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After the PCM software update/recalibration - observations by Hybridbear

PCM update fuel mileage MPG Fusion Hybrid

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239 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   hybridbear

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 10:26 AM

I am going in this afternoon for the PCM update. I will use this thread to post my observations after the update.


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#2 OFFLINE   hybridbear

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 05:54 PM

I just got home. I took the city route home because of rush hour traffic on the freeway. I'm going out again later tonight and I will check to make sure the update is done correctly with EV above 62 MPH.

 

So far it seems like the ICE kicks on faster when accelerating and that the car is more likely to work the ICE and electric motor together in city driving when the SOC is high. It also seems like the coach algorithim is changed. In the past my acceleration bar has always been right at 100 or very close there too. After driving home tonight it looks to be at only about 85.

 

I didn't get any higher gas mileage on the trip home from the dealer than I expected. We'll see in the upcoming days if this will improve my already excellent city gas mileage. In the past taking the city route home from the dealer I've gotten 65-70 MPG as it is downhill overall. Again I unfortunately forgot to start the Ski Tracks app to track the trip though... :hammer_self: :banghead:

 

Trip home

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Lifetime summary before the reset. We had never reset this before so it includes all 16,366.1 miles on the odometer.

null_zps1223f0d6.jpg


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#3 OFFLINE   hybridbear

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 10:44 PM

Unfortunately I don't see any improvement in our MPGs in the few trips I've driven tonight. I did confirm on the freeway that EV will engage above 62 MPH. I don't notice any differences in how the car drives. I do notice that the coolant temp icon no longer changes color. I don't like this change. I liked seeing it blue when the ICE was too cold to turn off and white when the ICE would turn off. I don't notice that the ICE turns off any quicker on cold starts and I don't notice that the AC pulls any less power.

 

Highway trip, cold engine start, AC used while on freeway and windows down while on city streets. No better than we were getting before

 

null_zps86b475ce.jpg

 

Trip home through the city, also cold engine after sitting 3 hours. Again this is no better than what we'd see before

 

null_zpsb3bd4ead.jpg


Edited by hybridbear, 08 August 2013 - 10:45 PM.

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#4 OFFLINE   hybridbear

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 08:33 PM

So far I am very disappointed in the update. I wonder if it can be undone. I validated again today that it took correctly and the car will go into EV above 62 MPH. I see no improvement in my MPGs, which are already great but other high MPG owners are seeing higher MPGs and I hoped I would too.

 

Pros

  • None so far

Cons

  • Temp icon on coolant temp meter is no longer blue when the ICE is too cold to shut off and then white once the ICE will shut off normally. I really liked this feature because when I was first starting out with a cold engine or in the winter when the ICE would frequently get cold enough to make the symbol go blue again I would use that to control when the ICE would come on to maximize my MPGs, now I cannot do that anymore

Supposed improvements that I have not experienced

  • Shorter warm up time - I see no change in how long until the ICE shuts off the first time. Also, others may have noticed that when the ICE shuts off the first time it isn't quite warm enough to go into normal operation. The second time it comes on it also delays shutting off and the coolant temp symbol used to go back to blue from being white during the EV stretch after the ICE turned off the first time. I was really hoping if nothing else that this update would make it so that the second time the ICE comes on it also isn't delayed in shutting off
  • I notice no decrease in the power used by the AC
  • I do not see any improvement in my MPGs around the city. Trips that averaged 55 MPG before still get 55 MPG, trips that averaged 60-65 MPG before still get 60-65.

My recommendations

  • If you do mostly city driving and don't like the cons I mentioned above much like I don't then I'd recommend holding off on the update for now until it has been substantiated that there are some pros and that they outweigh the cons. Since I do not yet see any pros from this update I am disappointed in it. On the 24th I'll be doing my first sustained highway driving at speeds of 65+ MPH and I'll report back on how that goes.

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#5 OFFLINE   KingJL

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 07:16 AM

So far I am very disappointed in the update. I wonder if it can be undone. I validated again today that it took correctly and the car will go into EV above 62 MPH. I see no improvement in my MPGs, which are already great but other high MPG owners are seeing higher MPGs and I hoped I would too.
 
Pros

  • None so far
Cons
  • Temp icon on coolant temp meter is no longer blue when the ICE is too cold to shut off and then white once the ICE will shut off normally. I really liked this feature because when I was first starting out with a cold engine or in the winter when the ICE would frequently get cold enough to make the symbol go blue again I would use that to control when the ICE would come on to maximize my MPGs, now I cannot do that anymore
Supposed improvements that I have not experienced
  • Shorter warm up time - I see no change in how long until the ICE shuts off the first time. Also, others may have noticed that when the ICE shuts off the first time it isn't quite warm enough to go into normal operation. The second time it comes on it also delays shutting off and the coolant temp symbol used to go back to blue from being white during the EV stretch after the ICE turned off the first time. I was really hoping if nothing else that this update would make it so that the second time the ICE comes on it also isn't delayed in shutting off
  • I notice no decrease in the power used by the AC
  • I do not see any improvement in my MPGs around the city. Trips that averaged 55 MPG before still get 55 MPG, trips that averaged 60-65 MPG before still get 60-65.
My recommendations
  • If you do mostly city driving and don't like the cons I mentioned above much like I don't then I'd recommend holding off on the update for now until it has been substantiated that there are some pros and that they outweigh the cons. Since I do not yet see any pros from this update I am disappointed in it. On the 24th I'll be doing my first sustained highway driving at speeds of 65+ MPH and I'll report back on how that goes.
To each his own... But my letter from Ford implied an expiration date for the "free" update (August 30).
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#6 OFFLINE   hybridbear

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 07:28 AM

To each his own... But my letter from Ford implied an expiration date for the "free" update (August 30).

August 30, 2014 is the expiration. There's still a long time to decide if you want it or not.


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#7 OFFLINE   djminfll

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 07:32 AM

So far I am very disappointed in the update. I wonder if it can be undone. I validated again today that it took correctly and the car will go into EV above 62 MPH. I see no improvement in my MPGs, which are already great but other high MPG owners are seeing higher MPGs and I hoped I would too.
 
Pros

  • None so far
Cons
  • Temp icon on coolant temp meter is no longer blue when the ICE is too cold to shut off and then white once the ICE will shut off normally. I really liked this feature because when I was first starting out with a cold engine or in the winter when the ICE would frequently get cold enough to make the symbol go blue again I would use that to control when the ICE would come on to maximize my MPGs, now I cannot do that anymore
Supposed improvements that I have not experienced
  • Shorter warm up time - I see no change in how long until the ICE shuts off the first time. Also, others may have noticed that when the ICE shuts off the first time it isn't quite warm enough to go into normal operation. The second time it comes on it also delays shutting off and the coolant temp symbol used to go back to blue from being white during the EV stretch after the ICE turned off the first time. I was really hoping if nothing else that this update would make it so that the second time the ICE comes on it also isn't delayed in shutting off
  • I notice no decrease in the power used by the AC
  • I do not see any improvement in my MPGs around the city. Trips that averaged 55 MPG before still get 55 MPG, trips that averaged 60-65 MPG before still get 60-65.
My recommendations
  • If you do mostly city driving and don't like the cons I mentioned above much like I don't then I'd recommend holding off on the update for now until it has been substantiated that there are some pros and that they outweigh the cons. Since I do not yet see any pros from this update I am disappointed in it. On the 24th I'll be doing my first sustained highway driving at speeds of 65+ MPH and I'll report back on how that goes.

Am I missing something? You have been getting 50-60+ mpg. Why are you disappointed? Other than the temp meter, nothing seems to be worse, and you do get EV power at over 62mph.

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#8 OFFLINE   hybridbear

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 07:44 AM

Am I missing something? You have been getting 50-60+ mpg. Why are you disappointed? Other than the temp meter, nothing seems to be worse, and you do get EV power at over 62mph.

I guess my standards are really high. I was hoping to see our city MPG increase even more by decreasing the time that the ICE runs upon start up. The first .75-1 miles of any trip with a cold ICE average about 20 MPG. To get a trip to average 60+ MPG over 6-7 miles that means that the next 5-6 miles must be really efficient. I was hoping to see the first 1 mile have better fuel economy now which would increase overall trip fuel economy. So far I have seen no change in how the car behaves during that first 1 mile with a cold engine and thus no improvements in my fuel economy. Since Jeff, acdii and others who get good gas mileage reported seeing improvements with the update I decided to go ahead and get it done now rather than waiting for my next oil change in 6-10 months. I also wanted it done before winter. And I wanted to do it at an oil change since the update resets the Regen miles and Brake Score I planned to reset the Lifetime Summary at the same time as the update. And I didn't want to reset my Lifetime stats other than at an oil change because in my maintenance log I track how many miles are on the ICE at each oil change in addition to odometer miles.

 

I guess I'm just OCD about the car like others have commented.

 

And I'm still not convinced that EV above 62 MPH is a good idea. On our California road trip we drove mostly 60 MPH for good fuel economy (because I didn't know about ICE high back then). Then on our Canada road trip we drove maybe 60% at 65 MPH and 25% at 70 MPH and 15% at 75 MPH and got basically the same gas mileage. If the car can do as well in ICE High on road trips at 65 MPH as it does cycling EV at 60 MPH this infers that 65 MPH with EV cycling will be worse than ICE High over long distances. I believe Ford is here sacrificing long distance fuel economy on the highway to appease ppl complaining about their poor fuel economy driving less than 40 miles on the freeway at speeds above 62 MPH. In my experience it takes at least 40 miles in ICE High mode to get close enough to the limit (as described by alpha) where ICE High is better than EV cycling. Having EV cycle at higher speeds is only beneficial on short distance high speed trips. Long distance high speed trips will be penalized I think by this update unless the car will still do ICE High rather than EV cycling under most circumstances. But I don't believe that they have programmed the EV threshhold to be really low so this means that long distance highway fuel economy will likely be lower. Over 60-90 mile highway drives I could regularly get 47+ MPG with AC going 65 MPH. I have my doubts about how well those same trips will do now.


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#9 OFFLINE   corncobs

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 07:55 AM

Am I missing something? You have been getting 50-60+ mpg. Why are you disappointed? Other than the temp meter, nothing seems to be worse, and you do get EV power at over 62mph.


I was a little shocked when I read the summary but changing the temp meter color seems a bit odd I agree. Maybe just maybe they changed the range when it's blue so right now with normal temps outside it doesn't turn blue but in winter it will.

As far as the MPG improvements go yes no one has seen a 10 MPG spike but people are able to drive faster on the highway and still getting the same MPG. Since you HB are the master in city driving I believe there is nothing a PCM update could have done to improve in on it but it might make it easier for am hybrid "apprentice" to achieve better MPG.
I think if you have below EPA numbers you will see improvements if you already had above and beyond EPA the improvements aren't as prominent.

On the short distance mileage I was hoping for more but I also found that I have to control myself more when accelerating. Since the HVB will charged with harder accel than before which is kinda nice but still hurts the MPG because I'm not as careful as I used to be while accelerating.

The real test I think will come when temps starting drop and I'm hopeful we are going to see better result over winter than last year.

I hope I didn't hijack your thread too much. ;-)
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#10 OFFLINE   corncobs

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 08:07 AM

...
Long distance high speed trips will be penalized I think by this update unless the car will still do ICE High rather than EV cycling under most circumstances. But I don't believe that they have programmed the EV threshhold to be really low so this means that long distance highway fuel economy will likely be lower. Over 60-90 mile highway drives I could regularly get 47+ MPG with AC going 65 MPH. I have my doubts about how well those same trips will do now.

I stated this somewhere else already but I was most concerned about the EV cycling in and out bringing the overall FE down but that doesn't seem to be the case. It only goes into EV @ 65 MPH on "downhill" (or reducing ECC set point) where very little power is required not draining the HVB too fast. As soon there is more power required the ICE kicks back in with a still high SOC.

We are going on another road trip next weekend towards Atlanta GA and Charlston SC that should provide some good comp data while driving thru Indiana.

Edited by corncobs, 10 August 2013 - 08:09 AM.

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#11 OFFLINE   djminfll

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 08:20 AM

We are taking a one-day round trip drive from Fort Lauderdale to Cape Coral FL tomorrow, approximately 150 miles each way, mostly on flat highway. I am going to set ACC on 65 going, and 70 coming back. AC will be on 73, low fan speed. I'll post results tomorrow night.
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#12 OFFLINE   jeff_h

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 09:37 AM

Hybridbear - I wonder if you will think differently about the PCM update when it gets cold again?  With the warmer weather you are seeing really good MPG, but last winter it was far lower for you - I think you have some results from last winter (based on past posts) so should be able to have a good comparison. 


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#13 OFFLINE   hybridbear

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 09:42 AM

Hybridbear - I wonder if you will think differently about the PCM update when it gets cold again?  With the warmer weather you are seeing really good MPG, but last winter it was far lower for you - I think you have some results from last winter (based on past posts) so should be able to have a good comparison. 


That's what I'm waiting to find out. In the winter we averaged about 40 MPG only. I expect better this winter just from our improved hybrid driving skills though too.
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#14 OFFLINE   djminfll

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 04:01 PM

Just to post the good AND the bad, I went to see dad today, approximately 19 miles each way.
On the trip there, I took I-95, set the ACC on 65, then took surface streets at 45 mph, made almost every light. 62mpg!!!! Why didn't I have my phone to take a pic??
Coming home, took alt route, all highway, ACC set to 70, only got 37.9mpg.
Lets see what happens on the road trip tomorrow!
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#15 OFFLINE   acdii

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 10:05 PM

I agree with CC on this one. If you are already exceeding EPA  like HB and a few others do, the update wont have much impact for them, but for those of us whose trips are of the kind that are difficult to achieve stellar performance, it will help.   This is what I am seeing in mine from the update.  I really dont think it will improve anything when the engine is stone cold, but I have noticed that it doesnt kick on right away like it used to. I can now actually deplete my battery when I leave in the morning, which gets me about a 1/2 mile from the house before ICE kicks on, and it will shut down at the first stop sign, where it usually ran when I got there, even when it was warm out.  So far I have noticed a huge difference on the Interstate from before. I also am finding it easier to drive now.

 

With the grill cover on this winter, I am hoping the warmer running ICE will help get much better MPG than that other car did with them.


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#16 OFFLINE   rjent

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 11:48 PM

I for one am thrilled with the improvement.  The above sixty two for me in hilly terrain is a huge help.  Too early to tell yet for sure, but I think I am seeing at least 3 MPG improvement.  I no longer have the 2 mile morning commute, so I can't test that regularly, but so far I think it has helped me a lot.

 

JMHO


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#17 OFFLINE   clummus

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 05:07 PM

No change for me. still 32 mpgs. not happy.

#18 OFFLINE   djminfll

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 07:25 PM



We are taking a one-day round trip drive from Fort Lauderdale to Cape Coral FL tomorrow, approximately 150 miles each way, mostly on flat highway. I am going to set ACC on 65 going, and 70 coming back. AC will be on 73, low fan speed. I'll post results tomorrow night.

OK, so we did the one-day trip - good news and bad news:

 

1. On the way there, I set the ACC at 65mph, A/C set at 73F fan on low, trip was about 80% highway, then local streets at speed limits (30-50mph). 47.5mph - it was locked on 47mpg until I got off the freeway, then it went up to 47.5

IMG_0930_zpse803ceb1.jpg

 

2. Coming home, the exact same trip in reverse, but the highway miles were set at 70mph. I bumped it up to 75mph twice to pass a slow moving car, but other than that it was a straight 70mph.  38.7 mpg. Could the 5mph increase have that negative effect on mpg? I figured a couple of mpg difference, but 9mpg?

IMG_0935_zpsdf61d002.jpg

 

3. After I got home, I went to take our new dog to the park for the first time, since she was left alone for 8 hours for the first time today. The dog park is 6.5 miles from the house, surface streets at 40mph, only a few red lights - going out, I got 52.5, coming home 49.2 (I left my phone home so couldn't take pics.)

 

CONCLUSION: The software update improved the city mpg, but highway mpgs have not really improved much. I was really hoping to be in the 50's on this trip, at least on the outbound half.


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#19 OFFLINE   dalesky

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 08:35 AM

My perspective is that Ford has set this car up to look like it gets great EPA numbers, which it does, but which are not necessarily real world figures. I know that is the way of the world right now for any U.S. car manufacturer.

Going in, I did not expect to get 47/47 all day any day. With a couple of months on the car, NO problems or complaints, no defects, mileage lifetime just under 40 for mostly city driving, AND great AC here in the very humid south, I am extremely happy.

Some days I get well over 40 MPG, some just under 40. Once in a while closer to 50. Gas prices are basically no longer of much concern to me, unless I am hot footing the Mustang of course. 

I am seeing what I expected, usually more, driving a car that exceeds my expectations in almost every area, and think it is the best looking family sedan available. 

Whether the update makes any difference other than being able to engage EV at over 62 MPG is of little to no importance to me. Not to take anything away from anyone else here, believe me. I like this blurb I read from the ExtremeTech site:

 

 If Ford seems like it’s getting a disproportionate amount of bad publicity for its hybrids and infotainment systems, there’s a reason: Ford is pushing harder than any other US automaker to redefine the car and the driving experience, especially in making entertainment and navigation useful and affordable. Ford Sync and MyFord Touch are tougher to learn than Ford engineers believe, but once you’re past the learning curve, no US automaker offers more good stuff such as two USB jacks and free emergency crash notification using your cellphone.

With hybrids, it’s easy to get low mileage because hybrids demand good driving habits, in particular steady starts and light braking. Brake too hard or too late and the regeneration system can’t turn as much kinetic (moving) energy into power in the battery.

Keeping that in mind, to reiterate, I am not feeling let down by the mileage. I like the challenge of driving smarter not harder, and the anticipation of turning off the car and seeing what my trip mileage was. 

This forum has some great members, great advice, passionate postings and true love for members cars. Is there more you can ask for?

Post-update, I will track mileage and report, as many others have. I don't expect much, so I probably won't be disappointed.


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#20 OFFLINE   acdii

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  • My Hybrid's Year:2013

Posted 12 August 2013 - 08:58 AM

Great Post dalesky!    Great summary of Hybrid driving too. You can't learn to drive one of these overnight and expect 47 out of the box, you have to work at it and learn the intricacies of how it works. Once you understand that, then the rest falls into place.  

 

I have found that you do have to accelerate at a certain rate for it to do well. Too slow or too fast and it bombs, and braking on THIS hybrid is the KEY to great MPG. Unlike all the other Hybrids, this one needs its braking  to be just right or MPG will suffer. The lower your brake score, the lower your FE, its as simple as that.  I find that if I accelerate at or around 2 KW whether its a little above or a little below, I am staying at EPA on my daily drives now.  I also found using ICE for accelerating instead of EV, except for the first few feet of rollout from a stop I am doing better too.  Get up to speed at a reasonable pace and switch to EV.  

 

I have driven Hybrids since 2007, and always did good in them, considering my daily drive for the past 12 years has been over roads that are not good for MPG, as there are a lot of hills and stops and mostly on 55 MPH roads. In the new FFH I had to relearn some techniques because of the way it uses EV, where in the other cars, at 55 MPH I could feather the throttle and get it in the 40's all the time, I had to change the way I drove. It didn't take very long, maybe a week to understand the differences, but it made a big difference. One other side effect, my driving in other cars shows me getting above average MPG. 21 MPG in a 365HP AWD box, is not bad at all, considering the first one I had I only got 18 in. 

 

I also notice that I pay more attention to what others are doing and think, man what a bunch of Walters!  Racing to a red light gets you no where quicker, it just wastes gas.   Drive Smarter, Not Faster!   

 

Even though I had problems with the first one I got and took a loss on it, I still felt that Ford made an exceptional car, and I gave it a second chance, and so glad I did, because it does live up to the claims. 


  • hybridbear, MXGOLF, rjent and 5 others like this
Drive Smarter, Not Faster

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