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Old 03-18-2014, 07:32 AM   #1
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Default My own personal 'Truth in 48'

Last week, I went on a cross-country road trip from SC to CA in my 2014 A6 TDI.

It was a solo drive, but it was a similar trip length to the one Audi did with a bunch of bloggers/press people in a TDI fleet.

I averaged 37.64 mpg.

More importantly, I managed to travel 2,451.6 miles. I took several breaks and made frequent stops for fuel and food. Starbucks was the biggest time waster of all.

I left SC at 11:30pm (EDT) Wednesday and arrived at my destination in CA at 8:09pm (PDT) Friday, making the entire trip in 47h:39m - accounting for the time zone changes. I don't recall how much of that time was spent actually driving, but I will let you know that my average speed was somewhere in the 72mph range. Keep in mind, I had 70, 75, and 80 mph speed limits to enjoy in most of Texas - and it still took an entire day to cross that state.

I wasn't hauling *** as much as I was using ACC and lane keeping assist most of the trip.

The major differences between my trip and the one Audi did, was that I didn't have my tires set to 51psi and I didn't have four adults in the car.

As far as fuel stops, I stopped at these mileage intervals (because of safe areas, decent fuel prices, and proximity to food and coffee) :

350.5 miles = 8.87 Gal (Tuscaloosa, AL)
307.3 miles = 8.21 Gal (West Monroe, LA)
511.9 miles = 14.05 Gal (Roscoe, TX)
394.5 miles = 10.75 Gal (El Paso, TX)
564.2 miles = 14.66 Gal (Tucson, AZ)
323.2 miles = 8.59 Gal (Los Angeles, CA)

I was also dollar cost averaging since I was going from one of the most inexpensive states to fuel-up to one of the most expense. To my surprise, when I got to my destination, I filled up the tank to get my final trip stats, and found that diesel is 2 cents more than 87 octane. It happens in Los Angeles once in a while, but I didn't expect diesel to be so much cheaper than 91 octane. Contrast that with the diesel fuel shortage on the East Coast, and the prices I paid to cross the country were within a decent range (until I got to CA).

My Fuelly stats are at http://www.fuelly.com/driver/in2dwww/a6-quattro

Last edited by in2dwww; 03-18-2014 at 07:40 AM.
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Old 03-18-2014, 09:31 AM   #2
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Nice write up. The price of diesel in the states is much cheaper than in Canada ... at least in the winter.

If I may ask, what was the purpose of your trip? just to drive around? or did you have some business to take care of?
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Old 03-18-2014, 09:52 AM   #3
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I averaged 37.64 mpg.
These are truly impressive fuel economy numbers. I gather it's a manual calculation and not relying upon the DIS.

It's a shame diesel fuel has gotten so expensive. I saw $4.50 last week at a station near me. We've been +$4 for a while now.

How large is the fuel tank? How far do you feel comfortable cruising before filling up?
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:13 AM   #4
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Nice write up. The price of diesel in the states is much cheaper than in Canada ... at least in the winter. If I may ask, what was the purpose of your trip? just to drive around? or did you have some business to take care of?
Moonshine???
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:16 AM   #5
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Moonshine???
LOL. Cost wise it would make sense to take the TDI.
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Old 03-19-2014, 06:36 AM   #6
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These are truly impressive fuel economy numbers. I gather it's a manual calculation and not relying upon the DIS.

It's a shame diesel fuel has gotten so expensive. I saw $4.50 last week at a station near me. We've been +$4 for a while now.

How large is the fuel tank? How far do you feel comfortable cruising before filling up?
DIS was confused. It was saying 42mpg but it was also running more than 24 hours. I'll upload photos soon.

My calculation was based on fuel used. I also reset the trip odometer at each fill-up.

The only problem here is the consistency of the refuel. In other TDI models, I can see down into the fuel filler neck. As the tank gets refueled, diesel will foam up. I can take about 20 seconds for that foam to subside. In the A6, there's not only a flap (presumably to prevent mis-fueling with gasoline), but there's no way to see into the fuel filler neck to ensure that the tank is completely topped off. So I could be off a little with the fuel-ups as I have no assurance that the refueling was consistent.

Also, between South Carolina and Texas, I was traveling at night. The temperature was in the 30's. When I got into Texas and the sun rose, temps rose into the 70's. I was still in Texas by nightfall, and reached the New Mexico state line at 4am. I stayed in NM through the sunrise (spectacular scenery by the way).

I headed out for Los Angeles at 8am or so, stopping at In-N-Out in Tucson and Yuma before the MMI GPS re-routed me away from San Diego because of traffic. I ended up, on a Friday night (bad, bad planning on my part), traveling south on I-10 and then catching a route through Pasadena when the 134 became shut-down. I didn't really hit any stop-and-go traffic. I had ACC on anyway so I didn't care. The MMI GPS re-routed several times and the arrival time never changed.

I have some photos and videos which I'll get around to uploading.

I will also be making a return trip in the 1st week of April.

I think the trip cost was ~$240 in fuel. It's all there on Fuelly. The interesting part is that in Calabasas, CA, the price of diesel is cheaper than 87 octane right now! Calabasas always overprices fuel, but it was the first time I've ever seen that.
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Old 03-19-2014, 06:44 AM   #7
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DIS was confused. It was saying 42mpg but it was also running more than 24 hours.
It's a simple task with the VCDS cable to get that DIS MPG readout tweaked for accuracy.

How large is the fuel tank on the car?
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Old 03-19-2014, 06:58 AM   #8
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I go 2-3 times a year to check up on some things, grab a double-double, visit old friends, and enjoy the warmer weather. I also sneak in a wine tasting near Santa Barbara.

There are about 6 border patrol checkpoints between San Diego and Van Horn, TX (replete with counter-drug dogs). I've never tried to do anything stupid, but I do get stopped like everyone else. It's usually just one question but sometimes they want to have a conversation and I'm usually give abstract answers just to have fun. My favorite is when they ask where I'm headed... I say "I know this one" then stare at the GPS and say "North-East" or "West." They enjoy that logic, but meanwhile, their dog is at work.

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If I may ask, what was the purpose of your trip? just to drive around? or did you have some business to take care of?
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Old 03-19-2014, 07:04 AM   #9
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It's a simple task with the VCDS cable to get that DIS MPG readout tweaked for accuracy.

How large is the fuel tank on the car?
19.2 gallons

I can normally go 500 miles in 7 hours. I could exceed that range, but at the same time, I don't need to push the limits and play fuel light bingo in places like Louisiana or Pecos, TX.

It's the same reason why I don't understand how Mercedes and BMW omit the spare tires and use run-flats in their diesels... how will 50 miles of run-flat help when you're going to be stranded? I'd have to carry a pistol.
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Old 03-19-2014, 07:22 AM   #10
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I hear ya!

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Originally Posted by in2dwww View Post

I don't need to push the limits and play fuel light bingo in places like Louisiana or Pecos, TX.
My dieseling rule of thumb: Never travel in unfamiliar territory with the low fuel light glowing, especially at night!
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Old 03-19-2014, 07:22 AM
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