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Suspicious claims

Claims about fuel consumption data can be the subject of many heated discussions. During such discussions, it is often difficult to determine fact from misinformation. You will stumble upon that car owner claiming that he can squeeze 16 km/l from his family sedan. That fuel consumption data is obtained not just from any ordinary circumstances, no! The sedan in question is packed with four people, with the air conditioner on full blast. Oh, wait, I nearly forgot – there is also a trailer in tow. With all these, it gives me easily 16 kilometers per liter. You then start doubting your car’s own consumption and wonder why you cannot get such figures. You may have your suspicions that he is overstating the facts, but can you prove him wrong?

Well, you should not doubt your own fuel consumption figures immediately. You should, however, doubt the method upon which he gathered his fuel consumption data. Upon closer investigation, you will most probably find that he is the entire time quoting data from his car’s optimistic trip computer. In addition, he has ten to one been driving in dense traffic, in a relatively slow-moving convoy. To add to this, he may have a 2% odometer error and the trailer was most likely nearly empty. He also, probably, only used the air conditioner half of the time. People like to exaggerate!

Detail

Do not fall into the same trap in which so many others tend to fall. To be sure you are measuring your own car’s fuel consumption data accurately, you have to focus on the detail. The first thing is not to believe everything the trip computer says. The second is to calibrate your car’s trip meter to determine its error if any. It is important to do this because the trip meter may at times be too optimistic. When this happens, it will indicate more kilometers traveled than what is actually the case. This will lull you into a false sense of fuel consumption data. Compare your trip meter to the kilometer beacons along the main roads. Do this over a long distance, then you may have a better indication. If your trip meter shows 50.8 km traveled at the 50 km beacon, it means your trip meter error is 1.9%.

This is the percentage you should subtract from the mileage traveled every time you fill your tank. It is also important to fill your tank to the same level, in the same way, every time. This will help you to get accurate tank-to-tank figures. Fill your car on a level surface. Use a slow pump setting, up to the first click of the pump nozzle’s automatic-stop function. Make sure your tank is filled to the same level every time. These are good pointers that may assist you in ensuring that your fuel consumption data are representative and accurate. Some may ask why it is so important to be accurate. Well, an accurate estimation of fuel consumption is considered by some to be the holy grail of saving. You may read more about this view and other factors affecting fuel consumption measurements here.

Optimise fuel consumption

So you want me to add some additives, or stick a magnet to my fuel line? No, I certainly do not want you to do that. If you think these will give you better fuel economy, then please read our article on deceiving fuel-saving devices here. If you want to save fuel, then ensure that your engine performs at peak efficiency. By fitting a Unichip, we can optimise your engine computer settings, often reducing consumption in the process. This improvement will be even easier to spot when using the above procedure to accurately measure your true fuel consumption! Practice responsible car care. Become part of the Unichip family and buy your Unichip today. Click here to contact us and see the results for yourself.