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Old 08-13-2012, 10:08 AM   #1
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MPG Drops...At a Stop Light??

So I filled up my tank this weekend, left the gas station and drove for a small bit. The dashed show the MPG in the mid to high 20's. Than I came to a red light.

Don't know if this is normal, but while I was stopped the MPG numbers were dropping like the New Years Ball! I think it dropped to around 18 MPG or so before the light turned green. Once I started driving the MPG started to climb back up. Weird??? I wonder if that is also whacking out the average MPG the car display show. Seems when I stop, the MPG drops like crazy.

My last car, a 2010 VW Sportwagen would just show -- when stopped.


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Old 08-13-2012, 10:10 AM   #2
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The VW readout was likely real time mpg, the Focus is averaged. If the engine is running and you're not going anywhere you're hurting your average fuel economy, so obviously it will go down.
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:12 AM   #3
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Average MPG should definitely drop while you're stopped. After all, you're burning gas and going nowhere.
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:13 AM   #4
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You weren't moving, resulting in zero mpg. Makes sense to me.
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bassmobile View Post
So I filled up my tank this weekend, left the gas station and drove for a small bit. The dashed show the MPG in the mid to high 20's. Than I came to a red light.

Don't know if this is normal, but while I was stopped the MPG numbers were dropping like the New Years Ball! I think it dropped to around 18 MPG or so before the light turned green. Once I started driving the MPG started to climb back up. Weird??? I wonder if that is also whacking out the average MPG the car display show. Seems when I stop, the MPG drops like crazy.

My last car, a 2010 VW Sportwagen would just show -- when stopped.
Yes, going 0mph and burning gas at the same time will have a negative effect on your mileage. If you had just reset your computer it will be much more senstive to to being stopped as opposed to coming to a stop with 300 miles on the tank.
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bassmobile View Post
Seems when I stop, the MPG drops like crazy.
You'll only see the rapid drop soon after you've reset the average MPG display (i.e. soon after filling up, assuming you reset the MPG calc at each fillup).

Towards the end of a tank, with 300 or so miles into the average MPG calculation, a couple of minutes at a stop sign might drop your MPG a tenth or two at the most. But then all you have to do is do a long coast before the next stoplight and you should be a tenth or two back up. Yin and yang!
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joeywhat View Post
The VW readout was likely real time mpg, the Focus is averaged. If the engine is running and you're not going anywhere you're hurting your average fuel economy, so obviously it will go down.
The VW actually showed both real time and average.

Everthing else mentioned makes sense. I just never noticed it before!
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Old 08-13-2012, 12:04 PM   #8
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That fact (MPGs dropping like a stone at a red light) makes it clear why city driving sucks for mpgs. Between wasting gas at stops, and having to accelerate over and over again... Why city driving is so gas guzzling
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Old 08-13-2012, 01:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elizabeth View Post
That fact (MPGs dropping like a stone at a red light) makes it clear why city driving sucks for mpgs. Between wasting gas at stops, and having to accelerate over and over again... Why city driving is so gas guzzling
It also demonstrates how much the stop-start systems will improve fuel economy. Also, how much of an energy waster stop signs and red lights are. Imagine the savings by replacing them with yield signs, flashing yellows and red lights on side streets, traffic circles (roundabouts) etc.
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Old 08-13-2012, 02:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kam327 View Post
You'll only see the rapid drop soon after you've reset the average MPG display (i.e. soon after filling up, assuming you reset the MPG calc at each fillup).

Towards the end of a tank, with 300 or so miles into the average MPG calculation, a couple of minutes at a stop sign might drop your MPG a tenth or two at the most. But then all you have to do is do a long coast before the next stoplight and you should be a tenth or two back up. Yin and yang!
EXACTLY my process in my Fiesta!
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