Making the most of every gallon of fuel has become the goal of consumers and auto manufacturers alike. However, most of people put a minimal amount of thought into improving their MPG because an extra gallon of gas or two makes very little difference in their budgets now that prices have dropped. But what if you can read a short article and improve your fuel mileage significantly and prevent premature breakdowns of your second biggest investment after your house?
Unfortunately, some of the devices that limit fuel economy on your truck are necessary to lower emissions. Although there are a variety of tricks that need to be applied all at once to significantly improve fuel economy, some of which require a little investment upfront, these purchases pay for themselves every time you fill up the tank.
So if you are looking for effectively free upgrades that may also save your investment from premature wear and tear, please read on.
Replace Your Aging Fuel-Related Sensors
There is nothing more impactive on a truck’s fuel economy than the perfect function of the electromechanical parts themselves. Spark plugs today rarely need changing before 100,000 miles.
The biggest offenders when it comes to fuel consumption are the oxygen sensors and coolant temperature sensor. If these sensors have developed internal resistance, they may not trigger any Check Engine indicator to illuminate even though they are dumping fuel out the window.
When your sensors fail, the efficiency and performance of the fuel mapping disappear. Your vehicle literally dumps fuel into the engine at start-up to achieve what is known as closed loop mode. If your coolant temperature sensor or oxygen sensors are not giving the right range of readings to the power-train control module (PCM), your vehicle will operate in a default mode that is sluggish and guzzles gas.
Check Throttle Body Calibrations
In many vehicles, the throttle body may need a computer-coordinated alignment to properly coordinate performance and fuel mapping. Even if you do something as simple as disconnecting your battery or leaving the lights on, the computer calibration will need to be performed again. Millions of people are driving around in expensive vehicles fitted with top-of-the-line turbo engines that have almost no power because they are maintained improperly.
Lower the Road-Resistance of Your Truck
You’ve heard a million times that you should regularly check your tire pressure and make sure it matches the PSI in your doorjamb. Many late-model vehicles now come with tire pressure monitoring systems that eliminate the worry.
What people fail to consider is investing in low-rolling-resistance tires. Why not invest in a quality set of tires that lower fuel consumption and pay for themselves over time?
Lower the Wind Resistance of Your Truck
When it comes to trucks, hauling large objects around in the bed of your pickup can cause both power-to-weight reductions, which inherently decrease fuel economy, and wind-resistance issues. Smart truck drivers spend a little money to protect their truck beds from being exposed to the weather and wind resistance. Purchasing a tonneau cover for S10 pickups and other popular models that feature made-to-fit engineering is a low-cost investment that pays for itself.
These are a few key investments that you can make that pay for themselves to lower your fuel economy. They should be used in combination with fuel-efficient pulse and surge driving techniques, carpooling, maintaining proper speed limits, and other methods to maximize fuel economy. Many trucks today are coming with idle on/off technology to kill that 0 mpg dead zone that leads to high emissions and higher refueling bills.
Sadly, many trucks are being fitted with diesel particulate filters that are lowering their fuel economy by as much as 7 mpg. There is no certain solution to defeat these manufacturer barriers other than trading in your truck for a model that uses selective catalytic reduction (SCR) in its stead.