Real Gas Saving Tips

(Not for the faint of heart but tips that don’t include buying a new car)



1.    No Cost


Note for the hard core:  When traveling long distances on the highway, slowing down too much may NOT save fuel!!   Every engine has its own point (RPM) where it operates most efficiently (produces the most power on the least amount of fuel) IAW its displacement, transmission gearing, cam profile and valve train characteristics.  For most street engines that point should be between 1500 and 3000 RPMs.  You can experiment when driving at highway speed by watching your speedometer and tach to see where the RPMs are while at highway speeds. It takes time and patience to get the feel of the vehicle and check gas mileage over time.  A dyno test of your vehicle will tell you quickly what you (the hard core) may want to know for about 80 dollars. You’ll see, on an X-Y plot, speed in miles per hour, RPM and a tailpipe emissions readout, under load, across the operating range of your vehicle.  Look for the RPM point where the engine is running at its cleanest (lowest emissions).  And, no, a dyno will not hurt your vehicle.  It’s no more stressful on the vehicle than accelerating up a steep hill.



2.    Low Cost




3.    Moderate Cost


Note:  2 very likely causes for the check engine light to illuminate are a loose gas cap and a dirty or stuck PCV valve.  Both of these can be fixed by you.  (1) Close your gas cap tightly every time.  (2) The PCV is easy to locate under the hood by looking at the emissions hose routing sticker attached to your hood.  Find it, take it out, and spray it with carburetor cleaner ($1.95) until the ball inside can be heard rattling freely.  Reinstall the valve.  If the check engine light doesn’t go out by itself it might be “latched” on and require resetting with a code reader or there may be something else wrong with the engine.  If it won’t go off after performing the two items above – take the vehicle to a professional.



Extra credit