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Author Topic: heres-how-to-lose-17-mpg-off-your-epa-rating Back to Topics

Champion Author

Joined:Apr 2003
Message Posted: Dec 25, 2012 10:04:43 PM

Edmund's article on how to reduce fuel mileage, or not....

Interesting figures on what causes you mpg.
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Champion Author Chicago

Joined:Dec 2004
Message Posted: Dec 30, 2012 11:52:33 AM

Houckster, I totally agree with your 12/26/12 post. It appears the hybrids are more susceptible to inflated mpg figures and are more susceptible to speed and weather affecting mpg though.

"This is hardly the first test showing that automaker mpg figures are questionable, but there are a couple of things that are particularly surprising about this new study. First is the extent to which the MPG ratings appear to be inflated. In tests, CR found that the Ford Fusion Hybrid SE got 39 mpg overall, which is 8 mpg less than its official EPA rating of 47 mpg. The Ford C-Max SE also boasts an EPA rating of 47 mpg, but the vehicle averaged just 37 mpg in Consumer Reports’ real-life, on-the-road tests.

The second surprising aspect of CR’s announcement is just how common it is for “official” EPA ratings to be higher than the results found in independent testing. This seems to be the case especially when it comes to hybrid vehicles. In previous CR tests, models such as the Toyota Prius, Honda Civic Hybrid, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, and Honda Insight EX were all shown to get worse gas mileage than what EPA ratings promised. As Consumer Reports points out, it’s the automakers themselves that come up with their own EPA ratings:
It’s worth noting that automakers mostly self-certify their cars. Then, the EPA spot-checks about 15 percent of them with its own tests in a lab.
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Champion Author Atlanta

Joined:Sep 2003
Message Posted: Dec 30, 2012 10:56:35 AM

Several years ago, I was deluded enough to buy a product called E*N*V*I*R*O*M*A*X**P*L*U*S. You can remove the asterisks. It was "An Exclusive Product of E*X*T*R*E*M*E**R*E*S*E*A*R*C*H". It had a video of a race driver telling us that this stuff was a godsend for our engines. It had the normal mantra of benefits: increased mileage, reduced emissions etc. It was a "patented fuel catalyst". How could I lose?

I think you all know what the results were. I dosed the fuel as directed and nothing happened at all. My mileage stayed the same. I increased the dosage to see if that helped, it didn't. One day I poured an entire bottle in. Nothing.

I still keep a bottle of the stuff to remind me what silliness this stuff is. Unfortunately, there are enough people who will fall for this baloney because the company is still around.

[Edited by: Houckster at 12/30/2012 11:00:30 AM EST]
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All-Star Author Orlando

Joined:Jan 2011
Message Posted: Dec 29, 2012 11:09:39 AM


I have seen a few youtube videos on new big rigs that have a new fuel additive to reduce emissions. Could this be the catalyst you are talking about?
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Champion Author South Dakota

Joined:Mar 2005
Message Posted: Dec 29, 2012 9:45:09 AM

I have never done the research, but what are the parameters that the EPA tests under? This would make a difference for me at least. I want to know mileage for "actually" driving, not a test.
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Champion Author Raleigh

Joined:Nov 2012
Message Posted: Dec 28, 2012 5:05:15 PM

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Champion Author Chicago

Joined:Sep 2004
Message Posted: Dec 27, 2012 10:43:32 AM

Or let my wife drive your car, she only knows fast and stop... no coasting...
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Champion Author Oakland

Joined:Apr 2003
Message Posted: Dec 26, 2012 9:25:58 PM

I found the claims to be just past conservative.
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Champion Author Nova Scotia

Joined:Jun 2008
Message Posted: Dec 26, 2012 1:28:05 PM

Interesting article... to save or not to save that is the question.
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Champion Author Mississippi

Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Dec 26, 2012 1:10:36 PM

The article raises more questions than it answers .....
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Champion Author Boston

Joined:Aug 2005
Message Posted: Dec 26, 2012 12:48:36 PM

I wonder how many cars tested by the EPA and not the car maker have this problem.
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Rookie Author San Diego

Joined:Mar 2011
Message Posted: Dec 26, 2012 12:45:02 PM

Has anyone heard of a combustion catalyst that is used as a burn rate modifier to burn fuel at a lower temperature.
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Champion Author Atlanta

Joined:Sep 2003
Message Posted: Dec 26, 2012 12:13:45 PM

This issue is a complex opinion. There are a number of potential problems.

1) Should we trust the OEMs to do the testing on most of our cars? That's a mistake because company employees will naturally feel pressure to give the company good numbers. An independent series of labs ought to be employed and the cars should be randomly assigned to the labs by the EPA.

2) The testing is largely conducted on machines that try to simulate the road experience. Having the testing include average people driving the cars might reveal some substantial differences in the results.

3) Another issue is that most people have no idea how poorly they drive. A more efficient driver might come much closer to the EPA figures. There does seem to be a real possibility that the mileage to be obtained is more "fragile" than with older cars because we're trying to get so many miles out of a gallon of fuel. It's not enough just to buy a fuel-efficient car, we have to drive in a fuel-efficient manner.

4) The testing procedures that provide mileage figures are derived from emissions testing where a special fuel with a known carbon content is used. Does this fuel compare in terms of energy content with the fuel available to the average consumer?

5) The CAFE mileage requirements may not be as realistic as was hoped.

As for the figures that Mr. Nair provides:

1) Drive 75 mph instead of 65 mph: lose 7 mpg. Sorry, this doesn't wash with me. I have a Ford Ranger and it's not nearly as aerodynamic as most cars but I won't lose 7 MPG by going 75 instead of 65. Maybe 2 MPG tops.

2) Drive in 40-degree weather instead of 70-degree warmth: lose 5 mpg. Sorry again. That's a ridiculous claim. My winter driving is nearly the same as summer MPG. It's no more than about 2 MPG.

3) A new engine with "break-in" mileage of less than 6,000 miles: lose 5 mpg. Sorry, this is silly. Modern engines don't have break-in periods to speak of. They come from the factory with the same oil that the OEM expects the customer to use for the life of the vehicle. In my first year of driving with the Ranger, I averaged a bit over 19 MPG. That's about 3.5 MPG over what the EPA projected using the 2008 system. I now average about 133% of the EPA weighted average so I'm close to 20 MPG overall. 5 MPG? Baloney!

[Edited by: Houckster at 12/26/2012 12:18:07 PM EST]
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Champion Author South Carolina

Joined:May 2011
Message Posted: Dec 26, 2012 8:09:15 AM

Or buy a Kia or Hyundai. Both were found guilty of gaming the EPA ratings.
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Champion Author Winnipeg

Joined:Apr 2011
Message Posted: Dec 26, 2012 8:02:32 AM

No surprises here just real life vs theoretical test bench results.
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Champion Author Tulsa

Joined:Aug 2005
Message Posted: Dec 26, 2012 7:14:43 AM

These are all things that should be common sense. Common sense doesn't appear to be that common anymore.
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