Five Sure Ways to Improve Gas Mileage
There are lot's of ways to improve gas mileage and engine efficiency
without rebuilding an engine. There are basic bolt-on kits, engine
computer reprogramming, and tools for monitoring and changing driving
habits. These alterations will typically prove a greater benefit
for gasoline engines than hybrids. Improving the gas engine on a
hybrid won't help when it is driving in assisted or pure electric
The most promising products will be put to the test
on the test car, a 2005 PT Cruiser GT.
The results will be calculated, rated, and sorted for best value.
The PT Cruiser is a good test mule due in part to the relatively
average efficiency and performance characteristics. The PT Cruiser
GT weighs a fairly average 3300 lbs., has a decent 15.7 second quarter
mile time, averages 20mpg, and has a lengthy 60-0mph stopping distance
of 134 feet. Various products aimed at improving efficiency and
performance will be tested and measured.
Step 1) Change
The easiest way to improve gas mileage is to change
the driver. Aside from going on a severe weight-loss diet, the driver
can change the way they operate the car (aka: hypermilling). Various
sources claim a 25-33% improvement in gas mileage by changing driver
behavior alone! And the usual gas
saving tips aren't any more helpful than they are obvious. What
a driver needs are some immediate positive or negative feedback
on their actions. There are devices that do this with much more
grace than a mother-in-law.
These driver feedback devices all plug into the Onboard
Diagnostics Port (OBD II port). The OBD II port is always located
near the driver's left foot at the base of the dash on 1996 and
newer cars. All of these devices that utilize the OBD II port can
also diagnose check engine lights. If the check engine light comes
on you can find out exactly what's causing it. That alone will pay
for the product after two or three check engine lights.
Read more about driver feedback systems here.
Like any machine, you have to use it to make it work.
If you're dedicated to the cause of reducing fuel consumption you'll
succeed. If you have a stubborn lead foot and get a testosterone
rush when the light turns green then you should look into changing
the engine instead of the driver. That would be the easier route
Step 2) Engine
Another easy way to improve engine efficiency is to
reprogram the engine computer. This usually requires buying a flash
programmer for about $400 to $600. These devices reflash the solid
state memory in the car's computer with a new operating program.
The program is usually a modified version of the car's original
programming. This enables the car to run leaner which means more
power and less fuel.
Find out if there's a new engine program for your
This may require some support by the supplier or a
tech forum to find out which device has the best program for daily
driving. It is simple to do and doesn't require any wrenches or
advanced knowledge about engines. And the effects are immediate.
Step 3) Improved Maintenance
Did a fortune cookie tell you its time to change the
timing belt and flush the coolant? Before you hand the car over
to the shop for routine maintenance do some online shopping and
assemble a little care package for your car. This web page is a
guideline for choosing the best parts for getting better efficiency
and performance from your car through maintenance. When you leave
your car and keys at the shop, hand over the box of goodies. The
parts are paid for, so all they can charge for is labor and what
you didn't include. You may receive an astranged look from the guy
at the register. But that won't matter when the car comes back more
efficient with better performance. And you'll know that you got
the best price on the best part. If you do the work yourself, you'll
save money on labor if you can spend the time and sweat.
The topics listed under Improved Maintenance
describes how to improve gas mileage by a realistic one to three
miles per gallon by choosing the best engine oil and oil additive.
Improve safety and braking on wet and dry roads by learning how
to choose the right performance tires. Shorten the braking distance
even further by choosing the best brake pads. Choose the best fluids
and pick out the most reliable batteries among many other things.
Improved Maintenance Topics:
Wiper Arm Adjustment
Step 4) Better Performance and Reliability
This is handyman territory. Bolt-ons are aftermarket
car parts designed by enthusiasts who want to make cars more efficient.
Most of these devices are aimed at improving engine power with little
regard to gas mileage. However some of these modifications can improve
power and gas-mileage. That's what I'll focus on. Keep in mind that
improving the rate of acceleration is a way of maximizing the value
of the fuel purchased.
A gasoline engine pumps a lot of air. Oxygen in the
air is needed to chemically react with fuel. If a device let's more
air into the engine it will usually produce more power. Most bolt-ons
improve an engine's ability to move air from the air filter to the
But that's not the only subject covered on the bolt-ons
page. Learn how to choose custom wheels that improve gas mileage
and acceleration! The charging and starting system wires in nearly
all cars is undersized and prone to a five year life span. This
page will explain how to upgrade the charging system wires, alternator,
and battery for a highly reliable electrical system. Big brake kits,
suspension modifications, and gasket matching are also be covered.
Better Performance and Reliability Topics:
Big Brake Kits
Step 5) Build a Better Engine from the Combustion
Chamber on Out
An engine is the heart of the car. It has a rhythmic
beat that gets faster when it works harder. It breathes air heavily
to do all the hard work that it needs to do. The combustion chamber
is the source of a car's kinetic energy. Modifications here will
have the most profound affect on efficiency. However these modifications
are the most difficult to do. It requires disassembling the entire
engine and reshaping the internal parts to do more work with less
energy. It requires a lot of knowledge, experience, and understanding
of known engineering principles to accomplish the task effectively.
This page isn't just for those people building a custom engine,
it's also written for those who want to learn more about how engines
can be made more efficient.
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2009. Efficient-Mileage.com. All rights reserved.