One of the issues that existed before the upgrade took place was that the engine types for setting up a new vehicle did not always match the actual engines that were in the vehicles. I understand that the new system is now obtaining the choices from a source used by many of the auto parts sites, and that is a great improvement.
The problem now is with the conversion of the engine types for vehicles entered before the upgrade. I am using the 2014 Chevy Malibu as my example, but it appears the issues also apply to at least some of the other models.
1) It looks like all the engine types for the 2014 Malibu were converted to the 2.4L hybrid engine. This is true even when the original entries were defined as some other type. Actually, it appears that no conversion took place, but instead one default value was used for all vehicles.
I understand the difficulty in converting the engine type to the new value when there were issues with the old value. However, instead of just using a default value of a 2.4L 4 cylinder hybrid engine for everyone, you should have used a default value of "Unknown". Now, almost all of the 2014 Malibu entries have values that are untrue and thus extremely misleading.
As a side note, Chevy discontinued the use of the hybrid engine in the 2014 model year for the Malibu. (There may have been a limited number of carry-overs from 2013.) So, the hybrid default used is an engine almost no one has!
2) One of the web pages available displays a listing of the individual entries for a model year.
Each car is shown in a rectangular box with an optional picture on the left side, a description in the center, and the fuel mileage on the right side of the box.
The description information in the center includes the engine type. Following the system upgrade, all of the 2014 Malibu entries (that have not been subsequently updated by the account owners) now show an engine type of "Eco 2.4L V4". This is just not true.
First, the Eco is generally not available in 2014. Second, there is more than one engine choice in 2014. Third, there is no V4. The 4 cylinders are in-line.
The V4 verbiage is interesting because that is not the same verbiage used for the engine types available when setting up a 2014 Malibu. That indicates the description shown in the rectangular box is not being obtained from the actual vehicle setup.
1) Instead of defaulting to a 4 cylinder hybrid engine type for all of the vehicles, go back and convert all of the engine types to "Unknown". That is accurate information rather than the incorrect default data that was used. The account owners can then go into their accounts and update with the correct engine type if they so desire.
2) Right now, the engine types available for setting up a 2014 Malibu are 2.0L Turbo, the more common 2.5L non turbo, and the primarily unavailable 2.4L hybrid. I suggest you add a 4th choice of "Unknown". One would expect the car owner to know what engine is in the car, but unfortunately that is not always the case. I would rather have someone specify Unknown rather than guess. The 2.0L turbo gets about 2 MPG less than the 2.5L. I would hate to see 2.0L data skewing the 2.5L data because the owner had to guess at the engine type.
3) The engine type shown in the rectangular box for individual vehicles should be obtained from the engine type defined for that vehicle. If the engine type is unknown, which was the case immediately following the upgrade, then no engine information should be displayed in the rectangular box.
4) After the above is done, send out a mass e-mail to all account holders
- Describe the changes and why it was necessary to change the engine type to Unknown.
- Ask the account holder to log on to their account and update the engine type, and any other updates required after the system upgrade.
- Provide instructions on how to update the vehicle data. The current layout is not very intuitive.
My comments and recommendations are based on the 2014 Malibu, but from my limited review, they may apply to most of the other vehicles entered in the system.
I think Fuelly provides two primary functions. One is to allow individuals to track their fuel mileage and cost. This is something I have been doing for years and I would not be using Fuelly if this was all that it did. The second is to provide a collection of data used to compare fuel mileage and this is why I contribute to the site.
The fuel comparisons are only as good as the data. With the now inaccurate engine types, the fuel mileage comparisons have only limited value. There is as much difference between 2.0L and 2.5L MPG data in the Malibu as there is between an Accord and a Malibu. In other words, the summary data as currently displayed, does not have much to offer. As an end result, that means Fuelly has less to offer.
Thanks for considering my comments. I hope you are able to address these issues.
Thanks for your detailed feedback. We will be working on all the engine types this next week. We hope to make a lot of progress to get things sorted quickly and develop a process to work with users to make sure we have the proper engine types available for each Year/Make/Model. Please hang tight and look for updates here as we make progress.
Thanks Andy! I will keep monitoring the progress. As a reminder, please just leave a data field blank or with a value of "Unknown" if the upcoming coming process is unable to determine the correct value for a field.
Displacement notes by users don't match the actually vehicle availability. It would be almost impossible to only avg 22mpg in a plug in hybrid. The entire Fusion Hybrid reports are way off due to a number of users with similar issues.
We just had a team discussion on this and are planning to get the old engine drop downs available while we work on the more granular classification of vehicles. We will not set a submodel if we are not certain so many will be set to "Not Set" until a user has logged in and reclassified their vehicles.
Thanks again for your patience as we move to a more granular selector for vehicle classification.