Weight vs mpg (fitting heavy towbar!) - Kia Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-04-2011, 07:11 AM Thread Starter
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Default Weight vs mpg (fitting heavy towbar!)

I've just purchased a Kia towbar on eBay for my SW. It arrived this morning and I was shocked at how heavy it is. It built well (by Witter), but it weighs 20Kg.
I'm now wondering how much of an impact this will make on my fuel consumption carrying all this extra metalwork around all the time.

Does anyone know what the calculation is for a diesel engine?
I've seen the figures of "every 25Kg will increase fuel consumption by 2%" and also also the same 2% for 45Kg. But also these are all on American websites and I assume apply to petrol engines. I was wondering if diesels were the same?

Even so, if I'm looking at a 1-2% increase in mpg by fitting a towbar, I'm wondering if it is worth it for the few times a year I might need it. I'll see how easy it is to fit and maybe I might remove it for periods.

Matt :- 2010 Kia Ceed SW 3 CRDi manual in sirius silver - 2009 Kia Soul 2 CRDi manual in clear white - 1969 Land Rover Series IIa SWB 2.25 petrol. Please complete your profile!
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-04-2011, 08:13 AM
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I don't think the weight penalty will be anything like 1 - 2 % in fact I doubt that you will be able to measure the difference. I regularly carry around my mobility scooter that weighs about 35Kg and cannot differentiate any variation in fuel consumption with or without it onboard.

The only time that I have noticed a variation was just a week ago when I travelled down to South Devon then round and about before returning. This gave me about 1.5 miles less per gallon for a 1.6 petrol than I would have expected but this was with a passenger, two suitcases and haversacks and the mobility scooter. The lady friend is not heavy but certainly weighs more than a few of your tow bars.

At a guess I would suggest that if you calculate the weight of the towbar as percentage of the cars normal weight thats the sort of difference you may get in consumption
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-04-2011, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by d3matt View Post
I've just purchased a Kia towbar on eBay for my SW. It arrived this morning and I was shocked at how heavy it is. It built well (by Witter), but it weighs 20Kg.
I'm now wondering how much of an impact this will make on my fuel consumption carrying all this extra metalwork around all the time.
Drive around with 28 l of gasoline/diesel less in your tank or lose 20 kg extra blubber and you will have exactly the same consumption as without tow bar.

Matt, NHF, but posts like this are reason why I read forums.

You made my day!

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* Black Kia Pro`ceed Fresh LX 1.4 16v, 109 hp, Oct/2009.
* Just about enough engine power to move it around parking lot. >:)
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-04-2011, 09:22 AM
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lose 20 kg extra blubber and you will have exactly the same consumption as without tow bar.
So you're saying I should leave my wife at home for environmental reasons? Kidding dear, should you ever see this!
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-04-2011, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
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lose 20 kg extra blubber and you will have exactly the same consumption as without tow bar.
Well you hit the nail on the head there. The reason why I've got the towbar is so that I can attach my bike carrier. I've recently taken up mountain biking as I need to loose weight and get fit.

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Matt, NHF, but posts like this are reason why I read forums. You made my day!
Ok, ok. I'm starting to feel a bit silly now for posting this question. I suppose 20Kg isn't that much. I was just shocked at how much this towbar weighed when I carried it in from the delivery van. It could well be more than 20Kg. With the price of fuel now at around £1.35 per litre (even £1.40 near us), I'm always thinking about fuel savings.

Matt :- 2010 Kia Ceed SW 3 CRDi manual in sirius silver - 2009 Kia Soul 2 CRDi manual in clear white - 1969 Land Rover Series IIa SWB 2.25 petrol. Please complete your profile!

Last edited by d3matt; 02-04-2011 at 09:55 AM. Reason: Corrected prices!!
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-04-2011, 09:46 AM
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I never knew Oxfordshire was in another country here in England where I live petrol is around £1.36 per litre with diesel a few pence more. With fuel at £3.40 in your country I would be concerned about my new heavey towbar as well.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-04-2011, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry. Corrected my typo.
You do it once, then just copy it!

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-04-2011, 11:34 AM
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Wow your fuel is that expensive.
I always thought the price on Diesel and Gasoline/Petrol used to be the most expensive in my country Sweden but later years it have gone up more slowly here then in most European countries.
Now, €uro and UK£ has fallen compared to the Swedish SEK recently but still. If you paid those prices a year ago it would have been much higher for me in comparisson.
The difference is however that Diesel used to be alot cheaper here then Gasoline/Petrol.

Today I looked and made a comparisson.
1l 95 Octance Gasoline/Petrol = 12,34 SEK / €1,334 / £1,123
1l 98 Octance Gasoline/Petrol = 12,39 SEK / €1,343 / £1,128
1l 102 Octance Gasoline/Petrol = 12,48 SEK / €1,353 /£1,136
1l 95 Diesel = 12,30 SEK / €1,333 / £1,119

I do however agree, if you go on half tank they weight is less and less consumption.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-04-2011, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by d3matt View Post
I've just purchased a Kia towbar on eBay for my SW. It arrived this morning and I was shocked at how heavy it is. It built well (by Witter), but it weighs 20Kg.
I'm now wondering how much of an impact this will make on my fuel consumption carrying all this extra metalwork around all the time.
Tyre drag is roughly 1% of applied mass. So at a constant 60mph on the flat the engine needs to provide an extra 55W. This is on top of something in the order of an existing 4kW for the tyres, 12kW for aerodynamics and underbonnet ancillaries and 20kW of heat and smoke. So, if you're now doing 60mpg at 60mph, your consumption increases by less than 0.1mpg. Obviously, the effect of hills and acceleration are harder to quantify.

It looks small, but think of all the deadweight in a modern car already. It all adds up.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-04-2011, 06:52 PM
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Should have fitted a removeable towbar and left it at home when not being used-like I did
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