What is going on................ ANY ONE............Help

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 17:33
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HELP< I am after a bit of information from the people that drive 4X4, and tow caravans. The Long weekends here in Perth and my wife and I took off for Geraldton towing our caravan, on the way up we did our normal average 12.8 l/ph/klm. everything is working beautifully. we spend the weekend in Geraldton and head for home about 10.00am all is good, we come home via the coast, run a bit of scenic touring as we approach Jurien Bay I notice that the trip meter with the fuel average is now showing 15.8 ltrs/p/h/klms, and we have only come two hundred kilometres, by the time we get into the drive way at home it is now showing, 17.9ltrs/p/h/klm's coming out of Geraldton and across the flats of Greenough we had a stiff head wind, but by 11.00 o'clock it had gone. The only thing different on the vehicle before we went was a new set of tyres same size and diameters, as the old set only the new ones are an allterrian from Bridgestone, and I don't believe that they would put the fuel consumption out by that much, if at all. any one got any Idea with what is going on and why. the vehicle is a Nissan Pathfinder ti550 r51 v6 diesel, and until this trip the most economical vehicle that I have owned, any clues the speed was set on the cruise control at 95kl/p/hr, which is our normal cruising and towing speed, I hope someone can explain it to me . thank you.
Broodie H3
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Reply By: Member - Arsenal Phill - Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 17:53

Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 17:53
Broodie we regularly go Jurien/Kalbarri using the coast road, as we live in the northern suburbs. It is generally our preferred direction for a weekend getaway. I don't want to burst your bubble, but I don't think you've got a problem. That has to be a good thing right? We get a reasonable return for our fuel on the way up, it is always higher coming back down and a couple of times, it's been horrendous. Even when it doesn't appear windy, I am sure that it is a factor. We've not done one trip where the trip has been equal on consumption both ways.
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Follow Up By: Member - Broodie H3 - Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 18:11

Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 18:11
Hi Arsenal, we went across to Lake Eyre last year and at no time did we get above the 12.8 except for when I had a nana nap and oswmbo was driving mind you when I awoke and found she was doing 120klphr that answered all my niggling questions, but she wasn't driving this time, so I want to know what the heck is going on, and you are right it is a good thing if there is no problem, I'll just sell the car if that happens again. lol
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Reply By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 18:45

Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 18:45
I've never needed to tow on that road but I have noticed that the hills are a damn sight steeper and longer heading south than heading north. That may be the source of your problem.
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Follow Up By: Ian & Sue - Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 18:58

Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 18:58
You aren't wrong there Duncan, especially the one that is just south of Eneabba you can hardly see the rise but it goes on and on and on! You really need a loaded truck in front of you to get the idea that you are going up hill, of course if you have a fuel monitor you soon know.
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Reply By: Ian & Sue - Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 18:56

Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 18:56
We live in Geraldon and tow our Kedron caravan up and down to Perth (and beyond) and can tell you that fuel consumption on the south bound trip is regularly more even when we are making an extra effort to be economical. This weekend just gone was really windy and I don't think I would be wrong in saying that your fuel consumption reflected just that. Unless you actually stop the car and get out it is hard to tell that the wind is strong as there are too many trees to give you a visual indication.

We travel to the eastern states regularly and find that our consumption over there is surprisingly lower even when we travel up their big "hills". In all of our travels to the east we rarely see a 21 litre per hundred but here we would consider that good. :-)
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Reply By: Ian & Sue - Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 19:01

Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 19:01
Just spotted the probable cause of your increased fuel usage when I re-read your post. You had your cruise control set - I find that doesn't help with economy when travelling down IOD into a "breeze".

Sue
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Follow Up By: Member - Arsenal Phill - Wednesday, Jun 05, 2013 at 17:30

Wednesday, Jun 05, 2013 at 17:30
Would you be Ian & Sue of Geo fame???
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Reply By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 19:11

Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 19:11
Quite possibly with that engine the car has gone into cat purge mode where it cleans itself.

If so fuel use should return to normal in couple of hundred km after its done its thing
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Follow Up By: Member - Broodie H3 - Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 19:37

Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 19:37
Thanks for that Robin, the engine went into that mode only about a thousand K's ago and I took it to Nissan to get told it was only purging and would return to normal in a thousand K's or so, in your opinion could this happen so soon after the first time, me, I know nothink. Do you think it worth getting the experts look at it, again
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 20:15

Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 20:15
Where theres smoke......

Its worth checking this out again Broodie - perhaps you can get someone to read out error codes for you.

Maybe just go back and say you don't think it did its cycle fully.

There have been other reports of difficulty with that process.
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Follow Up By: Patrol22 - Wednesday, Jun 05, 2013 at 20:17

Wednesday, Jun 05, 2013 at 20:17
Your Pathfinder is fitted with both a catalytic converter and a diesel particulate filter (DPF) - this is a Euro 5+ build design requirement. When towing and when city (stop/start) driving the particulate matter will build up in the DPF and when the ECU senses the pressure differential it will inject fuel on the exhaust stroke to effect a burn of the particulate matter. There is a good explanation of the DPF in the owner's manual.

City driving is a bigger bugger than towing on the highway and when that DPF light comes on you only have a relatively short time to get the vehicle up to 80+ kph on the highway in top gear or if you can't do that speed drop the gears back until you can hold 1800 rpm and the regen will take place. I had to do this in my D40 when crossing the Simpson Desert.

A word of caution - if you don't get that DPF light out, the engine willl go into 'limp home mode' and the regen will need to be done by a dealer - this costs around $300 and IS NOT a warranty thing.

Re the dealer telling you that the regen would take a thousand km or so - I would tell him he's dreaming....or just doesn't know what he is talking about. The regen should take no more than 15 minutes at highway speeds (or the RPM I spoke about earlier in the lower gears). Hope this helps.
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Follow Up By: mike g2 - Thursday, Jun 06, 2013 at 23:35

Thursday, Jun 06, 2013 at 23:35
Hi patrol22, does this regen situation apply to other modern diesel 4x4?- I had a common rail Nissan patrol TD a few yrs ago and havnt heard of this before-no mention by dealer on purchase. cant say I noticed any problem for 3 yrs ownership, a fair bit of caravanning and off roading-maybe lucky. suppose it goes to show-if all else fails, read the instructions! ( all 100 or so pages of manual) . I
have heard of limp home mode with some electronic engine control systems, such as in European based makes. came close to it with my new fiat-jayco motorhome and its engine management light problems....
if your a little careless and touch both accelerator and brake at once with the fiat auto, the management system gets confused-light comes on. this could happen out of driving both manual and auto or slack habits of the foot. needs a agent to reset and its considered driver error ( no warranty). once again, not advised of these sort of potential problems by the sale yard-I wonder if they even were aware themselves..
thanks,
MG.
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Follow Up By: Patrol22 - Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 14:16

Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 14:16
Mike - as far as I know the fitting of a DPF has been a feature of most vehicles built to Euro 5 standards. In Nissan's case I believe that they only fitted the DPF to the automatic D40 from 2007 - I don't know about the auto Patrol. The reason I suspect that they fitted them to the D40 is because it was originally built in Spain and therefore would be forced to meet the Euro 5 standard. I do know that the Peugeot and Citroen cars also have a DPF. DPF are not new as they have been around for more than 20 years now in the trucking industry.....but it is only a relative new thing in light vehicles.

The article at this LINK gives a pretty good explanation of how the DPF works. The symbol for the DPF is there also and if you have this warning light among the range of warning lights on your dash then you have a DPF fitted. When this light comes on it is time to get up to highway running speeds or kick the gears back a couple and get above the equivalent of 80kph in RPM - and hold that until the light goes out. Failure to do this will result in the engine going into limp home mode and if you are a long way from a dealer with the appropriate gear it could be a long trip home.
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Reply By: Ross M - Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 21:28

Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 21:28
Broodie

You have an electronically controlled diesel which adjusts it's fuel input requirements according to an electronic map covering all possible engine situations.
When travelling into a head wind there will be a considerable increase in load applied to the engine.
While relatively normal usage is happening not much changes but the ECU will adjust progressively to a load increase. This will require more power and that comes from the fuel.
Commodore cars when the VN model was made although petrol, were economical but hook up a trailer with not much load in it and the load sensing of the system made it suddenly go from 30+ mpg to 22 or 23mpg because it couldn't stay in the advanced mode it was in previously. A caravan worse still.

With the wind load you have most likely crossed the map to the power zone and and not operating in the most economic for that load.

Trying to maintain 95kmp in those conditions just demands more fuel and a little less speed would mean far better economy.
The rule I think is twice the speed 4 times the power requirements.

The cruise control will definitely not give you the best economy, your driving skill will do it better even though the auto is trying it's best. The auto, like the ECU, also has a brain which cannot match all situations either.

Your brain can.
Wise speed, no cruise, less fuel you will use.

Ross M
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Follow Up By: Member - Broodie H3 - Wednesday, Jun 05, 2013 at 11:11

Wednesday, Jun 05, 2013 at 11:11
Good morning Ross, I have just booked the vehicle into the Nissan dealership [still under warranty] as when I spoke to them they recommended that it be brought in as the fuel consumption is to far out from the guide lines and they want to know why. so do I. I shall let you know the out come tomorrow
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Reply By: mike g2 - Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 22:02

Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 22:02
agree with most comments, have driven this area and north a fair bit, wind and long slow uphills will make a difference as will the coast run vs more inland route ,especially if cruise control set- it will attempt to maintain speed at expense of fuel. 95kmh a bit high for optimal fuel effeciency for a 4x4 diesel towing. other changes due to fuel load and onboard water or even food (weight) useage may contribute.
was cruise set most of the time?
Thanks,
MG
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Follow Up By: Member - Broodie H3 - Wednesday, Jun 05, 2013 at 11:05

Wednesday, Jun 05, 2013 at 11:05
Hi Mike, sorry it took so long to get back to you, to answer your question the cruise control was set all the time, and that is how we usually travel except when the roads are wet, then no cruise control at all to dangerous in my opinion.
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Reply By: member - mazcan - Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 22:24

Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 22:24
hi broodie H3
the other guys are right on the money in respect to the hills on the rd south they are long and steeper than you think
I have towed a 16 viscount up and down that rd with 2 different vehicles and the both used a lot more fuel coming back to perth than going up north
as for the wind at the the weekend you are right when you say there wasn't much
I just looked back over the wind conditions for that area on a weather site and it was around 11k's p/hr for Monday and mainly ENE
and yes on hilly rds switch off the cruise control as it forces the motor to maintain a constant speed all the way up the hill under load and will zap the fuel while doing so
cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Broodie H3 - Wednesday, Jun 05, 2013 at 11:23

Wednesday, Jun 05, 2013 at 11:23
Hi Mazcan, I have been reading your comments for months now and the one thing that remains constant in all your comments is, and it has me confused because I can't work it out is "QUEBBAMBIDDYUMTAL" would you care to share what it means it is driving me nuts, I have worked out what a lot of others are but yours has me stumped lol. Getting back on topic we have towed the van up and down some pretty serious hills with head winds and have never had fuel consumption figures like we did on the weekend, even on previous trips to Geraldton we have never had figures anywhere near this trip that is why we are so concerned. we shall see tomorrow. thanks for sharing Mazcan
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Follow Up By: member - mazcan - Wednesday, Jun 05, 2013 at 14:02

Wednesday, Jun 05, 2013 at 14:02
hi broodie H3
I don't wish to be rude but in saying that the answer to your --- driving me nuts question
is written beside the word that is such a puzzle for you

'attempt to achieve the impossible immediately and a miracle a little later'

sorry but I cant make it any clearer
have you heard the sayings
cant see the forrest for the trees
or
you need to have a mum look
cheers
have another bo-peep
lol
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Follow Up By: Member - Broodie H3 - Wednesday, Jun 05, 2013 at 17:17

Wednesday, Jun 05, 2013 at 17:17
Mazccan, I have heard that saying before and some of the others that you have mentioned. thank you. I am always accused of having a man look and not a girl look and you'd never guess by whom. thank you
Broodie H3
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Follow Up By: Member - Broodie H3 - Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 11:28

Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 11:28
Good morning all, To those that have given insight into the problem It is now fixed. apparently the trip computer had zeroed it self back to zero, so that it did not have enough information to make an accurate fuel consumption average, and as we were towing it was getting all sorts of messages particularly going uphill, how it managed to reset itself I don't know, but when I drove it to the morely dealership it was reading 8.7lts p/h/klms, so go figure that one because as they said to me it should not happen, upshot they have now replace the computer and have gone through the whole fuel system and it should be fixed now. Driving home I had the figures of 9.8 which is normal for around the city. thank you all for your thoughts.
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