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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How can the driver tell when an All Wheel Drive system is "on" or activated? Is there an indicator light? Is the car suppose to feel different?

Is there any way to ascertain if the AWD is engaged full time? My understanding of the FoMoCo literature, such as it is, regarding AWD is that it only engages "when needed," as determined by wheel slippage. How does one go about determining that the AWD is working properly? Isn't this supposed to be a seamless operation, not detectable to the driver?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Yes I'm curious to. I understand it the same way you do. I remember on our older 4wd/AWD cars we've owned you had to manually go into 4wd with a switch or dial but I thought ours was more advanced than that and was FWD most of the time but could do as you said and apply power to whichever wheels need it. Other systems do this as well but tend to be biased towards the back wheels for better handling. I believe your asking this in regards to it possibly affecting our MPG which is why I would be interested also
 

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[quote author=urnews link=topic=68172.msg1175312#msg1175312 date=1170113769]
How can the driver tell when an All Wheel Drive system is "on" or activated? Is there an indicator light? Is the car suppose to feel different?

Is there any way to ascertain if the AWD is engaged full time? My understanding of the FoMoCo literature, such as it is, regarding AWD is that it only engages "when needed," as determined by wheel slippage. How does one go about determining that the AWD is working properly? Isn't this supposed to be a seamless operation, not detectable to the driver?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
[/quote]


Hi Boz. Your best bet would be to take your car into the Dealership and let them test drive and check parameters with the OBD system (On Board Diagnostics). They will be able to give you an answer very easily, and you are still covered under the manufacturer warranty.
You should be close to your 1500 mile computer check (for your MPG concerns), right?
Good luck Boz. :D
 

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The system works "on demand", but it responds to more than just wheel slippage. It uses throttle position and vehicle speed as well as wheel slip to determine the torque bias. I think it's even smart enough to realize that if your slipping the wheels often, it must be snowing out, so it will increase the rear bias all the time. I don't think there is ever 0% sent to the rear wheels, even cruising on the highway it will send about 5% to the back, mostly to keep out any lash in the system that could cause rattles or vibrations.

Even if it were sending 0% to the rear wheels, it wouldn't affect the fuel economy because the driveshaft and halfshafts must still spin, they are still attached to the wheels after all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
[quote author=otaku link=topic=68172.msg1175509#msg1175509 date=1170121292]
Yes I'm curious to. ... I believe your asking this in regards to it possibly affecting our MPG which is why I would be interested also
[/quote]
Yes, Otaku, my question is primarily mileage based but also because I just want to understand how the AWD system is supposed to work in everyday driving. I do know that the EPA estimate city mileage is 20 mpg for a V6 FWD and 19 mpg for a V6 AWD. I figured -- but don't know for certain -- that this was probably due to the added weight of the AWD unit. There is even a difference in the size of the gas tank, 16.5 gallons instead of 17.5.

Chris06Fusion wondered if maybe our 13 mpg in city driving could possibly be attributed to the AWD being engaged 100 percent of the time. A) I don't know if that's even possible; B) I have no idea if that would affect mileage, but suspect that it would; C) I was hoping that someone on this forum who is smarter than I am and more knowledgeable about FoMoCo AWDs could provide some insight into this situation.

I do know that most of the people who have complained about low mileage on this forum and the other one that I belong to happen to have AWDs. Maybe poor gas mileage is simply a characteristic of the AWD units. If that's the case, if nothing can be done to make the car achieve the EPA 19 mpg, then I will just have to accept it, grin and bear it until I can afford to trade it.

My wife and I like the car, enjoy it, but 13 mpg city, which is 95 percent of our driving, is a drain on the pocketbook that we would just as soon not have. We didn't expect to get 30 mpg, just the EPA-estimated 19.

I seem to recall a forum post from one Milan AWD owner who was getting 20-21 mpg. If one AWD Ford car can achieve that, then surely ours should too. Indeed, the fine print on the window sticker notes that the EPA "range" is from 16 to 22 mpg in-city. Naturally, I would like to see "The Guzzler" become one of those "Lean Machines" that gets the 22 mpg. LOL.

What I am trying to determine is exactly what effect AWD has on mileage, aside from the weight of the unit. Additionally, I'd like to know if there is any way a driver can tell if the AWD unit is working properly. Does only a computer know for sure?

We have a 360-mile trip coming up this weekend and it will include spells of 70-80 mph driving. The car now has 1,191 miles on it so the trip will hopefully help to break it in. The dealer said to bring the car in at 1,500 miles and they would "put it on the computer."

With my luck they will probably adjust it so that I get 10 mpg. LOL.

I'm still at a loss as to exactly how the AWD system factors into the mpg equation but I'd be willing to wage a few bucks that it is part of the puzzle. I believe that you, as an AWD owner, are equally interested in this topic. Boz
 

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Whether the system is sending engine power to the rear wheels or not will have very little effect on fuel mileage. The rear driveline will still be spinning either way, and adding drag to the system. Because of this, the AWD Fusion will ALWAYS be less efficient than a FWD Fusion.
 

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[quote author=urnews link=topic=68172.msg1176623#msg1176623 date=1170176371]
[quote author=otaku link=topic=68172.msg1175509#msg1175509 date=1170121292]
Yes I'm curious to. ... I believe your asking this in regards to it possibly affecting our MPG which is why I would be interested also
[/quote]
Yes, Otaku, my question is primarily mileage based but also because I just want to understand how the AWD system is supposed to work in everyday driving. I do know that the EPA estimate city mileage is 20 mpg for a V6 FWD and 19 mpg for a V6 AWD. I figured -- but don't know for certain -- that this was probably due to the added weight of the AWD unit. There is even a difference in the size of the gas tank, 16.5 gallons instead of 17.5.

Chris06Fusion wondered if maybe our 13 mpg in city driving could possibly be attributed to the AWD being engaged 100 percent of the time. A) I don't know if that's even possible; B) I have no idea if that would affect mileage, but suspect that it would; C) I was hoping that someone on this forum who is smarter than I am and more knowledgeable about FoMoCo AWDs could provide some insight into this situation.

I do know that most of the people who have complained about low mileage on this forum and the other one that I belong to happen to have AWDs. Maybe poor gas mileage is simply a characteristic of the AWD units. If that's the case, if nothing can be done to make the car achieve the EPA 19 mpg, then I will just have to accept it, grin and bear it until I can afford to trade it.

My wife and I like the car, enjoy it, but 13 mpg city, which is 95 percent of our driving, is a drain on the pocketbook that we would just as soon not have. We didn't expect to get 30 mpg, just the EPA-estimated 19.

I seem to recall a forum post from one Milan AWD owner who was getting 20-21 mpg. If one AWD Ford car can achieve that, then surely ours should too. Indeed, the fine print on the window sticker notes that the EPA "range" is from 16 to 22 mpg in-city. Naturally, I would like to see "The Guzzler" become one of those "Lean Machines" that gets the 22 mpg. LOL.

What I am trying to determine is exactly what effect AWD has on mileage, aside from the weight of the unit. Additionally, I'd like to know if there is any way a driver can tell if the AWD unit is working properly. Does only a computer know for sure?

We have a 360-mile trip coming up this weekend and it will include spells of 70-80 mph driving. The car now has 1,191 miles on it so the trip will hopefully help to break it in. The dealer said to bring the car in at 1,500 miles and they would "put it on the computer."

With my luck they will probably adjust it so that I get 10 mpg. LOL.

I'm still at a loss as to exactly how the AWD system factors into the mpg equation but I'd be willing to wage a few bucks that it is part of the puzzle. I believe that you, as an AWD owner, are equally interested in this topic. Boz
[/quote]

Hi again Boz. If you go to the Ford.com website, and navigate to the Fusion homepage, you will find a good explanation of how the AWD system works. There is a fine demonstration of how the AWD sytem operates in all kinds of conditions, from normal road conditions to wet, sand and gravel, ice and snow, etc.
As others have told you, there will always be some kind of drag and mileage penalty with the AWD system, as compared to the FWD cars. It will vary some, according to road conditions and how much the AWD system needs to be engaged (but then again snow, ice, sand etc, will lower the MPG of a front wheel drive car also, everything is relative).
Seriously, go take a look at the website, it is very informative. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
[quote author=hwm3 link=topic=68172.msg1176667#msg1176667 date=1170177630]
Whether the system is sending engine power to the rear wheels or not will have very little effect on fuel mileage. The rear driveline will still be spinning either way, and adding drag to the system. Because of this, the AWD Fusion will ALWAYS be less efficient than a FWD Fusion.
[/quote]
Thanks for taking the time to reply and for the helpful information HWM3. You and BBF2530 are trying to steer me down the path of righteousness and enlightenment. I appreciate that.

I'm beginning to better understand how the on-demand AWD system works, I think. LOL.

I do know there is already a 1 mpg difference in the EPA estimate between FWD and AWD, 20 versus 19 mpg city. I would be very very happy with 19 or even something close to it. Our 13 mpg average is so far off the mark for the first 1,191 miles that I figure something has to be "wrong."

Maybe it's not. Maybe 13 mpg is going to be something that really can't be corrected or improved all that much. Maybe the AWD system is working exactly as it should. That would make for a very bitter pill, but one I might have to swallow anyway -- for at least as long as we own the car, which might not be as long as we initially believed.

As I understand it, the EPA estimates are going to become more realistic beginning with the 2008 model year, that a different calculation method will be used. I will really be interested to see what they put on the sticker for a 2008 SEL AWD Fusion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
[quote author=bbf2530 link=topic=68172.msg1176726#msg1176726 date=1170179595]
[/quote]

Hi again Boz. If you go to the Ford.com website, and navigate to the Fusion homepage, you will find a good explanation of how the AWD system works. There is a fine demonstration of how the AWD sytem operates in all kinds of conditions, from normal road conditions to wet, sand and gravel, ice and snow, etc.
As others have told you, there will always be some kind of drag and mileage penalty with the AWD system, as compared to the FWD cars. It will vary some, according to road conditions and how much the AWD system needs to be engaged (but then again snow, ice, sand etc, will lower the MPG of a front wheel drive car also, everything is relative).
Seriously, go take a look at the website, it is very informative. Good luck.
[/quote]
BBF,

Thanks for the heads-up and for being patient. I will take your advice and try to learn more from the Ford Web site about AWD. But I imagine the question will still remain as to whether or not the system is working properly in our SEL.

Our 360-mile upcoming weekend trip to Purcellville, VA, may provide some additional data for this great mpg mystery. The EPA estimate for highway travel is 26 mpg. The fine print notes that the range for this vehicle is between 22 and 30 mpg. If I get something like 24 I will be satisfied since the car only has 1,191 miles on it at present.

I will give the dealership ("bring it in at 1,500 miles and we will put it on the computer") a shot at correcting this problem next week. If the highway mileage for the trip is decent, then I will wait until the recommended 2,000-3,000 miles for break-in before taking it in for a computer check-up and an oil and filter change.

I realize that I'm acting like a dog with a bone about this mileage thing but it has me dumbfounded and the AWD system seems like a likely candidate for something to be wrong. I really wish there was someway to tell when the AWD was "on" or "off." Apparently it is "on" all the time, to some degree, even on dry pavement.

My impression of how the system works is that it is a power transference system, one that directs power to the rear wheels when the front wheels begin to slip; that this is a seamless process that the driver would not even necessarily notice because it is done automatically. Boz
 

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Boz, you should never know when the AWD is on. The only time you might feel it is in extremely slippery conditions when the front wheels start to spin, then the power is transferred to the rear wheels and the fronts stop slipping. The AWD will also help significantly reduce torque steer. When you're making a right turn from a stop and you hit the gas, what you don't feel is the steering wheel pulling you to the right, that's the AWD working properly.

As for fuel economy, you can forget about the AWD. The 1mpg penalty is due to the weight and frictional drag of the system. It doesn't matter how much torque it's sending to the rear, the fuel economy WILL NOT be affected.

If you're not seeing improvement in your mileage, there likely is something wrong with the car, but it's likely to be something in the fuel/electronics or brakes dragging. Have you checked your brakes after a long drive to see if one is hotter than another. Do you have more brake dust on one wheel?

Over the last couple weeks I've put 200-400 miles on both a AWD SE Fusion and a AWD MKZ and both are returning about 22MPG in a mixed bag of driving conditions.
 

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Really waldo? Cause my fusion awd has about 400 miles and I haven't seen above 16 (freeway) and 13 (city)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
[quote author=Waldo link=topic=68172.msg1177379#msg1177379 date=1170196039]

...
Over the last couple weeks I've put 200-400 miles on both a AWD SE Fusion and a AWD MKZ and both are returning about 22MPG in a mixed bag of driving conditions.
[/quote]
Waldo,

Thanks for taking the time to respond and for your valuable input on the AWD situation. I will check the items you mentioned. From what you wrote I would guess that the AWD is working as you said it should. I think.

Your "mixed bag" driving 22 mpg experience didn't sound all that great to me since the EPA highway estimate for these vehicles is 26 mpg; 19 city. However, that sure is better than what we are experiencing.

My most recent fill-up yielded 19.54 mpg (long division method), 20.0 (car computer) for 280.0 miles driven, but 172.5 miles of that amount (62 percent) was highway travel at 55 and 60 mph.

We have a weekend trip coming up and will be traveling between 360 and 400 miles at speeds of 60 to 80 mph. The car only has 1,191.9 miles on it so this will be a fair test, I believe, even though the owner's manual clearly states break-in does not occur until 2,000 to 3,000 miles.

I am probably just being too impatient, expecting too much. That being said, 13 mpg in-city with no air-conditioning running, is just plain intolerable and the dealer agrees, for the time being. They have agreed to "put it on the computer" at 1,500 miles.

We don't expect it to deliver 30 mpg like the econo-boxes but something closer to 19 in-city is a must.

Again, your post leads me to believe the AWD is probably working as it should, since I really haven't detected anything odd. In fact, it drives and handles like a dream, like it's on rails.

I need to get off my soap box and just enjoy the car. Boz
 

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If I'm not mistaken, our 2005 Freestyle had a button to turn off the traction control and rear backup sensors but nothing that showed or turned off AWD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
[quote author=kivfusion link=topic=68172.msg1204103#msg1204103 date=1171346645]
If I'm not mistaken, our 2005 Freestyle had a button to turn off the traction control and rear backup sensors but nothing that showed or turned off AWD.
[/quote]
Yeah, Kiv, I've got the same on/off button for the Traction Control System (TCS) but its only function, according to the manual, is to disable the system when you want to "rock" the car backward and forward like when you are in a snow drift. It's always "on" by default, as is the AWD, according to the manual and information supplied on the three forums that I participate in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
[quote author=tnoah link=topic=68172.msg1204196#msg1204196 date=1171353342]
If you are obsessed about MPG, you need to go electric.
[/quote]
Or we could have bought an I4 5-speed manual.

I am not obsessed about mileage, per se, just want the V6 AWD to deliver what it is supposed to: 19 mpg city; 26 mpg highway (which it does). I have a gut feeling that this power train is never going to deliver 19 mpg city, but it should because other posters say they are achieving that.

Even the fine print notes that the EPA range for this configuration is between 16 and 22 mpg. 13 mpg is too far out of ballpark to be acceptable.
 
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