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I recently bought a 2008 Honda Ridgeline with 250,000 kms that is in reasonable shape given it was a work truck. It has a few squeals, squeaks and thuds. The real problem is the fuel usage. It’s about 22-26 L/100 km, which is almost double what I think it should be. Two separate mechanics have made a few guesses but haven’t found the problem.

So, I’m turning to you for help and advice.

Sunny S

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Thank you for reading and writing in, Sunny. Yes, your Ridgeline fuel economy is horrible. Firstly, never trust the onboard fuel-calculation system; always calculate it manually when in question. Assuming there is no malfunction indicator light illuminated on the dashboard, there probably is no single culprit causing the poor fuel economy as much as a multitude of small things. Tire inflation and the rolling resistance of the tires are an obvious starting point. Given the high kilometres, are all the maintenance items, including filters and fluids, up to date? Don’t forget to have a valve adjustment completed, as this commonly forgotten maintenance item may significantly affect fuel economy. Have you had the brakes and driveline inspected for anything dragging? Driving style, the weight you are carrying and even roof racks can all add to the poor numbers you are seeing. I wish I had one singular recommendation for you, but you will likely have to live with the poor fuel economy while you slowly have all these minor items checked out.


I’ve just replaced the canister and gas cap on my 2004 GMC 1500 Sierra truck. My engine-service light keeps coming back on after I have had it reset twice. I’ve been told that I should drive it 40 to 80 miles after I replace a vapour canister. What do you think the problem might be?

Lenza W

The 40 to 80 miles that you are referring has to deal with readiness monitors. If you were to fail an emission test because your truck was not in its “ready” condition, then you would need to drive it further to get it to complete the Readiness Monitor tests. This is not applicable in your case, because the malfunction indicator light has returned and you have reset it at least two times. This means that the readiness monitor tests have been completed, and the truck is failing repeatedly.

I will assume that you have a code reader and it indicates an evaporative emission control system (EVAP) failure code. Next, you did a bit of research and decided to change the EVAP vapour canister and gas cap in hope that these items would fix the truck? If this is the case, your truck still has an EVAP leak and proper steps must be taken to find the leak. A vapour canister purge solenoid/valve is a more common repair than the canister and would have been my first piece to examine. But be wary, without diagnosing it properly, you are merely throwing parts at it in hopes of stumbling on to a solution.

Lou Trottier is owner-operator of All About Imports in Mississauga. Have a question about maintenance and repair? E-mail globedrive@globeandmail.com, placing “Lou’s Garage” in the subject line.

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