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Author Topic: Modifications to increase MPG Back to Topics
AustinLee3

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Tennessee

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Message Posted: Feb 8, 2014 5:47:43 PM

Does anybody know of any modifications that you can do to your vehicle that could increase your fuel economy?
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bluebird1
Champion Author Toronto

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2015 10:52:48 PM

Read Houkster...he's right. Modern cars with their sophistication & efficiency is hard to increase mpg or even the usable power...as things like cat-back exhaust, headers & intake systems often only increase performance in ranges you won't use on the road trying to save gas. Even simple changes like low resistance air filters help perf. but found doesn't help mpg - but I still use them because it is marginally better perf. with low to 0 impact on mpg.
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dontuknowOH
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2015 7:36:53 AM

By DIYing some ideas on My work vehicles during past years, I then realized that there was some, maybe many improvements one can make for shorting the warm-up intervals of most vehicle engines and improve cabin comfort.

I have always realized that high wind blasts of cold air streams when Winter season came about, those temps/blasts effected other devices to gain ground trying to bring any heat source to the rescue.

I then thought about the ability of shinny aluminum foil having the ability to reflect radiant heat light waves from any source. Wrapping hot food in foil wrap to retain the temps, then adding foam as a container around the foil as for extra containment.

When I decided to wrap My vehicles heater coolant hoses, it was done on an older truck that had a belt driven radiator fan, no clutch, no electric triggered fan system, but a constant air blast type fan, producing wind blasts always when the engine runs.

Those air blasts were present anytime the engine was running, also fighting the energy purpose of warm up, rather defeating the fuel energy source to produce heat and propel My vehicle every time I started the engine. The main thing is that the colder the day, the more those fans had a greater % of stretching the delay to reach good operation temps.

That stretching becomes fuel increased costs, repeated, many times, each restart, or cold start Fall, winter, Spring less during Summer. The later model vehicles with high tech fan systems even benefited but a small percentage less.

Still works for Me as a mild mod on later vehicles to wrap My heater hoses, both. HAGD!
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hoopitup2000
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2015 6:37:41 AM

Keep those tires pumped up & adjust the nut behind the wheel
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drydem
Veteran Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Apr 13, 2015 8:59:41 PM

Other than switching to Low Rolling Resistant tires...

If you own a Prius and drive in cold temperatures - you can install a 400w engine block heater and pre-heat the gas engine coolant for about 40 minutes before driving it. It will bump a Prius' fuel efficiency up from 15% to 30% in the wintertime.

Tint your windows so your air conditioner doesn't have work as hard during the summer time.

You can use synthetic oil and 100% gas instead of 10% ethanol gasohol.

a Linear Logic Scangauge II can help a driver hypermile.

I haven't found Garmin's GPS Nav unit Eco options to be that useful.

Some convert their Prii into a PHEV...but those after market
Li-ion batteries need replacing after 5 to 8 years...



[Edited by: drydem at 4/13/2015 9:03:34 PM EST]
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hoopitup2000
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Apr 10, 2015 6:11:32 PM

Grill blocks work for me. No tanks below 40 MPG all winter in my 05 Corolla. Not bad considering the EPA rates the car 27 City/35 Hwy. Previous winters have only yielded mid to upper 30s with the same car.
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PhilnTX
All-Star Author Dallas

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Message Posted: Apr 10, 2015 10:53:51 AM

http://ecomodder.com/
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Houckster
Champion Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Apr 10, 2015 10:13:16 AM

In general unless one wants to spend a lot of money, it is best to buy a car that has high fuel efficiency rather than try to upgrade one that has low gas mileage. The OEMs get mileage increases because the entire engine system is designed with better efficiency in mind. That's beyond the skills of the vast majority of people and it's almost certain that the required investment will never be offset by gas savings.

The days of the bolt-on improvement are pretty much over because emission standards have required the OEMs to build more efficiently than they once did. Any improvement from add-on stuff like headers and intake systems will produce very little in fuel efficiency and will provide more power only at engine speeds far beyond what's required on the road, especially for people who want the most miles per gallon from their cars.

[Edited by: Houckster at 4/10/2015 10:14:42 AM EST]
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LanguageMan1
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Apr 8, 2015 7:35:58 PM

Yes, and I'll post a few when I have time and when I'm not so tired.
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PaylessKY
Champion Author Kentucky

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Message Posted: Mar 30, 2015 5:36:13 PM

Keep it original and maintained.
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bcfos
Rookie Author Birmingham

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Message Posted: Mar 30, 2015 2:27:45 PM

I have a 6.7 Cummins in my Dodge. From the factory I was struggling to get 15 mpg on the highway empty (not towing anything). I changed out the air intake, Deleted the DPF and EGR, added 250 hp injectors, Opened up the exhaust with a free flowing 5 inch pipe, added a new inter cooler and larger turbo, and a Mini-Maxx programmer with a custom tune. Now 27 mpg on the highway empty (in economy mode) is common and 21 towing the boat (15,890 pounds) I get 20 mpg. Never would have thought adding over double the hp to the wheels would equate to bedder mpg but it did. It will dip down to 9 mpg on level 5 with my foot in it hard but for everyday non bat outta hell driving it does a lot better.
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twt
Champion Author Virginia Beach

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Message Posted: Mar 30, 2015 9:17:35 AM

Keep your tires, properly inflated.
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hoopitup2000
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Mar 30, 2015 6:46:23 AM

"In certain situations using cruise control can actually hurt gas mileage."

This is true, cruise is more often a convenience than a fuel saver. Bleeding off a little speed when climbing hills is the best approach where possible. Cruise control won't let that happen.
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Ratso
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Mar 30, 2015 6:41:39 AM

I've been told that changing your computer chip can help some....I don't know though, I haven't really heard that it changes your MPG enough to cover the cost of the chip & installation ( if you have to have it done for you ) ...
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GLM4205
Champion Author Toledo

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Message Posted: Mar 30, 2015 5:42:37 AM

None
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GMGuy65
Rookie Author Kansas

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Message Posted: Mar 30, 2015 12:14:19 AM

In certain situations using cruise control can actually hurt gas mileage. the best thing for mileage is to learn how to drive properly.

No jackrabbit starts, let off the gas early when you see a red light, slowly coming up to it. If it turns green before you stop, you save gas, as you are already rolling.

On vehicles with poor aerodynamics, improving the aerodynamics helps. For example, on my 3/4 ton pickup truck, I added an airdam off a half ton pickup truck of the same body style, and was able to pick up a slight increase in fuel economy.

Paying attention to configuration and specifications when buying a car helps immensely. I buy 2wd manual transmission pickup trucks, as they can get much better mpg over an automatic 4wd pickup truck.

Everything adds up!
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twt
Champion Author Virginia Beach

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Message Posted: Mar 29, 2015 5:24:07 AM

Use Cruise control.
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riders49
Rookie Author Manitoba

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Message Posted: Mar 28, 2015 6:03:47 PM

Can't modify your vehicle, but you can modify the driver. Check out "ecomodder.com", over 100 tips on hypermiling to save fuel consumption. It works, I save 20 to 25% of my fuel costs. From overinflated tires to driving consistently and slower.
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dontuknowOH
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Mar 28, 2015 12:43:50 PM

This is only a thought; I do believe that a custom type of Go pedal could be designed for varying the resume rate interval of each slow down circumstance in traffic. Saying when in automatic mode The engine throttle would be advanced at a dampened rate when the resume force would be reapplied by the driver to bring currant desired travel speed back to the nominal set choice/permitting.

Of course an override circuit could instantly eliminate a hazard, maybe if hard acceleration was needed in traffic. The damper action would simply act similar to a door closer only working in reverse fashion, between the go pedal/throttle for an economy energy savings. The results would be gained by lowering resume interval G-force rates to gradual..... A thought.
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GLM4205
Champion Author Toledo

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Message Posted: Mar 27, 2015 3:49:36 PM

No
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PaylessKY
Champion Author Kentucky

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Message Posted: Mar 27, 2015 2:32:41 PM

Keep it original and serviced.
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Hemond
Champion Author Providence

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Message Posted: Mar 27, 2015 1:27:03 PM

QUOTE ::::I guess GM, Ford & Chrysler--among others are just trying to pull a fast one on us since this doesn't work.::::


Those are your words not mine, your words are the exact opposite of what I said.


If the auto engineers are designing shutters into the leading edge bodywork of their vehicles, then they are testing them on the bench, on the dyno, on the track, and on the computer. They are not simply buying some 3rd party kit and fitting it behind the grille. Such devices are built to design specs, not slapped on haphazardly by backyard tinkerers after buying from some nitwit web site.

The goal is to streamline the front end to reduce coef. of drag and at the same time provide for air flow to the radiator. This is not done with products promoted by Green Car Reports. Those products are a nightmare in waiting which will likely destroy the engine.


3rd party shutters do not streamline, they increase drag, are prone to failure, and are an unknown as to reliability.
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Hemond
Champion Author Providence

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Message Posted: Mar 27, 2015 1:17:08 PM

QUOTE ::::I guess you will disagree with this too;::::


Anything from radical left wing enviro groups like Green Car Reports is highly suspect. In this case the aftermarket supplier of automatic shutters they are promoting has stated,

"...in cold weather, our shutters help the engine warm faster".

That statement cinches it, they are utterly corrupt and looking to fleece suckers into buying their product. The fact is engine temp is controlled by the thermostat, not by blocking air into the radiator.


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hoopitup2000
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Mar 27, 2015 9:31:03 AM

"Essentially a way to boost fuel economy at higher speeds, ACTIVE GRILL SHUTTERS are now being used by GM, Ford, and Chrysler--among others--to give GAS MILEAGE BOOSTS to their highest-efficiency models."So I guess GM, Ford & Chrysler--among others are just trying to pull a fast one on us since this doesn't work.
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hoopitup2000
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Mar 27, 2015 7:40:09 AM

I guess you will disagree with this too;

Courtesy of Green car reports--"Over the past few years, more automakers than ever have started to promote something called active shutter grille vents.

Essentially a way to boost fuel economy at higher speeds, active grill shutters are now being used by GM, Ford, and Chrysler--among others--to give gas mileage boosts to their highest-efficiency models.

But what are active shutter grille vents, and how do they work?

In a conventional, front-engined, water-cooled, gasoline car, air is drawn through the grille and into the engine bay, either sucked in by the radiator fan, or forced in by the movement of the car through the air.

The majority of that air then passes through the fins of the radiator located directly behind the grille, helping cool down the coolant within, which in turn keeps the engine cool.

Unless that engine is working extremely hard, or is in a hot climate, however, there is often more air entering the engine bay than is needed to keep the engine cool.

Moreover, that unnecessary air entering the engine bay can add significant aerodynamic drag to the car, increasing the amount of energy needed to move it along and thus decreasing gas mileage.

The higher the speed, the higher the aerodynamic drag.

It’s at those higher speeds, when the active shutter comes into play."

[Edited by: hoopitup2000 at 3/27/2015 7:41:01 AM EST]
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Hemond
Champion Author Providence

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Message Posted: Mar 27, 2015 7:24:08 AM

QUOTE:::::"Grill blocks have two purposes. The first is it cut down on aerodynamic drag by limiting the amount of air that enters the engine bay. The second is to allow the engine/transaxle (fwd vehicles) to warm up more quickly and retain more heat in the colder months by reducing excessive airflow through the engine compartment in colder months.:::


What we have here is a statement from some online hobbyists (EcoModders) working in their garage out back, who recommend defeating the design of the automotive engineers. The engineers have $million labs, a staff of PHDs, and a century of experience in industrial automotive design.

Yet we are supposed to believe that amateur internet groups like the EcoModders know best? There is no possible way that blocking anything, grill or radiator, hasn't already been studied extensively by engineering. The radiator and grill openings have been studied and tested and revised extensively until the best possible design was worked out.

No amount of fiddling by backyard enthusiasts is going to improve that one bit.


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hoopitup2000
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Mar 27, 2015 6:50:59 AM

QUOTE "This is the functional equivalent to not having a radiator, blocked or no."

I never said anything about blocking the radiator. I was talking about blocking the grill.

Courtesy of Ecomodders

"Grill blocks have two purposes. The first is it cut down on aerodynamic drag by limiting the amount of air that enters the engine bay. The second is to allow the engine/transaxle (fwd vehicles) to warm up more quickly and retain more heat in the colder months by reducing excessive airflow through the engine compartment in colder months.

Grill blocks come in many forms, though most often they are made to be flush with the outside of the bumper for greatest benefit. Simply inserting a piece of cardboard in front of the radiator does not provide the same aerodynamic benefit.

While grill openings are usually oversized for "worst case" applications (towing a trailer through Death Valley with the A/C on), obviously care must be taken to monitor coolant temperature. If your cooling fan runs more after installing a block, you've gone too far. So, pay attention to your temp gauge and making your grill block easy to remove."



[Edited by: hoopitup2000 at 3/27/2015 6:51:26 AM EST]
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drydem
Veteran Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2015 1:27:17 AM

Switch to Low Rolling Resistant tires (like Bridgestone Ecopia EP422) or over inflate your regular non snow tires by 10 psi. Change your route to favor smooth dry flat road surfaces. Learn the hypermiling driving techniques smart/anticipatory braking, driving without brakes, driving with load, and pulse and glide. Drive at a slower speed. Attach a scangaugeII (or Android app w/obdii cable) monitor your fuel efficiency efforts.

my overall increase in fuel efficiency over the EPA rating has been 9.4 mpg
That is I'm getting 59.4 mpg instead of 50 mpg
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Hemond
Champion Author Providence

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Message Posted: Mar 24, 2015 12:25:08 PM

QUOTE :::: I believe both comments have an interesting point to make.;::;


I agree. My current car has an engine which operates at 220-229 degrees. THe fan comes on at 239 degrees! It uses a funny 'blue' colored coolant. (Cost me $20 to buy one gallon of the stuff). It is designed to do this and it makes me uneasy. Yet this is what the engineers designed. It is the optimum temperature they chose for this engine.

Comparing this to my old car which had a thermostat that opened at 180 degrees. Fan came on at 200.
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Hemond
Champion Author Providence

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Message Posted: Mar 24, 2015 12:15:07 PM

:::::::The coolant that bypasses the engines thermostat threw the heater circuit slows engine warming, That same varing cold air/how much going threw the heater core then acts as a smaller second radiator without a thermostat, ::::::



YOu got that right. In winter, the radiator often doesn't even come into play. The heat removed just by the heater core is enough to keep the coolant from opening the thermostat. This is the functional equivalent to not having a radiator, blocked or no.




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dontuknowOH
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Mar 24, 2015 10:25:36 AM

Hemond: I believe both comments have an interesting point to make. I see the vehicles main purpose as to control engine over-heat or rather stabilize it's safe operational working range temps for a safe E.. life.

The radiator doesn't have total control of complete engine temperature losses, such as exhaust, aluminum engine block/cyl. heads, plus other parts, which radiate heat away similar to a heat-sink device.

The coolant that bypasses the engines thermostat threw the heater circuit slows engine warming, That same varing cold air/how much going threw the heater core then acts as a smaller second radiator without a thermostat, most cases.

The time interval for cold starts/restarts as you said are aided by the engines thermo, but it is about the dumbest, somewhat crud by todays standards as a device, but has great control but not perfect control.

I just see Block heaters, dip-stick, battery blankets, grill air blockers, inline coolant heaters as a way to shorten the engine running costs where fuel consumption is a concern, during that engine warm-up interval from any cold start, ETC. even an insulated Garage maybe?

It really diverts the cost to another source of energy, not counting solar devices as assisting. Moving along creating(motion) building a MPG savings is a small percentage and depends on the other initial warming percentage amounts per modification source.

I can accept that an aerodynamic designed ECM controlled grill block in use during temps of 50* F and lower would benefit the other percentage of engine heat loss by other sources than the radiator/thermo/coolant's purpose. Wish I had a laboratory years ago.... instead of a barn!
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hoopitup2000
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Mar 24, 2015 8:33:40 AM

I said it works for me. Just let it go. Life is too short.
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Hemond
Champion Author Providence

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Message Posted: Mar 24, 2015 8:05:37 AM

:::::An engine that warms up faster & runs 10-15° warmer doesn't get better mileage??????::::


Engine temp is controlled by the thermostat, not by blocking the radiator. Indeed, the radiator is completely out of the cooling circuit until the thermostat opens. If you block the radiator, the thermostat will simply open wider.

As for warmer giving better mileage, if that were true the engineers would use that principle on all cars. They would design a warmer engine. In reality the engineers test engines at all possible temperature extremes imaginable to find the optimum point. There is no possible way you have outguessed the designers. They have spent countless hours in the lab and with computer models to achieve the best mileage. YOur tweaking result is imaginary.
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hoopitup2000
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Mar 24, 2015 7:28:30 AM

QUOTE :::::Partially block the grill during the colder months:::

"Has no effect on mileage."

An engine that warms up faster & runs 10-15° warmer doesn't get better mileage?????? Well it sure has helped on my car.
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Hemond
Champion Author Providence

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Message Posted: Mar 23, 2015 11:08:20 AM

QUOTE :::::Partially block the grill during the colder months:::


This causes the thermostat to open wider. Has no effect on mileage.
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Hemond
Champion Author Providence

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Message Posted: Mar 23, 2015 11:05:55 AM

Take the ski rack off the roof.

This astounded me. I keep a Scangauge permananently attached to my car. I've got it set to display horsepower and gallons/hr.

I normally get 32mpg when on the highway, but on ski trips I get 29mpg. On such long trips I travel at about 80mph most of the trip. The rack plus toys on top cut the mileage by 10 percent. I never would have believed this. The air resistance at high speed caused by the rooftop toys causes a measureable hit to mileage.

On a 300 mile round trip thats an extra gallon used. The lesson is take the racks off when not using them.
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OilerFan
Champion Author Tulsa

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Message Posted: Mar 23, 2015 7:59:58 AM

the change that'll make the most difference is to get a more fuel efficient vehicle, rather than trying to make modifications to a vehicle. Consider that if there was some change that could be made, that gave a significant difference in mpg, the engineers would've already done it.
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hoopitup2000
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Mar 23, 2015 6:47:09 AM

Partially block the grill during the colder months
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ray44512
All-Star Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Mar 23, 2015 12:28:14 AM

Huge gains can be had by improving aerodynamics. Check out aerocivic.com and see the 95mpg Honda!
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drydem
Veteran Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Feb 28, 2015 10:07:42 PM

1. install low rolling resistant tires like Bridgestone Ecopia, Goodyear Fuel Max, Michelin Energy Savers, or Yokohama Avids. 2. Over inflate your tires by 7 to 10 psi. 3. Redesign your route/commute to have very smooth dry road surfaces so you can drive under 40(*) mph without stopping too many times. (*) if you are driving something very un-aerodynamic like a classic yellow school bus or a hummer then drive under 25 mph. For normal cars... When driving under 40 mph - rolling resistance is the major energy drain on the power plant. When driving over 60 mph - aerodynamic drag is the major energy drain on the power plant. When driving a truck, bus, or SuV .. subtract 25 mph to 20 mph from the above energy consumption rule for cars.

[Edited by: drydem at 2/28/2015 10:13:24 PM EST]
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ray44512
All-Star Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Feb 27, 2015 8:47:27 PM

Empty your trunk and air up your tires.
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dontuknowOH
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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2015 6:29:17 AM

Cheaply wrapping (insulating) My vehicles heater coolant supply hoses(both) gave Me better fuel economy, better usable heat at all inside cabin vents.

The DIYed affect works for Me as long as one has a healthy maintained vehicle coolant system. The mod also reduced restart warn-up time, offered more available cabin heat for the Nasty Winter Days when driving away for engine warm-up as you go(getting mileage).

The DIY was a really a cheap cost for material used. one other advantage was for 4 cylinder engines it allowed the tranny to shift sooner over into top O-Drive gear at the highway speed, because of the quicker engine warming. Cold air blasts under-hood during motion on a drive-away affect engines to reach normal operation, so I do try to block that....WFMw!
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pghbill
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2015 12:52:05 AM

get rid of the nut behind the wheel
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OilerFan
Champion Author Tulsa

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Message Posted: Feb 22, 2015 11:48:34 AM

The easiest is to buy a more fuel efficient vehicle. Most of the things that people claim give better mileage, I'm not sure are much more than snake oil.

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mybigtruck
Champion Author San Jose

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Message Posted: Feb 22, 2015 8:36:07 AM

pick your routes so you always drive downhill
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Floridaman2013
Champion Author Florida

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Message Posted: Feb 22, 2015 8:28:14 AM

I keep all un-needed equipment/weight out of the vehicle, pump tires up to within 1PSI of tire sidewall max air pressure, keep air filter and engine oil clean, and drive reasonable when starting and stopping. Keep outside of vehicle higly waxed to help wind drag resistance.
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hoopitup2000
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Feb 22, 2015 7:10:54 AM

The most effective thing to do is adjust the nut behind the wheel.
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dontuknowOH
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Message Posted: Feb 18, 2015 8:38:10 PM

Aluminum hood, trunk lid, maybe fiberglass, OEMs did make vinyl/plastic body parts during the past years, still synthetic front aft bumpers, if one would still call them that. A canoe shape body style should help mileage.........
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jameskel
Rookie Author Washington

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Message Posted: Feb 18, 2015 5:47:53 PM

DRIVER modification... it's the cheapest. it actually WORKS. and it's the one thing bad drivers don't want to do to get better mileage.... a little like a fat person wanting to lose weight but not give up the donuts.
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PaylessKY
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Message Posted: Oct 20, 2014 2:25:39 PM

No
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carinthuist
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Message Posted: Oct 20, 2014 1:06:59 PM

no
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oilpan4
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Oct 19, 2014 2:08:01 PM

"If there were, the factory would have already done that."

The same could be applied to any vehicle parameter.

Some people want more speakers to make their ride louder, it could have been done at the factory, but they didn't.

Some people want better of road capability so they put a ranchhand bumper, warren winch and $1000 each over sized mud tires, all that could have been done at the factory, but they didn't.

Some people want more comfortable seats, to they shell out $3000 for custom seats, it could have been done at the factory, but they didn't.

Some people want their car to go faster so they modify the engine, it could have been done at the factory, but they didn't.

Some people want stupid looking 26 inch wheels on their vehicle, it could have been done at the factory, but they didn't.
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