Three Simple Modifications To Improve Your Car's Fuel Efficiency

15 May 2015
 Categories: , Blog

Modern cars are packed to the brim with complex fuel-saving technology. Engineering advancements such as computer-controlled engine management and direct injection fuel systems have helped raise the average fuel economy of passenger vehicles from 18 miles per gallon in 1978 to an estimated 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016.

Nevertheless, there are a number of simple modifications that you can perform to squeeze even more gas mileage out of your car. Though the increase in efficiency achieved by these modifications may seem modest, even a few-percent increase in fuel economy can save you hundreds of dollars throughout the lifetime of your vehicle while also helping save the environment.

Tinted Windows

Window tinting is perhaps the simplest way to indirectly improve your car's gas mileage. Window tint blocks a proportion of sunlight from entering your vehicle, which helps keep your car's interior cool and comfortable on hot days. A cooler interior means your air conditioning system doesn't have to work as hard to maintain a steady temperature, and your engine's fuel economy will improve as a result.

You'll also be less inclined to crank up the air conditioning on hot days because the sun won't be directly shining on your skin. Since air conditioning makes your engine run much less efficiently, the less you use it the better your gas mileage.

As an added bonus, window tinting also blocks out harmful ultraviolet rays which fade your interior over time. Tinted windows will help keep your interior looking like new and will increase the resale value of your car down the road. To learn more about window tint, contact a company like MidAmerica Tint

Tires with Low Rolling Resistance

Your car's tires generate a tremendous amount of friction as they roll across the road. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that rolling resistance is responsible for up to 15 percent of fuel consumption in passenger vehicles. By minimizing the amount of friction generated by your tires, you minimize the amount of power your engine has to produce to maintain a steady speed.

Tires designed to minimize rolling resistance utilize harder rubber compounds and specially-tuned tread patterns to reduce the amount of friction they generate. The result is an increase in fuel efficiency, especially at highway speeds. If you're a highway commuter, tires with a low rolling resistance can more than pay for themselves with the money you'll save at the pump.

Lightweight, Aerodynamic Wheels

Aerodynamics and weight are also extremely important factors when it comes to fuel efficiency. This is especially true in the case of wheels. Your car's wheels spin at extremely high speeds when your car is in motion. Therefore, they generate a lot of aerodynamic resistance and require a substantial amount of engine power to rotate.

There are a number of aftermarket wheels that are designed to be as lightweight as possible while minimizing aerodynamic drag. Replacing your stock wheels with a set of lightweight, aerodynamic wheels reduces the amount of power your engine has to generate to maintain speed and increases fuel economy. For example, the Society of Automotive Engineers found that a set of aerodynamically-tuned lightweight wheels increased the fuel economy of a 2012 Ford Focus by 1.1 miles per gallon on the highway. While that may seem like a small increase in efficiency, it can lead to substantial savings at the pump over the lifetime of your vehicle.