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Tea with AK71: My new car's fuel consumption.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

My Mazda 2 is more than a month old now and I am still trying to get 15.5km per litre out of it.  This is the official number from Mazda.  Initially, I got only 12km and now, I am able to get almost 14km but it seems that I have hit resistance, so to speak.

With my old Mazda 6 which had a 2.0 litre engine, I was able to do 11km+ per litre which from the reactions I got from friends must have been pretty amazing.  In fact, the salesperson at Mazda was amazed as well.  Then, why am I not able to get 15.5km per litre out of the Mazda 2 which has a 1.5 litre engine?

This was one of the things I thought about over the weekend and I compared what I did to the Mazda 6 that I might have to do to the Mazda 2.  Precious little since I am not the type to spend money on bodykits, sound systems and HID lights. I did spend money to run my Mazda 6 on synthetic engine oil and I did spend money on some good tires which were supposed to reduce CO2 emission.  There, I have my answers.

Running my car on synthetic oil reduced internal friction and I didn't have to wait for the engine to warm up before I drove.  Since, my Mazda 2 is new and has a free service by the agent at 5,000 km, I would just have to live with mineral oil till the car hits 10,000km.  That's when I would make the switch to synthetic oil.  This should improve the performance of the car.

New cars are usually bundled with OEM tires.  Apart from keeping tires properly inflated, swtiching to better tires could reduce resistance when driving. There could be less friction and we could cover more distance without stepping on the accelerator as much. Hence, the claim that good tires could reduce CO2 emission. Since tires usually last for 2 years or so, I would not be changing them in a hurry.  Will make a mental note.

I am rather light footed and do not rev the engine.  So, in terms of driving behaviour, I think I'm safe.  I am not sure if there could be other ways of improving my car's fuel consumption. If you have an idea, please feel free to share it. :)

Related post:
Tea with AK71: Bought a new car!


Anonymous said...

Normally, i would have advised my friends with new car, to drive their new toy as a factory original for 1 year before making any modifications.
This way, you will know what the "original settings" were and it's resulting performance.

I would have changed the stock air filter to the better airflow & washable K&N. Clean it every 2-3 months on a lazy saturday afternoon which I don't need to drive. This way, it will help to ensure good (i.e. less resisitance) air flow into the engine for better fuel combustion. EFI engines or not. Cost about S$100 for the filter and $30 for the cleaning kit that lasted forever.

Secondly, i will install a voltage stablizer. Helps with easier start of engine and better throttle response. cost about $75 - 200 depending on how many ground cables you liked to have. AND putting more cables / contact points within your engine area does not equal to higher efficiency. In fact it back fired for me, when I had my 8th cable installed (static hits my radio badly & no improvement on fuel comp) and had to ask for a refund on this cable.

The fuel efficiency improvement from having both items ?

For my motorcycle (Honda Super4) was about 18km/L to about 22km/L, easier start up in the morning (hey my battery is very small leh) and much faster pick up on overtaking. My spark plugs (a $40-80 tag for 4 pcs) needs replacement much later into it's life, due to less fouling of the pins.

For my Opel 1.7 Euro3 turbo diesel van, a.k.a SnOOpy Express, the fuel jumped from 14km/L to about 20-22km/L. And I drive the van, as my personal car and it handles like a car too. I keep track of my fuel consumption with each refuel at all the time. Have 2 calculators each in the car & bikes to calculate this figure. Any drop of these numbers means that something is wrong (a faulty spark plug on the bike and a deflated tyre on the van).

Have fun.


Anonymous said...

Hi, hope the followoing comments are useful:

1) quite a few of the parts in your new car are still "running-in" and you can expect your consumption to improve. My experience with new cars is that at 30K (yes, 30,000km) they reach their peak/ optimum). So, relax lah.

2) believe it or not, better consumption is achieved when you actually accerlerate a little when going downhill, to take advantage of the gradient's momentum on your car.

3) in the modern context, engine size does not have major bearing on fuel consumption as in the past. The use of lighter materials, aerodynamic designs etc all play bigger roles now.

Enjoy your new car!


Old Hand

AK71 said...

Hi SnOOpy88,

Wow! You are an expert on the subject!

You managed to improve consumption by SO much with the stuff that you did. 25% improvement is very good but you got a 50% improvement for your van! That's amazing!

Thanks for all the hot tips. I am noting the stuff down as things to consider doing when my car is 1 year old. ;)

AK71 said...

Hi Old Hand,

Hopefully, the consumption will improve somewhat when it hits 30,000km on the odometer. The salesperson said something similar.

Accelerate as we go downhill? That is something I have not tried doing before. I always take my foot off the accelerator when going downhill. Something new for me to try out. ;)

I am enjoying my new car: easier to park, much smaller turning radius, sportier feel, faster to wash, lower consumption (already), much brighter headlamps, easier to handle in tiny carparks etc.

I just need to get used to having less space in the car and the slower pickup compared to my old Mazda6.

Thanks a bunch for the tips. :)

Anonymous said...

Most welcomed AK. My recommendation is to improve fuel efficiency. I can't remember my friend's Nissian car improvement figures, as he took my advice and spend that $300 to fix up the car.

Note that this is about all that I will do. No "ching" or modify the car for that extra horsepower, drill a few holes and change the onboard computer etc. If these recommendations from the "ah-beng" car showroom mechs, then those idotic engineers in Germany & Japan should be shot on sight.

Plus a modified car will have lesser resale value to the dealers / next buyer, as it means unusual wear & tear beyond reason.

Have fun


AK71 said...

Hi SnOOpy88,

Nah, I wouldn't spend top dollar to modify my car anyway. When I sold my Mazda 6 recently, it was basically the same car that I bought from Mazda five years ago. ;)

To improve fuel efficiency is all I wanna do. Thanks again for those ideas. :)

Anonymous said...

Sorry for my bad english. Thank you so much for your good post. Your post helped me in my college assignment, If you can provide me more details please email me.

AK71 said...

Hi Anonymous,

Really? My post on fuel consumption of my new car helped you in your college assignment? I am glad it has helped although it is hard for me to imagine how it could have. ;)

I cannot contact you since you did not leave a name or contact details. Feel free to write again. :)

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