Where did my 26km go?

I’ve lost 26km!  At least, that is what the on-board computer is now telling me.

OK, here’s what happened: I filled up on Friday with bio-ethanol before I went away for the weekend.  With a full tank, the computer calculated that I had 448km remaining, and no longer 474km.

Now, I know this is only a rough estimate and averaged over my usage, but that’s still quite a leap.

Whilst out over the weekend, I think I may have found the answer: whenever I start car, the air-conditioning automatically switches on.  I compared the fuel consumption figures and turning off the air-conditioning saves about 2 litres per 100km, so if I don’t turn it off every time I start the car, I am using more fuel than necessary.

I wonder if there is a way to turn it off permanently, at least until I want it on.  Or is there a reason to have it on all the time?


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About Graham

Graham Tappenden is a British ex-pat who first came to Germany as a placement student in 1993, returning in 1995 to live there permanently. He has been writing for AllThingsGerman.net since 2006. When not writing blog posts or freelancing for the Oberurseler Woche and other publications he works as a self-employed IT consultant solving computer problems and designing websites. In 2016 he gained German citizenship.


  1. On a per unit volume volume basis ethonal releaces less energy when burned than gasoline. (something like 6%-7% less)

  2. Yes, but I have only ever put bio-ethanol on the tank, so both estimates were based on E85-ethanol.


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