New 5 Cycle Testing For Fuel-Efficiency

The New 5-Cycle Fuel Consumption Test

If you are looking to purchase a new vehicle chances are that fuel economy plays a role in your decision making. The Government of Alberta has recently approved a 5-cycle testing procedure to be used on all new light-duty vehicles. This removes the difficulty inherent in testing each vehicle on the road, with many variables to be accounted for. This 5-cycle test provides manufacturers with a controlled laboratory protocol to generate standardized fuel consumption ratings that are comparable between makes and models.

Enhanced Vehicle Testing

It is important that each manufacturer tests their vehicles in a controlled setting using standardized protocols. This allows for consistent results that can be fairly compared across different vehicles between manufacturers and the various models. With the addition of 3 test parameters, the new 5-cycle testing protocol is a vast improvement over the previous 2 cycle test. This more precise 5-cycle testing procedure generates fuel consumption ratings that are 10 to 20 percent more accurate than the 2 cycle test.

How The Vehicles Are Tested

Each vehicle manufacturer must follow the laboratory protocol and submit the results to the Government of Canada. Prior to the tests beginning each vehicle is run for about 6000km. It is then placed on a specialized chassis that measures the weight, aerodynamics, and rolling resistance of the car. The fuel consumption rating is calculated by the total amount of emissions produced during the test. The only vehicles exempt from the 5-cycle test are those weighing over 8,500lbs, with sport utility vehicles and vans having a separate limit of 10,000 lbs.

The 5 Cycles of Testing

The first test parameter is city driving. This 31 minute test includes both warm and cold engine starts plus 5 minutes of idling time. A second test for cold weather is the exact same as the city test with the test cell temperature is lowered to -7°C to simulate winter driving. The highway test typically runs around 13 minutes to simulate driving on the highway or rural roads. An average speed of 78 km/h is used with no stops. The fourth cycle increases the test cell temperature to 35°C and engages the vehicle's air conditioning to account for the effect of the vehicle's climate control system on fuel consumption. This test is, obviously, only applicable to vehicles with an air conditioning system. The final test involves the vehicle performance in high speed/quick acceleration scenarios. Also about 10 minutes in duration, the car reaches a top speed of 129km/h and a maximum acceleration rate of 13.6km/h per second.

Find out More at Eastside Dodge in Calgary, AB

Standardized fuel consumption testing allows consumers to make informed decisions before purchasing a vehicle, even when comparing between seemingly drastic differences in make and model. The new 5-cycle fuel consumption testing is an improved method of rating the fuel efficiency of all light-duty new vehicles, and more information is available by going online to the "Fuel Consumption Ratings Search Tool" at the Government of Canada's website. For more information on fuel consumption ratings and how they affect your next vehicle purchase visit Eastside Dodge located at 815 36 St NE, Calgary, AB T2A 4W3, or call our expert Sales Staff at (403) 273-4313.