A Winter’s MPG Tale

Paul from SVS fame has a query for you……..

Back when I started my blog I made a real effort to monitor the real world mpg of my Saab 9-3 TTiD 200bhp. Over the course of a year it had highs and lows, never really moving from 40 – 43 mpg with regular daily driving, that’s around 550 miles from a full tank.

I can push it seriously hard one day and take it easy the next, sit at high speeds on the motorway or fly along country lanes, but the figures remain pretty constant. Over the past few months however, I’ve seen a real drop in these figures, down to 38 – 39 mpg, that’s between 450 – 500 miles per tank.

This is an mpg trend that’s happened for the third Winter running, here in the UK we don’t get harsh Winters, we may get snow or extreme weather for a few days but nothing for a prolonged period, so I wonder what changes?

If it’s abusing the Saab heated seats then I’m fully to blame, say no more.

svsttid

http://elevencreative.wordpress.com/

albertvdb
Member
2 years 8 months ago

Winterdiesel combined with lower outside temperatures does this.

Romac
Member
2 years 8 months ago

+1

Perian
Member
2 years 8 months ago

I have tracked the mpg on my US specification, manual transmission base FWD NG 9-5 from day one.

120 fill ups and 47,000 miles later, these are the results.

http://www.fuelly.com/car/saab/9-5/2011

We do use a special winter blend of fuel here on the east coast of the United States, thus the mpg variations.

Romac
Member
2 years 8 months ago

@Perian: Nice tip about fuelly.com – I’ve signed up!

I get the feeling that a car’s overall fuel consumption gets worse with age / miles, but yes, it’s reasonable to expect seasonal differences.

Regarding different driving conditions, I have a 9-3 120bhp TiD SW doing c. 18k miles pa. I get quite a bit of difference between town ~40 / country ~46 / motorway ~50.

Luke
Member
2 years 8 months ago

Try this, you should get around 700 miles out of a tank with this on, more bhp and torque as well http://saabwaterfuel.co.uk/

USAaber
Member
2 years 8 months ago

Joke, right?

SteveW
Member
2 years 8 months ago

You only need to do 5 minutes Googling to get the answer to your question.

Luke
Member
2 years 8 months ago

Does it really look like a joke? Go on ebay and search for HHO. 30% saving is pretty standard at present.

Colin Chapman
Member
2 years 8 months ago

I used to see very similar MPG and mileage figures on my TTid Sportwagon (standard tune) up here in Scotland on a 140 mile daily round trip…..pretty much all motorway. Also saw a similar MPG drop off in winter.

Seen loads of explanations as to why it might be…….engine less efficient when cold and takes longer to warm up, different diesel mix supplied in the winter to prevent gelling, use of heaters, heated seats etc etc etc…….could be a factor of all of these I guess?

Keep up the good work with SvS.

Eleven
Member
2 years 8 months ago

Thanks for the feedback Colin. Most of the 9-3 owners I know get a similar mpg, except my wife of course 🙁

With her careful driving she seems to manage far better mpg for her 170,000 mile SportCombi, typical.

rafael guerra
Member
2 years 8 months ago

is real that abusing the saab heated seats may affect the health,

saabpoint
Guest
2 years 8 months ago

Hi there,
I am driving of a good old 9-3 TiD 1.9 Linear Diesel, 2006, 88 kW (120 PS), 360.000 km ( 224.000 miles)
In average over the last 80.000km (50.000miles), I achieved 42mpg (5.6l/100km). Did 630 miles with a full tank (1050km)
Check it on http://www.spritmonitor.de/fr/detail/530426.html
Happy New Year

Eleven
Member
2 years 8 months ago

Nice app, thank you, the best I’ve ever achieved was 640 something (Summer trip).

Red J
Member
2 years 8 months ago

Hi Paul,
is this the first winter where your milage has dropped, or the first winter where you have checked your mileage?
Diesels are no short distance cars. Is your tyre pressure OK? Are you refuelling on the same gas station? I would ask if they have changed to winter diesel, but I don’t think you do thin in England.

Eleven
Member
2 years 8 months ago

Hi Red J, no, it seems to have happened for the past 3 Winters since the car was brand new.
New Michelin PS3s all round too so pressure fine. Didn’t know they altered diesel for Winter though!

Stefan Zomborcsevics
Guest
2 years 8 months ago
I had a -08 TTiD Aero sc. And I had the same. I read in the manual (i believe) that the diesel heater could switch on at any time during winter. And that because the engine could not allways keep tje temp in the cabin. There is an indication in the intrument. When lit, the heater might turn on when engine runs. Observe, not allways, and the typ of driving and outside temp is variables. If you drive harder, more heat can be used for comfort. When heater is turned on I think the usage was about 1 litres an… Read more »
boxman
Member
2 years 8 months ago

no cabin heater as standard on the UK spec diesel sadly

Mailr
Member
2 years 8 months ago
First, the most common reason for changes in fuel consumption is changed driving patterns, so the first question is if you done any changes? New road, more congested roads, lowered or raised speed limits? On a side note, once upon a time when I installed a serious soundproofing kit in my Saab V4 I instantly got about 10% fuel consumption increase, obviously I pressed the accelerator significantly harder without noticing. But the car felt a lot more refined and powerful, but obviously at a cost. Pressing the accelerator harder took a significant toll, and I guess being more stressed up… Read more »
Eleven
Member
2 years 8 months ago

I’m not known for my careful accelerator use, the sound from the Hirsch exhaust doesn’t help that either.

Fuel wise, our local garage has changed supplier recently, could easily be part to blame, great feedback, thank you.

Peter Gilbert
Member
2 years 8 months ago

Saab gas mileage never ceases to amaze me. When I was driving to the 2013 Saab Convention in Albany, NY I drove from Milwaukee to Eire , PA in my Stage III 2001 9-3 Viggen. This was the best consumption figures ever with 545 miles on a tank of gas.

Eleven
Member
2 years 8 months ago

As ever, hugely grateful and a little humbled by the feedback and knowledge of our Saab community, loads of stuff here I’ve never even thought could make a difference to the mpg.

Thanks all, of course, I blame Saab, if they hadn’t made their cars so exciting to drive…

SteveW
Member
2 years 8 months ago

Back in the 80’s the handbook for either my 99 or 900 turbo, can’t remember which, gave details of how fuel consumption could vary with ambient temperature (I think there were figures or even a graph unless my memory is totally shot) Very scientific, very Saab 🙂 Any one else recall this or have a handbook? Another factor.. the level of grip between the tyres and road will be possibly be less in wet/cold conditions? Any physicists out there with thoughts on that one?

100%Saab
Member
2 years 8 months ago

Saab owner’s manual (2008 9-3) says warm up period during cold weather and short trips reduce mpg.

Romac
Member
2 years 8 months ago

@SteveW You ain’t dreamin’ unless I am too! I remember that rather scary graph for my classic 900’s. Plus I remember the section on ABS and winter, with the comment to the effect that, good though it was, it couldn’t change the laws of physics 😀

SteveW
Member
2 years 8 months ago

Thank you Romac for confirming my memory isn’t playing tricks on me 🙂

Angelo V.
Member
2 years 8 months ago
Last year, my ’04 9-5 suffered hard starts after they switched to the silly Winter blend. It was bad enough that the dealer told me to consider a new battery (not knowing yet it was the gasoline). A new battery didn’t solve the issue of course—-and we pinpointed the car needing to adjust to the change in fuel. I think after about two tankfuls, it stabilized. It didn’t happen this year when the blend changed. I wonder if I just got a tank of bad gas and it wasn’t really the blend that caused the issue in the first place????… Read more »
3cyl
Member
2 years 8 months ago

Maybe NEVS will announce that their EV will not be adversely affected by Winter blend.

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