Polo Fuel Consumption/Economy

Morning guys,

We bought (leased) a new Polo last November - 1.2 Match (70bhp version) - and one of the main reasons was to get a better fuel consumption (the old '96 1.4 Polo was averaging around 35mpg).

I noticed just before Xmas the car seemed to be eating petrol so it went back to the dealer yesterday.

They ran 3 different tests:

1 - Hooked up to computer, no errors found

2 - Ran full emissions test, no problems found (CO2 and HC levels almost zero)

3 - Drained petrol tank fully and put 1 pint of petrol back in. Ran car until it ran out (around industrial estate so only gained speed of up to 30mph). From this, they reckon the economy is 52mpg.

The last 3 full tanks of petrol have last us just over 300 miles. Given it’s a 10 gallon tank, the economy is nowhere near 52mpg.

The dealer said if we are still worried about it he could take it for a longer period and give it a good run out.

To be honest, I’m already sick of it as the reason I got a new car was not to have these kind of arguments or worries, and yet here I am, 3500 miles in and the car is appearing to be complete rubbish.

Any thoughts or suggestions…? I’ve seen on some other forums people getting 450 miles out of a full tank which is what I kind of expected.

Tyres are all fine, we try to make sure we don’t idle it too long, change gear at optimum revs, don’t do a lot of stop and starts, don’t cane it at 100mph on the motorway, and generally just drive it back and forth from work (50 miles a day).

Pete.

Pete - 16/1/2009 9:33 AM

Morning guys,

We bought (leased) a new Polo last November - 1.2 Match (70bhp version) - and one of the main reasons was to get a better fuel consumption (the old '96 1.4 Polo was averaging around 35mpg).

I noticed just before Xmas the car seemed to be eating petrol so it went back to the dealer yesterday.

They ran 3 different tests:

1 - Hooked up to computer, no errors found

2 - Ran full emissions test, no problems found (CO2 and HC levels almost zero)

3 - Drained petrol tank fully and put 1 pint of petrol back in. Ran car until it ran out (around industrial estate so only gained speed of up to 30mph). From this, they reckon the economy is 52mpg.

The last 3 full tanks of petrol have last us just over 300 miles. Given it’s a 10 gallon tank, the economy is nowhere near 52mpg.

The dealer said if we are still worried about it he could take it for a longer period and give it a good run out.

To be honest, I’m already sick of it as the reason I got a new car was not to have these kind of arguments or worries, and yet here I am, 3500 miles in and the car is appearing to be complete rubbish.

Any thoughts or suggestions…? I’ve seen on some other forums people getting 450 miles out of a full tank which is what I kind of expected.

Tyres are all fine, we try to make sure we don’t idle it too long, change gear at optimum revs, don’t do a lot of stop and starts, don’t cane it at 100mph on the motorway, and generally just drive it back and forth from work (50 miles a day).

Pete.

Solution is buy a 1.2 Honda Jazz, which will do 50mpg around town. My wife has the 1.4 which will average 40-45, even with the air con on. I’m always sceptical about the mpg that manufacturers claim.

I’m sceptical as well, but I’ve seen other posts on the internet saying people are getting well over 400 miles out of tank…!

ha never mind 30 40 or even 50 to the gallon, look at the weather i say use more fuel and try and speed up global warming, now wheres the local hummer dealers dancinnanagif.gif

Hi Pete.
An interesting problem - let’s investigate further…

First of all, ignore blasphemous tosh from Keith

keith - 16/1/2009 12:22 PM - Solution is buy a 1.2 Honda Jazz…

“Sensible” Honda’s can wait til you draw your pension and you choose to drive like a blind granny, or they build something interesting on four wheels that can compete with a Nissan GT-R. Not much chance there, as they can’t even hack it in Formula 1 these days… :rasp

So, though you have done basic estimates of MPG from a tankful getting about 300 miles, we need to refine these figures with more accuracy.
Every time you fill up, log the mileage and ensure the tank is full. Doesn’t have to be brimmed, just at the point where the nozzle clicks off will do.
Then you’ll need to keep driving for another thousand miles or 4 tankfuls at least.
Put the figures into an MS Excel worksheet like the one attached below and let it calculate the actual MPG.

The other samples attached are of the MPG worksheet & graph for our 2001 Polo 1.4S 16V Saloon, which we acquired last month.
I wasn’t very impressed how local runs were only returning 39 mpg at best, but a good blast down south for Xmas improved that.
And we weren’t hanging around on the motorway either!

Maybe your tank isn’t quite as big as ten gallons, as we couldn’t even squeeze nine gallons in despite the gauge reading totally empty.
A lot of short local runs in winter will always be heavier on gas than a good long run at legal speeds. The auto choke / enrichment circuits are working much longer and the engine smoothness from cold we all expect from modern cars comes at a hefty fuel cost.

The 1.4 petrol engine is capable enough in a Polo, but doesn’t feel very gutsy at all, and the only 1.2 engine I’ve driven recently can just about get a wee Fox up to speed. I’d prefer a bigger engine, and a turbo-diesel one at that…
If you’re on a lease purchase scheme, can you choose a Polo Bluemotion? 70 mpg is easy, with the added bonus of free road tax due to the low emissions. There’s nothing to stop you putting the stock skinny wheels with energy saving tyres away in the garage til you sell it, and running around on a decent set of alloys with proper tyres either. You might only get 65 mpg though…

For excess petrol consumption thrills, I always liked a bit of Campervan Drag Racing or sparking up a B&H after a messy pit stop at Knockhill… :lol:

sam@pfp - 16/1/2009 2:47 PM

ha never mind 30 40 or even 50 to the gallon, look at the weather i say use more fuel and try and speed up global warming, now wheres the local hummer dealers dancinnanagif.gif

Think this “Mini-Monster” Truck from Bob’s post would drink more than a humble Hummer…?! :beers:

fuel consumption - pah!!!

My saab is supposed to get 28-40 running about and on runs. mine only ever shows average of 22mpg whether booted or pottered about :frowning: it has only ever reached 31 on a very long run to Paris and that was M6 driving with cruise at 70.

Oh and never believe forums that tell you your car should get Xmpg as they all try to make out there car is better than the next, well they do on UKS LOL

seamonsta - 16/1/2009 6:42 PM

Hi Pete.
An interesting problem - let’s investigate further…

First of all, ignore blasphemous tosh from Keith [QUOTE]keith - 16/1/2009 12:22 PM - Solution is buy a 1.2 Honda Jazz…

“Sensible” Honda’s can wait til you draw your pension and you choose to drive like a blind granny, or they build something interesting on four wheels that can compete with a Nissan GT-R. Not much chance there, as they can’t even hack it in Formula 1 these days… :rasp

So, though you have done basic estimates of MPG from a tankful getting about 300 miles, we need to refine these figures with more accuracy.
Every time you fill up, log the mileage and ensure the tank is full. Doesn’t have to be brimmed, just at the point where the nozzle clicks off will do.
Then you’ll need to keep driving for another thousand miles or 4 tankfuls at least.
Put the figures into an MS Excel worksheet like the one attached below and let it calculate the actual MPG.

The other samples attached are of the MPG worksheet & graph for our 2001 Polo 1.4S 16V Saloon, which we acquired last month.
I wasn’t very impressed how local runs were only returning 39 mpg at best, but a good blast down south for Xmas improved that.
And we weren’t hanging around on the motorway either!

Maybe your tank isn’t quite as big as ten gallons, as we couldn’t even squeeze nine gallons in despite the gauge reading totally empty.
A lot of short local runs in winter will always be heavier on gas than a good long run at legal speeds. The auto choke / enrichment circuits are working much longer and the engine smoothness from cold we all expect from modern cars comes at a hefty fuel cost.
The 1.4 petrol engine is capable enough in a Polo, but doesn’t feel very gutsy at all, and the only 1.2 engine I’ve driven recently can just about get a wee Fox up to speed. I’d prefer a bigger engine, and a turbo-diesel one at that…
If you’re on a lease purchase scheme, can you choose a Polo Bluemotion? 70 mpg is easy, with the added bonus of free road tax due to the low emissions. There’s nothing to stop you putting the stock skinny wheels with energy saving tyres away in the garage til you sell it, and running around on a decent set of alloys with proper tyres either. You might only get 65 mpg though…

For excess petrol consumption thrills, I always liked a bit of Campervan Drag Racing or sparking up a B&H after a messy pit stop at Knockhill… :lol:
[/QUOTE]
Alex you are so anal! How long did you spend doing those spread sheets.

Yeah - I kinda got bored at sea enough in the 90s to knock up a rough MPG spreadsheet on a Psion 3 series, then put a bit of colour in when Ian set me up with a PC after Windaes 95 came out. :beers:
Since then, it’s just been a case of adding a suitable averaging formula to the cells after real data so that the graph lines converge.
The calculation sheets for Eva even deduct 5% from the mileage readings to compensate for speedo over-read after calibration with a sat-nav.
Unfortunately, my arse has nothing to do with it as I can’t accumulate the methane safely for that wee bit extra MPG! :lol:

Thanks for all the suggestions guys.

Firstly, it’s definitely a 10 gallon tank…dealer concurs and I put 40 litres in it on Saturday and the warning light had already come on.

I know what you mean about people talking up their cars on other forums, but we are only talking about a 1.2 Polo here…not a GTi Golf or anything moded beyond recognition so I would hope that people would be fairly honest and realistic.

We’ve already done what you suggest Alex with the mileage…filling up to full, resetting the trip and running the tank to pretty much empty. We’ve done that for 6 tank loads now and are on our 7th run (hence why I had gone back to the dealer, having already done this) and it’s pretty consistent that we are doing around 300-330 miles for a full tank.

My 1.6 MK2 Golf has the same economy (when he’s actually running) and that’s what concerns me…!

We would’ve gone for the Blue Motion but out of our price range…our budget was only £200 a month for the car and this was the best deal.

The thing this, I’m unsure of what COULD actually be wrong with the car though if all the tests they’ve done so far have come back negative…? Not sure what else is left to test…?!

They do have another 1.2 (60) there which is their test drive car so I’m going to suggest we take that for 2 tank fulls and see if it’s any better.

Other than that, I’m getting the feeling we are just going to have to live with it.

Bring back our '96 6n…!

Pete.

Ok Pete - if you’re resigned to living with the thirsty Polo for a while longer it’ll give you a chance to get an actual MPG average.
It may well improve a bit as the weather (IF the weather?!) gets warmer too.
I’d also recommend a damn good thrashing along a motorway for a few hours! :thumb:

Tank may be quoted as ten gallon capacity, but those low fuel warning lights are obviously set to come on with over a gallon left.
40 litres is 8.8 gallons…

It’s a 45 litre tank and yep, VW have confirmed the warning light comes on with 1 gallon left in the tank (or thereabouts).

No idea what has happened to the car since it’s been in the garage, but it appears to be even worse…a distinct lack of power today and we’ve done around 110 miles and nearly half the tank has gone :frowning:

OK…more strange things…

Supposedly a 45 litre tank on this 58 Polo, and yet when I filled up at Morrisons yesterday (thought I would try a different fuel) I stopped it at just over 50 litres and it still want to keep filling up. So either the dealer is wrong in the size of the tank, or Morrisons are pulling a fast one. Explanation…?! Also, the fuel gauge is now “stuck” on full even though we’ve done 125 miles since filling up mad.gif

My stats so far are:

Date 25/01/2009 01/02/2009
Mileage 3881 4203
Distance 321 322
Fuel 41.98 50.18
Gallons 9.2343406 11.038095

MPG 34.761551 29.171701

Pretty tragic eh…?

Pete.

Well, the economy has got no better and it’s been back in for more testing. The dealer is basically saying he agrees I’m getting poor economy but can’t find anything wrong with the car, so complete stalemate.

I’ve asked for another car to test against (i.e. borrow it for 3-4 tank fulls) but he’s saying he’s not got anything to give to me at the moment, and all the while I’m filling up every 4-5 days.

My next step was to write to the dealer manager asking what can do done, and if nothing then approach VW themselves to get their view.

Any suggestions other than this…? I suppose I can only get them on the fact the car is not “as sold” i.e. I was told it would do a certain MPG but comes nowhere near.

The dealer’s testing shows he got 52.8 MPG when he put 2 pints of petrol in it and ran it until it stopped.

I’m seriously confused and feel totally out on a limb about this. I got a new car so I didn’t have to have this kind of stress…!

Pete.

Just wondered if your exhaust pipe seemed sooty?
Maybe the engine management is faulty and causing it to run extra rich?
As I see it, Main Liars, I mean Dealers, will try every trick in the book to prove you’re wrong / they’re right in the hope you give in
and hand over large sums of cash to them to cure something that will take them no great effort, parts or time to effect…
:rs

It’s certainly pretty black, but whether it’s over sooty or not, I’m not really sure…as it’s only 5 months old, would it be black by now…?!

They’ve had it hooked up for emissions testing and it all came back excellent and the guy said the lambda probe in the exhaust should flag up that the mixture is all wrong…but the diag has come back clean.

I’m just convinced there is something not quite right with it, but just can’t seem to find out what it is…! I don’t want to spend any time and/or money taking it elsewhere when it’s so new. I mean…where could I take it for testing if I did decide this is the only way forward…any suggestions…?!

Pete.

An over-rich running engine will coat the exhaust in soot after five minutes running, let alone five months! The catalyst won’t like it one bit either.
Once it’s leaned out to normal, it can take a good while longer to burn those soot deposits off again.
I’d forget about your Main Dealer from now on as they’re clearly not being very helpful or possibly misleading you altogether.
Get a rolling road performance check done at FPC http://www.falkland.co.uk/ (Glenrothes)
or Dastek http://www.dastek.co.uk/services.htm (Dalgety Bay)
Some rolling road sessions still cost under £50 and would show up any power loss, flat spots, rich running, dodgy emissions etc. with an optional tune up or re-chip costing a good bit more.
It’s a bit more scientific than a lad from the dealers taking it round the block a few times don’t you think…? heehaw.gif

Cheers for the links…will get in touch with them to see what they say…but to be honest, I don’t see why I should spend money trying to prove the dealer wrong when to me, it’s quite obvious there’s something wrong with it, AND it’s only 5 months old AND I’m only leasing the car, not buying it…!

Will let you know how I get on…thanks for the advice as always mate :slight_smile:

Pete.