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Author Topic: Modifications to increase MPG Back to Topics
AustinLee3
Veteran Author
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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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]
ray44512
Veteran Author Ohio

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

Empty your trunk and air up your tires.
dontuknowOH
Champion Author Ohio

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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!
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
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.

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
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.
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.
dontuknowOH
Champion Author Ohio

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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.........
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.
PaylessKY
Champion Author Kentucky

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Message Posted: Oct 20, 2014 2:25:39 PM

No
carinthuist
Champion Author San Francisco

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Message Posted: Oct 20, 2014 1:06:59 PM

no
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.
Y2KSierra
All-Star Author Calgary

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Message Posted: Oct 19, 2014 10:27:25 AM

Modifications to the driver are by far the most effective. Proper tire inflation is important, a steady foot, gentle acceleration, proper vehicle mainenance, keep it clean and most important be kind to your ride.
dontuknowOH
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Oct 19, 2014 9:41:03 AM

After knowing how important good air pressure in the tires for good mileage. I then catch myself reminding many drivers when I visible see their tires maybe just one visible looking under inflated.
I hint for them to take time to do a check, even offer a pressure gauge, they often decline..... often have an excuse not to do it.
One out of 4 related to seem grateful and usually do the 2 minute check, backed up after checking another wheel pressure to verify!

Then they relate "Gee!" who would of thought that one was low? I always follow up with "yes it's your mileage affected" just glance now/then, for that and blame the colder Weather season....."Ha" "I want my gauge back" and G-Luck!
dontuknowOH
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Oct 14, 2014 8:45:32 AM

Sorry!, My Wife wouldn't tolerate a Wench installed on My vehicle instead of a post. A remote control Winch might be a success during Winter,... well anytime really. MPG..s are the real goal, but lower pricing HELPS!!!!

Aluminum bodies that's a consider..., I've seen aluminum rear suspension undercarriages on some GM vehicles a while back, wondering if alum... drive-shafts hold up for RWD vehicles?
MertieMan
Champion Author Lexington

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Message Posted: Oct 14, 2014 8:16:41 AM

If there were, the factory would have already done that.
hoopitup2000
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Oct 14, 2014 6:56:39 AM

The most effective modification????????????
Adjusting the nut behind the wheel
twt
Champion Author Virginia Beach

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Message Posted: Oct 14, 2014 5:50:25 AM

Drive with the windows closed. Use cruise control.
badbobKY
Champion Author Lexington

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Message Posted: Oct 14, 2014 4:36:15 AM

no
dontuknowOH
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Oct 14, 2014 3:09:52 AM

Winter will arrive I thought instead about installing say a 150+ # electric wench nearly a foot ahead of my vehicle 5000 Ft # capacity. Hope to improve the Aerodynamics with a cover, maybe lighten it a bit by using nylon cord instead of steel cable,(dream on it) awhile... Weld it on there!
Tucsonhomes
Champion Author Tucson

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Message Posted: Oct 13, 2014 2:12:33 PM

Keep the air pressure up in your tires
pilotdlh
Champion Author Minnesota

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Message Posted: Oct 13, 2014 10:15:55 AM

If there were any, the auto manufacturers would be doing them.
twt
Champion Author Virginia Beach

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Message Posted: Oct 13, 2014 3:33:48 AM

No "Jack Rabbit" starts. Also, use "Cruise Control" when possible.
forresj
Champion Author Wilmington

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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2014 8:05:46 PM

Put a "For Sale" sign on your windshield.
nru
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2014 5:20:34 PM

Put a block of wood about 2 feet square on a post a foot in front of your car = or just put your front license plate on a long bolt with washers - aerodynamics will be your friend and you will get a mile or two more per gallon - don't forget about it or crash though. Sounds hillbilly, but works

[Edited by: nru at 10/12/2014 5:21:19 PM EST]
oilpan4
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2014 4:36:07 PM

"Any physical modification or gas additive assumes you will change your driving style and delude yourself into crediting any improvement in MPG to the product you wasted your money on"

Gas additives are total junk.
Most things you can buy to put on gasoline powered vehicle are wastes of money too.
The modifications that actually work and save you money you have to build your self. Other wise the cost versus savings will not be realized for years.

"Okay, to be fair, if you have an 18 wheeler, tail farings have been shown to improve highway speed fuel economy."

So why do aerodynamic modifications only work on 18 wheelers and not autos?

If you think a vehicles fuel economy cant be improved upon and you think 25 or 35 mpg is a lot, that's ok because I know stupid cant be fixed.

If you are interested in increasing fuel economy of your gas, diesel, car, truck, suv or 18 wheeler check out http://ecomodder.com/ .

No one is selling anything and don't post any thing asking about HHO generators. There are HHO forums out there that pursue that nonsense.
rickr47
Rookie Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2014 2:30:28 PM

turbo
dontuknowOH
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2014 12:24:30 PM

During mild Winter days, driving with the heater blower on a lower tolerable setting will save a bit of fuel. The Cabin Filter if not clean will restrict the cabin air circulation, often then requiring more blower speed which results in more electrical energy draw this relates to extra fuel energy costs. Over engine/driving minutes of run times, ETC.

About the same with household furnace operation if a dirty filter exists, then the proper heat percentage can't be reclaimed/delivered to it's designated areas. Cold tends to claim/waste the heat if it's(flow-time) becomes restricted on delivery to the proper areas.

The Cabin Filter change period can vary a lot between different vehicles, due to where the vehicle is often parked for long periods(debris areas). Like do you often have to clear off the air intake grill at the windshield base? Anything that lands there as debris contributes to any other dirty saturated air entering that fresh air duct/screen, often gets sucked into the C..Filter. Notice, then checking is a good habit before the air flow slows at the inside comfort output vents (Heater/AC vents) any season, any time!

Insulating my heater supply coolant hoses helped my mileage. Helps retain hose temps for restarts, cold start-ups Winter, by countering the cold wind blasts when driving away, that helped cabin heat and made for quicker engine warm-up time, Fall/Winter/Spring even Summer. DIYed......

rick_evans
Champion Author Boston

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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2014 9:47:33 AM

Your driving style. Any physical modification or gas additive assumes you will change your driving style and delude yourself into crediting any improvement in MPG to the product you wasted your money on.

Okay, to be fair, if you have an 18 wheeler, tail farings have been shown to improve highway speed fuel economy.

[Edited by: rick_evans at 10/12/2014 9:51:44 AM EST]
Hemond
Champion Author Providence

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Message Posted: Oct 12, 2014 12:03:44 AM

How about replacing halogen headlights with leds? A halogen uses 55watts while a replacement uses 10. Multply by 2 gives 90 watts. A savings of 0.12 hp when the headlights are on.



oilpan4
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Oct 11, 2014 11:07:08 PM

Air tabs are usually junk.
They need to be wind tunnel tested for your vehicle or a one lot like it.
Boundary layer energizers like air tabs actually increase drag.
proudvet1
Sophomore Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Oct 11, 2014 8:58:16 PM

airtabs

http://airtab.com/
Hemond
Champion Author Providence

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Message Posted: Feb 19, 2014 9:35:05 PM

::::::cheap improvement... make sure air filter is clean::::


no longer of significance on modern engines. The computer compensates for a partially blocked air filter. If anything a blocked air filter will give better mileage as the engine is being fed less fuel air mix - properly mixed at the ideal 14.7:1 ratio.

Don't worry about the air filter. Change it out at what? 30,000 miles these days?
Hemond
Champion Author Providence

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Message Posted: Feb 19, 2014 9:29:48 PM

:::::I somewhat remember Ford back in the latter end of the "90" trying a starter-less (non electric type)system on their T-Birds and some Lincoln models.:::;


What they did was have the computer stop the engine at a specific point. Then when ready to restart, the computer would squirt a bit of fuel into the appropriate cylinder. The engine would run backwards, (yes backwards) and compress the next cylinder. That cylinder would get an extra squirt of gas, starting the engine.

Clever system and no starter needed. I've been reading that this system is making a comeback in new generation start/stop hybrids.
gougedQC
Champion Author Montreal

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Message Posted: Feb 19, 2014 8:33:37 PM

cheap improvement... make sure air filter is clean, boost tire pressure 5 psi over mfg recommendation

(they tend to keep it lower in order to have more flex in tires to give a softer ride)
dontuknowOH
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Feb 19, 2014 11:34:01 AM

I somewhat remember Ford back in the latter end of the "90" trying a starter-less (non electric type)system on their T-Birds and some Lincoln models.

I believe that worked by using the ECM to take a reading of what cylinder was in a good stopped position to be pulse fuel injected partially (minimum)fuel/minimum air, then ECM providing a designated spark detonated using slight combustion to result in a crank-over energy start-up to that engine.

I don't know if that ever went into production, saying it seems that there could be a MPG advantage with that design if interest prevails. Electric starters are heavy, heavy gauge wire, related heavy amp parts are a weight factor for starting an engine. Including engagement metal. Seems so....
Hemond
Champion Author Providence

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Message Posted: Feb 18, 2014 8:20:16 PM

::::::You could also run "rhoads lifters".:::::


Although I've never heard of Rhoads Lifters, after your write-up, I know exactly what they do. Whoever dreamed them up is ingenious. They are sort of the fore runner to variable valve timing. They address through clever means the big problem with 'hot' cams. ie poor low RPM performance and especially horrendous idle.

If you've ever heard a race car idle, the thing can barely keep itself running. But since race cars don't idle much, who cares? However if you want a high performance engine in a street car, you want a comfortable idle. The Rhoads Lifter will do that.
dontuknowOH
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Feb 18, 2014 4:39:47 PM

I stumbled onto an in-line AC coolant tank heater to be fitted in line with a vehicle's heater hose connection. A Kat's brand 850 watt small tank type I like DIYing so I might try it for a mileage improvement for Winter.

Under say $50 bucks, saw only one left in stock, possible a lower wattage would work for me if it is available, I was really shopping for battery cable fittings. Next Winter may be a doozy also......
skaboss79
Sophomore Author New Mexico

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Message Posted: Feb 18, 2014 1:24:49 PM

Switch to ethanol/electric hybrid conversion kit
oilpan4
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Feb 18, 2014 10:46:25 AM

You could also run "rhoads lifters".
They are hydraulic lifers Normally used to tame high lift long duration cams for street use. They hydraulically leak down more than standard hydraulic lifters to reduce lift and duration at low rpm.
High rpms lessen the leak down time and allow the cam to run its high lift and duration.
These concepts can be applied to regular cams.

Only problem is they are only avaible for some push engines. Not for OHC engines.
Other wise they are pretty cheap last time I checked.
Hemond
Champion Author Providence

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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2014 9:02:05 PM

QUOTE :::::How's that work when merging onto the expressway? I'd think twice about this mod.:::::


No reason I can see to think twice.

If you are looking for realistic mods to improve fuel economy, then stick with the tried and true. A fuel economy cam is as conventional and basic as you can get. Good for a 10% improvement.

Yes you will lower the torque curve. Life is a trade off. Its not as if its a game breaker. The freeway is full of vehicles without neck breaking acceleration. They merge just fine.

Some cars have multiple versions of engines which already have FE cams. You can buy the cam in junk yards or on ebay. The Geo Metro is one. The Civic and I believe the Corolla are others. $100 plus your time. If not then you will spend some money in a cam grinding shop.


[Edited by: Hemond at 2/17/2014 9:03:16 PM EST]
Houckster
Champion Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2014 10:03:27 AM

TRUE synthetic lubricants can make a difference too if you convert the entire drivetrain including engine, transmission and differential.
*******
HEMOND writes: A swapped out cam with a cam profile tuned for economy. The principles for eco cam design are well understood. Reduce intake and exhaust duration, reduce valve lift and overlap. Slightly advanced timing.

This modification shifts the torque curve lower. Improving low engine speed performance and significantly better mileage. Dramatic reduction in max torque point though.
_______
How's that work when merging onto the expressway? I'd think twice about this mod. OTOH, if the vehicle is driven almost exclusively around town then there might be some benefit.
Hemond
Champion Author Providence

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Message Posted: Feb 14, 2014 9:53:27 PM

A swapped out cam with a cam profile tuned for economy. The principles for eco cam design are well understood. Reduce intake and exhaust duration, reduce valve lift and overlap. Slightly advanced timing.

This modification shifts the torque curve lower. Improving low engine speed performance and significantly better mileage. Dramatic reduction in max torque point though.

On many economy cars this is a relatively painless mod. After you do it once, you can do it again in an hour.

[Edited by: Hemond at 2/14/2014 9:55:28 PM EST]
oilpan4
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Feb 14, 2014 12:43:54 PM

An old 5-speed chevy calv can get 38mpg with out even trying on the highway if you keep it under 65.
Fredelin
Champion Author Toronto

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Message Posted: Feb 12, 2014 7:05:18 AM

easy on the pedal on the start. carpool.
I also agree with PhilnTx
hoopitup2000
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Feb 12, 2014 12:52:47 AM

"I've heard of people getting 38+ MPG out of their cavaliers . . . . "

They likely have manual transmissions & know how to shift for maximum engine efficiency.
pawnkingfour
Champion Author Georgia

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2014 9:50:43 PM

Post all the old tricks.
AustinLee3
Veteran Author Tennessee

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2014 3:47:11 PM

Honestly I think I may be trying to get more out of my car than it can give me haha and sadly my car doesn't have cruise control or I'd use it constantly! I just have been wondering if I can get more MPGs out of it than what it offers. I've heard of people getting 38+ MPG out of their cavaliers, but I guess it must have been something they have done to their vehicle or how it's driven.
PhilnTX
All-Star Author Dallas

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2014 2:45:07 PM

Pace yourself in town to keep in sync with green lights.
Turn off engine for trains.
Idle as little as possible.
Only use cruise control on flat roads.
Monitor your tire pressure and keep within specs for your vehicle.
Keep vehicle tuned up and running good.
Don't carry a lot of extra weight in your car. (drop off the mother-in-law)
Use a "gas milage meter" to monitor how you drive. (Scan Gauge, Vacuum Gauge, factory instant mileage gauge, etc)
jimmy544
Champion Author Boston

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2014 1:45:51 PM

engine block heater is one that will surely save some fuel.
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