Improving Engine Fuel Economy

Improving Engine Fuel Economy In The Face Of Rising Fuel Prices

Improving engine fuel economy requires a multi-pronged approach and there are several things you can attend to achieve this goal:

  • Driving style
  • Cold kilometres
  • Traffic conditions
  • Piggyback chip

Let us look at these factors in turn to see how they influence your vehicle's fuel economy.

Driving Style

Of all the things you can do in improving your engine's fuel economy, adjusting your driving style possibly has the biggest impact and under this heading...

  • speed
  • acceleration
  • braking and
  • coasting

...are the most important.

The faster you go, the more fuel you use and lowering your cruising speed on the highway has the effect of improving engine fuel economy dramatically.  Hard acceleration uses a lot of fuel, so accelerate leisurely and plan ahead so you are never required to make big demands on the accelerator.  Braking uses as much fuel as accelerating and the logic is simple: every time you brake, you could have lifted your foot from the accelerator earlier and started coasting.  You cannot avoid braking altogether, but adjusting your driving style to minimise braking will certainly make a difference to your fuel bill.  When you coast, always coast in gear and not with the clutch depressed or in Neutral; modern, fuel-injected engines use NO FUEL whatsoever when coasting, but only when you coast in gear.

Cold Kilometres

An engine that has not warmed through thoroughly is inefficient and when it heats up to normal work temperature, it has the effect of improving engine fuel economy substantially.  Short trips around town, dotted about the day at different times are the biggest offenders, so try to consolidate all the small trips into fewer longer trips.

Traffic Conditions

The acceleration and braking argument above should demonstrate clearly that busy city traffic will put a sizeable dent in your fuel economy and improving engine fuel economy in city traffic is difficult.  You can adhere to the above rules, but also remember to embark on trips during quieter times of the day when there is less traffic, if at all possible.

Piggyback Chip

A piggyback chip is an effective way to improve your engine's fuel economy and it is the only way to optimise your engine's electronic control unit (ECU) settings.  You would have to ask why your ECU is not already optimised when your car leaves the factory and that would be a valid question.  The answer is that no two mass-produced engines are quite the same and small variances in reciprocating masses, tolerances, gas flow dynamics and a multitude of other factors mean that every engine is unique – and requires unique ECU settings.

It would simply take too much time to optimise each engine individually on the production line, so all cars leave the factory with standardised ECU settings that can be improved upon.  A piggyback chip modifies the ECU's settings to maximise economy when running light and maximise power when you put your foot down.  One of our customised piggyback chips can be very beneficial in improving engine fuel economy in your car too.

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