METALandMIRRORS: Life: Speedometer Surprise - 2016 Mini Cooper S Electric Blue Metallic (Post 4)

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Life: Speedometer Surprise - 2016 Mini Cooper S Electric Blue Metallic (Post 4)

Let it not be said that everyday is a learning opportunity, and this day was no different.  This whole week to be exact.  Before I tackle the speedometer discovery, let me once again provide my traditional MPG report.  This blog and going forward, I’ll provide a more granular and detailed presentation of my data for easier reference, thus preventing you having to read my older posts to conceptualize the historical trend.

Below I provided my monthly raw data averages (remember the vehicle was purchased in April), in addition to graph representations of said data.  I figure this way, the data appeals to the visual as well as analytical minds in one easy to read model that suits everyone.  For the most part, cost per mile is extremely steady, and overall the MPG has maintained an equal level as well. The largest variance is fuel cost, and that changes at the drop of a hat nowadays anyway.  Take a look at the data, an let me know if you have any questions. This is how I’ll present the data going forward.
Now, on to the newest discovery.  I love my gadgets such as my iPhone, iPad, and all the apps I keep on them, as well as all my other supporting gear.  My home is essentially fully automated.  I talk, it listens and all is good.  I like my cars the same way; adorned in technology.  What I don’t like are issues; anomalies, and / or variances in performance.  What I discovered this week was that both my Mini, and my wife’s, are true and constant in the speedometer being off by two miles per hour on the fast side.  A whole two miles per hour.  Big deal or not?  Depends on how you look at it I guess.  Given the discovery, I guess I’m happy it’s shows us going faster than I really am as opposed to the other way around.  Can’t get much in the way of a ticket going under the speed limit – within reason that is.

No matter the speed.  From 10 mph to 80+ mph, the speedometer will measure a constant two miles per hour faster than the actual speed.  So going 10 mph, I’m really going 8mph.  Going 70 mph, I’m really going 68 mph.  You get the picture.   So from a statistical standpoint, this yields a 3% to 20% variance.  Yikes! However, from a numerical standpoint, it’s always a constant and that’s what really matters for me.  I’ve read all kinds of blogs, news articles, etc. that say a manufacturer will not “repair” a speedometer unless it’s over 5% off.  Well, guess that's open to interpretation on what method they use.

The two new Mini Cooper S models my wife and I purchased in April are pretty well loaded.  One thing I love about it is the large 8.8″ display and the navigation.  Beautiful layout.  My discovery of the speedometer was simply by chance.  No need to use my phone any longer for navigation with a system like the Mini’s came with.  However, this past week I fired up my iPhone to launch Waze when leaving work to get a better idea of traffic congestion.  I heard an exit by my home had closed for construction and wanted to get an idea of the traffic for that route home.  Now, this is one area I hope and wish Mini gets a better handle on is traffic reporting in the navigation.  They do say “real-time” traffic updates; however, it just isn’t as dynamic in reporting “real-time” traffic as say Waze and Google maps.  If anyone has details on what algorithm Mini uses, I’d like to know.  It just appears to use more historical data, than true “real-time”.  Just my observations until I get more data or feedback here.

So onto how I validated the discovery.  I used the iPhone 6s, Galaxy S5, and the Contour +2 w/ GPS receiver, along with multiple applications such as WAZE, MotionX GPS, Navigon North America, and Spyglass to name a few.  I also tested the accuracy of the speed measurements using multiple vehicles which included our two new 2016 Mini Cooper S models, 2002 Chevrolet 1500 Silverado, 2012 Chevrolet Equinox, and a 2014 Dodge Ram 1500.  All the other vehicle speedometers in question – excluding our Mini’s of course – reported the exact speed readout as the applications did.  So, given I used multiple non-biased data points, I’d say I’m pretty confident this is an issue with the Mini’s.  How big is open for interpretation.

Of course I jumped onto Google to search on this issue, and of course I found several articles about BMW in general detailing similar issues others were having.  But in the end, it was inconclusive as the dates of the articles were too wide-spread, to sporadic to be any good in my opinion.  So the big questions for me is how big a deal is this to me and my wife, and how big of an issue is this really with the Mini’s?  To answer the first question, not a big deal to me and my wife at all.  The cars themselves are built extremely well, and have performed flawlessly thus far.  I would still recommend a Mini to anyone without question.  As long as the speedometer maintains a constant two mph discrepancy, we’re fine with that; especially given it has us going slightly slower than the actual speed indicator.  If something changes, I’ll go from there.  As to the second question, well, I guess more time and inquiries are needed to answer that.  I want to talk with other Mini owners and get their feedback, see if they are even aware of the issue I’m having.  Next, I want to talk with my dealer just to see what they say.  At this point, I am NOT interested in any adjustments or repairs, nor do I have any real concerns with it as I said above.  For now, it’s just a new discovery in our still relatively new cars.  But given the fact that both our Mini’s have the exact same issue, I’d say there is something there to understand.

With that, I say stay tuned for more on this down the road.  Until then…Motor on!

1 comment:

Catharine L. Coombs said...

My husband always says that with new vehicles something goes wrong. They bad in quality and not all cars can cope with control on the roads. I know one case when, during driving the new car, a tank of gasoline was opened on the moment of moving, and the gasoline was spilled along the street. For anothers all different reasons we bought for our family car of 2007 year old. Before purchase we of course checked the vin code, by the way with good decoder which were helped to us to make a decision between appropriate or not vehicles.

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