Mondeo Estate Struggles when towing - We are about 300kg under the car tow weight?

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Mar 14, 2005
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That is opposite to what you said on another thread? Not having a recall done may cause insurance complications if making a claim depending on the recall and the incident. We had a recall on our Volvo S80 and that was the advcie given at the time.
My mistake and now corrected
 
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Sep 24, 2008
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Had service on our van early March and as usual every thing was emptied from the van. traffic was heavy getting there which is about eight mile journey. On picking it up was told the van brakes were completely worn out and replaced.. I always have the handbrake off when at home plus moving the van into position prior to going to service place did not notice anything untoward. Coming home from the service centre the van seemed to fly along. So somehow the brake had been on without the lever being applied . Our first trip of eighty miles we had reading steady at 30/35 mpg. Octavia 2.0 140 bhp DSG pulling Stirling Topaz.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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I know we are moving away from Bazzel33' OP, but when my son had a Mondeo, diesel, for over three years he said he alway recieved an improved MPG if he ran on Branded fuel.
 
May 2, 2020
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Hi Bazzel33
Welcome to the forum we have a mondeo 2.0ltr Tdci Titanium x mk4, 140bhp and tow a Bailey senator Oklahoma with a MTPLM of 1499 which may be overweight due to Mrs Gralays clothes. you haven't said in your OP whether you are used to to towing? When we tow its about 10 mph above solo gear change seems good and we don't bother with 6th on ours when towing as it makes the engine labour . We get between 28 and 32 mpg when towing
 
Mar 10, 2006
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Some version's of Mondeo have a very low towing limit, being very high geared and really only fit for rep man on the motorway.

I would double check your towing limit.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Some version's of Mondeo have a very low towing limit, being very high geared and really only fit for rep man on the motorway.

I would double check your towing limit.
Is 110 kg of loading on the outfit going to make that much difference to the towing experience between what is stated as empty and lightly loaded outfit? I would be very surprised if it did.
 
Jun 16, 2010
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How does the car behave when not towing?

It should have plenty in reserve to pull a caravan like yours, and 16mpg is shocking.

More likely that the brakes are stuck on the caravan or some other issue like that.

I had a Smax with the 163bhp diesel in a car that weighed more. The car had no issues whatsoever towing a heavier caravan, hills were a breeze and it averaged 30+ mpg towing.
 
Jan 19, 2002
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Variants of the 2L diesel were Fords bread and butter appearing in several different models. I have had 2l, 1.8L and 1.6L diesels from the company over the years including a 2L Mondeo Titanium Estate and never struggled as you have described, my last model Focus achieving nigh on 60mpg solo and about 35 towing. Something is amiss and i hope you can get it sorted without a bad hit to the wallet!
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I know we are moving away from Bazzel33' OP, but when my son had a Mondeo, diesel, for over three years he said he alway received an improved MPG if he ran on Branded fuel.
I too thought that branded fuels offered some improvement in the running of one car I had. I could easily convince myself the car ran more smoothly and offered better MPG, but when I analysed what data I had, it became clear the actual benefits, if any, were unclear!

Whether the car did run smoother is also open to debate, as I realised I was paying more attention to the way the car drove car becasue I had refueled with a more expensive fuel, and I was trying to see if there was any perceivable difference. A self fulfilling prophecy perhaps.

I also analysed the journeys I made, and in general I used premium fuel when I was planning longer journeys, where I would have seen an improved MPG with supermarket fuel.

So without a fully scientific testing, I cannot say that using branded fuels made any significant difference to my MPG.

I did conclude that even with the slight apparnt improvements in the long distance MPG using branded fuels, the extra cost of the fuel for that specific purpose was not worth it. But the jury is still out on the wear and tear on the car.
 
May 11, 2021
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I too thought that branded fuels offered some improvement in the running of one car I had. I could easily convince myself the car ran more smoothly and offered better MPG, but when I analysed what data I had, it became clear the actual benefits, if any, were unclear!

Whether the car did run smoother is also open to debate, as I realised I was paying more attention to the way the car drove car becasue I had refueled with a more expensive fuel, and I was trying to see if there was any perceivable difference. A self fulfilling prophecy perhaps.

I also analysed the journeys I made, and in general I used premium fuel when I was planning longer journeys, where I would have seen an improved MPG with supermarket fuel.

So without a fully scientific testing, I cannot say that using branded fuels made any significant difference to my MPG.

I did conclude that even with the slight apparnt improvements in the long distance MPG using branded fuels, the extra cost of the fuel for that specific purpose was not worth it. But the jury is still out on the wear and tear on the car.
Brilliant post that perfectly describes placebo effects, confirmation bias and making quantitative judgements based on non-scientific methods.

There are benefits to be had from fuel quality, but nowhere near the anecdotal claims I have seen. Bigger factors usually overwhelm any fuel-derived benefits, and by far the biggest fuel economy factor is driver behaviour.
 

macandy

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Jun 12, 2014
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I know we are moving away from Bazzel33' OP, but when my son had a Mondeo, diesel, for over three years he said he alway recieved an improved MPG if he ran on Branded fuel.
Cheap own brand fuel is basically pool fuel.
it’s the suppliers left overs and spot market purchase surplus that will be a mix of unbranded stuff from 2nd line suppliers
It’s ‘ok’, it meets the minimum standard, but it’s not premium stuff and can be and often is contaminated. See the Morrison’s stuff that is regularly implicated in damaging cars..
What you ARE paying for with Shell, BP etc is a tightly controlled and monitored premium supply chain that ensures the fuel is 100% top quality.
 
Jun 16, 2020
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Tesco are one of the largest suppliers, they also supply other supermarkets. They use Total fuel, I believe they own 35%. See.

I have used little else for 40 years with absolutely no ill effects.

I believe that premium fuels are as all others but have an additive put in during delivery. I can accept they may make a little difference. But they are not cost effective.


John
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Cheap own brand fuel is basically pool fuel.
it’s the suppliers left overs and spot market purchase surplus that will be a mix of unbranded stuff from 2nd line suppliers
It’s ‘ok’, it meets the minimum standard, but it’s not premium stuff and can be and often is contaminated. See the Morrison’s stuff that is regularly implicated in damaging cars..
What you ARE paying for with Shell, BP etc is a tightly controlled and monitored premium supply chain that ensures the fuel is 100% top quality.
I really don’t know where you get some of your information from, but it isn’t supported by facts. If 45% of fuel is sold by supermarkets why aren’t we hearing if lots more problems with vehicle engine defects? The spot market could not supply that amount if fuel to ensure regular supplies. What’s “pool” fuel does it have a definition? Fuel has to be supplied to British and European standards, it’s not the minimum standard as there isn’t another one. It is the legal standard. Whilst branded fuels may have additional features dependent on brand and premium branded fuels have other constituents and has a different refining process but your criticism of standard supermarkets fuel is totally without supporting information.
I use branded fuel and when it was affordable I used premium branded fuel. But when I had a company car it was mainly supermarket fuel, and over three years 40 k miles it ran perfectly well.
 

Parksy

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Nov 12, 2009
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The two nearest fuel outlets to our house are Asda and Tesco and because of this I've mainly used supermarket fuel with no problems whatsoever.
I'm not a racing driver, if a premium fuel shaved a second from the time it would take to travel from one set of traffic signals to the next one, I'd still have to wait if the signal was on red.
If I cruised through the first set, I'd almost certainly wait at the next set in the busy urban area where I live.
I've occasionally filled the old Pajero towing vehicle that I used previously with the worn injectors and sticking EGR valve immediately before the MOT, but in the busy towns around here any improvement in performance would go unnoticed.
Perhaps premium fuels are for dedicated petrol heads, but as an owner and user of 2 diesel powered vehicles, I'm happy with supermarket fuel.
 
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Jan 31, 2018
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I can't agree with that mcandy In fact supermarket higher turnover means it's fresher than Nant smaller garages. If you watch who supplies them they're often the same tankers that visit elsewhere too. The standards are high and it's simply the additive package that is extra on the super fuels. Want the best octane for your petrol ,but avgas . Track day motorcyclists fight over it!
 
Nov 11, 2009
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In post #23 the poster claims 3 miles more per litre when using BP. Now on a 55 litre tank that is an extra 165 miles. Even when BP were advertising BP Ultimate they only claimed an extra 29 miles per tank. Don’t think I will buy BEV it’s a Juke running on BP for my next car. ⛽ 😁.

Suspect it should have been mpg not mpl
 
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macandy

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I can't agree with that mcandy In fact supermarket higher turnover means it's fresher than Nant smaller garages. If you watch who supplies them they're often the same tankers that visit elsewhere too. The standards are high and it's simply the additive package that is extra on the super fuels. Want the best octane for your petrol ,but avgas . Track day motorcyclists fight over it!
it’s nothing to do with ’fresher’ at the pump - it’s the supply chain that means the ‘supermarket own brand fuel‘ will be a mixture from many disparate sources. If you buy a tank full of V Power, it will be Shell fuel, it will have a Shell paper trail for that lot of fuel back to the refinery, and beyond.
if you buy a premium brand, say BP or Shell, it will come from one of their refineries. Downstream suppliers don’t own refineries, just tank terminals, and source fuel from the global spot market from whoever’s got some going cheap.

AVGAS isn’t suitable for road cars, unlike MOGAS, it still contains TEL (Lead), and will poison your catalytic converter in a heartbeat. The most common AVGAS is 100LL, but super unleaded road fuel up to 102 octane is available. On a high performance road engine that can remap on the fly, it gives a noticeable performance increase. FWIW, Ethanol has an octane @ 113 equivalent.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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it’s nothing to do with ’fresher’ at the pump - it’s the supply chain that means the ‘supermarket own brand fuel‘ will be a mixture from many disparate sources. If you buy a tank full of V Power, it will be Shell fuel, it will have a Shell paper trail for that lot of fuel back to the refinery, and beyond.
if you buy a premium brand, say BP or Shell, it will come from one of their refineries. Downstream suppliers don’t own refineries, just tank terminals, and source fuel from the global spot market from whoever’s got some going cheap.

AVGAS isn’t suitable for road cars, unlike MOGAS, it still contains TEL (Lead), and will poison your catalytic converter in a heartbeat. The most common AVGAS is 100LL, but super unleaded road fuel up to 102 octane is available. On a high performance road engine that can remap on the fly, it gives a noticeable performance increase. FWIW, Ethanol has an octane @ 113 equivalent.
Fuel from refineries distributed geographically and via pipeline but the refineries owned by the Brands also supply fuel to supermarkets. If you read some of Allstar fuel card reports they confirm it as d this link.


 
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Jun 16, 2020
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it’s nothing to do with ’fresher’ at the pump - it’s the supply chain that means the ‘supermarket own brand fuel‘ will be a mixture from many disparate sources. If you buy a tank full of V Power, it will be Shell fuel, it will have a Shell paper trail for that lot of fuel back to the refinery, and beyond.
if you buy a premium brand, say BP or Shell, it will come from one of their refineries. Downstream suppliers don’t own refineries, just tank terminals, and source fuel from the global spot market from whoever’s got some going cheap.

AVGAS isn’t suitable for road cars, unlike MOGAS, it still contains TEL (Lead), and will poison your catalytic converter in a heartbeat. The most common AVGAS is 100LL, but super unleaded road fuel up to 102 octane is available. On a high performance road engine that can remap on the fly, it gives a noticeable performance increase. FWIW, Ethanol has an octane @ 113 equivalent.
Thanks for giving me a smile. I just imagined a supermarket tanker going from one refinery to another picking up the dregs.

John
 
May 7, 2012
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I too thought that branded fuels offered some improvement in the running of one car I had. I could easily convince myself the car ran more smoothly and offered better MPG, but when I analysed what data I had, it became clear the actual benefits, if any, were unclear!

Whether the car did run smoother is also open to debate, as I realised I was paying more attention to the way the car drove car becasue I had refueled with a more expensive fuel, and I was trying to see if there was any perceivable difference. A self fulfilling prophecy perhaps.

I also analysed the journeys I made, and in general I used premium fuel when I was planning longer journeys, where I would have seen an improved MPG with supermarket fuel.

So without a fully scientific testing, I cannot say that using branded fuels made any significant difference to my MPG.

I did conclude that even with the slight apparnt improvements in the long distance MPG using branded fuels, the extra cost of the fuel for that specific purpose was not worth it. But the jury is still out on the wear and tear on the car.
I did think branded fuels were better but could not prove it and the opposite seems to be the position from my experience. We do have a choice of almost all suppliers near us but the most convenient are Esso, BP and Tesco. We make several journeys from Glasgow to White Water Park most years to visit family and I normally check the mpg when I do. This is not absolute proof but even with different cars the Tesco fuel has consistently given me about 2 or 3 mpg more. On a 170 mile run it should be a fair comparison.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I did think branded fuels were better but could not prove it and the opposite seems to be the position from my experience. We do have a choice of almost all suppliers near us but the most convenient are Esso, BP and Tesco. We make several journeys from Glasgow to White Water Park most years to visit family and I normally check the mpg when I do. This is not absolute proof but even with different cars the Tesco fuel has consistently given me about 2 or 3 mpg more. On a 170 mile run it should be a fair comparison.
Perhaps the quantity of detergents and other additive's that branded suppliers add to the tank dilutes the real fuel so much you get less real energy? :devilish: :devilish: :devilish:
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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I too thought that branded fuels offered some improvement in the running of one car I had. I could easily convince myself the car ran more smoothly and offered better MPG, but when I analysed what data I had, it became clear the actual benefits, if any, were unclear!

Whether the car did run smoother is also open to debate, as I realised I was paying more attention to the way the car drove car becasue I had refueled with a more expensive fuel, and I was trying to see if there was any perceivable difference. A self fulfilling prophecy perhaps.

I also analysed the journeys I made, and in general I used premium fuel when I was planning longer journeys, where I would have seen an improved MPG with supermarket fuel.

So without a fully scientific testing, I cannot say that using branded fuels made any significant difference to my MPG.

I did conclude that even with the slight apparnt improvements in the long distance MPG using branded fuels, the extra cost of the fuel for that specific purpose was not worth it. But the jury is still out on the wear and tear on the car.
Here is a scientific explanation from a former member who is not longer with us;

This topic reappears every so often, but in essence I'll quote my answer about diesel fuel - and petrol is pretty much the same story:

As the UK Representative to CEN WG9 (European standards committee for all motor vehicle fuels) all pump fuel in Europe is produced to meet the relevant EN standard - which you will see written on the pump body.
The major difference between the supermarket fuels and the branded fuels is the exact nature of the additive pack added to the fuel when it leaves the refinery - common rail pump lubricants, injector cleaners, etc.
Synthesised Diesel
The exception to this is the new "synthesised" diesel fuels, such as BP Ultimate (actually researched by Aral in Germany), Shell V-Power (may be called something else in the UK), and Total Excellium. These fuels are manufactured in the refinery by joining simple petroleum hydrocarbons into an exact diesel fuel - you'll need some experience of university level Chemistry to follow what they do - so just accept that they are better - higher cetane rating, better additive pack, etc.
Normal Diesel
This is a straight distillation fraction from crude oil, produced by the nearest refinery to the fuel depot - so for instance, diesel refined by Shell may be sold by any of the other retailers close to that Shell refinery. The major difference is the additive pack - which is brand specific - and any specification difference imposed on the refinery by the other retailers - and the addition of bio-diesel.
Bio-diesel
Another one of our EN committees, pump bio-diesel is a blend of normal refinery diesel (95%) and (5%) of pure bio-diesel. This is an EN standard and all EU countries will be (or are) selling this bio-diesel as a direct replacement for normal diesel. All the car manufacturers have accepted this 95:5 blended fuel, and we are working on specifications for a 90:10 blend.
Pure bio-diesel is manufactured by mixing and heating vegetable oil with methanol (methyl alcohol) and sodium hydroxide (caustic soda). This splits the vegetable oil into glycerine and fatty acids, which immediately reacts with the methanol to form a "fatty acid methyl ester" or FAME (bio-diesel).
FAME is perfectly fine as a diesel fuel, it has very good lubricating effects - and replaces the lubricant additive in a normal diesel fuel - except that it is not as stable as normal diesel - it tends to go "sour" or "rancid", which is why the car manufacturers don't like you to run a car on pure bio-diesel. Not a problem as a 95:5 blend.
Vegetable Oil
Reasonably OK for an old (pre 1995) diesel engined car - except that the car won't start on cold vegetable oil, but once the engine is running it's OK.
Other problems are that vegetable oil quickly turns in a gummy glop (like the linseed oil that artists use) and the car's fuel system and that the engine needs a lot more maintenance - blocked injectors, gummy residue in pumps and cylinders, etc.
After market additives
After market products like Millers improve the cetane rating of standard diesel, but only when the engine is cold - interestingly it doesn't help a hot engine - so cold starting is usually quieter but no difference to a hot engine - and Millers does provide good, additional pump lubricity.

Self Tuning Engine Computer
So, if your diesel engined car "self tunes" then try Shell V-Power, BP Ultimate, Total Excellium - I see between 3% and 5% improvement in fuel consumption. My Mercedes C270 returned 52.8 mpg driving from Rotterdam to Wendover yesterday - on Dutch Shell V-Power - 320 miles at speeds of around 60, 70 and 80 mph depending on the country / road speed limit - using the electronic speed limiter. If not, stick with the regular diesel fuel, and add Redex or Millers at the recommended dosage level - adding more won't improve the performance. And don't be dismissive of supermarket fuel, it can and often is identical to branded fuel.
And if you add Redex or Millers or switch to a branded fuel, then any change to the cleanliness of the injectors won't show itself for quite a few hundred miles, but pump lubrication and maybe a higher cetane rating will show an effect much sooner - depends how much old fuel was in the tank and fuel lines - and how much the old fuel dilutes the action of the new fuel.
So is there a difference between supermarket and branded fuel ? - there can be - but often there isn't.
How can you tell if one fuel is better than another?
To compare the fuel consumption, you need to exactly reproduce two journeys - exactly the same speed, exactly the same acceleration and braking, and under identical conditions:
Atmospheric Pressure
A one percent change in air pressure has an identical effect on power and torque - so driving on days with high pressure makes the engine generate more power
Temperature
Driving on hotter days reduces engine power.
Humidity and Rain
Driving on days when it is humid or raining significantly improves engine power - water injection is used in truck racing and sucking in damp air has a similar effect in increasing power.
These produce percentage level effects on mpg - making it difficult for the driver to make comparisons. Driving on a cold, damp day may see an improvement of 3% or more compared to a hot, dry day.
Even more important are the effects of different traffic levels and the inability of drivers to EXACTLY reproduce a journey on UK roads, for instance:
Speed
A 1 mph increase in speed (say 60 instead of 59) will make about a 2% difference in fuel consumption - rolling friction and wind resistance increase exponentially - on top of the extra fuel need to spin the engine that bit faster.
Unless you drive everywhere using an electronic speed limiter or digital cruise control then it's impossible for most drivers to reproduce even a constant speed.
Acceleration and Braking
Big percentage differences here - and unless you are driving on an empty test track - the effects of other traffic, let alone how you drive the car, have effects at least as large as the difference attributed to different fuels.
Summary
There is a reproducible improvement of between 3% and 5% by buying the synthesised diesel fuels - BP Ultimate, Shell V-Power, Total Excellium, etc - compared to the standard branded diesel fuels.
There are smaller differences between supermarket and standard branded fuels - sometimes they are physically the same fuel - sometimes they differ only by the additive (cleaner) pack - and sometimes they are different.
Day to day variations in the weather, driver reproducibility and traffic make it very difficult for drivers to reproduce journeys.
Comparing two fuels
If you do want to make a comparison, drive your car until the fuel tank is almost empty, then fill the tank and after you have driven 200 miles (any old fuel should have been used up), drive at a fixed speed on a motorway for 10 miles and record the fuel consumption.
Then the next time you fill up, repeat the exercise with a different brand of fuel - but remember to test on exactly the same section of motorway and on a similar day.
Checking your fuel consumption over normal driving, in stop start traffic, over a period of weeks - just tells you that you have had to driven differently.
And don't forget the placebo effect. Robert
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Here is a scientific explanation from a former member who is not longer with us;

This topic reappears every so often, but in essence I'll quote my answer about diesel fuel - and petrol is pretty much the same story:......
And all it proves is that to be able to show any real difference between branded fuels is the testing needs to be carried out under such strict conditions that the normal driver is unlikely to see any significant differences in MPG and where such differences do arise it is more likely to be down other variables rather than the fuel itself. Other matters to do with the wear and tear are a much longer term issue and again difficult for the man in the street to accurately evaluate.

I'm not saying there isn't a benefit to branded fuels, only that its difficult to prove in real driving. Branded claims of improved MPG also come at a premium cost , and its questionable if the economics of the higher cost fuel really work out.

It could make sense to use a branded fuel if your most convenient fuel station is a branded one and a supermarket is more than a couple of miles away, the additional distance to obtain fuel cold cost you more than the premium branded price. Each driver has to do their own sums.
 

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