Skip to comments.Car manufacturers manipulating fuel efficiency tests, says report
Posted on 03/14/2013 9:45:37 PM PDT by Olog-hai
Drivers who find that the fuel efficiency in their new car doesnt match up to the claims made by the manufacturer, now know it is not their driving to blame. A new report reveals that car makers routinely manipulate official UN-backed miles/gallons tests, with a series of tricks including stripping the car down to weigh as little as possible, overinflating the tires and testing in the thin air at high-altitude tracks.
The tricks of the trade are listed in a report by the Transport & Environment campaign group (T&E), which suggests the official fuel consumption cited by car manufacturers is on average almost 25% lower than that achieved in reality, and in some cases 50% lower.
Among the 20 creative but legal ways European car makers exploit loopholes and boost official performances are: taping over cracks around doors and grills to minimize air resistance, using special super-lubricants, stopping the cars battery recharging, adjusting the wheel alignment and brakes, and testing at unrealistically high temperatures and on super-slick test-tracks.
Greg Archer, clean vehicles manager at T&E, says: This new evidence shows that car makers in Europe are cheating their own customers by manipulating official tests, which leads to thousands of euros of additional fuel costs for drivers. They are also cheating legislators, as EU laws intended to reduce CO2 emissions from cars and vans are only being met in the laboratory, not on the road. The only way to rebuild this trust is by closing loopholes in the current test procedures, to ensure that cheaters never prosper.
(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...
I'm calling bs for the author painting with a broad brush.
And yes, YMMV.
in good weather if you overinflate by 30-35%, you will see noticeable mileage improvement. just don’t drive rough on your tires - peeling out, skidding, avoid rough roads when possible, and check how the tread is doing every week. in wintertime don’t overinflate.
and anyone can use better lubricants. make sure engine air filter is replaced yearly or more if in dusty climates.
My wife and I both have 2008 Chevy Equinox SUVs. I keep gasoline/mileage logs. Both of these traditionally have gotten from 5% to 10% better mileage than shown on the sticker, and on trips on the interstate, up to 20% better.
I’ve found that they get better mileage at 70 to 80 mph than they do at 55. I think it has to do with the overdrive and the lack of need for acceleration on the interstate, not to mention it’s normally my foot on the pedal taking advantage of the ups and downs of the road, rather than the tendency of the cruise control to accelerate up grades when I’m willing to accelerate downgrade and drop off about 3 to 5 mph going upgrade. No, I don’t create traffic queue behind me. By the way, both vehicles are 6 cylinder automatics, and we get from 21 to 22 mph city driving, up to 25 on the road.
So regulatory capture is real?
Our 2012 Hyundai Elantra does not get close to the mileage as it was stated on the window sticker. The absolute best highway mileage I have ever achieved with this car was 36.9, it was suppose to get up to 40 ... It averages more like 33-34 mpg on the highway, and that is driving with a light foot. The little mpg calculator on the dash always reads 2-4 mpg over what it actually gets.
We now get a small refund from Hyundai for the rest of the years we own the car because they got sued for cheating on their mpg numbers. We very well may not have bought the car if we knew the real story upfront.
I believe the U.S. EPA-required tests, while not perfect, do not suffer the same problems as listed here for the European tests. In fact, I think the EPA runs the tests here, so they can’t be “gamed” in that sense.
IN many cars, “overinflation” isn’t really overinflation at all, the manufacturers specifically call for underinflation of the tires to improve the “ride comfort”.
It generally is better for tires if they are run close to their stated maximum pressure (not at).
The tires on my Prius are rated at 44psi, so instead of inflating 35/33 (front/back), I do 40/38. Ride is still fine, less wear on the tires, and I get better gas mileage.
Plus, if I do forget to check them for months on end, and they deflate over time, they are still not underinflated.