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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, first winter done, still a few flurries here and there but I'll say its done. Question..... What kind of fuel consumption are the owners in the northern climates getting over the winter. This year was colder than many of the past winters but I really wasn't liking the 21.3L/100 km (11 mpg!!!!!) when the mercury was below -30 for extended periods!!! Anyone else experience this or am I the only one??? Please feel free to chime in and thanks :)
 

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Depends on the length of your trips. During the time the engine is cold, it averages 1/2 of the gas mileage that it gets when warm. Extended warmup time is a killer.
 

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Bob Lincoln said:
Depends on the length of your trips. During the time the engine is cold, it averages 1/2 of the gas mileage that it gets when warm. Extended warmup time is a killer.
PCRMike said:
And colder intake air means a richer fuel mix to atomize fully. Especially with short trip.
Okay so it takes about 15 minutes of driving to reach normal operating temps. What you guys are saying is that I have to drive for like 2 hours at highway speeds to get my fuel mileage back to a realistic number...ahhhh, no!!

Like most of us on the planet, our daily trips are an hour or less. My wife's commute to work is 20 minutes and I run around all day in stop and go traffic, like most of us who drive on a daily basis. The issue here, I think anyway, is the diff and tranny fluids. Why not do a factory fill of synthetic fluids so when it IS -40 outside for a week at a time, we don't pay that huge HUGE fuel penalty. At the very least, allow a factory spec IN PRINT for synthetic fluids that are compatible/approved for Chrysler vehicles, I know that this year I'm dumping both diffs, the PTU and tranny fluids and am going full synthetic. I'll bet you dollars to donuts that while I may not get my summer fuel economy numbers, I certainly won't drop to 11 mpg like I did this winter.
 

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Something doesn't sound right. Even in subzero temps, I don't believe it should take that long to get to proper operating temperature. Even in sub freezing temps, my vehicles are at operating temperature in 5 miles (~5 minutes or so).

As Bob asked - do you let it idle a lot? The worse fuel mileage I've observed with our Journey (3.5L) is 16 mpg - and that's with the wife making a lot of short trips (1 mile commute to work ). Normally it averages 18-19 mpg in local driving and 25+ on the highway.

I'm not so sure switching to synthetic will result in a dramatic increase in protect. BTW - the transmission fluid in your transmission (ATF+4) IS synthetic. Otherwise so long as the synthetic "fluids" meet the specs specified in the owner's manual, they should be fine.
 

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ImperialCrown said:
Warmer weather is coming.
I hope so. It's spring and we're still experiencing winter type temps........ :cry:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
ImperialCrown said:
ATF+4 is a synthetic fluid.
The other half of the cold fuel economy drop is the winter fuel blend composition.
ATF+4 is NOT synthetic....."The paper noted that one alternative was to use synthetic Group IV base stock, which are even more expensive than the ATF+4 solution, which provided Group IV style performance from Group III stock. ATF+4 meets strict low-temperature, oxidation, and volatility performance requirements and relatively low cost — believe it or not."

Original is at Chrysler transmission fluids: 7176, ATF+3, ATF+4 http://www.allpar.com/mopar/transmissions/fluids.html#ixzz2OwirZfwy
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SuperShadow said:
Okay so it takes about 15 minutes of driving to reach normal operating temps. What you guys are saying is that I have to drive for like 2 hours at highway speeds to get my fuel mileage back to a realistic number...ahhhh, no!!
Something is wrong with your vehicle. It should NOT take 15 minutes of driving to warm up - about 5. You should check fault codes and probably replace the thermostat, also. I just found last week that my truck is taking 5 miles to warm up, and it's storing a code 17 - thermostat is sticking open. That's why my normal 20 mpg highway is about 18.4 these days. Something that you might never notice if you don't monitor things like I do.

Always a good idea to check codes once a month in all of your vehicles.
 

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SuperShadow said:
ATF+4 is NOT synthetic....."The paper noted that one alternative was to use synthetic Group IV base stock, which are even more expensive than the ATF+4 solution, which provided Group IV style performance from Group III stock. ATF+4 meets strict low-temperature, oxidation, and volatility performance requirements and relatively low cost — believe it or not."

Original is at Chrysler transmission fluids: 7176, ATF+3, ATF+4 http://www.allpar.com/mopar/transmissions/fluids.html#ixzz2OwirZfwy
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According to the link you posted, yes, ATF+4 IS most definitely synthetic:

"Group III are called synthetic, and have high molecular uniformity and stability. Group III oil bases are used in most synthetic oils."

Guess you missed that part.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Bob Lincoln said:
Something is wrong with your vehicle. It should NOT take 15 minutes of driving to warm up - about 5.

Something doesn't sound right. Even in subzero temps, I don't believe it should take that long to get to proper operating temperature. Even in sub freezing temps, my vehicles are at operating temperature in 5 miles (~5 minutes or so).
Okay guys, I didn't say it took 15 minutes for the vehicle to reach normal temps. I was just throwing out an arbitrary number to make the point that idling (even extended idling) or reaching normal temps would not create a 50% decrease in fuel economy.......period!

The fluid viscosity is what I'm thinking the issue is. Vehicles are made for the world economy not for cold Canadian winters (or even northern US states for that matter) so all the folks in warm climates would not expect to see this issue. all of you living in warm climates try this for yourself and see what happens with your fuel economy....let your vehicle idle with the A/C on for lets say 15 minutes or so everyday for a week. Compare that weeks fuel numbers and previous numbers, I'm fairly confident that while you will see some lost fuel economy it won't be in the 50% decline range for sure. It's all that cold gear oil and ATF in the pans and pumpkins and at -40 you have to drive a long way to get that up to normal temps and viscosity if in fact it ever does.
 

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SuperShadow said:
SuperShadow, on 29 Mar 2013 - 13:12, said:
Okay guys, I didn't say it took 15 minutes for the vehicle to reach normal temps. I was just throwing out an arbitrary number to make the point that idling (even extended idling) or reaching normal temps would not create a 50% decrease in fuel economy.......period!
Wrong. Of course it does. Idling gives you zero miles per gallon, averaged into your trip. I've worked with trying to characterize and improve the factors in fuel economy for over 35 years, and idling and cold engine operation are by far the two most influential factors.

Example: My truck's thermostat is stuck open, and instead of the usual 3 miles, it takes over 5 miles to warm up. So on a 38-mile commute, 29 miles of which is highway driving, mileage went from 20 to 18.4 - an 8% drop.

Now look at the fact that my last car consistently got 34 mpg highway at 65 mph, and got 36 mpg at 55 mph. Commuting with 10% of the trip in cold engine mode gave me 36 mpg. Driving with less than 1% of cold operation (700 miles in one day, with about 3 very, very brief stops and essentially hot engine after the first 3 miles) gave me 40 mpg. Driving trips with 2% of cold operation gave me 38 mpg. It's very consistent and easy to prove with algebra that during cold operation, gas mileage is 1/2 that of warm operation. And it's verified by the instantaneous readings in my EVIC.

A/C compressors cut fuel economy by about 1-3% at most, especially today's more efficient models, such as those with scroll compressors.

The best fuel economy can be achieved by starting the car, and once the oil has filled the lifters and circulated enough to get to the cam (10-30 seconds), drive off moderately. That gives the fastest warmup. Idling the engine when cold will extend warmup time and give zero mpg for a longer period.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Bob Lincoln said:
Wrong. Of course it does. Idling gives you zero miles per gallon, averaged into your trip. I've worked with trying to characterize and improve the factors in fuel economy for over 35 years, and idling and cold engine operation are by far the two most influential factors.

Example: My truck's thermostat is stuck open, and instead of the usual 3 miles, it takes over 5 miles to warm up. So on a 38-mile commute, 29 miles of which is highway driving, mileage went from 20 to 18.4 - an 8% drop.
Given, but not the 50% drop in economy...I think everyone is missing the point. I'm not denying idling gets you nowhere, I'm complaining about getting over 600 kms ( 360 miles) on a tank of fuel in the summer versus 320 kms (192 miles) on the same tank of fuel driven over the same roads at the same speed, driving the same route at the same time of day (traffic patterns accounted for!!). I'd LOVE it if I was only losing 8% in fuel economy..I'm not!!! I'm losing 50% in fuel economy...that's a whole different ball game folks!!

Doug D said:
According to the link you posted, yes, ATF+4 IS most definitely synthetic:

"Group III are called synthetic, and have high molecular uniformity and stability. Group III oil bases are used in most synthetic oils."

Guess you missed that part.
Group III stocks are mineral based and indeed are used in the formation of alot of semi-synthetic oils but are in fact high grade mineral oil stock not synthesised or man-made stocks
 

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So, something is faulty with the vehicle, then. Have you checked fault codes? When was the last tuneup (miles and time)?
 

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SuperShadow said:
Given, but not the 50% drop in economy...I think everyone is missing the point. I'm not denying idling gets you nowhere, I'm complaining about getting over 600 kms ( 360 miles) on a tank of fuel in the summer versus 320 kms (192 miles) on the same tank of fuel driven over the same roads at the same speed, driving the same route at the same time of day (traffic patterns accounted for!!). I'd LOVE it if I was only losing 8% in fuel economy..I'm not!!! I'm losing 50% in fuel economy...that's a whole different ball game folks!!



Group III stocks are mineral based and indeed are used in the formation of alot of semi-synthetic oils but are in fact high grade mineral oil stock not synthesised or man-made stocks
Splitting hairs if you ask me. At any rate, ATF+4 IS the recommended fluid for Chrysler transmissions. Period. Use other fluids at risk of violating your warranty.

Something is not right. 11 mpg is something I would expect my Hemi-powered Ram to get in heavy city driving or towing it's max tow rating. I'd be checking for fault codes, condition of plugs, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
2013 Dodge Journey R/T AWD w/3.6L Pentastar and 6sp A/T 12000 kms (7200 miles). No fault codes

I'll be the Guinea pig on this one, fully synthetic gear oils and Royal Purple Max ATF which is rated for use as AFT+4.

If I see a difference next winter, I'll be sure to post up about it.
 

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OK. ATF+4 is a semi-synthetic. Just as long as what you use meets or exceeds MS-9602.
I don't think that drivetrain fluid drag is the reason for poor cold fuel economy and your Journey is hardly broken in yet.
I doubt that you will realize any benefits from a fully-synthetic ATF. Royal Purple does claim to meet MS-9602.
All vehicle fuel economy sucks in sub-zero weather.

http://www.mobil.com/USA-English/Lubes/PDS/GLXXENPVLMOMobil_ATF_4.aspx
 

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Something is terribly wrong with the vehicle. I'd spend time looking it over.

But if you really do idle it for a long time (my neighbor runs his Ford diesel for 15 minutes before driving off), that will definitely hurt your gas mileage and the engine.
 

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My '12 Journey 2.4 has averaged right at the 26 MPG mark for us. Granted it is driven 15 miles each way to work daily and 20 miles each way to night classes twice a week. We are kinda light footed but fudge a little on teh 55 MPH limit. Computer may not be accurate, but it shows us about 26 MPG and we reset after each tank. It does NOT spend much idle time, and we are easy on it. Granted we are also in a much milder climate in Tennessee.
 
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