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Discussion Starter #1
Just an opinion piece really and one I think will prove popular now the 1st of September has passed and the number of Up's and it's sister cars from Seat and Skoda seems to have leapt up.

I'm not an engineer, and this is my first 3 pot engined car but I've been driving for nearly 25 years and I know when an engine and gearbox is broken or if it's just under strain.

And it's my opinion that the blue trainers shift changer dial and the dashboards gear change indicator should be completely ignored. I'll go further and say that VW should seriously consider an update to the software running it all.

It does say in the owner manual, that a drivers experience should be followed rather than just slavishly following what the trainer says. Well, my experience in the last 5 days is telling me that my High Up's engines sweet spot is 2000 rpm, not 1600 and most importantly, 5th gear should only ever be engaged when doing 50mph.

The first 3 days was me following the Think Blue trainer like a gamer would track the gun sight on COD. The Red Mist was not happy. 5th gear in a 30 zone? So the last two days, I've ignored the think blue trainer and drove to the conditions the car was in. Yes, I've lost an average of 4/5 mpg as a result, but the car is livelier, more eager and more fun to drive.

I believe that the Think Blue's assumptions as to what the engine can do are as a result of what a computer simulation has determined and not what a test driver at VW has found to be the case.

After all, what's the point of getting as high a MPG figure as you can get now, only to find in 6 months you've knackered the gearbox doing so?

But what are other owners thoughts in the matter?
 

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A gear box is covered under warranty! I wouldn't worry about it. Very little chance of VW refunding you the money for the wasted fuel just because you tried to save the box.

Cars these days are built to withstand a lot of stress so would imagine you are doing little damage if any to the car by following think blue. Edited by: Gorms
 

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I understand your concerns.
But as Gorms states, the engine must be designed for withstanding the stress of driving at low RPMs when Volkswagen designs their shift indicator as they did. They now the massive impact a miscalculation can have when the vehicle comes with 2 years warranty.
 

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Optimus Frag said:
It does say in the owner manual, that a drivers experience should be followed rather than just slavishly following what the trainer says. Well, my experience in the last 5 days is telling me that my High Up's engines sweet spot is 2000 rpm, not 1600 and most importantly, 5th gear should only ever be engaged when doing 50mph.

I agree with what you have said Optimus, particularly the 2000 rpm sweet spot. I don't pay much attention any longer to the shift indicators since, in my opinion, the engine seemed to struggle when changing as indicated.

To me the best guide is just to listen to the engine and change gear to minimise noise and vibration - this seems to be about 2k rpm as mentioned. I don't think the few extra hundred rpm would make much difference, over a typical journey, to the fuel consumption figures.

Edit: Incidentally, I've just noticed a 'new' behaviour exhibited by the shift indicators. If you stay in third gear until just over 30mph, the indicator will tell you to change into fifth gear, missing out fourth. It is a pity that the box can't determine whether you are going up or downhill though. It could give more realistic shift guidance if the relevant sensors and software were added to the gearbox brain.

Edited by: luckyjimmy
 

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well, as an engineer, the blue trainer does tell you pretty much on the dot when to change gear and what gear to be in to drive the most economically.

I do however, thoroughly understand how mundane an un-inspirational it makes driving feel. The engine is running at its bare minimum yet happily within its torque band. I personally drive according to the conditions and to suit my mood.

If you feel happier at 2000rpm then do so, yet no two way about it, the blue trainer is right
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Mundane Is the way to describe it. Following the Blue Trainer, I've honestly thought that a stiff head wind would stall the car.
 

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Optimus Frag said:
Mundane Is the way to describe it. Following the Blue Trainer, I've honestly thought that a stiff head wind would stall the car.

HAHA! i know exactly how you feel! I often wonder what would happen should i fill the car with luggage and try and drive in accordance with the blue trainer! stall city
 

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I drive up a steep hill every daywhereIstay in 3rd gear, andthe shift indicator tells me to stay in 3rd gear way longer than it normally would. So it must have something sensing the "force" that the vehicle is subjected to :)
 

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I suspect the blue trainer makes you change too early and that can labour the engine.

When I get mine, I will have a play and see what I can do, but MPG isn't my top priority :)
 

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I've noticed that too, Rasmus. Also, it knows when the engine is cold and tells you to change up nearer 2k revs.I think we've all been conditioned to take cars up to cruising speed as fast as possible and how much time does that save on most journeys? As i bought the car largely for its fuel economy i intend to take full advantage and i'm totally confident i wont damage the engine or gearbox. The up can handle those early changes at 1500 rpm as long as you don't then try to floor the accelerator! Or maybe I'm just getting old!
 

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RasmusTJ said:
I drive up a steep hill every daywhereIstay in 3rd gear, andthe shift indicator tells me to stay in 3rd gear way longer than it normally would. So it must have something sensing the "force" that the vehicle is subjected to :)





The ECU will know the wheel speed, throttle opening and engine rpm etc so will be doing some sort of calculation as to what the 'best' gear is. However, I was thinking more along the lines of the car having a pitch sensor - as far as I know, not many carshave these (I think cars do have yaw and sometimes roll sensors though).
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Maybe the M&M is telling it hill gradients as you travel. The maps on it certainly show them.
 

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I'm not sure how the hill start assist works on the 2013 models but it only goes into action on a real slope, while on gentle slopes the car rolls gently backwards. So I'm guessing there must be some kind of pitch sensor to make this work.
 

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I find it perfectly ok, unless I am on an incline, then sometimes it asks you to change up gear far too soon and the engine labours, so I ignore it when going up hills. Otherwise I think it works just fine for the engine size.
 

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I tend to use the rev counter get to 2500rpm ish and change up dies back to just 2000rpm momentum stays pretty constant, changing down you can tell if the engine is struggling or the rev counter is below 1500rpm change down. The gear shift indicator as mentioned here is only there as a indication but does not take into account the lie of the road, hills, and traffic
etc
 

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yapmaul said:
I've noticed that too, Rasmus. Also, it knows when the engine is cold and tells you to change up nearer 2k revs. I think we've all been conditioned to take cars up to cruising speed as fast as possible and how much time does that save on most journeys? As i bought the car largely for its fuel economy i intend to take full advantage and i'm totally confident i wont damage the engine or gearbox. The up can handle those early changes at 1500 rpm as long as you don't then try to floor the accelerator! Or maybe I'm just getting old!
yapmaul: Agree with you on that one




luckyjimmy said:
The ECU will know the wheel speed, throttle opening and engine rpm etc so will be doing some sort of calculation as to what the 'best' gear is. However, I was thinking more along the lines of the car having a pitch sensor - as far as I know, not many cars have these (I think cars do have yaw and sometimes roll sensors though).
Yes, I imagine the calculation is being made from a function involving throttle position, engine rpm, rate of acceleration or something.


Bugbabe34: I think you're doing it right!



Bluebottle said:
I tend to use the rev counter get to 2500rpm ish and change up dies back to just 2000rpm momentum stays pretty constant, changing down you can tell if the engine is struggling or the rev counter is below 1500rpm change down. The gear shift indicator as mentioned here is only there as a indication but does not take into account the lie of the road, hills, and traffic
etc
It doesn't take a lot of power to keep a car at a constant speed on level ground, which means you could easily drive at 1500 rpm or even sub-1500. You can even do gentle acceleration at these engine speeds in the high gears without over stressing the engine. But you're right, if you want a more responsive car, you need tobe within the torque band which starts at about 2000 rpm


Edited by: RasmusTJ
 

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Agree with most of the OP.

Really nice car and we are enjoying ours a lot. We ignore the shift indicator and do not use the Blue Trainer.

The car feels like a slug if you follow the shift changer. We drive ours fairly hard straight up and down the box and it feels really nippy.

I have noticed that the faster you drive the car ie using the revs up to 4000 and beyond that the shift changer hangs on longer.

We too find that 5th is really a 50mph+ gear.

Fuel economy is not an out and out priority for us.
 

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i think if generally youre just "pottling" along then the gear shifts arent too bad, however if youre in a rush like I was this morning, it definatly stuggles if you follow the blue trainer.

Only once have I ever noticed it to tell me to change down a gear tho.... and it wasnt even going up hill!

On a random note, I think some drivers underestimate the acceleration of the up, like today when at a roundabout an idiot white van man decided to overtake me on a roundabout, in the end litterally pushing me off the road.... the think blue trainer did not like that! So lucky I didnt have any damage that I can see... however Im good at remembering number plates and websites, so his company will be hearing about it tomorrow!
 

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The white van man.... I had another lovely specimen shout out his window at me, whilst cycling home tonight... "GET OVER TO THE KERB" he shouted whilst cutting me up as he swerved across my front.

Who would have thought in all my 30 years of driving and 40 years of cycling I have been doing it completely wrong all this time. I am glad the 'gentleman' in question showed me the error of my long practiced, and incorrect ways, with his font of driving and cycling knowledge.

Here's me thinking, that the current recommend cycling position, of a metre from the kerb was correct, whereas I actually should be riding over all of the drain covers, Tarmac irregularities, and general break up at a foot away from the side of the road, allowing white van man to sweep majestically along the road without us mere plebs impeding his more important movement around the locale.

Perhaps I should valve ridden straight towards the ditch and thrown myself over the hedge to speed his journey ever onwards...

Have any of you tried riding a bike recently a foot from the kerb, not only is this the easiest way to get knocked off as every chancer decides he can 'just about squeeze past even though the oncoming traffic has narrowed his/her gap' but also will result in having severe spinal injuries with the general state of our roads, dropped drains etc!

Why are people so damned selfish nowadays.... Me me me... Rant over as you were guys...

Back to the topic... Two modes of driving, follow the blue, and indicated shift for extra frugal driving, or use your own ears, and eyes (rev indicator) to shift as you reach top sweet spot in each gear... More fuel but so much more fun... Decide on he day (conditions?) depth of wallet which one you want do... Life's too short to worry....

Especially if white van man has his way!
 

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Markmod1 said:
Back to the topic... Two modes of driving, follow the blue, and indicated shift for extra frugal driving, or use your own ears, and eyes (rev indicator) to shift as you reach top sweet spot in each gear... More fuel but so much more fun... Decide on he day (conditions?) depth of wallet which one you want do... Life's too short to worry....
!
Absolutely!
 
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