Improve Fuel Efficiency | Techniques to Improve Engine Performance
Several factors affect fuel economy on any vehicle, not just vehicles with generally poor fuel economy. Much of it has to do with your driving habits, but you can also improve fuel efficiency with some small tweaks to your vehicle’s equipment as well as keeping up with simple maintenance items like the air pressure in your tires. If you’re determined to get the most fuel economy from your vehicle, you can also invest in some modifications such as aperformance engine air filter, a new fuel pump, orperformance tires. Besides just increasing your fuel economy, these mods can also improve the overall performance of your vehicle.
START WITH YOUR DRIVING HABITS
You might not realize how some of your driving habits contribute to poor fuel economy. Let’s take a look at some of the most significant and common driving habits that can suck away your fuel.
Warming up your vehicle by idling for several minutes. This is not necessary for modern vehicles. The better habit is to simply start your engine and drive normally, which will bring your engine to normal operating temperature quicker.
Aggressive driving. Hard braking and rapid acceleration can decrease your fuel economy by as much as 40 percent in stop and go traffic. It can decrease it by up to 30 percent at highway speeds.
Driving too fast. The more you increase your speed over 50 mph, the more your fuel economy drops off. For most drivers, decreasing highway speeds by 5 to 10 mph can save up to 14 percent of your fuel economy.
Excessive idling. Your engine can consume a half-gallon of fuel in an hour of idling. If your car is sitting for longer than a few minutes, you should switch it off and restart it when you plan to move again.
KEEP UP WITH MAINTENANCE
Having good car maintenance habits is another important way to increase and maintain fuel economy. Poorly maintained vehicles quickly become less efficient in terms of power, performance, and fuel economy. These are the following maintenance items to keep on top of for better fuel economy:
Change your oil at recommended intervals and use the right type. Most modern cars use low-viscosity semi or fully synthetic oil. Lower viscosity uses less energy.
Buy Top Tier brands of gas to avoid harmful engine deposits and other particles that might clog your fuel system.
Check the air pressure in your tires at least once a month. Tires that are low on air pressure require more energy to push, which results in reduced fuel economy. Make sure to use the cold PSI indicator in the doorjamb of your vehicle.
Check your engine air filter every oil change. Dirty air filters can reduce power and fuel economy.
If you notice that your vehicle is pulling to one side, get a front-end alignment. Being out of alignment forces your engine to work harder, which reduces your fuel economy by as much as 10 percent.
Check your gas cap regularly. Broken or fouled gas caps can reduce gas mileage.
TWEAK YOUR EQUIPMENT
Another way to maximize your fuel economy is to adjust some of the equipment on your vehicle. For example, if you own a pickup truck, you can install a tonneau cover to improve the aerodynamics and increase fuel efficiency. If you have roof racks, you can remove them when you’re not using them. Roof racks cause drag that can lower your fuel economy. Clean out your trunk regularly as well. Extra weight also lowers fuel economy. If you live in a cold climate, you might consider investing in a block heater. This gets your engine to operating temperature faster without using extra fuel.
INVEST IN PERFORMANCE MODS
If you want to increase your vehicle’s performance and fuel economy, you can invest in some upgrades and modifications. Two of the most crucial systems affecting both performance and fuel economy are your engine air and fuel systems. If you can increase airflow and fuel delivery to your engine, your vehicle’s performance will go up accordingly. Aftermarket air filters and fuel pumps can often increase performance and fuel efficiency over stock parts. Another option is buying tires with low rolling resistance. Less resistance means that the engine doesn’t have to work as hard to push them. Less energy used by the engine means more fuel economy.
These parts will need to be replaced on any vehicle eventually, but you can also be proactive and replace them earlier with higher-quality aftermarket parts.
The final possibility for increasing performance and gas mileage is by using a performance chip or tuner on your vehicle. Using this, you can tweak your ECU settings to find a better fuel mixture balance for additional power and gas mileage.