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TDI Power Enhancements Discussions about increasing the power of your TDI engine. i.e. chips, injectors, powerboxes, clutches, etc. Handling, suspensions, wheels, type discussion should be put into the "Upgrades (non TDI Engine related)" forum. Non TDI vehicle related postings will be moved or removed. Please note the Performance Disclaimer.

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Old October 11th, 1999, 15:19   #1
Veteran Member
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
Default Road Trip Performance Thread.

We all take extended road trips, I thought a performance evaluation\commentary on individual excursions would be helpful for TDICLUB.com members.

On Oct 8-10 I took a road trip from Portland, Oregon through Idaho to Provo-Heber, Utah, and back again. Took this as an opportunity for a trip with 14 year old son to golf, visit family, and attend football game together. Had 2 passengers, and 200 lbs of cargo.

Mileage when Started - 11605
First Leg. Travled 594 miles in 7 hours and 45 minutes, for an average of 79.73 mph. This included a full 90 minutes of cruise control 90 mph. Gallons used were 12.83 for 46.30 mpg
Fuel cost $1.399 a gal for a total of $17.95

Second leg mileage started at mileage 12199. Slower speeds around SLC (friday afternoo traffic)dinked around town - Sat morning, up Provo Canyon to Golf at Wasatch State Park, back to Provo for BYU-CAL game (what a beautiful night for a football game). Headed back to Portland Sunday at 0715, and refilled in Boise at 1210. Highway speeds did not exceed 85 mph, but were sustained for long stretches at around 83 mph. Miles traveled since last fill 695. Gallons used were 14.43 for a mpg of 48.16. Cost of refill $19.33 at $1.339 per gallon.

Last leg started with a odometer reading of 12894. Oregon speed limit is 65 mph. In Idaho went 85 mph, and in Oregon, 75 set on the cruise control. Had half a tank registering upon arrival, and fill up this am for 8.56 gallons, at a cost of $11.55 and an avg of 51.75 mpg.

Conclusion: Travled 1732 miles in 25 driving hours (plus local driving time of about 2 hours)in a trip that lasted a total of 65 hours. Used 35.82 gallons of fuel at a cost of $48.83 and an average of 48.35 mpg.

The biggest thing I noticed is that there is a huge power loss at about 6,000 feet. The TDI was not nearly as quick as at sea level. I also notice that the glow plugs took about 15 seconds to warm up when the engine is cold.

Other than that... I think I have the perfect road car, and the best thing about the trip was all the time spent with my son- all by ourselves. We can't wait till next year.

murraywest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 11th, 1999, 15:58   #2
Veteran Member
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Aurora Colorado
Default Re: Road Trip Performance Thread.


Remember my glow plugs and altitude thread? Did you notice the glow plugs staying on above 5000 feet for 15 seconds even when the ambiant temp was above 50 degrees?
jaydhall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 11th, 1999, 16:25   #3
Join Date: Dec 1969
Default Re: Road Trip Performance Thread.


"TDIClub.com?" What an interesting idea. I'm sure the TDI Forum is considered a club by some. The trip performance thread seemed interesting. Here's an excerpt from my article, "Our Tour of the Northern United States," located on my website below:

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>And now for the statistics my fellow VW nuts and I love. Our journey including local travel near each stop consisted of 6,317 miles in 29 days. We passed through 21 states: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, South Dakota, Wyoming (twice), Montana, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and (finally) Texas. Our typical speeds were 65-mph to PA, 70-mph to KY, 75-mph to KS, then 80-mph everywhere else (except in reduced speed zones, of course). I've estimated our payload at about 700 pounds (200 in luggage on the rear rack; 200 in cargo inside the car, then 300 for our combined weight). Even with such a load we only used 162 gallons of fuel, resulting in an average fuel mileage of 39 miles per gallon. Our best mileage was 47-mpg, our worst was 36-mpg. Most of our high-speed cruising through mountainous areas yielded about 37-mpg. Having the cargo in the car's draft was the greatest contributor to this high fuel mileage. The cargo carrier turned out to be a nice addition. Its only pitfall was the 3-1/2" clearance once the car was loaded. It did a little scraping in driveways and uneven intersections. The only loss was about 1/2" from a replaceable bolt.

The car performed almost flawlessly during the trip. Once we were in states that embraced a 75-mph speed limit, the tiny diesel held an 80-mph cruise over hill and dale without leaving 5th gear. The only hill that slowed the car was a climb just south of Colorado Springs. The car remained in 5th gear and maintained 65-mph. It immediately returned to 80-mph at the summit. I'm not sure if our elevation had anything to do with the lack of power. By the way, the highest known elevation we traveled was at 8,650 feet on the way to Carlsbad Cavern.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Seven hundred pounds? Can't be! Here's a photo of our cargo:

We suffered a small spill in the trunk on the third day (luckily, I had already placed a tarp back there). The photo was taken at Clay Peyton's place in KY. We removed everything from the car to clean the tarp. Yes, that's an aquarium with a turtle - along with 2 cats, 2 cat carriers, 4 suitcases/duffle bags, a hanging bag, a laundry bag, two coolers, 4 assorted bags/boxes of food and junk, 8 pairs of shoes (one was mine), pillows/blankets, a space heater, a heating pad and light (for the aquarium, energized 24-hrs/day), 10-lbs of cat food, 10-lbs of cat litter, 2-gallons of oil, and 2-gallons of water. Oh, the subwoofer and CD changer remained in the trunk during the trip. There's more, but I can't remember the details. See the entire article for more info.

Scott, KE4WMF
98 Jetta TDI w/49,000 mi
53 mpg (US) w/AC

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