Improve Fuel Economy

There are two main categories of fuel savings:

  • driving habits
  • maintenance of vehicles / upgrades

First driving habits:

  1. Predict, use your brakes less, and don't accelerate fast. Look far down the road ahead, even though "far" is a city block. Go into the swing paths smoothly and early: Avoid accelerating to get in front of the traffic. Anticipate stops or brakes ahead and takes your foot off the gas: try to crush much more than you brake. Additional stretching distance saves fuel and prolongs the life of the brake pad.

    Remember that the one who leaves the stoplight will pay more at the pump.

  2. Use cruise control. It saves fuel and speed cards. But it's not just for cruise. The "Continue" button can give you decent acceleration without wasting fuel.
  3. Overpressure and gear selection. If your machine has overdrive, use it. If you have a manual gearbox, change early to keep the engine speed lower and always use the highest gear for the motorway.
  4. Slow down. As you increase the speed over 60 mph, wind resistance increases rapidly as a percentage of total fuel consumption. Normally, every mile over 60 mph costs you ~ 1% in fuel economy.
  5. Carefully consider your route and time of day: traffic flow is a big factor.

    For example, say that along your interstate itinerary, spaces between vehicles are on average 3 to 4 car lengths … typical of traffic in many major cities. If it is stop-and-go, the fuel economy will be poor. But if the traffic goes smoothly and quickly (at 60-80 mph), the fuel economy can be excellent: the rushing vehicles create an air stream that dramatically reduces wind loss losses. Up to 30% gains are possible. For maximum fuel economy, follow a larger vehicle and use cruise control. Also think about the wind direction: If the wind blows strongly from the right and you are in the right lane, you will not break the wind resistance from vehicles coming forward.

  6. Plan and combine cases to make fewer trips. Imagine what your grandparents did. Plan Food and Grocery Once a Week to Once a Month: Just make a list of other cases during the week, plan your route and do everything on the same trip. Arrange with other parents to carpool or pick up the kids for you.

    Such planning can work first, but it frees up time, helps you relax and can improve your average fuel economy by 5 to 15%. It can also reduce your average weekly miles by 20% or more. Total Dollar Potential: Save 10-35% of Monthly Fuel Costs.

    How does this fuel economy help? During the first several hours of heating, the engine and transmission do not work effectively. That's why the city's fuel economy can drop dramatically in cold weather, when it can take 10 miles for the engine and the transmission to warm up. Special automatic transmissions can be power mills when the liquid is cold and manual transmission can feel that you are changing into molasses. (Hot / cold temperatures are one of many reasons to use a fully synthetic 100,000 mile transfer fluid).
    So, combining two or three trips into one reduces the miles you drive, and also gives you better fuel economy.

  7. Use air conditioning wisely:

    – Keep your windows rolled up at speeds above 40mph: the air turbulence around the window makes air conditioning cheaper than fuel economy punishment from additional wind draw.

    – Turn off the air and roll down the windows at speeds below 40 mph in the summer heat: the extra draft is cheaper than the air conditioning.

    Fuel economy impact? ~ 1-5%.

  8. Buy fuel wisely. Ok, this doesn't improve your fuel economy, but here are some tips for saving fuel money. Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning fill-ups usually save money: it is usually the lowest prices of the week. In addition, the morning is filled when the fuel is cooler, giving you a few extra cents of fuel. So your best time to fill is – on average – Wednesday morning. Do not empty your tank: you risk losing fuel to the station's vapor recovery system, giving them some fuel you buy.
  9. Use a good fuel additive when filling. Injectors with excessive deposition have poor spray patterns that can cost you 2 to 15% in fuel economy. These deposits are caused by poor quality fuel. Since 1995, the EPA has demanded that all petrol have additive control additives. But about half of all gasoline on the market is the lowest additive (LAC) gasoline, which barely meets the regulation and contributes to excessive deposits.

    What can you do? Firstly, if your vehicle is designed for premium gas and you use it, your injectors may be good: most premium fuels include higher levels of additive that are effective in keeping the injectors clean. But, if you don't use premium? Use "Top Tier" detergent – if you find it – as this new fuel rating meets the 2004 GM / Honda / Toyota / BMW deposit standard.

    If you don't need premium and Top Tier is not available, you probably need an addition. WARNING: There are many Mousey fuel additive products that generate quick sales gains but do little for your vehicle. Find a good that actually cleans your injectors, keep them clean and (for diesels) lubricate your fuel pump. Our website proposes fuel additives that we know do the job with quality, at a reasonable price.

  10. Lose weight! Clean your car's luggage (and maybe the back seat). Tools from the Holy Project two months ago cost you fuel! Each 200 pounds in your luggage costs you about 1 mpg.
  11. Do not drive! Carpool, sometimes cycling or walking, telecommute for part of your work week, or take public transport.
  12. Change your working time to avoid gridlock. Stop-and-go traffic is tough on fuel economy. Arrange to travel to / from the job when the traffic flow runs smoothly at the speed limit.
  13. Minimize idle – idle smart: Motors only need 10 seconds for preheating (30 seconds if zero). Starting up your engine for more than one minute normally costs more fuel than restarting it. So avoid lines at banks and fast food stores: instead of sitting in line, parking and entering. BUT, when you have to idle with an automatic gearbox, put the transmission in Neutral or Park while you wait: this will reduce the fuel consumption at idle by 10-40% depending on the vehicle and the transfer temperature. (With manual gearboxes, use the brake to keep from rolling back – not the clutch. It saves fuel and extends the life of the clutch.)
  14. Park in the shade: The hotter the fuel tank becomes, the more gas you lose to evaporation.
  15. Smart Vacation Thinking: If your vehicle is a gas gambler, consider renting a financial vehicle to drive on vacation. With a discounted week-long interest rate at better fuel economy, rent can pay for itself. If you rent your vehicle, a rental car will also lower your total lease environment.
  16. Keep a log of the mileage and fuel. By monitoring your fuel economy and driving habits, you can see the cost effects of changing your driving style and you can discover the bad fuel economy that is often a first warning for maintenance issues. In addition, when making changes to improve fuel economy, you can measure accurate results (on average, over five or more fillings for best accuracy).
  17. Second, vehicle maintenance and upgrades.

    These areas often fail in recommendations for better fuel economy. It is unfortunate because they can have major effects.

    Most fuel economy improvements fall into two general categories:

  • reduce friction in the vehicle's driveline (engine, gearbox, differential, wheel bearing, tire);
  • make it easier for air to flow through the engine, anywhere from the air inlet to the exhaust pipe.

It is the same areas that performance enthusiasts change to get more horsepower. I talked to a Lexus mechanic who has won awards for his modified 2003 Dodge 2500 pickup with the Cummins turbo diesel engine. He was surprised that with his thousands of dollars in horsepower upgrades he got about 23 mpg even with big tires and higher ground clearance. "Every time I increased the power, the fuel economy improved." No surprise to me: in addition to tires and suspension, he increased his truck's efficiency with every power upgrade.

  • Keep your engine set. If you have a dashboard on the servomotor, you will probably be lit with fuel. Example: poor oxygen generators are a classic problem that can cost you 5-15% in the fuel economy. Overall, poor engine tuning and lack of maintenance can reduce fuel economy by 10-20% or more.
  • Blow your tires to theirs optimally: Higher pressure than "normal". Read carefully. You also need road contact pressure (just above the tread) to maximize everything: tire life, fuel economy, poor weather conditions and best overall handling and oscillation properties with increased traffic safety. Probably over 85% of the car's tires on the road are inflated, and this costs money in fuel and shorter tire life. Under-inflated tires can lower the gas mileage by 0.4 percent for every 1 psi pressure drop in all four tires.

    "Experts" generally define (incorrectly) "correct" pressure as vehicle manufacturer's recommendation. That's what the government says. That's what most service stores follow. Unfortunately, it is rarely right in your and my vehicle tires.

    In fact, OEM wheels / tire combinations exist most Passenger cars and light trucks are designed by DECK manufacturer for uniform wear pressure on the ground when inflated to between 35 and 42 psi [pounds per square inch]: The optimal inflation range is much higher than the recommended 28 to 33 psi available in many owner's manuals or on door screens.

    If your tires normally wear the tread of the shaft before the center of the tread, your tires will be inflated.

    So how much air pressure shall you use? Visit our full online Ultimate Fuel Economy Guide for key details.

    Impact? Of our conservative estimates, most vehicles ride on tires that are 8 psi low and cost about 3% in fuel economy.

  • Look at your tire selection. Replacing tires / wheels with wider and / or longer can look good, but remember that your choice could get a 1 to 3% penalty in the fuel economy … or even more in extreme cases like "monster truck" tires / wheels .
  • Switch to synthetic oils and top quality filters throughout the drive system: engine oil, transmission fluid, differential gear oil and bearing bearing grease. This advice – using the best synthetic lubricants – is rarely heard, but it's a simple area to save money. You save on routine maintenance costs, long-term maintenance costs, time-in-the-shop and, of course, fuel economy. But it is unfortunately not a simple area to understand. Here's a short primer on synthetic lubricants:

    The number of vehicle owners turning to synthetic engine oil has increased dramatically, because consumers learn that synthetic is better than petroleum products in every way, through design. More vehicle owners are beginning to realize which OEMs and quick clubs do not want them to know: that full synthetic can reduce wear in half and exceed traditional oil in up to 35,000 miles between oil changes.

    But consumers do not realize three important things:

    First, that the advantages of synthetics extend to each lubrication area in the vehicle. For example, most transfers fail because their transmission fluid has failed, either because the fluid has not changed sufficiently often or because the liquid is overheating. Synthetic fluid helps enormously to prevent transmission problems, and of course saves fuel at the same time.

    Real Life: My & # 39; Taurus SHO got 10% better fuel economy with engine oil and gear change, my Sierra 2500HD Duramax truck got 8% better fuel economy with only synthetic engine and differential fluids, an acquaintance that took over 20% on a 37-foot gas engine home, and my friend Phillips 1999 Olds Silhouette van raised 20% by switching to synthetic engine oil – saving him over $ 600 / year in fuel.

    In other words, high performance synthetic lubricants for most vehicles are one of the easiest and best changes you can make to improve fuel economy – but it is rarely mentioned! One reason is that it is brand dependent. Most will get 2 to 12% improvements in fuel economy, if they use a special brand of lubricants, but less or no improvement with other "synthetic".

    Other, Not all "synthetic" are genuine PAO synthetics. In fact, most fakes are because the lubrication industry has agreed that it is okay to fool you. (Our site explains how to tell a true synthetic from a petroleum "synthetic".)

    Why do you really need PAO synthetics, anyway? For them to work better than petroleum products in every way – through design – and because they can uniquely save you the maximum amount of money by 25,000 and even 35,000 mileage intervals, while others "synthetic" are meant for 7,000 to 10,000 miles to maximize the profits of the oil company out of your pocket.

    Third, Not all real synthetic materials are the same. As a mechanical engineer who has worked for many years in the automotive industry and done extensive research (see About us on my page), I live in the daily world of real results and have developed some strong recommendations based on data and verification with personal testing. In fuel economy, ASTM standardized fleet test results with a corporate synthetic lubricant in commercial vehicles show an average fuel economy improvement of 8.2% compared to the commercial bulk lubricants. (See this information on our site.)

    Few companies will display legally binding data based on standardized (carefully defined) test parameters such as this, as independent testing on their products will not provide beneficial data to support their product requirements. In comparison, hundreds of ASTM 4 ball wear tests in independent laboratories over the years show that a company's lubricant is consistently designed to reduce friction wear and internal fluid friction losses to a greater extent than most synthetic lubricants. Friction reduction is directly surrounded by better fuel economy and very long-lasting vehicles.

    Do you want data from respected independent test laboratories? Ahh – so you know marketing requirements are worthless! We have comprehensive comparative test data for many specific oil blends, including Mobile 1: ASTM testing by independent laboratories. While all the oil companies are running these tests, generally only one company publishes significant data, while the others rely on vague performance requirements and clear marketing glossaries. Be careful: test results against generic "competitor A, B, C" are legally meaningless. But published / advertised test data against named products is legally binding, with great legal potential from competitors.

  • Improve airflow around your vehicle:

    – Loaded roof racks or load bags can reduce 5% or more of your fuel economy. A cargo shelf that slides into a trailer allows you to carry extra things, still get into your luggage and use less fuel.

    – Sunroof air deflectors can be practical, but cost you little fuel. Removal of the air diverter can save 1/4 to 3/4% in fuel economy.

    – Consider adding a load bed cover, either soft or hard shell, to get a 1 to 2 mpg boost. How about releasing your tailgate to travel, or changing stock tailgate with an "air gate" mesh or louvered tailgate? They are not as reliable: the results depend on the vehicle's aerodynamics, bed length and what you do (or not) in the load bed.

    – Reduce air turbulence under your vehicle: "Offroad" packages with "ski plates" or "Ground Effects" protection platforms can increase 1-4% in fuel economy. The downside? The vehicle can be harder to service.

    – When you add an air deflector to the roof of your truck / SUV, you will add 1 to 3 mpg by reducing the trailer's draft. But it can also reduce yours non-towing fuel economy with about the same amount if it is still on the vehicle when you are not towing.

  • Improve engine airflow. This can be done in several stages of increasing complexity, however first location is the air filter, where the air enters your engine. If your filter is dirty, it lowers fuel economy – up to 10% at worst. However, there is a conflicting problem. Conventional filters should NOT be replaced before the recommended ranges of OEMs or they increase engine wear: they depend on "dust cake" construction to achieve efficient filtration, which unfortunately causes a pressure drop that reduces fuel economy.

    Easy improvement: Replace your air filter with nanofiber filter born from military / aerospace. (Just released 2005 with worldwide patents and reasonably priced.) You get pressure drops almost as low as an oily gauze filter while filtering out 100% of the wear particles down to 3 microns (for real). Clean with an annual crane / shake / vacuum. No warranty issues.

    Intermediate: The next thing to look at is the air filter box design. Many OEM users have a restrictive flow path that enters the air box (to reduce engine air intake, or to reduce water intake if driving through a foot or two water), including lots of internal reinforcement ribs. Certainly, the improved strength of the ribs can allow you to stand or kneel on the air box, but they often cause pressure drops and turbulence.

    There are two ways to improve: an aftermarket influence system, or DIY modifications.

    The best way is to replace the entire air intake box and filter with an "air induction" or "air intake" retrofit system.

    Warning: Oiled gas binding filters will not hold out many wear particles, so they will cause high engine wear. Plus, excess "oil of oil" can lead to reduced fuel economy and warranty coverage problems on many retailers. Choose wisely – go to the OEM certified nanofiber solution if one is available for your vehicle, as nanofiber filters are the best technical and economic compromise between no filter at all and a restrictive bearing filter. The minimum intake selection should contain a two-stage filter with two-density oil foam filter: much better than oiled gas binding. If you can't get at least that in a subsequent air induction system, we recommend you skip it: upgrade to a nanofiber air filter, and consider Change the storage door as we outline on our website.

    Advanced: see our page for these details.

    Our simple, mid-level and advanced airflow enhancement suggestions can make you realize from 2% to a maximum of 8% fuel economy improvement.

  • Improve airflow out of the engine: Install an aftermarket exhaust system. These have larger diameter tubes and larger, less restrictive silencers. My point is not to be higher, but to reduce backpressure losses that reduce horsepower, torque and fuel economy. Because increased audio is typical, and some systems are intentionally designed to be loud, you may want to shop for the exhaust sounds you do or don't want.
  • Upgrade to a more fuel efficient vehicle. Careful. Businesses and sellers want to make money from your vehicle switch, so watch out for your best interests. First, the price is important. You must save one pulp of fuel to pay for a big difference in vehicle price. Paying hybrid contributions to get more fuel economy will probably not start paying back before you sell the car. Second, the reality shows that many hybrids do not live up to their mpg hype. (See ours Surprising comparison in the online detailed version of this, between hybrids and turbodiesel cars.)
  • Finally, be careful in your search for improved fuel economy: don't waste money on fake fuel economy improvements. Many products are totally false or enormously exaggerated. Most companies run around these realities, but I don't. Here's the truth:

    – Most "oil additives" or "metal treatment products" for engines are or will be involved in trials in a number of states. About an oil additive claim a fuel economy improvement over 1%, forget about it. The lubrication engineers explain that oil is a high-tech chemical package, and that if you want better performance, you need to buy better oil. Base your selection on published, standardized ASTM test results. It is the best and cheapest way to get better lubrication properties.

    – Fuel treatments / additives and catalysts? 2-15% gains are available, with the biggest improvements for vehicles with a long diet of cheap LAC (Low Additive Concentration) fuel. Ask the cost against value. The answer is yes to some good, no to some poor, and "why disturb" to many of them. Ask who to trust and examine what you are buying.

    – A mechanical or electronic aftermarket product? Fundamentally, if it does not actually improve the airflow through the engine / exhaust gas, it will probably not increase the fuel economy. Our site has specific "enhancement" examples that will not save fuel.