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Throttle Controllers: How much do they actually affect your fuel economy?

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  • Throttle Controllers: How much do they actually affect your fuel economy?

    Throttle Controllers: How much do they actually affect your fuel economy?

    So I have one of those iDrive throttle controllers installed in my 120 Series turbo diesel.

    It's got a range of different options including 'performance mode' and 'adaptive mode', but one interesting mode it has is 'economy mode'.

    Now, I've read a range of reviews that claim the throttle controllers have little impact on your fuel economy regardless of the settings, and I would have believed that, until last week.

    So on average, I'm getting about 11.8/100km in my 120 Series turbo diesel, Ironman bullbar, 2-inch lift, 33 inch RT tyres, bonnet scoop, roof basket, for the modifications I've done to the Prado my fuel consumption isn't really that bad, I can't overly complain.

    Last week when I filled up I decided to put the throttle controller to the test, I brimmed the tank with premium diesel and switched it to 'performance 9' mode, now from a technical standpoint all this should really do is make the throttle more responsive, it shouldn't actually make that much of a difference in terms of the fuel that's been delivered.

    Drove the car in the exact same manner I otherwise would, used the exact same roads, tried to eliminate as many variables as I could.

    The needle was starting to get to the three-quarter mark on my fuel gauge, I usually fill up at around three-quarters of the second tank purely because it's cheaper.

    398 km and it cost me $105, the week before that I managed to get just over 500 km and it cost me about $110, and that was with the iDrive turned off.

    So having it on performance mode and eliminating as many of the variables as I possibly could, I lost almost 100 and a bit kilometres for just about the same amount of money.

    Is it actually possible that the throttle controller could have contributed to this? Or is there a more likely scenario?

    Since I last filled up I'm now trying it on economy mode to see if that makes any difference, once again I'm going to fill up at around the three-quarter mark to make it as far as possible, will be interesting to see whether my economy fluctuates again.

  • #2
    I have a 2020 150 diesel GXL with 150kw engine. I fitted an EVC throttle controller a couple of months ago. I leave it on A C mode driving around town because it makes a big improvement to the drivability of the car. I am not doing lots of kms around town so fuel consumption is not my major consideration.

    When I left it on the A C setting doing a country drive with Cruise Control engaged I noticed that the car kicked down to 5th quite a lot, even when going up a small rise in the road. With the EVC turned off while on C C it hardly ever kicks down, just plugs along in 6th. I typically set C C at 104kph on speedo, which my Garmin GPS indicates is actually 100kph. In 6th gear rpm is 1550 at this speed.

    I now turn the EVC off when on Cruise Control to get better fuel economy by staying in 6th. I get around 9.7L/100kms when loaded with all our gear, not towing. Car has stock suspension, 265/65 17 AT tyres, bullbar and roof bars with only a solar panel and a roll out canopy mounted up top.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by DoubleCee33 View Post
      from a technical standpoint all this should really do is make the throttle more responsive
      As it makes the throttle more responsive, the direct effect is to use more fuel. It is the equivalent of stepping harder on the go pedal.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by amts View Post
        As it makes the throttle more responsive, the direct effect is to use more fuel. It is the equivalent of stepping harder on the go pedal.
        Really? So assuming that is correct, does it also mean that the opposite is correct in if "performance mode" increases throttle response but also increases fuel use, does that mean that "economy mode" decreasing throttle response will also decrease fuel use?

        Because I've heard antidotal stories of people actually using more fuel on economy mode, the argument being that it takes longer to get up to speed, thus it uses more fuel in the process.

        And besides all of this, I didn't think that throttle controllers could change the amount of fuel being delivered by the injectors, I thought it just made the throttle more responsive.

        One thing that I do know is that there are absolutely no power gains to be had from a throttle controller, you might get a few quicker seconds of acceleration if you use performance mode, but I didn't think that was tied to the amount of fuel being injected.

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