I drive a 1994 Geo Metro GE with a 3 cylinder engine. According to the official fuel economy ratings for this car, it should get 38mpg city and 44mpg highway.
I got this car as a gift from a friend. When I went to pick the car up, we had to remove the weeds that had grown up around it and relocate the family of field mice living in the engine compartment. I towed it home and replaced the alternator, a belt, the instrument cluster, and a frozen caliper to get it running.
The gas mileage was pretty good. I got about 35mpg city. I know this car can get more, so I started researching how to improve it. One of the things I found was smooth wheel covers. They are supposed to add around 4% to the fuel economy at highway speeds. This is only a small increase, but with other small changes, it should add up quickly.
I made my own smooth(ish) wheel covers. They look pretty cool and cost me less than $30 to make.
Step 1: Needed Materials
I got my wheel covers from ebay for $15. They are just inexpensive, plastic wheel covers.
This is available at hardware stores, auto parts stores, boating supply stores, and online. I bought mine for $12.
T-shirts x 4
Any t-shirt will do as long as there is a large enough section without any screen-printing. The shirt needs to cover the entire front of the wheel cover with a little extra for securing it in place. I just bought 4 large t-shirts Goodwill for $0.99 each. The third picture shows what happens to the shirt after this project, so don't use one you like wearing; it will be quite drafty.
Any bucket will work, but you probably won't want to use the bucket for anything other than resin mixing after this. Lowe's has inexpensive plastic mixing buckets in various sizes. I bought the single quart size.
Acetone is pretty easy to find. You can get it at hardware stores near the paint thinner. This is necessary for clean-up. Between the acetone, bucket, and paintbrush, I spent $12 at Lowe's.
Just a stick to mix the resin with. I used a scrap of wood that I had laying around. A paint mixing stick will work. Just make sure to wipe any loose debris from whatever stick you use to keep the resin fairly smooth.
Any paintbrush will work. If you intend to use the paintbrush more than once, though, get a natural one. The acetone could damage the plastic kind and cause you some frustration.
Just a basic box knife.
Diagonal Wire Cutters
The wire cutters are useful for the finishing touches, but a tough pair of scissors could also do this job.
For cutting the t-shirt.
The locking, single use kind.
Spray Paint (optional)
For coloring the wheel covers.
Keep your hands chemical-free!
For scuffing the wheel covers. I used a sanding sponge.
5-gallon Bucket (optional)
For a sturdier work surface.