Save Money At The Pump!The price of fuel is a topic on the minds of all Americans. War, weather and politics have the price of regular, unleaded gasoline soaring above the $4.00/gallon mark with no sign of relief in sight.
As truck enthusiasts, convincing any of us to run out and buy some compact, fuel-efficient hybrid is just unrealistic. But, there are some things you can do to fight back at the pump (and gain a few extra horsepower on the way). Interested? We thought so. This article is designed to show you some of the things you can do to squeeze a few more miles out of every gallon by maximizing the performance of the three main areas that contribute to your vehicle’s efficient use of fuel: air intake, exhaust and fuel/spark delivery.
Air Intake System
Your engine needs to breathe, and the more air it has available the easier it is to generate power. But, at the same time, you need to filter the air going into your engine to make sure dirt, dust and other particles don’t gum up and damage your engine. Factory air intake systems use paper filters, and while they do clean the air very effectively – they are also very restrictive to air flow.
High-flow intake systems and replacement filters, on the other hand, provide excellent filtration without restricting air flow. Companies like K&N use oiled, cotton-gauze filters that trap tiny particles and flow almost as much air as running no filter at all! Couple this high-flow filter with the free-flowing intake tube (found on K&N’s FIPK kits) and we’re talking about a serious increase in efficiency. Efficiency you’ll appreciate when you step on the gas and when you fill up your tank – (see figure 1).
To further increase air intake performance and save even more fuel, many truck owners swear by the Tornado air channeling device. This simple device drops into any stock or aftermarket air intake and swirls the incoming air. The swirling air moves faster and more efficiently around corners and bends. The result is better fuel atomization and increased fuel economy – (see figure 2).
Vehicle manufacturers must comply with government regulations and design their exhaust systems to meet the needs of the average driver. Production cost, noise levels and other factors often force automakers to tune down the factory exhaust – which has a negative impact on performance and fuel economy.
Performance exhaust manufacturers, like Corsa, Gibson and MagnaFlow design their systems with power and mileage in mind (the great sound is a bonus). These systems use mandrel-bent tubing and high-flow mufflers to allow exhaust gases to escape more efficiently and free up your engine to produce more wheel-driving power. The result, increased efficiency and improved mileage – (see figure 3).
Fuel & Spark Delivery
The final component of the performance equation is fuel and spark delivery. On most modern vehicles, this process is controlled by your vehicle’s computer system. As with exhaust systems, your vehicle’s computer system is tuned with the average driver in mind.
Programmers from Hypertech, Bully Dog, and Superchips allow you to optimize your vehicle’s computer to suit your specific driving style. In addition to advancing your vehicle’s power settings, computer programmers also allow you to tune the computer to work more effectively with additional performance accessories like air intakes and exhaust systems. (see figure 4).
Another easy (and inexpensive) way to pick up a few extra miles is by adding a set of performance spark plugs. E3 performance spark plugs burn stronger than standard plugs – creating higher temperatures and more complete combustion. The result is up to 13% better fuel economy, up to 12% more horsepower and reduced emissions (up to 58% over the life of the plug).
Well there you have it. We hope you learned a little something that can help save you some money at the pump.
1. High-performance air intake systems and replacement filters flow more air for increased mileage and power.
2. The Tornado air channeling device creates a swirling air motion and makes air move more efficiently throught your engine.
3. Performance exhaust systems boost efficiency for better mileage.
4. Computer programmers help to tune and optimize your truck or SUV's computer for more power, better mileage, or both.
5. Performance spark plugs improve fuel economy up to 13% over standard replacement plugs.
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