One Simple Tip To Make Driving Cheaper


Recently, a happy motorist from Australia wrote to us about how he significantly improved the fuel economy of his Mercedes-Benz; and now he actually gets better fuel economy than what the manufacturer claims he can…an unusual occurrence, as our staff writer, LING, found out when she researched the subject.

The average fuel economy of new vehicles is at an all-time high, according to a recent study by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute published by Forbes. In August, the average was 25.8mph, the highest it has ever reached since October 2007 when the average was just 20.1mpg, in no small part attributed to consumer demands and government mandates for higher standards in the automotive industry.

The Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE), which are regulations enacted in the US of A to improve fuel economy of vehicles sold in the country, dictates that an automaker’s product line must achieve an average of about 29mpg and a lofty goal of 54mpg by the year 2025, which has ‘encouraged’ automakers to focus on improving the efficiency of their vehicles – whether by means of mechanical or aerodynamic design, or reducing heft – thus, consuming less petrol for each mile travelled.

Of course, with every new vehicle, there is an exaggerated fuel economy claim accompanied by the fine print that it can only be achieved in the most ideal of ideal (read ‘unrealistic’) conditions. The fine print does not appease everybody – a consumer group in Italy, Altroconsumo, is rallying buyers of Fiat’s Panda 1.2 and VW’s Golf 1.6 TDI to participate in a joint class action lawsuit against the automakers over allegations of exaggerated fuel economy credentials. According to Altroconsumo, tests on the two models showed that actual fuel efficiency performance was between 18 to 50% less than claimed by the manufacturers in their marketing material.

“Consumers buying supposedly efficient cars are misled too often,” said Monique Goyens, Director General of the European Consumer Organisation, of which Altroconsumo is a member. “The deplorable side-effect of this practice is that drivers might disregard fuel consumption information altogether.”

The consumer group wants Fiat and VW to compensate buyers for the additional fuel costs of an average yearly distance driven, which is about 9,320 miles, and equates to €247 and €509 for the Panda and Golf models respectively. While this lawsuit is ongoing, EU regulators are already in the midst of drafting legislation to ensure that fuel consumption tests are conducted on roads, rather than in a controlled laboratory.


Meanwhile, not all car buyers are miffed. Ray Graham, who runs Burg Design, a well-respected aftermarket car accessory and engineering company in Australia, drives a Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG. He also owns other exotic cars, such as a Porsche 911 and 916, and is a bit of an expert on all things automotive. So, he set about testing the claims of the Mercedes engineer to whom he had been talking.

“Mercedes told me that my C63 AMG could never possibly get better than 12L/100km(19.6mpg) on a trip, and 18 to 20L/100km (11.7 to 13.1mpg) around town in traffic,” he said. “Well, guess what, I tested my car’s consumption on many occasions, and they are 100% correct.”

Although the latest 2015 C63 AMG model has a 30% improvement on fuel economy, rather than lament about it, Graham found a quick, easy and affordable way to improve the car that he already owns. “I added X-1R Engine Treatment to my car, and I now average 10.3L/100km (22.84mpg) on a trip and 15L/100km (15.68mpg) around town,” he said, which is about a 20% improvement…and he didn’t need to buy a new car to get that.

The savings in fuel consumption far outweighs the cost of the product and, as a side benefit, the use of X-1R products also reduces emissions. Perhaps the lawyers and negotiators for Altroconsumo, Fiat and VW should consider compensation in the form of X-1R Engine Treatment supply in lieu of cash…the environment will thank them for it.


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