Making Your Car More Fuel-Efficient
By Space Coast Daily // April 20, 2021
No one likes to make frequent trips to the gas station. Lines that take too long to clear up. Plus gas is not cheap if you add it up over a year of driving.
Fortunately, you can make simple changes to your car to make it far more fuel-efficient.
Keep up with oil changes
The oil keeps all the spinning parts in your car lubricated. But as you use your car the oil becomes less viscous, basically loses lubrication power. So if you do not keep up with the oil changes you are making your engine work harder, which wastes fuel. Not to mention damaging your engine and landing you a costly repair bill
Clean your air filter once a month
A dirty air filter causes the car to get less air into the engine. The computer onboard your car tries to compensate for this by adding more fuel to it. Net result, fuel being wasted. Furthermore, all that additional fuel can cause carbon build up in your engine’s combustion chamber, further reducing fuel efficiency.
Run your car on lower octane fuel
Next time you go to a gas station read the numbers on the pump. You should ideally fill up your car with 89 octane fuel. What this does is automatically lower your engine’s speed. Yeah, you will have less power, but driving in the city you will not notice the difference. Also, ensure that it has zero percent ethanol added into the fuel. Ethanol makes your engine run faster, and results in your car compensating by adding more fuel.
Lastly, check if the fuel is temperature-controlled. Because if it is not then on a hot day fuel expands slightly. This results in you getting less fuel for your buck. Ideally, fuel should be maintained at 59 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius). This will ensure you get the densest fuel possible. Remember to lift the fuel hose above the nozzle, this lets any residual fuel enter your tank. It is not much but over a year it will add up.
Tune your engine for fuel efficiency
You may have heard people tuning their cars to get more power out of the engine. Well, the opposite can be done. Your car can be tuned to run more fuel efficiently. Getting it tuned for this is very simple, there are plug-and-play modules that only have to be wired up to your car and they will handle the rest.
Remember to use this combination with 89 octane fuel for the best results.
Tire type and pressures
There are eco-tires that do save you a lot of fuel. This may sound like a bunch of hooey but there is a science behind them.
Eco-Tires are narrower, this reduces the frontal area of your car. Reducing frontal area is like when you put your hand out of the car, if you only put out one finger then the air exerts a lower force on you. Spread out your hand and you will feel it get pushed back by the air easily.
Eco-Tires also have a smaller contact patch with the road. This reduces rolling resistance. Imagine sliding your entire hand against a wall, now do the same but with only one finger. Your hand will slide down easily the smaller an area that is in contact with the wall.
They are designed to weigh less than an average tire. Since tires are a spinning mass lowering even a tiny bit of weight makes a huge difference for your engine. It dramatically reduces rolling resistance at higher speeds.
Clean up your car
You will be surprised to find how many useless things are in your car. These things are dead weight that bogs your car down and increases fuel consumption. While driving in the city you can even rid yourself of the spare tire. Instead, keep a puncture sealing liquid for emergencies.
Get the inside of your car clean, or do it yourself. Having a clean pleasant smelling car affects your mood positively. Our mood determines how we drive. Which in return determines how fuel-efficient we are. If you are cranky and your car just makes you feel worse you will not drive carefully. This will result in fuel being wasted.
Add vortex generators on the roof of your car
No this is not some science fiction warp drive thing. It is just pieces of plastic that are shaped like shark fins. It reduces a thing called: “Pressure drag” from your car. These vortex generators produce little swirls in the air, which creates a suction for the rest of the air. This means the air sticks to the back roof of your car.
This air otherwise would have been detached. Producing turbulence, creating a force that makes your engine work harder to obtain a certain speed. Vortex generators are a quick and easy fix to that.
Switch off Ignition at a stop light
At very long stop lights just switch your car off. It takes more fuel to run your car on idle than it does to start it up. Considering how long stop lights can be, this has the potential to save a lot of fuel.
Drive below the speed limit
Driving your car a little bit slower than everyone else will only make your journey 5 minutes longer. But this reduces air resistance on your car significantly, that is to say, your car does not have to work so hard to push the air out of the way. This puts less load on the engine, allowing it to spin slower, therefore it requires less fuel.
Plus not only is driving below the speed limit safer, but it also gives you more time to react. If you are a new driver, going slowly builds confidence. Maybe you just want to take your car out alone a few times without anyone’s supervision. It would be a good idea to have an ID made from a scannable fake id in case you need to stop somewhere.