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my 03 aerio has been having bad gas mileage for some time now. I have a bad O2 sensor but everything seems to be ok until recently. I went for an oil change and they detected an exhaust leak, could that be the reason? My plugs haven't been changed after 20,000 miles now, could that be the reason too? gas prices are bit higher too nowadays. Mehn, i'm confused...any help would be appreciated
 

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A bad 02 sensor will hurt gas mileage, Your plugs being that old will hurt your gas mileage, and your exhaust leak will hurt your gas mileage. The 02 sensor sends readings of how much air or unburned fuel is coming out of your engine to the computer and the computer will compensate by adding more or less fuel. If it doesnt sense the unburned fuel it will keep dumping fuel in.

The spark plugs arent burning the fuel as efficiently as it should so it will be basicly blowing gas out of your exhaust.

The exhaust leak is not only dangerous as it could leak inside the car but also affects the 02 sensors readings. You just have a nasty combination of problems leading to your fuel efficiency issues bud. Get it all fixed if you can. The spark plugs and wire set for an aerio arent too expensive so at least start there. Next big thing would be the o2 sensor. Exhaust leak if your strapped for cash id recommend muffler tape and lots of it if you can find where the leak is but really it just needs to be fixed.
 

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Did you ever have any luck getting the exhaust leak fixed, or the mileage back up? I have a 2003 with 100,000 miles. After cleaning the MAF, IAC and EGR, the mileage is back to where it was when I bought the car. Can't say what exactly fixed it.
 
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