Testing for Accurate Fuel Economy Results

Owners of 2010-2017 Equinox and Terrain models equipped with the 2.4L engine (RPO LAF, LEA) and front-wheel drive may have questions about the actual fuel economy of their vehicle. In most cases, a small amount of city driving will quickly bring down the average fuel economy result of an individual vehicle. Owners who have a concern about poor fuel economy should be made aware of the impact driving style and driving conditions have on fuel economy results.


To properly perform a fuel economy evaluation of a vehicle to ensure accurate fuel economy results are being achieved, review the following tips.


Initial Fuel Economy Evaluation

•     Review daily driving habits, including distance traveled, types of roads and typical speeds.

•     Check for stored DTCs

•     Check for proper tires pressures. The Driver Information Center (DIC), if equipped, provides accurate tire pressure readings.

•     Raise the vehicle and make sure the rear wheels turn freely on front-wheel drive models. Check that the parking brake is not dragging.

•     Document temperature and climate conditions and the current seasonal fuel blend being used. Top Tier fuel is recommended for optimal fuel economy and engine performance.


Actual Driving Evaluation

•     Fill the tank with fuel using the three click procedure: Add fuel until the pump nozzle shuts off automatically, count to five and fill again until the pump shuts off, count to five and fill once more until the pump shuts off a third time.

•     Record the odometer reading and reset the trip odometers.

•     On a flat road where a steady speed can be maintained, drive the vehicle at a steady speed for five miles. If a flat road is not nearby, use a road without large hills.

•     Note any wind conditions.

•     Bring the vehicle up to a speed between 50 to 65 mph (80 to 105 km/h) and set the cruise control.

•     Scroll through the Trip menu on the DIC (Fig. 18), if equipped, to display the Average Fuel Economy reading. Reset the Average Fuel Economy reading under the Trip menu on the DIC by holding the SET/CLR button (Fig. 19) until the display reads 22 mpg (10.7 L/100km). This is the “seed’ value that the system starts with and then learns the actual fuel economy from this value. It will take several miles (or kilometers) for the Average Fuel Economy to stabilize and provide a true value.


Fig. 18



Fig. 19


•     On average for 4-cylinder models, at 55 mph (89 km/h), the Average Fuel Economy should be 36 mpg (6.5 L/100 km) and, at 60 mph (97 km/h), it should be 33 mpg (7.1 L/100 km).

•     Reset the display and try different speeds and conditions.

•     Once enough distance is driven, top off the fuel tank following the three click procedure using the same fuel station and fuel pump. Record the odometer reading and calculate the fuel economy from the number of gallons/liters pumped.

•     Observe and diagnose any performance issues such as rough idle, excessive vehicle drag when coasting, or poor driveability.


Review the complete road test findings with the customer to ensure the test and results are fully understood.


– Thanks to David Rutkowski

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