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46mpg and a new tyre at 30,000 miles

2 April 2011 - Filed under: Servicing

I’ve never really cared too much about MPG, even with soaring fuel prices my mileage in the MINI is sufficiently low that I don’t really spend that much time at the pumps. I hadn’t reset the trip MPG computer since I purchased the car and it had read a fairly average figure of 37mpg for quite a while over a mix of short town journeys and longer motorway runs.

A colleague has recently been returning some fairly impressive figures from his diesel Golf (70mpg!) so this spurred me into wondering what I could get out of the MINI if I was a bit more careful with my heavy right foot.

A 90 mile journey through rush hour traffic one evening looked like a good real world test. The route included some slow town driving in heavy traffic, some dual carriageways including a few bottlenecks approaching roundabouts, a long motorway stint and finally some more dual carriageway and town driving in sparser evening traffic.

Around town I was careful to keep my revs down and brake as little as possible, on the motorway I stuck religiously to 70mph, or under in congestion. I realise knocking my speed down to 60 or 50mph would work wonders for my MPG, but that isn’t what I’d consider a real world test.

I think I scuppered my chances of recording anything amazingly high by using cruise control for most of the motorway leg of the journey. The cruise control system seems to be very inefficient in the way it climbs hills (fair enough, it can’t predict them). Also, tapping the resume button after being held up by slower moving traffic makes the car boot it to get back to your previous cruising speed as quickly as possible, crippling your average MPG reading.

46mpg

46mpg

I discovered that driving economically is frustrating but strangely addictive in equal measures. My final figure of 46mpg isn’t that impressive, but even a 9mpg improvement over my previous average of 37mpg is a saving of bit over £3 at the current fuel prices for this journey alone. It’s also a lot better than the rather shocking 26.6mpg I managed in the E93 320i I borrowed that weekend!

E93 320i

E93 320i

The £3 saving didn’t go particularly far towards the new tyre the MINI required the following weekend. Benham BMW (who I was close to at the time) knocked their price down from £147 to £133. Still rather painful for a 16″ runflat.

Due to other tyres being replaced at different intervals, probably due to a puncture before my ownership, I’ve now been able to swap the tyres around so that I’m left with the same amount of tread across each axle. The rear tyre which was replaced this time had worn unevenly on the outer edge, suggesting a positive camber issue. Hopefully nothing severe as the wear only became apparent over 30k miles, but my next task will be to get the alignment checked and sorted.

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