Get better gas mileage and performance while still being able to use your car

It seems every day I come across some article on some random site that says “How to save money at the pump” or “How to get better gas mileage” yet once you go to read the waste of time advice, most of the tips are things like:

  1. Consolidate trips and errands
  2. Ride a bike
  3. don’t go over the speed limit
  4. sit in the car with the windows up and the A/C off.
  5. push your car

How is that good advise? you were reading the article to get better gas mileage. Not driving is not better gas mileage, it’s worse gas mileage. 0 miles to the gallon is not good. So instead, I am going to make my own list of ways to “save at the pump”.

1. Put Acetone in the gas tank
I’ve read a bunch of sites on this one, and people claim to get up to 30% better fuel economy, along with the engine running better, slightly cleaner emissions, and can also use lower grades of gas without the engine pinging. Supposedly the acetone doesn’t damage any engine parts, and this one guy claims to have soaked various engine parts in containers of acetone for months to see if they deteriorate at all and he reported no damages. You have to be careful about spilling the acetone on any painted surface though, because it will eat right through the paint. Also, you have to put the right quantity in your gas tank. Too much or too little doesn’t help.

Check out this article, and then go look around on google if you want more proof

2. Create an ozone in the distributor.
I am not sure I buy this one, but a bunch of people are doing it. It pretty much involves drilling a hole in the top of the distributor cap and splicing one of the engines vacuum lines into the new hole in the distributor. Since most new cars have pointless ignitions (no distributor), this might be harder to accomplish. This article goes into a lot more detail

3. Make sure the tires are properly inflated
It sounds stupid, but it does make a differance. Supposedly if your tires are even as little as 5 pounds underinflated, you could see a 10% decrease in fuel economy. Also, a lot of people are filling their tires with nitrogen instead of regular air now. A bunch of automotive service centers are offering this, and it costs something like $5 a tire for the changeover, but there are a lot of benefits, like more stable, consistent tire pressure, cooler running tires, improved fuel economy, longer tread life, less oxidation of tire components and reduced rim and wheel corrosion. Nitrogen molecules are bigger than air molecules so a significantly smaller amount of nitrogen leaks out of the tires than when you have them filled with regular air.

4. Get a tune up.
Make sure your spark plug wires, spark plugs, and distributer parts are all clean and in good shape. Gunked up spark plugs can’t create as good a spark, which leaves more unburnt fuel in the engine cylinders. Same goes for if the spark plug wires have cracks, or if the rotor in the distributor, or the distributor cap are rusted or covered in any form of buildup. Replace the air filter if it looks real dirty, or better yet, replace it with a high air flow filter, like the ones made by K&N. K&N claims to make up to a 20% difference in fuel economy, but unless your old filter is nothing but a pile of dirt, I would say the fuel savings is more like 7%. To a lesser extent replace things like the PCV valve and the fuel filter periodically. Replacing the PCV valve is a 10 minute job you can do in your driveway for like $5 in parts.

5. Adjust the settings in your cars computer.
Like changing the transmissions shift points. If you have an older car, get a shift kit from a automotive parts store, or if you have a newer car, you can buy a programmer for your cars computer that will reprogram the shift points in seconds. It doesn’t harm the engine or the transmission at all (actually it is better for the transmission) and you will get better performance and gas mileage. The factory sets the shift points more prolonged, which gives you a smoother ride, but effiency and performance suffer. These reprogrammers/modified chips are pretty pricy, but there are many performance gains, along with fuel economy gains depending on the modifications you choose.

Some manufacturers are

6. Install a velocity stack/vortec generator on the air intake.
This sounds a lot more complex than it actually is, but supposedly you can get up to a 31% increase in fuel economy, as well as up to 35 more horsepower. These are sold in most automotive stores and online. Two of the more popular brands are Turbonator and SpiralMax Its a little cylinder shaped baffle that you drop in behind the air filter. In most cars this would be right in front of the throttle body. It takes a couple minutes to install, but the one downside is that they cost between $60-$100.

  1. Make sure the tires are properly inflated

    This really works: I topped off the tires in my car last week, and I got 4 extra mpg. The car handles a lot better, too.

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