2006-07-17

OmniNerd - Articles: Fueling a Lifestyle

OmniNerd - Articles: Fueling a Lifestyle

In this article, Matthew Vea presents a study on fuel efficiency in gasoline powered vehicles. I found it to be very enlightening and plan to modify my driving habits to strictly conform to his recommendations.

I have included his article summary below, but hope that you will find the time to read his full article and appreciate the results of his research.

Summary
Fuel efficiency can be achieved in a number of ways. The purchase of a fuel efficient automobile, of course, leads the way in effectiveness. But for those owners already hampered by a gas guzzler or those with a functional need for the vehicle, simply buying a new car is not a viable option. Instead, owners need to adjust driving habits, install performance upgrades or select improved fuels.

Changing driving habits introduce a profound effect on fuel savings for any vehicle. In brief, the following tips collectively save gas in the long run.

* slower acceleration
* reduced top speed
* proper tire inflation
* using cruise control
* proper vehicle lubrication
* correct transmission gears
* using air conditioning only when necessary
* reducing aerodynamic drag
* removing excess weight

Some aftermath accessories will also allow owners to improve the efficiency of their existing vehicles while others prove to be nothing more than snake-oil. For non-carburetor engines, only the products that target the ECU itself will assist with fuel savings. Otherwise the closed loop feedback from the O2 sensors will negate any performance improvements over time. Owners with a carburetor may find benefit from a greater pool of engine modifications because there is not an ECU constantly working to stabilize emissions.

In the near future, fuel efficiency will become increasingly dependent on which alternative fuels are chosen. Bio-diesel provides the most promise for continuing the status quo of vehicle performance, although it requires an engine swap or the purchase of a diesel engine. Ethanol seems to provide the cleanest emissions at the cost of energy output. Although ethanol also requires conversion kits for existing cars, such a process will not likely be as costly as converting to diesel. The choice of fuel is one that consumers will not always have control over, but simply must understand.

For off-road enthusiasts, these tips demonstrate with evidence how to get more from your vehicle when it is being used as a daily driver. Plus, by improving on-road fuel efficiency, there will be more gas in the tank once your 4x4 gets to its off road destination.
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