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Author Topic: Do you use grill blocks to improve fuel economy? Back to Topics
Sal30

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Philadelphia

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Message Posted: Apr 28, 2013 1:40:37 PM

I'm thinking of installing grill blocks, getting super light weight steel wheels with moondisc hubcaps, radio antenna removal and wipers removal if I move to LA. My 15" alloy wheels weigh 22 lbs each but the steel wheels for a 2002 Passat only weigh 15 lbs each. Do you think these mods will increase my epa fuel economy from 28 hwy to 30+ hwy? BTW, these mods will cost less than free if I sell my 4 allow wheels.
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HideMKE
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Message Posted: Oct 23, 2014 9:32:57 AM

no
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dontuknowOH
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Oct 23, 2014 8:52:21 AM

During My early years of driving I did DIY cheap fabricated frontal air blocks, not for the aerodynamic benefit but to promote quicker engine/cabin warming.

The older vehicles had more open areas around their engines to receive much colder air blasts, simply the design was ignored and concentrated on effects to rather cool off those cars, no A/C as we know it in use then.

When under-hood temps change drastically with seasonal changes engines tend to need still a proper balance of fuel for driving/coping with colder starts/restarts. ECM/EFI systems do compensate for the change, but not entirely for the best economy BRrrrrrs of Winter......

Everyone notices that any vehicle when shut off, then quickly cold-downs during Winter, so does the under-hood temps, much different from what is the most economical temps of an 80+* F day(get lost) machinery notices also. Automatic grill blocks to the rescue? HUH-Mmmmmm... YES!
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randy3116
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Message Posted: Oct 23, 2014 5:25:14 AM

no
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BCNU
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Message Posted: Oct 23, 2014 2:18:42 AM

no
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Mikeyy1960
Sophomore Author Cape Coral

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Message Posted: Oct 21, 2014 7:18:57 PM

i have a square piece of cardboard in front of my radiator. and i keep an eye on engine temps. Not with the dash gauge though. have been doing this for 8 years now and i live in s.w fla haven't overheated once...
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hoopitup2000
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Message Posted: Sep 19, 2014 6:36:09 AM

Only in the winter
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oilpan4
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Message Posted: Sep 18, 2014 11:31:22 AM

"but you sure steel wheels are lighter than good alloys - especially by 7-8 lbs"???

If you put new style toyota tacoma wheels on your earlier model taco truck you can save about 16lb per wheel.
I generally don't believe in the lighter wheel swap, but its hard to argue with 16lb per wheel.

[Edited by: oilpan4 at 9/18/2014 11:31:37 AM EST]
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WEDDY
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Message Posted: Sep 18, 2014 9:53:22 AM

No
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contiki
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Message Posted: Sep 10, 2014 7:57:36 AM

Never.........
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DaddyD302
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Message Posted: Sep 10, 2014 1:57:59 AM

no
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WEDDY
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Message Posted: Sep 7, 2014 11:28:47 AM

No
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redfish67
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Message Posted: Sep 7, 2014 11:22:26 AM

no
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Jackson126
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Message Posted: Sep 7, 2014 7:26:26 AM

No
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JoeKing
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Message Posted: Sep 7, 2014 2:31:38 AM

no
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bluebird1
Champion Author Toronto

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Message Posted: Aug 21, 2014 2:32:02 PM

You should be able to gain 2 mpg hwy with several mods...but you sure steel wheels are lighter than good alloys - especially by 7-8 lbs??? My Kia factory alloys (ie. likely cheap ones) are lighter than std steel wheels (ie. used for snows) by a few lbs (14" size).
There are other mods better than wiper removal too. Try K&N filter (may not increase mpg much but at least aid performance without reducing mpg), airtabs (look them up) for aero. & look underneath for aero opportunites too (like back bumper).
As for grill blocks, wouldn't have them in summer unless they are automated to open when engine needs it. Those saying mfgrs using them, they are all tied into speed & the engine's needs too. Warmer day in stop'n'go with perm. blocks could spell disaster. On my commuter car, in winter I block the lower opening to my grill - partly for aero but keeps more sand/salt out & speeds up engine/tranny warm-up & can get over-drive working quicker. Yes, my make won't allow O/D till tranny a certain temp. & in cold winter days can drive the 5-10 min. to expressway & still not be warm enough - till I did this. Dealership said everything was fine & they couldn't do anything about it but KISS method worked.

Also, try syn. fluids - & I mean not just engine oil!!! Better effic. plugs next time you need them etc.

PS: I gained 2-3 mpg on avg on my little car - even more in winter. On vac. trips via hwys I easily get or exceed the hwy rating of my 2004....which means I must have gained something since never do that on most cars.
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redfish67
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Message Posted: Aug 21, 2014 8:56:02 AM

no
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RalphHightower
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Message Posted: Aug 21, 2014 6:26:45 AM

no
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Alexi7
All-Star Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Aug 21, 2014 2:13:33 AM

News to me. I'd think the practice would cause overheating in all but the coldest weather.
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cv
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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2014 5:50:49 AM

I haven't tried that yet.
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BCNU
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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2014 5:28:09 AM

no
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oilpan4
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Aug 19, 2014 11:40:58 PM

"No, it's also not good for your engine if you use grill block."

How you figure that?
If true then why are all the manufactures using grill blocks in new vehicles?
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Awing1
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Aug 19, 2014 3:20:16 PM

No, it's also not good for your engine if you use grill block.
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GrumpyCat
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Message Posted: Aug 19, 2014 2:54:45 PM

I think all those mods will boost your MPG from 28.0 to 28.05 MPG!

Agree LRR tires will do more than everything else you mentioned.

I do put cardboard over my radiator when temperatures are below freezing. Otherwise it takes about 100 miles for my diesel SUV to get up to its normal efficiency/economy. With cardboard it only takes 10-15 minutes.
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BigHorne1
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Message Posted: Aug 19, 2014 2:24:15 PM

no
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PaylessKY
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Message Posted: Aug 19, 2014 1:08:42 PM

No
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contiki
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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2014 7:47:53 AM

Never......
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FarmTech
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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2014 7:21:03 AM


NO
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ace12012
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Message Posted: Aug 12, 2014 3:41:39 PM

no.
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Awing1
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Message Posted: Aug 12, 2014 10:03:02 AM

no
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WEDDY
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Message Posted: Aug 12, 2014 9:46:05 AM

No
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twt
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Message Posted: Aug 12, 2014 4:42:33 AM

Never have.
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BCNU
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Message Posted: Aug 12, 2014 3:22:02 AM

nope
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JoeKing
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Message Posted: Aug 8, 2014 1:18:39 AM

no
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drydem
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Message Posted: Aug 7, 2014 6:36:04 AM

for most cars, when driving under 40 mph - less than 30 percent of the energy used by your car is used to overcome aerodynamic drag and over 60 percent of the energy used by your car is use to overcome rolling resistance - which is why if you are driving under 55 mph - Low Rolling Resistant tires are more helpful in getting better fuel efficiency.

when driving over 65 mph - over 60 percent of the energy used by most cars is used to overcome aerodynmic drag - which is why removing the rooftop carriers can be so very helpful in getting better fuel efficiency at high speeds. With respect to how much aerodynamic drag is created - it isn't just how aerodynamic a drag surface is but how big the drag surface area is. The smaller the drag surface is the lower the drag forces are. Smaller surfaces ares like radio antenna and windshield wipers have little effect on aerodynamic drag unless you are going over the speed of sound.

The biggest hit to a vehicle's fuel efficiency is doing a full stop because all the energy used to get it up to speed is lost - the most important hypermiling technique to learn is Driving without Brakes (DWB) followed by Smart Braking ... both work with any vehicle both work to maintain and conserve a vehicle's mommentum - especially at low speeds.

[Edited by: drydem at 8/7/2014 6:39:58 AM EST]
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drydem
Veteran Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Aug 7, 2014 6:14:52 AM

A 2002 VW Passat sedan is rated at 28 mpg hwy 18 mpg city by the EPA.
........

Grill blocking can help fuel efficiency when the driving temperature drops below 60 Fahrenheit degrees if a conventional gas/diesel vehicle is hypermiled under 40 mph for the first 1 or 2 hour of driving unless the driving temperature drops below 40 Fahrenheit degrees. If the driving temperature drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit - grill blocking helps all the time the temperature is that low. For any driving temperature, grill blocking rarely help increase fuel efficiency when a conventional gasoline Otto cycle vehicle is driven over 55 mph for anything over 15 minutes but may help diesel vehicles when driven over 55 mph if they are driven all day long.
.........

To get better fuel efficiency, rather than spend over $400 to $600 on super light weight steel wheels with moondisc hubcaps trade -- upgrade to Low Rolling Resistant (LLR) tires like a set of Michelin Energy Saver All Season Tires (estimated cost $440+ installation). LLR tires will likely bump your overall fuel efficiency by about 2-4 mpg.
......

To increase your fuel efficiency try driving at a slower speed and select routes with fewer stop signs and stop lights which allow you to drive slower than 50 mph.
......

Another mod that can be helpful in getting better fuel efficiency is a ScangaugeII ($140) which plugs into the OBDII port underneath the steering column and tells you when the engine is running at its most efficient mode.



[Edited by: drydem at 8/7/2014 6:21:46 AM EST]
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WEPSMAN
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Message Posted: Aug 6, 2014 8:32:01 PM

Nope
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redfish67
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Message Posted: Aug 6, 2014 10:14:15 AM

no
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dassfg
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Message Posted: Aug 6, 2014 8:16:37 AM

My diesel pickup has a grill shutter action to adjust to conditions as needed
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GLM4205
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Message Posted: Aug 6, 2014 5:51:22 AM

No
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randy3116
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Message Posted: Aug 6, 2014 5:41:41 AM

no
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nickless
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Message Posted: Aug 6, 2014 4:09:02 AM

no
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jl1rp
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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2014 12:37:50 AM

no
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PaylessKY
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Message Posted: Aug 4, 2014 10:57:31 AM

No
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BCNU
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Message Posted: Aug 4, 2014 1:30:50 AM

no
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jorobins538
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Message Posted: Aug 1, 2014 10:00:48 AM

sounds like a lot of work for not much benefit. How abbout just buying a car with better mileage to start with?
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GLM4205
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Message Posted: Aug 1, 2014 6:05:17 AM

NO
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8_Ball2014
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Message Posted: Aug 1, 2014 3:51:41 AM

no
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GBMAX
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Message Posted: Aug 1, 2014 2:34:54 AM

no
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ricebike
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Message Posted: Jul 31, 2014 8:28:36 PM

I only see grill blocks on diesels. Not on gas powered vehicles
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Jackson126
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Message Posted: Jul 30, 2014 3:32:40 PM

No
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