How can I increase my fuel economy?

Posted by Alan MacDonald on

How can I improve my fuel economy?

Ways to improve your car's fuel efficiency

Concerned with the increasing cost of fuel? We can help!

Gas prices in Canada are about to surge as a result of the change to summer gasoline. The change means refiners must add more expensive components as part of their fuel processing, a cost passed onto motorists. The more expensive blend of gasoline will cost every driver more from April until mid-September when requirements will ease. PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENTS offers a wide variety of fuel miserly products that will not only add more power but help reduce the amount of fuel being used.

 

 

Tips & Tricks to improve your fuel mileage

 

 

 

 

 

Keep Your Engine Properly Tuned

Did you know that a vehicle can burn up to 30 percent more fuel if proper maintenance is not performed on a regular schedule? Do a tune-up, replacing the spark plugs, oxygen sensor and fuel filter. A properly maintained vehicle will run more efficiently and give you better mileage, which saves you money in gas. We all know the importance of regular car maintenance, but for many reasons, we just don't do it often enough.

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Get Every Last Drop

At the pump, keep the hose in the tank until after the pump shuts off to make sure you get all the fuel out of the nozzle. As much as a quarter of a cup can pour from the hose. It's yours, you paid for it.

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Lighten your load

Think about what you need on a journey, if you don't need something, do not pack it. Remove roof racks if not needed, as they create drag. The lighter the load, the lower the fuel consumption and emissions. An extra 100 pounds in the trunk reduces a typical car's fuel economy by 1 to 2 percent. Carrying excess weight wastes gas.

 

 

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K&N Air Filters Cold Air Induction Kits

K&N Air Filters

Replace your highly restrictive paper air filter with a K&N, AEM, Edelbrock or Spectre free flowing lifetime air filter. Cleaned rather than changed; these are much less restrictive than throw-away paper filters, and better for the environment. If you don't want to install a cold air kit, these are your next best bet.

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Cold Air Induction Kits

Probably the easiest modification, replacing a clogged air filter with one of the high-performance cold air kits can significantly improve your vehicle's fuel mileage. The truth is, they do allow engines to produce more power under aggressive throttle. But their inherent advantages also produce noticeable increases in mileage during normal or conservative driving.

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Cruise Control

Use your cruise control whenever appropriate to save you up to 6 percent in fuel consumption on the highway. Using cruise control can improve your gas mileage by helping you maintain a steady speed, but only if you are driving on mostly flat roads. If you are driving in hilly terrain, using cruise control typically causes your vehicle to speed up faster than it would if you were operating the accelerator yourself. Before you push that cruise control button, think about the road ahead.

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Spark Plugs

Change those spark plugs! Performance Spark Plugs

Spark plugs are relatively inexpensive and easy to replace. Platinum spark plugs may claim to last 100,000 miles, but I've seen them foul up at just 75,000 miles. If you're not that handy or mechanically inclined, read some auto repair books or be-friend a mechanic. Improved starting and increased fuel mileage are one of the benefits of converting to NGK, Accel or E3 plugs.

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Spark Plug Wires

Top quality plug wires will reduce spark leakage and crossfire, allowing full coil power to reach the spark plug. Your spark plugs won’t perform their job if they’re not connected to a proper wire set. When your engine starts misfiring, you may want to check for cracks in the spark plug wires.

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Clean your Battery

Corroded battery cables cause the alternator to work harder, using more gas. Have them cleaned as a matter of course with each engine check-up.

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Free Flowing Exhaust

Free flowing mufflers, performance cats, dual exhaust kits all offer improved fuel mileage (if driving styles do not change after installation.) Changing the muffler alone can free up enough pressure on the pistons to improve your gas mileage by 5% or more.

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Stop Idling

Don't let your vehicle idle for more than a minute. Idling consumes half-a-gallon to one gallon of gas per hour and pumps needless CO2 into the atmosphere. The modern engine will consume less fuel turning off and re-starting than idling for extended periods. To effectively warm an engine, drive it, don't rev it. Engines only work hard under load and will warm up much quicker if you simply start the engine, wait for 20 seconds, (this builds the oil pressure,) and drive away.

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Check Your Alignment

Misaligned tires drag instead of roll freely. Improper alignment can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 10%. Inspect suspension and chassis parts for misalignment. Bent wheels, axles, worn shocks, and broken springs can contribute to drivetrain drag, not to mention the unsafe condition they create.

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Computer Tuning

Adding a computer programmer will allow every bit of energy from a vehicle's fuel to provide more MPG. Onboard computers can be tuned for maximum fuel efficiency with the proper Superchips tuner.

One of the functions a vehicle tuner can perform is to increase the fuel efficiency of your car or truck. By tuning your vehicle’s fuel injection, ignition and transmission shift characteristics, the Superchips Flashpaq can deliver up to a 20-percent improvement in fuel economy for diesel pickups, and 10-percent for gasoline-powered cars and trucks. That’s money you can put in the bank!

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Change your O2 Sensor

If your car was built since the mid-1980s, chances are it has an oxygen sensor in its exhaust system. It should be replaced just as you would spark plugs, following the manufacturer's recommendations. This little device trims the fuel delivery and has a profound effect on fuel economy in the process.

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Vacuum Gauges

Proper use of a Vacuum gauge will cause the driver to lift their gas pedal foot and shows you how to drive more efficiently. The higher the Vacuum reading the better your fuel mileage. By applying light throttle and avoiding heavy braking, you can reduce both fuel consumption and wear and tear. Research suggests driving techniques can influence fuel efficiency by as much as 30 percent.

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Synthetic Oil / Transmission Fluid

Install synthetic oils and lubricants like Royal Purple, RedLine & Driven. These will reduce engine friction and improve your fuel mileage. Switch to a synthetic motor oil of the correct low viscosity your car calls for. Synthetic motor oils vary but some companies claim gains of up to 5% in fuel economy just by switching your stock motor oil to their synthetic brand.

You can improve your gas mileage by one to two percent by using the manufacturer's recommended grade of motor oil. For example, using 10W-30 motor oil in an engine designed to use 5W-30 can lower your gas mileage by one to two percent. Thicker oil is harder to pump. This adds to parasitic horsepower loses.

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Removing belt-driven cooling components

Electric fans will replace power-robbing mechanical fans. Replace your old belt-driven fan with a highly efficient device and get all possible advantages it provides. A few extra horses, additional torque, and better gas mileage are just a few...Check the Flex A Lite web site for increased mileage testimonials.

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Digital Ignition Boxes

Provides a hotter spark and promotes more complete combustion, no fuel wasted from incomplete burning. The multiple-spark Digital Ignition Boxes feature provides a more complete burning of the fuel in the combustion chamber, resulting in a smoother running engine and better fuel economy. 

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Keep Tires Properly Inflated: Tire Gauges

Keep Tires Properly Inflated: Tire Gauges

Maintaining correct tire pressure properly sets the contact patch, reducing fuel-wasting drag. Under-inflated tires cause bad fuel mileage - if tires are 8 pounds underinflated, rolling resistance increases by 5 percent. Tires lose air due to time and temperature, so buy a reliable tire gauge and check your tires at least once a month. (Check them when cold, since driving the car warms up the tires, which gives a falsely high reading.)

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Methanol Injection Systems

Decrease your exhaust gas temperatures to improve performance and fuel mileage. More power is developed from a given amount of diesel. Methanol is an additional source of fuel and water adds power via the steam effect. You are replacing expensive diesel with inexpensive water or water-methanol. To realize maximum fuel economy, water/methanol injection should take place at all engine load states and not just at high engine load states. This is the basis for the MPG-MAX systems. These systems have the greatest range of injection (command two nozzles independently and have special mapping that allows the correct injection quantity at all engine load states).

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Pulley Kits

Reducing parasitic engine drag improves fuel mileage by allowing the engine to work with less effort. Underdrive pulleys can raise fuel mileage by decreasing load on an engine. An underdrive pulley is a pulley that has a smaller diameter than a car’s stock pulley. These pulleys reduce the load on a motor. By reducing the load on the crankshaft the pistons are free to move up and down with less resistance. This means it takes a lesser amount of fuel to travel the same distance because you have freed up power in the motor. Usually, underdrive pulleys are sold in kits of 2 or 3 pulleys including a new crankshaft pulley and alternator pulley.

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Extang Tonneau Covers

Extang Tonneau Covers

If you own a pickup truck install an Extang Tonneau cover to reduce the turbulence created in the back of the truck. At a minimum 10% savings, you would save around 120 gallons a year (and many reports show it to be more like 12%). You can see why it would not take too many months to have your new tonneau pay for itself. Extang Tonnos improve gas mileage by 10%

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Related Links

 

Fuel Economy parts available at all Performance Improvements Speed Shops Locations

We can’t fix your car - but we can make it better! The car guys at P.I. have been helping people work on their cars since 1964. Our customer service, 365-day no-hassle return policy and knowledgable counter people have been helping enthusiasts for over 55 years.

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