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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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MPG Calculation

Would like to discuss the options and accuracy of various MPG calculation techniques and devices. Will list a few and would appreciate any comments on experiences and accuracy of the methods or devices involved. Of course, combinations of these may also be the way to go and a doublecheck.

1. Lie-o-meter. I have seen reference (not good) to this and my assumption is that it the OEM guage. I don't have one so it is something I no nothing about.

2. Scanguage

3. Edge Insight

4. Garmin ecoRoute HD. Interesting integration w Garmin newer GPS's. ecoRoute HD connects to the OBDII port and to the Garmin GPS through Bluetooth. Integrates w the ecoRoute app on the GPS and in addition to the real-time monitoring, provides data logging for things such as fuel costs, etc. Positive reports have been sketchy and improvements seem ongoing with firmware upgrades. Also does some of the other stuff (coolant temp, air flow, etc) and trouble codes.

5. Hand Calc.

I'm thinking about trying out the Garmin as I already have the GPS and the HD is only $89 on Amazon but I am interested in comparisons of all the units especially with the good ol hand calc.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 06:43 PM
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Re: MPG Calculation

1) This is worthless.

2) Never used, so I don't have an opinion.

3) Many folks complain that this is inaccurate or non-functional. I haven't had any problem with it on my truck, but I use this more for a reference to help keep my right foot in check.

4) Haven't used, so I don't have an opinion.

5) This is my preferred method. Combined with a conscientious right foot as per method 3, this gets me pretty good mileage. However, most of the time I drive it like I stole it so I just live with whatever my mileage works out to be.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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Re: MPG Calculation

I guess I should have included a note about including the realtime and trip/tank capabilities of each method.

i.e. Insight may have good realtime readings but can it do trip/tank avg logging. Hand calc can do tank avg logging; not so good for realtime
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 09:58 PM
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Re: MPG Calculation

That's why I do a combination of using the Edge for instant and Hand Cal for average. I do find my Edge to be pretty accurate in the sense that what I see and mentally calculate for an average is just about what I get when I fill up.

As for distance to empty, no luck on that.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-21-2011, 06:10 PM
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Re: MPG Calculation

I have a Scan Gauge II Installed on my VW TDI. It is very accurate once you get the calibration dialed in.

I also have used it on my PS but do not have the calibration dialed in yet.

My lie O meter actually reads a little low compared to the scan gauge.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-28-2011, 04:19 PM
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Re: MPG Calculation

I use a scangauge 2 on my PSD. It is accurate only after I dial it in for a specific driving condition such as a regular daily work commute. As soon as I tow a load or take a long trip the calibration is way wrong. I can dial it in again for the towing but that is temporary and pretty variable day to day. To keep it dialed in means constant adjustment in reaction to the error between scangauge mpg and hand calculated mpg.

My theory is that because of our somewhat hokey fuel injection system, there is no way that the computer really knows how much fuel is being dispensed to the engine. This is mostly due to the disconnect between HPOP and the injector.

As such, none of the computer methods will ever be close on our HEUI engines. Hand calc only if you care to know the mpg of your powerstroke.

Compare this to a gasoline EFI engine where the computer knows rpm, pulse width, and fuel pressure at the injector. The scangauge can be very accurate with this fuel dispensing information.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-28-2011, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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Re: MPG Calculation

So what do you think the dial-in for the daily driving vs towing is changing?

"My theory is that because of our somewhat hokey fuel injection system, there is no way that the computer really knows how much fuel is being dispensed to the engine. This is mostly due to the disconnect between HPOP and the injector."

Sounds like an opportunity for one of our crafty vendors to investigate and provide a solution
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-28-2011, 10:31 PM
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Re: MPG Calculation

The "dial in" process on the scangauge is filling up the tank and comparing the actual fuel consumed to what the scanguage says you should have used. Then you adjust the scangauge's expectation to match actual. After one or two fillups, given the exact same driving conditions, you will get a very accurate mpg meter.

Going from my daily 8 mile commute calibration to a 200 mile tow tank, the scangauge will be off by about 3 gallons. I forget if it is high or low for certain but I believe towing miles use more fuel than the scanguage expects.

Also with lower rpm driving, like if you are fortunate enough to get a nice long 50 mph drive, the scangauge will underestimate the amount of fuel used.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-28-2011, 11:04 PM
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Re: MPG Calculation

I guess it's just the luck of the draw, but lie-o-meter on this one is very accurate, 138k on the clock.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-29-2011, 02:24 AM
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Re: MPG Calculation

If you put any sort of chip in it, that will convert the lie-o-meter or Scan Guage into a device as truthful as the avewrage politician.

I use the fuel pump as the ultimate arbiter, cause that's what you have to pay for.

Using the fuel pump, I generally use four fill-ups. That makes variations in fill techniques irrelevant. A one-tank reading can easily fool you but four fill-ups makes your variations in filling mean nearly nothing.

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