Saturday, August 7, 2010

How to save fuel by modifying your car

How to Save Fuel by Modifying Your Car
By: Thomas Yoon
In my previous articles, I have discussed many ways to save fuel for your vehicle. Some of these are:
1. Adopting good driving habits like observing speed limits, reducing braking, gradual acceleration, reducing excessive weights, avoiding idling time, using cruise speed control high gears.
2. Maintaining your car in peak condition, having correct timing, clean air filters, spark plugs, correct tire pressures and proper lubrication.
3. Planning your trips, carpooling, avoiding traffic jams, driving smaller vehicles, choosing more efficient cars.
By following some of the items listed above, you should be able to get a very good performance from the fuel you fill up into your tank.
Nowadays, vehicles are built to be very efficient. However, if you have an older car model, you still might be able to improve its efficiency further. You can install or modify the existing system to improve its performance.
There are lots of devices in the open market that can help you improve fuel economy. However, keep in mind that many of these devices are advertising hypes and might even perform very poorly in actual conditions.
Electronic Ignition System
If you have an old vehicle that still runs on a contact breaker system, fitting an electronic ignition system into the vehicle can improve the fuel economy indirectly.
Although not strictly a fuel saving device, an electronic ignition device keeps the vehicle in tune with minimal maintenance. This ensures that the combustion remains efficient longer than with a contact breaker system. The resulting consistent burning of fuel results in better fuel savings.
Fuel Catalysts
Fuel catalysts are chemicals, substances or compound that you can simply drop into the fuel tank or install somewhere between the fuel tank and the engine.
They are supposed to accelerate a chemical reaction, but they remain unchanged during the process.
When a catalyst is installed in the fuel system, it speeds up the combustion process, making it more complete. In this way, all the energy of combustion is released for driving the engine instead of having some of it exhausted.
Installation of the catalyst is a one-off affair. You should be able to recover what you have spent on the catalyst from the fuel savings in a short time. Usually the catalysts can be used for the entire life of the vehicle. They can even be transferred from one vehicle to another.
The most frequently used fuel catalysts are made of compounds of tin and other precious metals. The actual ingredients are a result of research, and are closely guarded secrets of the manufacturers.
Manufacturers claim that adding these catalysts will produce smoother engine operation, cleaner exhaust emissions and achieve fuel savings up to 8%.
Free-flow Air Filters
These filters do not by themselves save fuel. However, they provide better filtration for the air. This can result in better combustion and reduced engine wear.
Tire Inflation
When you fill up the tire with compressed air, the oxygen in the air can permeate through the walls and deteriorate the rubber materials of the tire, corrode the rims and cause the inflation pressure to reduce over time.
As you know, under-inflated tires is one of the factors that can cause poor fuel efficiencies.
By using nitrogen gas to fill up the tires you will have less deterioration of the tires. Tires will last longer, run cooler, and the rims will not be corroded. Your tire threads will last longer and replacement costs go down.
Other Products
There are other fuel and lubricating oil additives that claim to lower engine friction and improve combustion. Some of them are worth trying but some are duds.
When trying them out, do be careful that they do not destroy the catalytic converter or render your new vehicle warranty void.

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