Archive for the ‘better fuel economy’ Tag

6 Simple Car Care Tips to Increase Gas Mileage

Six Gas Saving Car Care TipsSpring is here and so are rising gas prices. Not to worry, says the Car Care Council. A few simple and inexpensive vehicle maintenance steps can stretch your dollar at the pump and go a long way toward protecting the environment.

“Many motorists don’t realize that fuel consumption is directly related to auto care and has a significant impact on how much gas you use,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Gas prices can climb quickly, but the good news is that you can fight back. By properly maintaining your vehicle, you can improve fuel economy while saving money.”

The non-profit Car Care Council encourages motorists to be car care aware and perform simple maintenance to improve fuel economy.

– Tune-Up: Keep your car properly tuned to improve gas mileage by an average of 4 percent.

– Tire Pressure: Keep tires properly inflated and improve gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent.

– Motor Oil: Improve gas mileage by 1 to 2 percent by using the grade of motor oil recommended by the manufacturer.

– Air Filters: Replacing clogged air filters on older vehicles can improve fuel economy and will improve performance and acceleration on all vehicles.

– Gas Cap: Damaged, loose or missing gas caps allow gas to vaporize into the air.

– Fix It: Addressing a serious maintenance problem, like a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve mileage by as much as 40 percent, according to http://www.fueleconomy.gov.

In addition to vehicle maintenance, modifying driving habits, such as observing the speed limit and avoiding quick stops and starts, can also increase fuel efficiency. Consolidating trips, avoiding excessive idling and removing unnecessary items from the trunk are also easy ways to lower fuel consumption.

April is National Car Care Month and free vehicle inspections are happening all around the country. Find a free car care clinic or vehicle inspection event near you on the Car Care Council’s Event Finder to learn more about taking care of your car.

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a free copy of the council’s Car Care Guide or for more information, visit http://www.carcare.org.

Read more at: http://www.carcare.org/2014/04/rising-gas-prices-dont-have-to-cost-you/

Standard stop-start on some Cherokees, 200s

Engine Stop-Start (ESS) systems will be standard equipment on certain models of the 2015 Jeep Cherokee and 2015 Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan. The system will be used on four-cylinder 200s and V6 Cherokees; fuel economy should rise by around 3% with the new systems, which our sources claim are based on belt-driven generators.

The setup should become available in the Jeep Cherokee in the third quarter, and in the 200 in the fourth quarter. The setup is currently used in one version of the Ram 1500, where it saves one mile per gallon (city).

The ESS system uses a high-speed/high-durability starter that reduces crank time, for quicker restarts. Passive accelerator application is met with measured throttle response; hard inputs trigger aggressive starts. Chrysler claims, “there’s no waiting for either.”

When the engine comes to a stop, if it is warm enough for an immediate restart and there is sufficient reserve battery power, the engine is cut off, saving fuel. Heavier batteries maintain other vehicle systems, including the fan. When the brake is released, the engine automatically restarts (rather than waiting for the driver to use the accelerator), and the transmission re-engaged, within one third of a second. The feature can be deactivated by the driver at will.

As read on: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2014/06/standard-stop-start-on-some-cherokees-200s

ProMaster City Comparison

During yesterday’s reveal of the new Ram ProMaster City, Ram CEO Reid Bigland frequently used the term “Best in Class.”

Always up for a challenge, Allpar obtained the specifications for the ProMaster City’s primary rivals, the Ford Transit Connect and the Nissan NV200. The Chevrolet City Express is a rebadged NV200 and shares its specifications except for price.

Because final ProMaster City specifications have not yet been finalized, Allpar used the figures presented during the reveal where possible and filled in the blanks with specifications for the Fiat Doblò Cargo long wheelbase (LWB).

The Ram ProMaster City is significantly larger than the base Ford Transit Connect so the LWB version of the Transit Connect was used for the comparison. In addition, the Transit Connect has an optional 1.6-liter turbocharged EcoBoost engine that rivals the Tigershark in the ProMaster City. The optional engine adds $795 to the Transit Connect’s sticker.

As far as any commitment to pricing, Bigland would say only that the Ram ProMaster City will be competitive. Based on prices from Ford, Nissan and Chevrolet, that would indicate a base price, including destination charges, between $22,000 and $23,000.

In 2013, Chrysler, Ford and Nissan sold a total of 53,222 small vans in the U.S. Though May of this year, sales totaled 23,598, up 12.6% from May 2013.

As read on: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2014/06/sizing-up-the-competition

Gas-saving tips & myths: Test-based advice for improving fuel economy

As the summer travel season rolls in, prices at the gas pump are usually going in the wrong direction for our wallets. That’s when drivers become more concerned about how to squeeze the most miles from their fuel dollars and keep their cars running their best.

To help you stay in the know, here are some common questions that our auto experts often get asked about gas mileage and related topics:
What’s the best way to cut fuel costs?

Slow down. In our tests, we’ve found that driving faster on the highway can really take a bite out of your car’s fuel efficiency. We measured gas mileage while driving at a steady 55, 65, and 75 mph in a Honda Accord, Toyota RAV4, and three versions of a Ford Fusion, including a hybrid. The drop in fuel economy while going from 55 to 65 rangedfrom 4 to 8 mpg. Upping the speed from 65 to 75 cut it 5 to 7 mpg more. Overall, speeding up from 55 mph to 75 is like moving from a compact car to a large SUV.

What if I need to carry stuff on my car’s roof?

Carrying things on the roof increases aerodynamic drag, which hurts fuel economy. When we tested a  2013 Honda  Accord at a steady 65 mph, it got 42 mpg with nothing on the roof. Adding even an empty bike rack dropped the mileage by 5 mpg, to 37. A wind deflector reduced the wind noise but cut gas mileage to 35 mpg. And with two bikes on the rack, gas mileage dropped to 27 mpg, a whopping 15-mpg difference overall. Similarly, when we tested a  2008 Camry with a large car-top carrier, fuel economy dropped by 5 mpg.

Does running the A/C hurt fuel economy compared with opening the windows?

It depends on how hard the air-­conditioning system has to work. When we measured the fuel-economy difference in a  2008 Ford Focus, Honda  Accord, and Subaru Forester, we found that fuel use with the  A/C running went up with higher outside temperatures.  At 55° F, there were negligible differences. But when we measured again on days when the temperature was in the low 70s and high 80s, we got fewer miles per gallon with the  A/C on. In general, expect 1 to 4 mpg less with air conditioning.

How far can I go when my low-fuel warning light comes on?

There is no set rule, but most cars have a reserve of between 1 and 2 gallons of gas when the light goes on, or enough to travel about 40 miles or so at a moderate speed. To maximize those last couple of gallons, we suggest slowing down and maintaining a steady pace.

Can I improve gas mileage by installing a special air filter?

With modern cars, changing your air filter probably won’t improve your fuel economy. When we tested a car to see whether a dirty air filter hurt its gas mileage because of reduced air intake, we found that the car’s acceleration was hurt but not its fuel economy. The engine’s computer automatically compensated for the restricted airflow by reducing fuel use to maintainthe right air /fuel ratio. We expect similar results from any air-filter change.

Can running on empty hurt my engine?

Some people think that can draw in debris from the bottom of the fuel tank, but it’s not really a big concern. That’s because the fuel pump always pulls in gas from the bottom of the tank, even when it’s full. So if there is a debris problem, you’ll probably know about it long before the fuel level gets low. These days, there’s usually a fuel filter in the gas tank as well as one nearer the engine, so debris is unlikely to get through to your engine. If your tank contains junk, though, you might have to change the filters more frequently.

As read on: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/04/gas-saving-tips-and-myths/index.htm