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1999 Forester S Turbo 5MT
1,918 Posts
Cold weather and heavier fuel consumption

Your point about the weather affecting fuel consumption may be of help to a lot of people Simon even though once pointed out it seems common sense. I see posts here and the US written by drivers who normally get their annual service done before the winter starts, but this year their fuel consumption seems inexplicably up (mechanical issues aside), but this is more than likely because of the extra cold, and in motoring terms those very low temperatures equate to heavier consumption for many reasons. The winter of 2009/2010 has been one of the harshest for a long time but more importantly, harsh in regions that don't normally get "real" cold. Areas like Northern US, Canada, Scandinavia and Northern Europe get something similar to this every year so it's par for the course, but for those of us further down the horizontal, the additional use of heated windows, higher blower speeds, more lighting than normal plus extra bum warmer time (nice one Simon) and longer engine warm up causes a marked increase in petrol useage. I imagine this would be a nuisance to peds and cyclists fume wise, in town traffic but even on the highway the thermostat is going to stay closed longer. I see on that program "Ice Road Truckers" that nearly all the lorries have radiator covers to combat this because coolant temp in diesels ends up being lower anyway and the driver would have no heating. I think I read a post somewhere about a 2009 diesel Foz that the owner couldn't get enough heat from in the cold and was looking to fit an auxiliary electric heater. His Subaru dealer told him this is a diesel "thing". I drove a Ford Transit and an Isuzu Trooper, both diesels, many years ago and found a similar lack of warmth inside in the middle of the winter. Something I came across recently though did interest me - I was advised by someone I respect that petrol is sh.te (over here anyway) and can mess with the fuel system on certain brands, BMW being one of them. I changed from the aforementioned (I feel about the way a lot of Americans feel about Walmart) to the smaller petrol retailers and my average has gone from 24 to 28mpg. The 24 was noted after I bought the car last September and after the initial madness of owning a turbo Forester, but the 28 has been measured since December when I changed petrol brand and includes the addition of a TD04 and an MBC a few weeks ago. So while is a few cents cheaper to buy, per tank it actually works out more expensive, oh and the possibility of mechanical issues. Also, as Sahunt was saying, based on the tailpipe output from his Foz and others too during this really cold spell,, one might be forgiven for thinking that Foresters are actually steam powered.
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