How to Improve Fuel Economy: Simple Fuel Saving Improvements for Cars and Trucks

Fuel economy has become a major part of everyone’s life now that gas has breached $4.00 a gallon. Even with the death of Bin Laden, I believe like most that gas will never be under $3.00 as long as people have to pay for it and the government allows us to foot the bill so that they don’t have to use the reserves here in America by drilling on U.S. soil. I drive a full size Dodge Ram truck with a hemi and as I mentioned in my article Hybrid Hoopla: Saving Gas with Hybrid Vehicles there is no shortage of full size trucks and America cannot run without them or the trucking industry that keeps this country going. I do not see Americans trading in $30,000 trucks to buy $45,000 trucks that get barely 2.5 MPG higher than what the current market offers. The ones that do, have the money to waste or are happy to play the governments game of ripping Americans off. Before you run out to buy that $45,000 base hybrid truck I would like to share with you how I raised my MPG for less than $200. Also, the results I’ve had with the Pulstar Platinum Spark Plugs for Fuel Economy and how to change them on a full size truck as well as some other things I’ve done to improve MPG.

Change to Pulstar Platinum Spark Plugs Rated for Fuel Economy

The Pulstar Platinum Spark Plugs (part # EF1P for the Dodge Ram)were first mentioned to me at Advanced Auto Parts when I was there looking for air filters. They are expensive especially when you have to change sixteen of them like in the 5.7 Hemi V8’s. The task is somewhat time consuming also, but worth doing yourself to save over $150 or more. With these plugs I could say I improved my gas mileage by an additional .3 MPG which isn’t a lot but pretty good when I considered the average of the other improvements.

Suggestion: I recommend shopping Advance Auto Parts online and using one of their many online coupons available. The Pulstar Platinum Spark Plugs would have cost me around $180 at the store alone ($9.99 each). Online I purchased the 16 plugs, Spectra air filter for my truck and my wife’s van, anti-seize lubricant and di-elect grease for about the same price with a coupon code they had for $40 off $90. I split the order in two, used the code twice and still received free shipping on both for being over $75 each.

Change to a Premium Air Filter

I replaced my paper filter with a Spectra High Performance permanent filter. This was the cheapest, easiest and most noticeable improvement of the ones I chose to make. In my best results, I immediately noticed an additional 1.0 MPG that was much appreciated. Additionally it only cost around $30 and was simple to change. The new filter will last the life of my truck, looks great and is something you will eventually have to change anyway for it’s not much cheaper paper counterpart.

The Cyclone Fuel Saver

I ordered this device online for around $25 and had pretty solid advice that it was not worth the time. It did NOT improve mileage at all. I performed my improvements in stages so that I could monitor the results accurately and this was my first improvement, because I didn’t expect much from it and knew that I would have to monitor it closely to see results. Basically a steel ring that circulates the air on your intake, it is easy to install and it might improve mileage on older cars, but I do not suggest spending the money on this product. It is still in my intake above the new filter, because it doesn’t seem to hurt anything, but I can’t honestly tell you that it helped.

New Tires Filled with Nitrogen

I replaced all four of my tires, filled them with nitrogen and did a toe adjustment. This was my last improvement so far and even though the tires look great and the ride seems very smooth I haven’t seen the estimated .5 MPG improvement that some suggest. Keep in mind I rarely get on the highway which may be where you could find better results over extended driving, but I usually average around 45 MPH in ten mile trips twice a day. I know when I am reaching my peak performance and I try my best to break it by reducing stops and easy driving habits.

My peak MPG so far for daily commute to work is 17.5 MPG, which is up from 15.8 MPG according to my trucks onboard computer after the first few months of driving with no adjustments made. General starting and stopping driving on my off day commutes average in the 16 MPG range. I plan to add flow master exhaust by the end of the year and hope to see the additional .5 I hear is expected. Perhaps these numbers are based on starting numbers without the other improvements. All of these improvements are basic upkeep items and most can be done without any training. My article How to Install Pulstar Platinum Spark Plugs on a Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi 5.7 covers the basic tools and information needed to make the change go smoothly.

Here are some of myother articles on fuel economy

Hybrid Hoopla: Saving gas with Hybrid Cars

Misuse of Funds by Sevier County Utility District and Government

Lower Fuel Cost: Can the Government Fulfill Its Promise of Clean Energy?

Staining a Deck: The Hard Way

Living Life on a Budget

Credit Cards: The Good and Ugly

Scoring High on Credit Reports