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Fall weather MPG update

It's getting tougher and tougher to maintain 40+ mpg in the colder fall weather here in PA.

I just filled up today.  The last time I filled up was Sep 29 - 5 weeks ago!  For this tank the mpg guage read 40.4 mpg.  It started at 42 mpg and went steadily down as the weather got colder.  It just takes longer for the engine to heat up and my work is only about 7 miles from home.

The guage is still reading high.  My calculated mpg based on gallons used is 38.14 which is 5.6% less than the guage reading of 40.4.

Since shortly after I got the car, my average mpg according to the long term guage is 40.7 and the calculated mpg is 39.14 - a difference of -3.8%.

I'm still loving the car!

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Reader Comments (8)

The reason why Power-split-device cars like the Fusion Hybrid and the Prius experiences a drop in fuel efficiency during the winter is because the gasoline engine needs to run more often to keep the engine coolant hot (which is needed to 1) keep the engine warm so it will run at max efficiency, and 2) to provide cabin heat).

Prius drivers have had success with grill-blocking during the winter to keep the engine compartment warmer. Maybe this might be possible as well with the FFH... A hood bra with closure flaps perhaps.

November 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterQuincy

It would also help if I could garage my car but my wife gets the garage!

November 5, 2009 | Registered CommenterBill Wood

Glad to hear you are getting around 40MPG. I have only really ever gotten 36 or so for long term and was starting to think I had a defective FFH. May be that it is a colder time of year and I haven't run mine in the summer as well.

November 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterIcebreaka

Long time no post Bill. Well here in Michigan winter has arrived in earnest. It is currently 19 degrees with blowing flurries.

I must say I am disappointed by recent performance in my FFH. As you may remember my commute is fairly short, about six miles. When I came to work this morning I was on ICE almost the entire time. I say almost because at one intersection I turned off the cabin heat and the engine immediately shut off. Mileage this morning was about 25 MPG.
It also seems that in EV mode the battery drains much quicker than it does when it is warmer.

After reading a different forum I intend to check recirc mode to see if I can improve the interior heat of the vehicle and improve my mileage at the same time.

Don't get me wrong, while I am a little down, I still love my FFH.


December 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKevin

For short drives, the ICE has to run all the time to warm the engine up and provide cabin heat. If you don't want that to happen on short drives, then you need to install an Engine Block Heater and have it plugged in while the car's sitting in the garage.

The Toyota Prius sold in Alaska and Canada actually has an EBH as a standard feature. Due to the similarity between the Prius and Fusion Hybrid's systems, I'm willing to bet the Fusion Hybrids sold in Canada has an EBH too (and one can be retrofitted to the U.S. Fusion Hybrids).

That along with grill-blocking will give your Fusion Hybrid almost the same fuel economy as it had in the summer.

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterQuincy

@Kevin, interesting idea about using recirc mode! I haven't noticed that the battery depletes more rapidly though. In fact mine is often at full charge in the winter because the engine runs so much.

@Quincy, my garage is heated but my wife's car gets the garage ;-)

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