With the cost of petrol rising unceasingly and people growing more environmentally-conscious, how your car can achieve maximal economy is a burning question. There are various ways to accomplish this and put more pounds in your pocket, never mind saving the world.
The first step is to check whether you have a problem: get hold of the maker’s stats and see if your fuel consumption differs from the norm. Your driving habits play a major part here. Good driving habits include turning off the engine when stationary, not driving with the windows down, keeping tyres inflated properly but not to excess, not speeding, coasting to a halt instead of slamming on the brakes and accelerating slowly from rest. Another unexciting way to improve fuel efficiency is to remove roof racks and trailers when they are not in use, thereby reducing weight and drag.
Next, you should consider engine tuning. When you increase the power of your engine by such means as larger fuel injectors and valves, you sacrifice fuel economy because you burn more fuel. So you have to undo all those modifications you made in the hope of power gains. Getting the head gas flowed and bettering the combustion cycle make an engine more efficient and therefore more economical, which will be more effective the larger is the engine’s capacity. The spark generated must be strong so the engine burns petrol effectively. A lighter flywheel will decrease the engine’s rotational mass and make things more economical, particularly, it has been reported, on extended motorway journeys and hills.
Chip tuning, for which the more modern name is ECU remapping, is a very 21st century way to achieve fuel efficiency. This is the modification of the chip in a car’s electronic control unit (ECU, to its friends) for better performance. All modern car engines feature an ECU and the ECUs of today can be changed simply by updating their software. Modifications are best effected by a qualified technician. Click here to find out how.
A car’s ECU controls many aspects of the engine, for instance fuel injection and spark timing. It can also manage ABS, automatic transmission, boost control, electronic stability control, electronic throttle control, valve timing and more. Improvements to efficiency of as much as 30 percent are possible, but are generally between 10 and 15 percent. There is sure to be scope for improvement because most cars’ ECUs take the middle ground, assuming that drivers ignore service schedules and use second-rate petrol, so the car is operating only at 80 percent capacity.
And there you have it. Is that not rather easier than purchasing a hybrid?
Our staff writers come from all over the world, but one thing unites them - their passion for sustainability.