Why Fuel Consumption Stats are Wrong

fuel consuption stickerIt is universally accepted that when buying a new vehicle the salesman will tell you whatever you want to hear in order to land the sale. It’s not new news, it’s an age old tactic used for centuries by sellers of anything. Even Pablo Escabar managed to talk his way into politics by telling the people of Colombia what they wanted to hear.

The new car salesman has many things up his sleeve these days, some are the truth, some are white lies and others are outright lies however with many things the salesman may genuinely believe what he is saying without realising that he too is misinformed. This is most often the case when it comes to the dopey fuel consumption stickers slapped onto the windscreen of anything with an engine in it these days.

Countless service technicians have dragged a brand new car into the workshop for its first service. This comprises of a 1500km light check and tyre pressure check which more often than not is skipped and just becomes a quick service sticker change and off we go. Leaving the workshop controller to believe he has highly efficient staff as one guy manages to do forty three of these before morning tea.
But his efficiency stats plummeted the month they introduced the fuel consumption stickers. Why? Because every single first service ever came with the customer complaint “my car is using too much fuel”.
Technicians fob it off by blaming ethanol, user error or the Mexicans but the truth is the car is in tact, behaving normally and is not using too much fuel.

This brings us to the question, why then is the consumer under the impression that the new automobile they have is a fuel guzzler? The answer is, the fuel consumption sticker is not accurate. It’s misleading and consumers making purchasing decisions based off of these stickers are effectively being lied to.

fuel consumption testIn the fine print you will discover that the stats displayed on those stickers are “under controlled environments” that is to say. Its run up on a dynameter, no passengers, no luggage, brand new tyres, the radio off, the air conditioning off, the headlights off, no hills, no wind resistance, no heavy acceleration just constant cruising speed with no resistance at all. Under those conditions even a Boing 747 is deemed fuel efficient.

Then they simulate urban driving, accelerating braking, dropping kids at school, slowing down to 15kms to wait for a cyclist to get off the road etc. Again these are tests done with no load on the vehicle, no variants in road condition, temperature, or size of canine riding in the back.

This is why the fuel consumption sticker says your car runs on hopes and dreams, when in fact it uses so much fuel that you need to sell your first born to pay the bill. When you go to buy a car don’t bother with the fuel consumption sticker. Its borderline a lie.

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