31st December 2006
In August I bought a ScanGauge II device which allows me to keep a check on many parameters provided via the car's diagnostic port. My car does not have a Multi-Function Computer and so it's mainly used to keep an eye on fuel consumption but it can also display engine load, manifold inlet pressure, coolant temperature etc which is sometimes useful and interesting. It plugs into the diagnostic port which on the Mk V is hidden just above the pedals. Installation takes seconds and I found that the unit could be positioned quite conveniently to the right of the instrument binnacle, prevented from sliding about by a bit of blu-tac and the cable is hidden when the driver's door is closed. It turns itself on and off with the car's ignition and the colour of the illuminated display can be changed to match the other displays in the car.
In the past, any feedback on fuel consumption was only available to me after many trips and after covering thousands of miles and so it has been useful to have instant indications of current fuel consumption. I usually have the ScanGauge II calculating and displaying average fuel consumption for the current trip which is determines automatically.
With the aid of my ScanGauge II I have confirmed that I get slightly better fuel consumption by cruising at 60mph (when the engine is turning at it's max torque revs of 1900rpm) rather than at 56mph. It has also shown just how variable fuel consumption can be between one day and the next. One day my commute up the M1 from Sheffield to York might average 64mpg. Another day I might have to settle for high 50's! I'd never really thought about it but I guess York is at a lower elevation than Sheffield because whilst I can usually average 60+mpg on the drive home, I'm lucky to achieve it on the drive to work. Fuel consumption doesn't appear to be affected much by poor weather, wind or rain which was a little surprising. Short journeys and traffic jams perhaps not surprisingly does have a big effect.
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