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Fuel Consumption Saga


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#1 OFFLINE   Tear

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 07:37 AM

As probably most fairly long term members of this forum are aware, there have been several of us experiencing very high fuel consumption from the Cruze150BHP Diesel engine. For me this has gone on since the day of delivery. First of all we were experiencing plenty of problems with the Diesel Particle Filter (DPF) until a faulty valve was discovered and the situation improved. The fuel consumption did not however! We have been getting an average of almost 11Litre/100Km and the car has been at the workshops many times, each time they reported that everything was working normally on the test bed. We were then accused of being heavy footed and driving too much in town and were also informed that we could not compare our former Opel Vectra's consumption with the Cruze, due to the DPF. Following a meeting with the workshop manager, he told both my wife and I that we have to keep the engine revs at, or near, 2000RPM always, to keep the DPF clear by burning off the dust particles. So, bearing that in mind we have been driving around, doing exactly as they suggested and the consumption has not changed - if anything it is worse!

So, in early September last year the service manager gave us a Chevrolet headed formula for recording fuel fill-ups, kilometres between fills, odometer readings as well as type of journeys made. This was to cover 7 complete fills and in early October we gave the completed formula to him which he said would be forwarded to Chevrolet's head office.

Of course in the grand tradition of GM, we never received any reply and in December my lawyer wife wrote to the MD of our local dealer asking for an answer. Continuing the disinterest he has not replied at all. Yesterday evening my nearest and dearest was making one of her rare visits to the Filling Station and was horrified to discover that this last tankful has given us just 575Km for 54Litre. She was so mad with the car that she called the service boss (who pretended he wasn't there, but she could hear him in the background). She spoke with a very arrogant "specialist" who again claimed there was nothing wrong with the car and told her that the whole service team believed it was our driving style.

Oh dear, the silly boy! I would have warned him not to argue with her but being a pillock, he just carried on. After a few other loose words from him she said, "Right, I require what you have just said in writing?" Stutter, stutter, "We can't do that Madam". "Why not, you've just said it?" It went on a considerable while longer, but the long and short of it is they are not prepared to do anything and will continue to claim the car is perfect. This being so she laid the bombshell in front of them, which I won't go into now, but suffice to say we have a meeting with Chevrolet in early February when positive answers better be forthcoming.







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#2 OFFLINE   gigel

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 12:03 PM

1. From my experience, the DPF is NOT cleaning itself, no matter how you drive it, unless the car's computer initiates the cleaning procedure (without litting the DPF light).
I drove mine 70km on the highway constantly (cruise control) with 130km/h, 5th gear, 2000rpm. I accelerated to about 196kmh, when slowing down I felt that the car began to clean the DPF.

When DPF cleans itself, without the DPF light being lit up on the dashboard:
- Engine fan starts running on high speed
- Fuel consumption is increased (it burns about 2-3 liters of fuel at each DPF cleaning)
- The consumption in engine-brake is not 0 as normal
- The idle rpm is 900 instead of the normal 800rpm

2. As opposed to what Chevrolet said (even in writting), driving the car at about 1400-1500rpm (changing gear at about 2000rpm) yelds a lower fuel consumption and longer intervals between DPF cleaning. Of course, this is not good to the engine, the right way to drive is to keep it above 2000rpm. I drove it like that for a fuel tank (552km with 54.17 liters) and my fuel economy was about 10.5l/100km, as opposed to "normal" 12-12.5l/100km.

3. They changed my DPF sensor and ECM - nothing solved.

4. They "proved" to me that the fuel consumption is ok:
- After 3(three) people from Chevrolet told me to ALWAYS drive the car above 2000, for a good fuel economy and longer intervals between DPF cleans, how did they "tested" the fuel consumption:
They drove on the highway, constantly 90km/h in 5th gear at 1400rpm!!!. The fuel consumption on the BC was 4.7l/100km and 4.77l/100km calculated from fill-up to fill-up.
Of course, this has NOTHING to do with a real-life driving or the ECE fuel economy test. But they said that the car has no problem and the case is closed.

So, please keep us informed.

My average fuel economy is:
- 12.5l/100km in town (about 20km/h average speed)
- 8.2l/100km mixed driving (about 2500km out of which about 2-300km can be considered in-town driving - Bucharest-Budapest-Wien and back, with some trips in Wien and Budapest)
- 7.2l/100km absolute best for extra-urban driving.

Everything is calculated at the pump, I always drive respecting legal speeds and keeping the engine above 2000rpm.

* Chevrolet = Chevrolet (GM) Romania, not dealer/service.

Edited by gigel, 20 January 2011 - 12:04 PM.


#3 OFFLINE   diesel

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 03:23 AM

1. From my experience, the DPF is NOT cleaning itself, no matter how you drive it, unless the car's computer initiates the cleaning procedure (without litting the DPF light).
I drove mine 70km on the highway constantly (cruise control) with 130km/h, 5th gear, 2000rpm. I accelerated to about 196kmh, when slowing down I felt that the car began to clean the DPF.

When DPF cleans itself, without the DPF light being lit up on the dashboard:
- Engine fan starts running on high speed
- Fuel consumption is increased (it burns about 2-3 liters of fuel at each DPF cleaning)
- The consumption in engine-brake is not 0 as normal
- The idle rpm is 900 instead of the normal 800rpm

2. As opposed to what Chevrolet said (even in writting), driving the car at about 1400-1500rpm (changing gear at about 2000rpm) yelds a lower fuel consumption and longer intervals between DPF cleaning. Of course, this is not good to the engine, the right way to drive is to keep it above 2000rpm. I drove it like that for a fuel tank (552km with 54.17 liters) and my fuel economy was about 10.5l/100km, as opposed to "normal" 12-12.5l/100km.

3. They changed my DPF sensor and ECM - nothing solved.

4. They "proved" to me that the fuel consumption is ok:
- After 3(three) people from Chevrolet told me to ALWAYS drive the car above 2000, for a good fuel economy and longer intervals between DPF cleans, how did they "tested" the fuel consumption:
They drove on the highway, constantly 90km/h in 5th gear at 1400rpm!!!. The fuel consumption on the BC was 4.7l/100km and 4.77l/100km calculated from fill-up to fill-up.
Of course, this has NOTHING to do with a real-life driving or the ECE fuel economy test. But they said that the car has no problem and the case is closed.

So, please keep us informed.

My average fuel economy is:
- 12.5l/100km in town (about 20km/h average speed)
- 8.2l/100km mixed driving (about 2500km out of which about 2-300km can be considered in-town driving - Bucharest-Budapest-Wien and back, with some trips in Wien and Budapest)
- 7.2l/100km absolute best for extra-urban driving.

Everything is calculated at the pump, I always drive respecting legal speeds and keeping the engine above 2000rpm.

* Chevrolet = Chevrolet (GM) Romania, not dealer/service.

Interesting.... I can tell that driving at 2000rpms is not easy in the automatic, you would have to use manual changing all the time, that is unreasonable to ask. manual gearbox is a different story. my Automatic keeps the revs at 1200-2000 all the time except in heavy acceleration and i have no problems with DPF. your dealer seems to be guessing and stalling, try this try that and so the delays go on for years until you get tired and sell the car. of course there is the simple explanation that they can not fault the car. ask for a change of cars for a week and that will eliminate driver style.
my automatic diesel has latest consumption of 6.7 L/100km, 70% highway driving at 115km/h and 30% suburban driving.

#4 OFFLINE   Tear

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 03:32 AM

gigel, that is a very interesting post and confirms GM's attitude to the raft of complaints, for which they are in total denial. They are going to get seriously unstuck with this attitude as the complaints are wide ranging over several countries and clearly they don't have any sensible answer, relying on the corporate excuse to escape liability. Blaming the customer, which they appear to be doing in every case I've researched so far, is more than a little crazy and will only make people really mad. Currently I'm in the process of arranging some independent examinations and tests, which may take a little time, but hopefully GM will react before I publish them.

Edited by Tear, 21 January 2011 - 03:33 AM.


#5 OFFLINE   gigel

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 06:15 AM

diesel: I'm not talking about dealers. It's GM that I'm talking about.

Tear: I'm about to do the same.
I only have one friend with diesel, but he's out of the country.

Aynway, maybe you can talk to someone with the same engine and do the same test, at the same time (top-up the fuel tank, highway, 90km/h in 5th gear for at least 100km (without cruise-control), top-up the fuel tank again and calculate how much each car consumed).
Of course, same type of tires, same pressure (2.7 bar), both with empty trunks, etc.

#6 OFFLINE   Tear

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 01:57 PM

Any test has to be independent, in a way that it will have to be accepted. This needs recognised and qualified motor engineers not affiliated to any motor manufacturer. In the UK it could be the Automobile Association (AA) or the RAC, or in Germany ADAC for example. Otherwise commissioning a short university research program. Put this idea into the head of an Engineering Professor and he would jump at the chance of some publicity!!! ......if you get my drift?

#7 OFFLINE   jamesdal

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 07:52 PM

Could it be a fuel quality problem? I cannot fault my fuel economy. Consistently, stubbbornly even, mine sits on 6.3 l/100km with the Air con in the arvos and the rear window demister and air con on in the mornings.. Rarely am i on the freeway. My average speed though is a fairly high 49-51km/h. Whats is your average speed for these shocking tankfulls you guys are experiencing? Without that stat as well the full picture isnt clear.

#8 OFFLINE   jamesdal

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 07:53 PM

I do feel for you though, we drive diesels for the eco benefits as well as the torque...

#9 OFFLINE   diesel

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 03:49 PM

One of the things in cruze that keeps average consumption low is that when you engine brake, the fuel injection is switched off very quickly and your consumption becomes 0.0 L/100km. so if you drive up a long hill and your consumption is 10L/100km, on the way down your engine use no fuel at all so the average consumption becomes 5L/100km. I use that feature to my advantage and take my foot off the accelerator early and let the car roll rather than "drive" until I have to hit the brakes.
Check that your fuel consumption goes to 0.0 when you take your foot off the pedal.

#10 OFFLINE   gigel

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 03:57 PM

Yes, it does. Except when cleaning DPF :)
The funny thing is that GM told me to put the car in neutral when approaching a stop light, not letting it in engine brake, for less fuel consumption :woot:

#11 OFFLINE   thommo10

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 11:11 PM

Could it be a fuel quality problem? I cannot fault my fuel economy. Consistently, stubbbornly even, mine sits on 6.3 l/100km with the Air con in the arvos and the rear window demister and air con on in the mornings.. Rarely am i on the freeway. My average speed though is a fairly high 49-51km/h. Whats is your average speed for these shocking tankfulls you guys are experiencing? Without that stat as well the full picture isnt clear.


Must have got some "awesome fuel" the other day", filled up and was straight on the freeway doing about 100-115km/h for about 150kms, and Ave Fuel was 4.9L/100kms.... Never been below 5.4 L/100kms before. Since getting home is on about Ave 5.5L/100kms after 560kms. Should hit 1000kms on this 60L tank of fuel.

Overall since buying car is about the same as most people here in Australia, 6.3l/100kms that's with Air Con on "ALL THE TIME"....... I never switch it off.

So nothing wrong with my fuel economy. :happy feet: Sorry ! :blink:

Edited by thommo10, 23 January 2011 - 11:13 PM.


#12 OFFLINE   RaveyDaveyDave

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 06:11 PM

I feel for you Tear as I am experiancing the same problem (Cruze LT 150 manual) with high fuel consumption. Have been constantly on phone to dealers, who whem decided they'd had enough got Chevrolet UK to contact me and do the usual fuel filling tests. The outcome was exactly the same, crap fuel consumption. This was blamed on, yep youve guessed it ........ 'driving style'!!!! Despite the fact that the car has spent over two weeks in total at the dealers with them 'checking' things and doing fuel milage tests themselves. This involved several technicians, the service manager and dealer principle ........... so I guess we all have the same driving style then???? Its a load of crock bullshit answer.

When checking with the Chevrolet UK Customer Service Manager if this is a known problem on this model, the reply was that he had never had a complaint before regarding the Cruze and fuel consumption................ Yeah right !

Am at my wits end about how to take this further, as with the price of fuel in the UK at record highs (1.33 a litre), this car is proving very expensive to run.

The dealer has said there is nothing more they can/are willing to do, Chevrolet UK blowing smoke up my arse too, what can be done?

I am told (by ChevroletUK) to expect a return of about 45mpg combined , (even though the figures given to me when I purchased the car are far higher) I am only getting between 32 and 36 mpg which isnt good enough for a turbo diesel car in 2010. In fact is pathetic.

Anyone got any ideas, apart from putting a match in the tank!!!!

#13 OFFLINE   diesel

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 03:05 AM

I feel for you Tear as I am experiancing the same problem (Cruze LT 150 manual) with high fuel consumption. Have been constantly on phone to dealers, who whem decided they'd had enough got Chevrolet UK to contact me and do the usual fuel filling tests. The outcome was exactly the same, crap fuel consumption. This was blamed on, yep youve guessed it ........ 'driving style'!!!! Despite the fact that the car has spent over two weeks in total at the dealers with them 'checking' things and doing fuel milage tests themselves. This involved several technicians, the service manager and dealer principle ........... so I guess we all have the same driving style then???? Its a load of crock bullshit answer.

When checking with the Chevrolet UK Customer Service Manager if this is a known problem on this model, the reply was that he had never had a complaint before regarding the Cruze and fuel consumption................ Yeah right !

Am at my wits end about how to take this further, as with the price of fuel in the UK at record highs (1.33 a litre), this car is proving very expensive to run.

The dealer has said there is nothing more they can/are willing to do, Chevrolet UK blowing smoke up my arse too, what can be done?

I am told (by ChevroletUK) to expect a return of about 45mpg combined , (even though the figures given to me when I purchased the car are far higher) I am only getting between 32 and 36 mpg which isnt good enough for a turbo diesel car in 2010. In fact is pathetic.

Anyone got any ideas, apart from putting a match in the tank!!!!

I assume Chev documents gave certain fuel consumption figures in their advertising documents, if you can prove them wrong then it is false advertising and GM has to fix it or give your money back. Contact your consumer protection agencies and ask for advice. I think the best way to compare two cars is to drive them at the same time from point A to point B with cruise control on. at the end the trip compare readings.

#14 OFFLINE   _628

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 06:52 AM

I was driven around 820 km (highway 120-130 km/h and country road (100 km) 90 km/h and citiy) the average by bc 5,7 but with filled was 6,4 l/100 km

#15 OFFLINE   diesel

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 03:48 PM

I was driven around 820 km (highway 120-130 km/h and country road (100 km) 90 km/h and citiy) the average by bc 5,7 but with filled was 6,4 l/100 km

There seems to be a pattern that the cruze computer does not calculate the consumption correctly, this error is about 10% which is an absurd inaccuracy. does anyone have specs of what the average consumption display tolerance is and what device is used to calculate that? As I understand there is a fuel flow sensor in the fuel line that should keep accurate track of how much fuel goes through. that sensor is also used to measure the feed to the engine, so if some people are getting bad fuel consumption, it is reasonable to suspect that the fuel pressure or flow sensor is faulty/inaccurate. too much fuel also would dirty the DPF faster as some people are claiming. My DPF burn has happened 3 times in 10 months and 11000km.
My long experience with technology is that cheap parts or components have wide manufacturing tolerances. That means that if two components in the opposite end of the tolerances are connected to each other performing a task together, the end result appears faulty although both parts are within specifications. Even the fact that if one of the parts are replaced, does not prove that the original part was not faulty because the new part may be on the limit of tolerances too.
Maybe the engine needs to go through a tune up tester which would analyse the fuel pressure, injection timing etc.

#16 OFFLINE   jamesdal

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 01:40 AM

My computer is spot on. 6.3l/100km on screen, bang on the same in tank. In fact a few times i got 6.1 by my measurement using the same fuel pump all the time brimming the tank each time. Sucks for you blokes, but its not always bad for Cruze owners. Could it be a cold weather thing? Australia is considered a hot climate by manufacturers and havent seen any other Australians any different to my consumption, ie, happy with it. Average speed may be the key, mine is always around 48-52km/h.

#17 OFFLINE   diesel

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 02:34 AM

Yes, it does. Except when cleaning DPF :)
The funny thing is that GM told me to put the car in neutral when approaching a stop light, not letting it in engine brake, for less fuel consumption :woot:

RUBBISH, shifting to neutral use more fuel because the engine idles. engine braking the consumption is 0.0!

#18 OFFLINE   diesel

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 02:38 AM

My computer is spot on. 6.3l/100km on screen, bang on the same in tank. In fact a few times i got 6.1 by my measurement using the same fuel pump all the time brimming the tank each time. Sucks for you blokes, but its not always bad for Cruze owners. Could it be a cold weather thing? Australia is considered a hot climate by manufacturers and havent seen any other Australians any different to my consumption, ie, happy with it. Average speed may be the key, mine is always around 48-52km/h.

Driving motorway speeds the consumption is around 4.5-5.5L/100km. It seems 105-120kmh is the most economical speed.

#19 OFFLINE   gigel

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 04:23 AM

I have 4.8 l/100km at 90km/h and 8.4 l/100km at 130km/h :banghead:

#20 OFFLINE   Yenz

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 02:01 PM

I have 4.8 l/100km at 90km/h and 8.4 l/100km at 130km/h :banghead:

I don't own a Cruze yet, but I do think it is a big difference. 4,8 seem to be a very low consumption. Can some of you with identical cars even replicate it?

You did of course check that tyre pressure is not too low?

Edited by Yenz, 28 January 2011 - 02:51 PM.









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