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TDI Motorsports This section is dedicated to the folks who push the TDI to the absolute limit racing. Topics should include articles about TDIs in the SCCA ProRally Series, Drag Racing, AutoCross and any other events that include TDIs.

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Old August 30th, 2019, 06:44   #1
eagle
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Default How hard can I drive?

I'm not sure what forum this should go in, but this area seems to be the most appropriate.

I have a 2013 Jetta TDI DSG w/ 17" rims and Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+ tires (same as I had on my 2003 Jetta 1.8T w/ 17" rims). Love them.

Anyway, my Jetta is delivering substandard fuel economy (25 mpg around town), and I have pretty much given up trying to increase that. So, I'm driving it more sportingly. The question is: how sporting can I drive it?

I frequently drive in manual mode, and I've started to drive it like I drove my 1.8T -- hard acceleration and occasional high RPMs, but the DSG makes it very easy to shift so there's no need to go so high on the RPMs like I did in my 1.8T.

What is the impact of frequent engine braking for the DSG? Can I drive it as sportingly as I'm describing, and do so long-term, without risking permanent damage? The 1.8T seemed to be made to drive this way. Is the TDI+DSG?

The combination of DSG, 140hp, and 236 lb-ft torque sure is fun to drive, and I'd like to exercise it, but I also want the car to last.

Thanks.
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Old September 3rd, 2019, 13:59   #2
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Any time you push something harder its life will be shorter. Just be reasonable and be careful. It isn't an Indy car so don't try and drive it like one. Some sporty driving won't hurt it though. Expect your fuel economy to go down though as well. Frequent hard acceleration and stops will also wear brakes, tires and such as well.
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Old September 3rd, 2019, 14:40   #3
IndigoBlueWagon
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Not a direct answer to your question, but if you're getting 25 MPG in average driving then something's wrong with your car. Driving it harder while broken could make matters worse or cause some other failure.

I'd look to the emissions hardware or software as the cause of the low FE. A DPF or EGR filter that's near the end of its life, cracked DFP, faulty sensors, or a software error could all cause frequent regens and low FE. Regens also make heat, which, when added to hard driving. could damage system components or even subject your turbo to high EGTs.

So get the car fixed before flogging it. If you had it fixed you're most likely under warranty. It may take some persistence, but no way can a dealer say that 25 MPG is "normal."
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Old September 3rd, 2019, 14:46   #4
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Originally Posted by IndigoBlueWagon View Post
Not a direct answer to your question, but if you're getting 25 MPG in average driving then something's wrong with your car. Driving it harder while broken could make matters worse or cause some other failure.

I'd look to the emissions hardware or software as the cause of the low FE. A DPF or EGR filter that's near the end of its life, cracked DFP, faulty sensors, or a software error could all cause frequent regens and low FE. Regens also make heat, which, when added to hard driving. could damage system components or even subject your turbo to high EGTs.

So get the car fixed before flogging it. If you had it fixed you're most likely under warranty. It may take some persistence, but no way can a dealer say that 25 MPG is "normal."
All good points - thanks. I honestly am starting to think that my short commute is the cause of the poor economy: if I take a slightly longer commute along the same surface street (my neighborhood has 2 entrances about a mile apart) then I get better a fuel economy reading (about 10% higher).

Over the weekend I made a point to drive my car in various other patterns around town, and it showed higher fuel economy.

I recently swapped the fuel filter, and I am planning a highway-only road trip soon to see if I get better highway FE now. If I do, I'll assume that it's fixed and that my current low economy is the result of my commute.
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Old September 3rd, 2019, 15:18   #5
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EPA numbers for your car are 29/37. Unless your commute is a couple miles or less, I'd expect significantly better FE than the city figure. You should at least be in the low 30s, even with a short commute.
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Old September 3rd, 2019, 15:54   #6
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My last fill up at 3/4 tank only netted me 26.7 but it’s probably 90% city driving and my kid started school last week so additional short trips to and from school and idling while we wait for him. I could easily hit the thread starters 25 if I tried
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Old September 3rd, 2019, 16:07   #7
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Wow. My lifetime average in my '15 GSW is 42.4. It is a manual, but it's also tuned. And with only 13K on it, far from broken in. I'm sure if I used it for more short trip driving FE could drop into the 30s, but the 20s are news to me.
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Old September 3rd, 2019, 19:19   #8
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I have said the same thing in his other thread. Something is wrong with your car. Have you had it scanned yet with VCDS? Had it to the dealer to be checked out? Had it to one of our good trusted mechanics to be looked over? 25 mpg is just really bad.
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Old September 4th, 2019, 02:23   #9
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Yeah, I used to be disappointed when a tank would yield in the upper 30's in my Golf. My first thought when I hear 25 mpg, is boost leak.
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Old September 9th, 2019, 08:21   #10
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Yes, it has been to a local trusted, knowledgeable shop. I'm also friendly with the service manager at the local dealership, and while it hasn't been there, I have talked to him about the issue.

Maybe I'll take it back to the shop, or go to the dealership again, to have them check it again. Nothing has showed up in previous visits.

My commute is only 5.5 miles, all surface streets (25, 35, 45 mph), with at least a half-dozen traffic signals (that is, 6 I can think of offhand), and I often hit every one of them red.

I'll go fill up again today; based on what the computer shows (30.7 mpg), I expect this tank to be around 28 mpg, which is a 10% improvement over previous tanks but still not what I expect.

Edited to add: When I take it in, I'll have them check specifically for boost leaks.
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Old September 9th, 2019, 10:56   #11
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Interesting. A few weeks back, I did a track day in my '13 JSW, running it quite hard, to redline, etc. Afterward, I did an oil & filter change along with air and fuel filters, and my first tank afterward was hand calculated at 41mpg. I was only seeing about 37-39 before this. I didn't hand calc during the track day but the display still indicated 31mpg running it on the track. I would definitely say there is something wrong with your car...
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Old September 9th, 2019, 12:12   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightflyer1 View Post
It isn't an Indy car so don't try and drive it like one.
Why not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by eagle View Post
My commute is only 5.5 miles, all surface streets (25, 35, 45 mph), with at least a half-dozen traffic signals (that is, 6 I can think of offhand), and I often hit every one of them red.
Short trips like this are also generally bad for the DPF and emissions devices since they don't have time to get up to the temperatures necessary to burn off the soot. Constant short trips like this also considered "severe service" with regards to the oil, since it makes it harder for the oil to come up to a temperature high enough to burn off excess fuel, excess condensation, etc.

I'd try to make sure you get some highway bits thrown in there every now and again. The spirited driving, high boost, and high RPM's will definitely help to build up that heat though.

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Originally Posted by alext91 View Post
Interesting. A few weeks back, I did a track day in my '13 JSW, running it quite hard, to redline, etc. Afterward, I did an oil & filter change along with air and fuel filters, and my first tank afterward was hand calculated at 41mpg. I was only seeing about 37-39 before this. I didn't hand calc during the track day but the display still indicated 31mpg running it on the track. I would definitely say there is something wrong with your car...
Track Day Crew! I have a firm belief that driving vehicles hard helps to keep them running strong; helps to clean out the pipes.

I autocross mine, hit WOT daily, and have done a track day... outside of some unhappy emissions devices, the car seems to love it.
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Old September 9th, 2019, 12:22   #13
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Track Day Crew! I have a firm belief that driving vehicles hard helps to keep them running strong; helps to clean out the pipes.
I autocross mine, hit WOT daily, and have done a track day... outside of some unhappy emissions devices, the car seems to love it.
Absolutely! I mean, as long as that's not the only use the car is getting, I'm also a believer that driving hard every so often is good for it. Mine seemed pretty happy to run at the track! Not quite as nimble as my old Civic Si, but still fun!
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Old September 14th, 2019, 21:16   #14
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Indy car response. Because you will be severely disappointed as it will in no way compare.

Knowing your current driving scenario as you described it, the problem is you picked the wrong car. No car other than an electric or Hybrid electric will do very good in that scenario. Maybe a scooter.
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