Today saving money is more important than ever! Here is part two of nine technologies that help to reduce fuel consumption. Do not assume that these technologies are only available in just ‘new’ vehicles. Some of these you might well be able to incorporate in your current ride.
Stop-Start Systems Stop-Start systems (a system that automatically shuts down the engine when a vehicle is static) have a limited fuel saving impact when vehicles are stopped for only short periods of time. However, when a driver is sitting in traffic for long periods of time, real fuel savings are possible. Keep in mind, however, that some extra fuel is required to restart a vehicle equipped with stop-start. Also, such systems use the vehicle’s starter and battery much more which could result in an early replacement.
What you can do! Consider having the idle speed of your vehicle’s engine reduced to the lowest level at which the engine will not stall and still run smooth. This will help to save fuel at all of your stops. If you are at a train stop or in traffic in which you will be sitting static for a long time, turn off the engine and restart the engine when needed.
Cylinder Deactivation Cutting fuel, spark, and valve operation to one half the number of cylinders helps to reduce fuel consumption. However, the engine parts (valves and pistons) that are inactive during the deactivation are still moving and are in effect dead weight.
Low-Rolling Resistance Tires These tires reduce hysteresis or the natural deflection (additional tire pavement contact) that occurs when a tire carries thousands of pounds. Bridgestone claims that the Ecopia EP422 low resistance tire can save over 100 gallons of gas over the life of the tire.
What you can do! You can certainly buy the more expensive low resistance tires for your vehicle. However, another option is to buy a thinner tire that has a smaller contact area with the road (less natural deflection).
Smaller Turbo Engines Rather that cylinder deactivation, many automakers are simply using smaller turbo engines in their vehicles. Today’s four-cylinder engines are as powerful as many six or even eight-cylinder engines of years ago.
What you can do! A bit down the road, electric motor turbochargers will likely be able to be installed right in a vehicle engine bay. Such easy to install turbochargers will increase the engine’s power and fuel economy.
All of these technologies have their place in saving fuel. However, cutting out unnecessary travel and even accepting or giving a ride to friends will also save fuel. The comradery and exchange of ideas are added benefits. Be sure not to miss out on this great opportunity!
To see part one visit: 40 mpg technology and what you can do.
Kyle Busch is the author of “Drive the Best for the Price: How to Buy a Used Automobile, Sport-Utility Vehicle, or Minivan and Save Money.” His automotive site: www.DriveTheBestBook.com includes an exclusive article just for you, additional car articles, information about Kyle Busch and his 510,000 mile car, and you can even submit your automotive questions and get expert answers. Follow Kyle on Facebook and Twitter.