Newbies and Vets: Tips for better fuel economy!

highender

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2006
Location
Northern California
TDI
2012 Jetta TDI
Of the many things mentioned to increase fuel economy...

I think the most important one is the human psychology factor...

What is this ?

Well, it is the common human nature to be complacent about things...no matter how much they learn. They will say they do all the fuel saving things....but still end up speeding, leaving the engine on idle for 30 minutes, carry unnecessary heavy items in the trunk, not check tire pressure, etc ...


Even with gas prices so high, I see people who are oblivious of fuel saving tips, and still drive and refuse to implement any fuel saving tips on a regular basis. Granted everyone will go above 70 mph sometimes, and carry unnecessary weight in the trunk once in a while.....


but it is not difficult to imagine what is going on on the average driver's mind....

1- notice gas station and price.

2- fill up fuel tank while thinking about the price.

3- complain about the high cost

4- drive out , and completely forget about learning more on how to save fuel, or just forget to implement that which we learned.


So I do not know if anyone mentioned this tip...


Preservere in your efforts to save fuel as much as you can....make it a lifestyle habit...instead of an afterthought at the gas station.
 

coffeefor2

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 17, 2008
Location
Smithfield, VA
TDI
2006 Jetta TDI
I'm a newbie to the TDI world. I went this way for fuel economy and have been doing, I think, well on my milage. I've been averaging ~42/43 MPG on almost every tank about 40/60 city/highway driving. I think some of these tips will help my push closer to breaking my personal goal of 45 MPG average.

That being said, back in January, I had one tank where I got a discusting 28 MPG. the next tank was the normal 42.25 MPG. I didn't think I did anything different in driving styles. I'm almost thinking I had some bad fuel but am not sure, I always use the same 2 stations. Anyone have any ideas? I don't want to see this again!!!
 

nicklockard

Torque Dorque
Joined
Aug 15, 2004
Location
Arizona
TDI
2010 Touareg Tdi w/factory Tow PCKG
Scangauge II

Well I recently had my scangauge reflashed to firmware 3.15. It now shows cost to drive. All you have to do is enter price per gallon. This is highly effective at shocking the **** out of you, causing you to drive more sanely. It's like having a taxi meter running in your car. I'm going to start charging passengers half the cost on the screen!

Just drop your quarters here :):D
 

nicklockard

Torque Dorque
Joined
Aug 15, 2004
Location
Arizona
TDI
2010 Touareg Tdi w/factory Tow PCKG
Bob_Fout said:
Uhh...where is "here"?:eek:
The toll change holder in the middle! Get your mind out of the gutter Bob. Nevermind. I know it's impossible :rolleyes: ;) :D
 

ruking

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 27, 2003
Location
San Jose area, CA
TDI
2003 VW Jetta, 5 M, Reflex Silver: 09 Jetta, 6 Sp DSG, Candy White: 12 VW Touareg, 8 Sp A/T, Flint Gray
coffeefor2 said:
I'm a newbie to the TDI world. I went this way for fuel economy and have been doing, I think, well on my milage. I've been averaging ~42/43 MPG on almost every tank about 40/60 city/highway driving. I think some of these tips will help my push closer to breaking my personal goal of 45 MPG average.

That being said, back in January, I had one tank where I got a discusting 28 MPG. the next tank was the normal 42.25 MPG. I didn't think I did anything different in driving styles. I'm almost thinking I had some bad fuel but am not sure, I always use the same 2 stations. Anyone have any ideas? I don't want to see this again!!!
Welcome to the forum!!

First question, is your TDI an auto, dsg, or manual? Each has their structual mpg as well as operating ranges.

Once you know both the diesel's and transmission's operating parameters and can actually EXECUTE knowing both: within your environment/s, it might seem daunting to reach your goals. After a while given anything you can almost predict what mph you will get under given circumstances conditions and driving styles.

So for example on a 5 speed manual for a daily 54 R/T miles, literally grueling commute, our range is 48-52 mpg. The overall range has been between 44 to 62 mpg. I remember getting 44 mpg average when doing 300 miles of stop and go driving in downtown Las Vegas showing my daughter. (when she turn the age of majority- couple of years ago) It was 104 degrees ambient and the A/C at full BLAST was inadequate.:eek: Night ambient temps were just slightly less.

So 28 mpg was probably just a filling fluke, or you might like to dial in the third paragraphs' parameters.
 
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coffeefor2

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 17, 2008
Location
Smithfield, VA
TDI
2006 Jetta TDI
Dialing in

OK. It's a 06 with the DSG automatic. Nowmlly drive ~60 RT miles Mon-Sat. and some extra on Sat and Sun. Lowest ~40 Highest ~44. Temps in VA that time of year were ~25-30 at night and highs ~mid 40s.

Could you be a little more specific anout a filling error? Do you mean too much foaming when I filled the tank?

I guess I get bothered by an anonaly like that, I'm anal that way. I have this "Need to know."
 

ruking

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 27, 2003
Location
San Jose area, CA
TDI
2003 VW Jetta, 5 M, Reflex Silver: 09 Jetta, 6 Sp DSG, Candy White: 12 VW Touareg, 8 Sp A/T, Flint Gray
coffeefor2 said:
OK. It's a 06 with the DSG automatic. Nowmlly drive ~60 RT miles Mon-Sat. and some extra on Sat and Sun. Lowest ~40 Highest ~44. Temps in VA that time of year were ~25-30 at night and highs ~mid 40s.

Could you be a little more specific anout a filling error? Do you mean too much foaming when I filled the tank?

I guess I get bothered by an anonaly like that, I'm anal that way. I have this "Need to know."
Ok. Right now the most noticable is the 15.3-16.67 % difference in mpg range. The first thing that comes to mind (given the commutes are similar in miles) are what are the differences (% wise) between DSG/Manual? So for example I swag 5/8 mpg less if I drove an auto (or -10.4% to -15.4%) So I already know it is less than that for a DSG.

Next, how many mpg's/%'s are due just to different commutes.

The gears are shifted when engine hits app 2500 rpms cold and app 3500 rpms when warm.

How is yours (DSG) shifted or NOT?

So for example, one of the clues; engine oil consumption is like app 1/8 to 1/4 qt per 20,000 miles( low oil consumption, 4 oz to 8 oz , yes I am that way also. Dont even have to bother topping, but I do. It has really become part of the game! :D ) Another is the intake manifold is CLEAN (inspected @ 97,000 miles), so two pieces of information indicating proper operation.

Sure, a filling error could be many things, bad calculations, etc. My guess would probably be worse than yours. Suffice to say if you continue to get 28 mpg, then something which you are doing, environment or the machinery is a bit off.
 
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bikeprof

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2005
Location
Pagosa Springs, Colorado(YEAH!)
TDI
1996 Passat B4 Variant white, 1996 Town & Country 3.8 LXI
Post engine/TDI model...

Yes, it is easier to post year and model of engine code/TDI model/tranny/mileage, for to compare if the TDI is not giving enough MPG instead of us having to ask for that information.

ie: wagon(variant) TDI makes different MPG's than a sedan, FYI...
 

esteeze

Veteran Member
Joined
May 29, 2006
Location
Hoover, AL
TDI
06.5 Jetta TDI
I average ~32MPG on my hilly, urban, 10-mile-each-way work commute (this is 90%+ of my miles).

I've taken one long interstate trip, where I got upwards of 45 MPG (could have done better, but I was in a hurry to get somewhere).
 

NarfBLAST

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 3, 2002
Location
Waterdown, Ontario, Canada
TDI
2001 Golf 5MT
Scangauge update: its been set at 10% over the last three "fillups" and the last two tanks have been within 0.1L of what scangauge reported. Dropping under 5.0L/100km (over 48mpg) and still dropping (climbing)! And the instantaneous feedback from the scangauge is indispenseable.

My rules for better fuel economy:

- Get a Scangauge and calibrate it to a GPS reference
- Over-inflate your tires, get taller tires to reduce engine rpm in all gears
- Drive below the speed limit at all times
- Accelerate any way you want, but try not to slow down for traffic lights or corners
- Leave lots of space in front of you so you can avoid slowing down for the speeder who just passed you but now has to slow down for traffic they did not anticipate in front of both of you
- Learn the difference between a fresh/stale traffic light. Use this knowledge to blow past people who stop for traffic lights. You need not stop, slow down way ahead of time and by the time you get the light will be green. This not only drives fuel wasting speeders absolutely CRAZY, but it saves fuel!
 
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NarfBLAST

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 3, 2002
Location
Waterdown, Ontario, Canada
TDI
2001 Golf 5MT
J.R. FEIK said:
I guess I missed something.

You set your scanguage to 10% over? What the #*&% does that mean?

Sorry for my ignorance.

Cya
Syntax error: over the last three fillups means that The last three times that i have filled up, I selected the fillup function, and I have not changed the setting from 10%, and the number of litres reported on the scangauge has been within 0.1 L of the the number of litres reported at the pump. And I was very excited about it!

Update, last fillup was within .2L and I still haven't changed the fillup calibration in scangauge from 10%. I am a big fan of finding a calibration and not changing it on scangauge... some people believe you have to keep changing the calibration and this somehow makes it more accurate. I belive that is non-sense. I believe you need to find the average calibration and leaving it there and your Scangauge vs Pump numbers will be more closer that way.

Last tank was 5.3L/100km, gotta stay focused and quit cheating to get it under 5.0! Its like counting calories, I once a day I go for that donut and it blows my whole average.
 

Robert Moreau

New member
Joined
Apr 2, 2008
Location
New Orleans, LA
TDI
None
Jetta Wagon vs. Passat Wagon MPG

I"m new to the club, and looking for a used TDI wagon (anyone between 2001-2005 since my daily commute is 110 miles round trip. Had my heart set on the Jetta Wagon TDI because I think it would be a great commuter car, and a bit bigger than a Golf. But someone told me I should also look at the Passat Wagon TDI's from that same period. Isn't it a heavier car? Is the gas milleage less? I'm thinking it would also be more sluggish if using the same engine. Thanks,

Rob
 

MarkIV

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2002
Location
Northern New Mexico
TDI
2001 Golf GLS Silver/Black, 2006 New Beetle Pkg#2 DSG Red/Black
Hi All, I've been away for quite a while. I have a problem with long-term decline of fuel mileage in my '01 Golf TDI, 5-sp. The average mileage peaked after break-in at about 48mpg at 20k miles. Now at 85k miles the average mileage has drooped to about 40mpg. I've searched through the forums for clues but haven't found the thread that I'm looking for. The car performs just fine. Climbing a 2-mile 6% grade at 7000' elevation at 80mph is no problem. Should I be looking for intake plugging, EGR leaks, fuel temp sensor, coolant temp sensor, or what? I have VagCom. Scanning shows no trouble codes. Performance is good. Is it the new ULSD fuel? I did the timing belt at 60k, and that did not disrupt the steady decline in fuel mileage curve. Timing specs are spot-on. Hints appreciated. ;]
 

NarfBLAST

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 3, 2002
Location
Waterdown, Ontario, Canada
TDI
2001 Golf 5MT
MarkIV,
I would run the live graph thingy (name escapes me right now) in VAG-COM and log the MAF actual vs reported and MAP actual vs reported and make sure your MAF sensor and your turbo system (turbo, vanes, actuator, vacuum lines, N75, MAP Sensor) are working properly. I like the live graph because you can instantly see if the two lines are tracking well under different conditions. Do you have an analog boost gauge? Highly recommened diagnostic tool and fun to watch every day the boost gauge is. Yes intake clogging should definetly be checked, some people say its hard to check unless you remove your egr valve, sometimes you can see the clogging if you just remove the rubber elbow before the egr valve and look inside. I cleaned mine at 100,000km or so and haven't had to since doing the EGR mod, but perhaps I ruined the diaphram with solvent and it hasn't opened since. Anyway, good luck.
 

VeeDubTDI

Wanderluster, Traveler, TDIClub Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 2, 2000
Location
Springfield, VA
TDI
‘18 Tesla Model 3D+, ‘14 Cadillac ELR, ‘13 Fiat 500e
In other news, I'm getting some pretty awesome fuel economy in the Metro. My first long trip in it yielded 35 mpg @ 70+ mph. The current tank is going to be at least 40 mpg (hoping for 45+), on regular gas! :cool:
 

NarfBLAST

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 3, 2002
Location
Waterdown, Ontario, Canada
TDI
2001 Golf 5MT
VeeDubTDI said:
In other news, I'm getting some pretty awesome fuel economy in the Metro. My first long trip in it yielded 35 mpg @ 70+ mph. The current tank is going to be at least 40 mpg (hoping for 45+), on regular gas! :cool:
Is that the 3 cylinder? Turbo?
 

dasBlinkenlight

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 17, 2004
Location
San Antonio, TX
TDI
2005 Jetta Wagon, Reflex Silver
ruking said:
At will, the Jetta can go from 44 to 62 mpg. That spread indicates a range of 41%. This is with a bone stock Jetta TDI. If I keep it below 87 mph and out of 2 hour long funeral processions on the Streets of San Francisco, I normally get 50 mpg. In a grueling 54 mile R/T commute, the range is between 48-52 mpg.
I find posts like these incredibly frustrating to read. I know they're based on real-world (albeit anecdotal) experiences, and I really don't mean to single this one out, but I've never seen this kind of variability myself. Specifically, my '05 JW (manual) has never seen the high side of 42 mpg no matter how it's driven. From the day we drove the car off the lot it has consistently given both my wife and myself of 33+/-1 mpg in the city, which is where 90% of our driving is done. There is essentially no reward for trying to drive the car frugally, so now we drive like pretty much everyone else in town - which is to say aggressively.

For a long time, we hoped and prayed that we simply had a break-in issue. (That was certainly the consensus around this forum.) By 30k miles, we figured out that nothing was going to change. Prior to the arrival of ULSD, the car also smoked like a chimney. We took the car to a nearby GTG, but the vag-com version at the time wasn't capable of dealing with the intricacies of the PD engine - or at least that was my understanding.

We've continued to have the vehicle serviced at the two local stealerships, neither of which has given us any hint of satisfaction. The day after the warranty expires, I guarantee we're going to pay a visit to Pierce Auto here in town. I have an uneasy feeling that the intake may already be coked up - which will be my problem, not VW's.

I haven't hung around here much because I don't like coming across as a curmudgeon, and it's hard to feel enthusiastic about my car. My wife and I have stuck to drivebiwire's advice on maximizing turbo longevity, and we hold out hope that the car pays off in the long run. Since coming back to the forum for a visit, I've noticed some good advice about the MAF sensor - specifically, running the car with it completely unplugged. I thought that the stealerships had both "tested" it, but we'll see how the unplugging experiment goes.

For non-mechanical types, we've given it an honest try. I'd love to say "D'oh! I should have driven 55 mph so that I could get 55 mpg!" but I can't.

-Ben
 

ruking

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 27, 2003
Location
San Jose area, CA
TDI
2003 VW Jetta, 5 M, Reflex Silver: 09 Jetta, 6 Sp DSG, Candy White: 12 VW Touareg, 8 Sp A/T, Flint Gray
dasBlinkenlight said:
I find posts like these incredibly frustrating to read. I know they're based on real-world (albeit anecdotal) experiences, and I really don't mean to single this one out, but I've never seen this kind of variability myself. Specifically, my '05 JW (manual) has never seen the high side of 42 mpg no matter how it's driven. From the day we drove the car off the lot it has consistently given both my wife and myself of 33+/-1 mpg in the city, which is where 90% of our driving is done. There is essentially no reward for trying to drive the car frugally, so now we drive like pretty much everyone else in town - which is to say aggressively.

For a long time, we hoped and prayed that we simply had a break-in issue. (That was certainly the consensus around this forum.) By 30k miles, we figured out that nothing was going to change. Prior to the arrival of ULSD, the car also smoked like a chimney. We took the car to a nearby GTG, but the vag-com version at the time wasn't capable of dealing with the intricacies of the PD engine - or at least that was my understanding.

We've continued to have the vehicle serviced at the two local stealerships, neither of which has given us any hint of satisfaction. The day after the warranty expires, I guarantee we're going to pay a visit to Pierce Auto here in town. I have an uneasy feeling that the intake may already be coked up - which will be my problem, not VW's.

I haven't hung around here much because I don't like coming across as a curmudgeon, and it's hard to feel enthusiastic about my car. My wife and I have stuck to drivebiwire's advice on maximizing turbo longevity, and we hold out hope that the car pays off in the long run. Since coming back to the forum for a visit, I've noticed some good advice about the MAF sensor - specifically, running the car with it completely unplugged. I thought that the stealerships had both "tested" it, but we'll see how the unplugging experiment goes.

For non-mechanical types, we've given it an honest try. I'd love to say "D'oh! I should have driven 55 mph so that I could get 55 mpg!" but I can't.

-Ben
I take no offense personally to your commentary. However on a personal level, I can understand how and why you might feel disheartened. As a nexus, I have driven in San Antonio, TX with the TDI. The insurance company I have been with for 36 years is located in San Antonio, TX. I have been to your city over the years. It is of course no news to you that SA rush hour is at best, challenging. So evidently, part of the component might be the 90% city driving.

I have seen Honda Civic survey's, where folks participating can tick off their mpg in 1-2 mile per gal increments and post verbal comments. It was informative to see what folks were actually reporting. It would be interesting to respond to a model and year or whatever survey/s on this web site.
 
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Lightflyer1

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Sep 13, 2005
Location
Round Rock, Texas
TDI
2015 Beetle tdi dsg
He is comparing the older model with the newer PD. They don't really compare. The older models got better mileage. The 90% city is also killing you. This is not where the car does it's best. My 06 Jetta only gets around 36 mpg in town. It has done over 50 mpg on dedicated <70 mph highway trips.
 

dasBlinkenlight

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 17, 2004
Location
San Antonio, TX
TDI
2005 Jetta Wagon, Reflex Silver
Lightflyer1 said:
It has done over 50 mpg on dedicated <70 mph highway trips.
I get the bit about city mileage, actually, but that's where the comparison ends. I've driven 55 mph on extended trips through the hill country in cool weather (not cold, but no a/c) and averaged 36 mpg. So then we say the TDIs don't like hills.... Then there are the 70 mph trips from here to San Marcos... or to Dallas... or to Kansas City. We're still talkin' 40 mpg average. No comprendo.

Got a new fuel filter today. It was congested. Dealer still claims the MAF is fine. I dunno how they test it.

Carry on.:)

-Ben
 

Bears Fan

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2007
Location
Texas
TDI
2006 Jetta
I'm with Ben. I try to be optimistic but sometimes it's hard. I bought my Jetta a few months ago. Since then my wife has mostly been driving it. about a 8 or 9 mile trip about 5.5 - 6 highway and 2 miles in town. we've averaged about 35 MPG. Now this is really good compaired to out Maxima which was getting about 20 MPG but it's not the 40+ I was expecting.

I recently drove the car all highway about 70 miles round trip for about a tank. got right at 500 miles and was at 39mpg. Still not as good as I expected as it was all highway driving. I didn't know about the tire pressure so I'll have to check that.

I'm expecting to hear within the next week or so if I was selected for a promotion. If so, I'll have to put all these tips to good use as I'll loose the company car and have a drive of 72 miles one way to work. If I can average 45 MPG+ I'll be happy.
 

Lightflyer1

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Sep 13, 2005
Location
Round Rock, Texas
TDI
2015 Beetle tdi dsg
You are averaging the EPA reported mileage. Get on IH10 and in the right lane. Lock cruise on at 60 mph and leave the pedals alone till you get to Ft. Stockton. U-turn and do the same thing back. I bet it is better than 40 mpg. I did this trip from Austin after I got my car just to see what it could do. A little over 53 mpg. I have only been able to do this on 600 or so mile trips at less than 70 mph and staying in the right lane and leave the pedals alone. Just let the car run and run and run. Boring as all heck, but it works for me. Otherwise my mileage is exactly the same as you report.
 

jaberoo

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2003
Location
Alford, MA
TDI
2015 Passat SEL silver
Getting maximum fuel mileage can become....er,... obsessive. Some months ago I saw a Prius driving with its lights out, at night on I-495 around DC. I knew what the idiot was up to. Didn't the winner in last year's hybrid mileage trial get well over 100 mpg? It takes an extreme driving style (and being willing to risk yours and others' lives). Motorweek recently did a brief piece on diesel vs hybrids. The consensus of the drivers was that hybrids are best in city driving and diesels in non-city driving. That makes sense, especially given the relative costs of regular ($3.50) & ULSD ($4.40). A friend has both a 04 Golf TDi and a 06 Civic hybrid. In city driving, he reports 46-48 mpg for the Civic at 7.5c/mi on regular and 38-39 mpg in the Golf at 11.5c/mi on diesel.
 

NarfBLAST

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 3, 2002
Location
Waterdown, Ontario, Canada
TDI
2001 Golf 5MT
If someone would just come out with a diesel electric hybrid!!!

I will take mine with the plug-in option, please.

For now, I agree with LightFlyer, cruise control is your best friend, I use it in the city also! Some streets have timed traffic lights and if you can set the cruise just right you can watch the Scangauge drop below 3L/100km for green light after green light.

Scangauge Update: still set at 10% adjustment factor on fillup! burned thru 54.4 L (low fuel light came on at 53L and 997km :D) and SG reported 54.2L that is roughly within 0.5% accuracy over the last 4 tanks (see other updates).
Scangauge Conclusion: injection quantity at idle adjustment and MAF housing change affected scangauge adjustment, but after I stopped making changes and foundn the right scangauge adjustment factor I don't have to change it.
 

johnchitown

Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2008
Location
Chicago
TDI
06 Beetle TDI
A newbie in need of MPG advice!

Hi Everyone
I have an 06 TDI Beetle with AT & 20K on the odometer. I love this car.
Virtually 100% of my driving is Chicago city driving. I do not drive for max mpg - nor do I floor it at take off. I do take advantage of the torque however when the light turns green. Anyone who knows Chicago neighborhoods - know there are a lot of stop signs and Chicago does not the the best traffic light synchronization.
All this said I am getting about 25 to 26 MPG.
Is this reasonable?
All comments will be deeply appreciated
 

NarfBLAST

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 3, 2002
Location
Waterdown, Ontario, Canada
TDI
2001 Golf 5MT
johnchitown said:
Hi Everyone
I have an 06 TDI Beetle with AT & 20K on the odometer. I love this car.
Virtually 100% of my driving is Chicago city driving. I do not drive for max mpg - nor do I floor it at take off. I do take advantage of the torque however when the light turns green. Anyone who knows Chicago neighborhoods - know there are a lot of stop signs and Chicago does not the the best traffic light synchronization.
All this said I am getting about 25 to 26 MPG.
Is this reasonable?
All comments will be deeply appreciated
Um, are you sure its a TDI? :)
 

nicklockard

Torque Dorque
Joined
Aug 15, 2004
Location
Arizona
TDI
2010 Touareg Tdi w/factory Tow PCKG
Must be doing short tripping.

Don't feel bad. The crappy rental car I've got for this week (a Chebby Cobalt slushbox) gets 17 mpg under similar driving, except I'm driving it like a granny. If I took advantage of the (non-existant) power, I'd be getting about 11 mpg.

OMG these things suck unbelievably hard. No wonder the big 3 are in terminal death throes.
 
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