driving habits have not changed. Thanks, Lina

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Amy Mattinat, Owner and Author at Auto Craftsmen Ltd Hi Lina, Couple of thoughts: The gas mileage always goes down in the winter so 26 mpg doesn't surprise me. The cold temperatures make an engine work harder and cause the gas mileage to go down. Also if you put on winter tires, this also lowers the gas mileage. 90k spark plugs. Never heard of them. At my shop we work on Toyota, Honda and Subaru. We change the sparkplugs at 30k, unless they are platinum plugs and then we change them every 60k. Now my shop is in the N.E. and we use severe service to gauge the recommended services. But even if I lived in Florida I would still change my platinum sparkplugs at 60k. So if they were not changed at 60k, you are 20k miles overdue for a ignition system service. You should also be getting a fuel emissions service every 30k. This is a major cleaning and could make a difference in the gas mileage. Check your records to see when you last had a tune-up, and maybe find another mechanic. Best of Luck, Amy

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