Increasing fuel economy can take the fun out of driving. When it comes to fun or food, I choose food. With that said, here are some tips that will remove the fun from driving, but put more food on the table.
Increase your fuel economy by anticipating traffic conditions ahead and do not tailgating the car in front. This can improve gas mileage. This driving strategy is not only safe, but it will also reduce wear on tires and brakes. When driving in the city, nearly 50% of the energy used to power the vehicle is for acceleration and unnecessary braking wastes this energy the most.
Also accelerating quickly causes the engine to enter a less efficient fuel enrichment mode. Longer injector on time adds additional fuel that is delivered to increase the rate of acceleration. In most cases, this is overkill since a lot more fuel than required is actually being delivered. These driving strategies can be considered hypermiling techniques that I am currently practicing and provide more information about.
A few more smart driving techniques are to follow. Avoid stop and go traffic by taking alternative routes or less congested travel paths. Make an extra effort to think ahead and consolidate your daily trips and errands.
Avoid unnecessary engine idling time. When the engine is idling you’re receiving 0 miles per gallon. This will pull down your average daily MPG. Most modern cars don’t need to be warmed up. In fact no matter how efficient your car is, unnecessary idling wastes fuel, costs money, and pollutes the air. Modern fuel injected vehicles don’t need to warm up for more then about 30 seconds. Warming up a vehicle was required in the old days when automobiles had carburetors and chokes.
In addition if you are waiting for more than a few minutes at a drive-through lane or similar circumstance turn off the engine. It is a gas saving myth that it takes more fuel to restart an engine as opposed to leaving it run. This again is because of the deployment of modern fuel injectors.
Another urban legend is doing this will ruin the starter motor. Today’s gear reduction starters require less energy and last much longer then the ones designed in the old days. A few extra starts a day will not hurt it.
Never leave the car idling while running into a store for a quick errand. When the automobile is idling it can run at richer mixture especially if the AC compressor is cycling on and off. Engine idle can be hard on a vehicle during the hot months and is an open invitation for auto theft.
Increasing fuel economy will take some getting used to but changing your habits will go a long way towards this goal. You can go high tech with the PLX Kiwi. It mounts in an easy to view location and gives you instant feedback from your PCM on how your doing.
Fuel Economy and Aerodynamic Drag
Everyone loves to show their support for the local team or home land country. Try showing your enthusiasm for your country or team by mounting a decal instead of a large flag. Attaching a banner to your antenna or clamping a pennant in the window increases wind resistance and aerodynamic drag.
This negates all of the wind tunnel testing the manufacturer paid for by reducing the aerodynamic design of the vehicle. This can have a large impact over time on your miles per gallon. Also on the subject of wind resistance, keep your windows closed when possible.
Your mileage should improve if you keep the windows closed at highway speeds since air drag is reduced. This is true even with the air-conditioning on, assuming the system is in good working order.
If possible try to avoid using air-conditioning in heavy stop and go traffic such as traffic jams or holiday weekend backups. Select vent on your a/c control panel. This provides air flow without engaging the compressor.
Increasing fuel economy means removing any external accessories such as a luggage rack, surfboard or rooftop carriers. These are other items that reduce your automobiles aerodynamic capabilities and can increase your average fuel usage. Leave your vehicle in the same exterior shape that was used in the wind tunnel testing by the car maker. Also replace your air and fuel filter as required.
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There is a lot more information on this site about this subject. This next link takes you to my start page that discusses my opinion on increasing fuel economy. Chevy is having a tough time staying afloat. They’re bringing back the 4-6-8 engine in a newly styled Silverado pickup. Find out how this effects the Chevy trucks fuel economy. Learn more about this automobile website and the creator of it from the Auto-Facts.org start page.
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