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Mk3 6-Speed Tdci 130 1St/2Nd Gear Performance?


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I've bought a 2.0 mk3 TDCI 130 6 speed , about a week ago and had the Clutch/DMF replaced. (bargain!)

Then the snow came.

I'm not used to the car but it feels sluggish.

I dont think clutch is slipping. Revs seem controlled, accelerating up hill in 3rd (dont plan to do this often!)

I checked tyre pressure and it was low all round (3 tyres at 21psi and one at 25psi). I put them up to 36psi (Just a guess!) and it seemed a bit more responsive.

I'm not used to the car or diesel in general, is it right the rpm is a bit lower than petrol for a given acceleration.

I dont plan to abuse the car long term but my 1st and 2nd gear seem to max out around 25mph and , 45mph when accelerating hard. I was expecting a bit more from 2nd? But maybe the revs are playing with my mind.

I just want to understand if the Clutch/DMF has somehow affected performance, or if I'm just not used to how this model performs?

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On my 2.2, first and second gear are very short and what you said sounds about right. The rpm on the diesel is lower but they produce alot more torque at low revs compared to petrol engines.

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All sounds normal to me. You can actually set off in a diesel in 2nd gear (even 3rd, at a push - did it in an Astra once when I was still a novice and thought it was in 1st). With a 6-speed, 1st and 2nd are really just for getting moving - rolling along in traffic. 3rd-5th is where the power is at, and 6th is for cruising (though you're OK in 6th at anywhere upwards of 50mph).

The RPM is much lower on a diesel than a petrol. You'll notice that your rev counter only goes up to 5k, whereas a petrol equivalent will go to about 7.5k. Another thing to watch out for with diesels if that if you have the clutch all the way off, and take your foot off the gas at low speed, you'll actually accelerate. This is normal, too - I'm only mentioning it because I've known people think it's a fault before.

My Mondeo is the 2nd diesel I've ever had - the first was my last car (Focus). I'd never go back to petrol now.

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As the other chaps have said, sounds about right

The mk3 diesel engine actually has a narrow powerband - useful power/ torque is mainly between 2k-3.5k / or 1.5k - 4k depending on model euro3 / euro4, pnumatic actuator / electronic actuator etc

the spacing of the gears has to be closer together in the lower gears than a petrol because of the narrow(er) powerband/ shorter "pull" - this "stretches out" in the higher gears at higher speeds eg - it will pull from 60-130mph in top (safely on an autobahn/ on track etc)(approx)(a difference of 70mph) but in 2nd only 15 to 45 iin 1st 0-25 etc

Probably no point in revving it over 3.5k through the gears - if you rev it to 3.5k in each gear, it will probably accelerate quicker

i find for to accelerate "off the line" if i "short shift" in from 1st to 2nd it is better (quickly changing it into 2nd without "flooring" it in 1st off the line) then you can "floor" it in 2nd, then 3rd etc, 45 is quite high for 2nd, i woukd have said 40 is about right

and as bigd has said, it will pull from 2nd from low speed (especially if you are coasting at 5-10mph/ or facing downhill)

Its just a different driving technique from a petrol car - you'r keeping it in a higher gear revving it less and changing earlier - and using the torque

You car will never be very quick off the line/ at lower speeds (so no point in "redlining" it in the lower gears) but is better in the midrange/ at low revs/ high gear on the motorway than a similar spec of petrol engined car

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Thanks all for setting my mind at rest! Had a Mazda 6 2.3 (yuk although closely related to Mondeo) and a BMW 320i before that that would hit close to 60 in 2nd (IIRC might be exaggerating!), so getting used to the lower rpm and the difference in the low gears.

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1st and 2nd also have the torque restricted to limit wheelspin. Most remaps simply lift this restriction, so the car feels faster.

switching off the esp will allow the car to wheelspin like mad

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