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Old 02-20-2010, 08:41 AM   #1
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Gearz 6 tips to increase fuel economy

Saw an episode of Gearz today offering 6 mechanical tips for better fuel economy for late model vehicles? I'm not a gearhead. What do you think would work best for a 2003 tundra, if any, and what percent increase could be expected.

1. increase intake air flow by replacing air filter. They didn't distinguish between warm air intake vs cold air intake. I've read about warm air intake is definately the way to go for fuel economy.

2. Computer programming. They suggest recalibrating vehicle's timing/shifting.

3. Spark Plugs. Replace spark plugs with mult-tipped plug that suppose to burn fuel more completely.

4. Exhaust. open exhaust to increase air flow with cat-back system and beter yet, high-flow cat and even headers.

5. Synthetic Oils. replace oils with synthetic

6. SVO. related to converting diesel to run on SVO.

thanks
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Old 02-20-2010, 10:31 AM   #2
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my personal opinion of most of those modifications is that you will probably never see enough gas savings out of the results to offset the initial cost of the modification.

most less restrictive intakes or exhaust systems are pretty expensive. changing an air filter is relatively cheap but to replace it with a freer flowing intake usually runs ~$200 or more. exhaust is basically the same concept only more expensive.

the computer programming (unless you know someone) can get expensive fast. I was looking at reflashing my truck after a cam change and they wanted $500 for the computer reflash alone.

the SVO or WVO can have a huge initial cost as you have to change over your vehicle with tanks and also safeties to purge the lines before it shuts off. you also have to have space to store it and a filtration system along with a steady flow of french fry grease (or whatever). my brother in law spent right at $5k switching over his f250 and sold it about a year later. I have heard that the DIY ones are a lot cheaper.

I can't comment on the synthetic oils or spark plugs as some people have cliamed to see gains and others have not.
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Old 02-20-2010, 10:58 AM   #3
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Quote:
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1. increase intake air flow by replacing air filter. They didn't distinguish between warm air intake vs cold air intake. I've read about warm air intake is definitely the way to go for fuel economy.
Air filters are relatively cheap, so it doesn't hurt to change them, but it would have to be really bad to effect the mileage of a hypermiler. As far as warm air/cold air goes, the general consensus is that warm air is better, but it doesn't work on all vehicles. A few members report success with cold air. I'd try warm first though.
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2. Computer programming. They suggest recalibrating vehicle's timing/shifting.
This is very cost-prohibitive, and you will probably never recoup the initial investment to reprogram the vehicle's computer systems.
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3. Spark Plugs. Replace spark plugs with mult-tipped plug that suppose to burn fuel more completely.
Electricity always takes the path of least resistance. After a few hundred miles the spark will start to favor one electrode over the other, and you'll end up with one spark anyway. Save your money. Don't buy into that gimmick. I did when I was young & stupid. Never got any power or economy gains from the plugs, but paying $5/ea for the plugs made the parts store happy.
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4. Exhaust. open exhaust to increase air flow with cat-back system and beter yet, high-flow cat and even headers.
If you're hypermiling this will make no discernible difference. Plus, messing with your exhaust may put you in violation of emissions laws.
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5. Synthetic Oils. replace oils with synthetic
I do believe in quality synthetic oils. You can get marginally better fuel economy with them over dinosaur juice, but the big payoff with synthetics is you can run them for extended intervals, and longer life of your engine.
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6. SVO. related to converting diesel to run on SVO.
No comment, I don't have a diesel so I'm not well versed on the pros & cons.
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Old 02-20-2010, 11:06 AM   #4
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Those two guys covered what I would have said. I'll add this: The EPA has tested and found that even a severely clogged air filter will not increase fuel usage. There is a link in my meta-sig about it. However, if you are a hypermiler who tries to use an open throttle to reduce pumping losses (lay on the gas pedal and shift at low RPM), some of your effort will be negated by the low-flow air filter.

If you want to run fresh clean SVO, it will never pay for itself. If you want to run WVO and think you can do everything you'll need to, that would definitely be a great idea. I'd love to do it some day. I don't think it's practical for, well, anyone.
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Old 02-20-2010, 03:17 PM   #5
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Larry,
There is a list of 201 tips at the top of the page , many of which focus on the more basic and straightforward aspects of fuel consumption like tyre pressures and weight.

Well worth a look.

Pete.
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Old 02-20-2010, 07:11 PM   #6
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The best thing to do on that list (MPG wise) would be to switch to a synthetic oil.
Also, if you can drive the Hummer less that would be good too.
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Old 02-20-2010, 07:19 PM   #7
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one thing I did that truly doubled my mileage but cost me $2000....

(doesn't this sound like a sales pitch)

park the truck and buy a beater.
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Old 02-21-2010, 04:08 AM   #8
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I don't agree that switching to synthetic would cause a significant gain in fuel economy. It would certainly never pay for itself in gas saved. As Jay suggested, if your oil change interval increases, then it could pay for itself.
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Old 02-21-2010, 06:59 AM   #9
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my personal opinion of most of those modifications is that you will probably never see enough gas savings out of the results to offset the initial cost of the modification.

most less restrictive intakes or exhaust systems are pretty expensive. changing an air filter is relatively cheap but to replace it with a freer flowing intake usually runs ~$200 or more. exhaust is basically the same concept only more expensive.

the computer programming (unless you know someone) can get expensive fast. I was looking at reflashing my truck after a cam change and they wanted $500 for the computer reflash alone.

the SVO or WVO can have a huge initial cost as you have to change over your vehicle with tanks and also safeties to purge the lines before it shuts off. you also have to have space to store it and a filtration system along with a steady flow of french fry grease (or whatever). my brother in law spent right at $5k switching over his f250 and sold it about a year later. I have heard that the DIY ones are a lot cheaper.

I can't comment on the synthetic oils or spark plugs as some people have cliamed to see gains and others have not.
changing to synthetic will keep your cars engine from destroying itself in cold climates because it has a lower drop point. meaning synthetic is more eager to be fluid at colder temps than regular oil. in north carolina, i doubt this matters much, in new england and pennsylvania for example its alot more of an issue, plus now that you can buy synthetic at walmart for 4$ a quart you really can't go wrong

that is my reason for using synthetic mainly to keep my engine happy, mpg gains probably exist but ive heard theyre 1mpg which means 0mpg or .5 mpg or 2mpg
which is meaningless
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Old 02-21-2010, 12:14 PM   #10
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Gentlemen, I thought this was GASsavers.com, not MONEYsavers.com. I truely appreciate each and every response (from people that i view as experts), but nothing is more discouraging than getting an opinion that essentially says it's not worth saving gas if it doesn't save you money. My goal is to reduce my fuel consumption and if that costs me some extra money that I can afford, then I might just decide to do it. Please gentlemen, please, give us a response as it relates to saving gas and then you can add comments about how cost effective a particular technique might, or might not be. Costs certainly have to part of the equation, but please don't dismiss a technique or technology simply because capital costs might not be recovered. Several 1-mpg saving tips might just add up to a significant savings.

I bought a beater VX nearly a year ago and parked my truck as much as possible, but i still have to drive the truck 50% of the miles. I've done the math; reduced my consumption by 30% and now I'm looking to reduce my consumption when I have to drive the truck.

Thanks.
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