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Old 1st November 2008, 22:03   #1
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Default A question of car’s Fuel Consumption – how you drive (Fabia 1.4 MPI)

Background:

I recently closed a purchase of two cars – both Skoda Fabia Elegance 1.4 MPI. The cars were delivered at about a week’s gap – November 5th and November 16th. The cars are visually identical - interior trim colour and external colours are the same. Only differences would be that one car is about 3 Months old in production date and has Matador tyres instead of Apollo and I have the one with Matador tyres and other one is with my business partner. Although, this information has nothing to do to with the root of the analysis (my thought) but I stating it for the purpose of detail.

Observations:

My car, delivered earlier, has done more mileage. It has yet to run down one full fuel tank and has done 520Km at an average speed of 35 Km/h. The car has been driven mostly between Gurgaon (Sector 56) and Delhi (Ansals Plaza) (Gurgaon Mehrauli Road, Adchini, IIT, Khel Gaon) at non-peak traffic hours. I will call this scenario as semi-urban. As you might know that Fabia comes with fuel consumption displays for the trip meters (2) also it records the average speed for the trips. The current reading for the trip meter is 520 Km at 35 Kmph and 6.7 litters per hundred kilometres (14.9 Kmpl). To add to this, last trip Gurgaon –Delhi – Noida –Delhi – Gurgaon is at 110Km at 45kmph at 5.4 litters per hundred kilometres (18.5 Kmpl). This car is being driven at below 2500 RPM (as per instructions in the manual) which is about 90 Kmph in 5th gear.

The other car has done 250Km at an average of 12.3 litters per hundred kilometres (8.3 Kmpl). The driving conditions are unknown to me. However, it is known, that the car has been driven hard and has also done speeds of 130 Kmph on Greater Noida Expressway.

Conclusion:

People tend to put too much to the claimed economy of the car when the most of it lies in how a car is being driven. As seen from above facts, the same car and engine can give extremely different mileage. Also, another thing to note is that a car’s fuel economy is in the comfort range on the engine and this comfort range varies with engine and gearbox specifications. To exemplify, a Fabia 1.2 MPI will be more fuel economical but in its comfort zone which is shallower than the 1.4 MPI engine’s comfort zone. Reminds me of a test Top Gear did involving a Toyota Prius (an extremely fuel efficient car) and BMW M3. The test involved running Prius around the Top Gear track for ten laps as fast as it would go and all M3 would need to do was follow the Prius. The result, without surprise really, BMZ M3 gave better fuel economy.

To put all this is one line – fuel economy is more “how you drive”.
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Old 2nd November 2008, 13:18   #2
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corrections:
car delivery dates are October 5th and October 16th. also, a typo - "but I am stating it for the purpose of detail".
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Old 2nd November 2008, 19:57   #3
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Absolutely Flanker vehice just mirrors our behaviour. But comparing mileages before run-in period is over wont be reflecting accurate figures.
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Old 2nd November 2008, 20:15   #4
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Awesome post and I agree completely to it. FE totally depends on how a car is driven.
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Old 2nd November 2008, 20:33   #5
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flanker, after both of you complete approx 1500KM each (so that run period is over), why don't you exchange the cars for another couple of tankfuls (so that meter / sensor errors are ruled out)?

That would be a very interesting experiment. And just for confirmation's sake - both the cars are brand new, right?
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Old 2nd November 2008, 20:57   #6
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One more thing i'd say
Do not trust the fuel efficiency meters on a skoda

Better go for a tankful-tankful method to check FE.
The difference is not constant , sometimes meter shows more sometimes less.
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Old 2nd November 2008, 23:03   #7
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i agree. FE depends on driving style more than anything else.

i filled the tank of my Vista 2 hours ago and the mileage i got is an astounding 19.4 kmpl - a climb of almost 3 kmpl from last week! i attribute this to judicious gear shifting at correct RPM (2000 for up and 1000 for down), minimum use of clutch and a light right feet (not difficult to achieve in heavy traffic anyway).
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Old 3rd November 2008, 02:21   #8
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absolutely correct. fe depends upon the driving style, tire pressure, traffic conditions etc.
is this maybe the reason why auto mags claimed fuel effeciency sometimes never gets duplicated in real life driving? e.g both my honda city's never gave the FE as was claimed by auto magazines even though i tried all sorts of combinations.
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Old 3rd November 2008, 02:39   #9
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I agree as well... there is nothing like a standard FE for a car. It all really boils down to how you drive... feel the need for speed - be ready to feel the need for extra fuel as well!
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Old 3rd November 2008, 10:13   #10
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A very nice study flanker.

You are absolutely correct about driving style influencing the FE.

But it is not just driving style just like f50xj13 and CtrlAltDel have said.

Tire pressure is the next biggest culprit.

One more thing driving the car approx around 90 will give max efficiency as beyond that aero dynamic forces play a very big factor in fuel consumption.
As you have seen.

But a car does have a fuel efficiency norm... For e.g. a Turbo Diesel can never match your car in efficiency even if all things remain the same.

The Gear ratios of the car also play a big factor in determining FE. One set of ratios may be better for city traffic and another for highways.

Width of the tires, even if they are at proper pressure pull down the milage..(now you know why some cars come with pencil thin tires - FE at the cost of safety)

The shape of the car can also impact FE at high speeds.
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Old 3rd November 2008, 11:48   #11
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IMO yous hould use the tankfull method.the meter may be showing 10-15 % +/- in the above case.
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Old 3rd November 2008, 16:35   #12
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Default Skoda Fabia: Petrol mileage

I have been driving a Fabia 1200 cc Petrol for the past 3 months. Mine is a Ambiente version - it does not come with an automatic mileage calculator so I calculated them manually. Here are the results:

NOTE: Highway driving (constant speed, rpm) not done yet.

1. measured by filling up the tank, travel for 'x' meters. Come back and fill the tank again. Say it took y litres to fill it up: calculate mileage as x/y.

2. Shell Premium (or what ever it is called, but its the 95 octane rating fuel from Shell)
- this gives the best mileage in city driving with a/c
- mileage observed is 13.5-14 kmpl (Hyderabad roads + traffic = 20-30 avg speed)

3. Extra Premium and others (octane rating < 95): gave around 12-13 kmpl mileage.

4. Tips for better mileage:
- always refill when then tank is half full: do not wait till fuel comes to reserve.
- make sure tire pressure is per manufacturer spec. Add 1-2 psi if its hot climate or more number of passengers
- Use sun film for the windows and also for the windshield
- to the extent possible drive at constant rpm and use correct gear as per speed

Fabia manual recommends 95 Octane fuels. As I started using the Shell fuel, it really showed up the difference in both mileage and also the driving. Engine sounds happy and chugs along even in low gears. Earlier I had to drop to 2nd gear at certain speeds (spots in my daily drive route) now 3rd works without any problem.

The first 500 KM were horrible, It gave around 10KMPL. The dealer in Hyd (Mahavir) promised a full tank on delivery but I guess he had put the regular fuel (Mahavir Skoda sucks big time by the way). After wards I really could make the difference and now sticking to Shell (their service is also good - free window cleaning etc).

The above mileage values are all for city driving (A/C with 40-50% driving in 2 or 3rd gear). I am sure the mileage would be somewhere like 18kmpl on a highway.
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Old 3rd November 2008, 19:11   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
flanker, after both of you complete approx 1500KM each (so that run period is over), why don't you exchange the cars for another couple of tankfuls (so that meter / sensor errors are ruled out)?
I tend to look at owning a vehicle as a "relationship" (a liking). Unfortunately my business partner doesn't seem to share the view, so a complete exchange for a week is out of the question. However, i have driven the other vehicle for a short duration and I could see the trip meter showing similar numbers as I see on my car for that duration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
That would be a very interesting experiment. And just for confirmation's sake - both the cars are brand new, right?
Yes, both cars are brand new. As i mentioned, the one I have is three months older by production date however the cars shipped out from Aurangabad on the same date (I have seen the warehouse challans from Skoda Aurangabad).

Additional notes: Now my car has been refueled with 39.5 L and the trip has been 590 KM (from one full tank to another). So, the meter seems to be just about correct.

To add some more detail, I also have a Scorpio DX, four and half years old and 1,00,000 KM on the odometer. She has always given me economy figures between 11.5 (city) and 13 (highway). On the other hand, my business partner has Optra 1.6, three and half years old and 40,000 KM on the odometer, and he get economy figures of 8.0 (city) and 15 (highway).
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Old 4th November 2008, 01:14   #14
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Well-written opening post, Flanker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flanker View Post
People tend to put too much to the claimed economy of the car when the most of it lies in how a car is being driven.
FE depends on the driving style, yes...but it also depends on the car. For instance, if you drive the same FE-centric way in a car that is naturally more efficient than the other (e.g. Swift versus Getz), the efficient cars FE will stand to gain. I don't know what you mean by claimed economy (whose claim?!), but our ownership reports are a great reference tool.

Quote:
As seen from above facts, the same car and engine can give extremely different mileage.
Best way to calculate FE is on a full tank to full tank basis. Don't rely entirely on the computer readout.
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Old 13th November 2008, 23:22   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abhinav.gupta88 View Post
One more thing i'd say
Do not trust the fuel efficiency meters on a skoda

Better go for a tankful-tankful method to check FE.
The difference is not constant , sometimes meter shows more sometimes less.
I totally agree to this.NEVER trust the fuel efficiency meters in skoda fabia.The laura and superb are nothing better in this aspect(i've personally experienced this).They are never even close to accurate.
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