Introduction: Save Gas! Change the Way You Drive.
What better way to be eco friendly than to change your gas mileage? Seriously think about it. The less gas you use the less our mother earth has to be drilled, poked, and prodded for that precious black sludge.
Petroleum accounts for 40% of the worlds' energy consumption... OUCH
This instructable will show you various techniques you can use DAILY to reduce your gasoline or diesel consumption.
Contrary to popular belief the aftermarket products that claim to save you gas mileage actually do nothing. Sometimes they can even have a negative effect.
Before we begin I would like to state that I am an automotive technician. I have to test drive vehicles on a daily basis. By implementing these techniques you can improve your gas mileage. Getting reprimanded for consuming too much of a customers gas is not fun! So lets get started.
Step 1: Products to Stay Away From!
Lets start with a few products out there that you should stay away from. I'll stick with the main three.
ALL of these products have been proven to be ineffective.
1. Magnetic Ionic Save. A magnet clipped to the fuel line to reduce CO emissions.
Here at the shop we have a 5 gas analyzer and I had some spare change. I decided to test this product on my down time.
Tests showed that there was no change in CO emissions when this product was installed.
Fuel consumption was measured in ML over a 2 minute period at 2000 RPM. Once again NO CHANGE.
2. Torpedo type intake devices. These devices are simply tin or steel and claim to improve fuel combustion.
I would have personally tested this but on three different occasions we found them jammed in throttle bodies. NOT RECOMMENDED. High dollar fix for a low dollar product.
3. Gas Additives.
JUNK. Even the dealership that I worked at sold this stuff. I would refuse to put it in the tank. Clogs fuel filters and stays at the bottom of the tank.
Step 2: Driving Techniques
Here are some techniques that I have used or still use.
1. Carpooling! The best way to save gas. If your buddy works at the same place at the same time hitch a ride! Maybe it's your turn to drive!
Consumption Reduction = 50%
2. Drafting! This technique is dangerous if you push too close. Drafting is a technique used in racing. It reduces the aerodynamic drag on your car by sitting in a pocket of air behind another vehicle. This technique works best behind semi trucks. You do not have to get very close at all. Just enough for you to barely see the semi's side mirrors.
Consumption Reduction = Varies but is significant
3. Lay off the throttle! Don't show off and bounce off of your rev limiter. This is a HUGE waste of gas. Not to mention how much damage it does to the engine internals.
Consumption Reduction = 20%-25% (YES IT'S TRUE)
4. Lose some weight! Are you carrying around LOADS of unnecessary stuff in your trunk? Time to do some spring cleaning. Get rid of it! This creates a lot less strain on the engine.
Consumption Reduction = Slightly Noticeable
Step 3: Techniques Continued...
5. Don't Idle! I know that remote start comes in handy during 40 degree winters, but your car consumes a lot of gas while it's idling. Don't let it sit in the driveway for twenty minutes to warm up if you're only going down the road to Walgreens for some toilet paper. Also, this tip is great for heavy traffic jams. Plus this drastically reduces CO emissions being release into the atmosphere.
6. Let it Idle! This can be dangerous! Oh yes I did just contradict myself! Stopping and starting a car consumes more gas than it would for you to let it idle for a minute or two. It takes a lot of gas to get it going. If you're just running into the store to pick up gum then let it idle. DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK OR IF YOU HAVE A REMOTE START. Using a remote start you can allow your car to idle locked up without the key in the ignition.
7. Keep your car warm! If you have access to a heated garage this can help you in the winter time. Your car consumes more gas under cold start up conditions. You could also buy an engine block heater!
TECH TALK: Your engine needs to be warm for it to be as efficient as possible. Warmth is needed for the O2 sensors to start what is called closed loop operation. This is when your cars computer can begin to adjust air/fuel ratios.
8. Stay in your lane! Studies have shown that lane changing does not significantly reduce your travel time. Simple and easy...
Step 4: More Techniques!!!
9. Don't drive AGGRESSIVELY! Seriously CALM down! Aggressive driving reduces your gas mileage by 33% highway and 5% in town!
10. Cruise! Typically your cruise control can save you gas. I don't know anyone that can drive smoother than a car with the cruise control on. **EDIT** Do not use your cruise on hilly roads.
11. Tune er' up! A proper tune-up will drastically improve your gas mileage as well as maintain a reliable vehicle.
12. Inflation! Proper tire inflation is key to maintaining proper gas mileage. Over-inflated and under-inflated tires have less surface area on the road. This also saves you $400-$500 every year or two on a new set of tires!
Consumption Reduction = 3.5%
Step 5: That's It!
Hope you enjoyed this tutorial!
By implementing all or some of these techniques you will save gas!
Saving gas not only helps your wallet stay fat, but also the environment.
CO2 emissions from U.S. cars & trucks totaled 314 million metric tons in 2002. That's as much as would be released from burning all the coal in a train 50,000 miles long -- enough to circle around the world, twice.
Help out the atmosphere and enjoy yourself while doing it! :)
Thanks for reading!
Participated in the
Earthjustice United States of Efficiency Contest