Improving your truck’s gas mileage is probably a major concern to you now that gas prices have risen dramatically. Gas prices and fuel economy are an issue for many families particularly those who enjoy travel, camping and other forms of recreation. Unfortunately many people can’t seem to define a successful fuel economy strategy that will allow them to continue enjoying the utility of their truck without breaking the bank with fuel costs. You can find over one hundred surprisingly useful tips in the (How to Save Gas Handbook (click here to purchase), but it is critical to remain faithful to the essential facts of basic fuel saving strategies even as you apply all the latest successful fuel saving tips to improving your truck’s gas mileage. The most successful fuel economy strategy centers on two primary considerations: engine rpm and inertia. The inertia part involves the amount of energy necessary to move the mass of your truck from a standing start and the momentum required to keep it moving at any desired speed.  Overcoming the forces that resist the motion of your truck is a primary concern.  Vehicle weight (mass), aerodynamic drag, rolling resistance, frictional drag and other parasitic losses all contribute to parasitic drag and increased load on your engine; making it work harder and often requiring more engine speed to accomplish your hauling and towing goals. As detailed in the (How to Save Gas Handbook (click here to purchase), these factors affect the engine’s need to work harder to move the vehicle.  Minimizing their effects is a key component of a successful fuel economy strategy.

Improving Your Truck’s Gas Mileage: Engine Speed & Inertia

Improving Your Truck's Gas Mileage

Improving Your Truck's Gas Mileage

Improving your truck’s gas mileage begins with the fundamentals and real fuel savings begin with a reduction in engine speed and that often means a reduction in vehicle speed. Each cylinder in your engine consumes a small, but significant amount of fuel every time it fires. Hence reduced engine speed and fewer power strokes per distance traveled  adds up to substantial fuel savings. The slower you run your engine, the more you will extend your truck’s fuel mileage. A manual transmission helps you control this because you can lug the engine in higher gears during periods of lesser loading. Domestic V8 engine that produce high torque operate comfortably with minimal gear multiplication at low engine speeds and current V6 and inline 4-cylinder engines are also capable of lugging due to their electronically managed low-speed efficiency. Six cylinder engines are particularly well adapted  to lugging because their power strokes overlap to a larger degree than a V8. This may sound trivial, but once you have the truck moving there are fuel savings to be gained with every possible  reduction in engine speed.

This approach is not quite as effective with an automatic transmission because many automatics downshift at lower engine speeds, but you can still take employ this strategy by reducing power strokes with slower acceleration and the lowest possible engine speed consistent with the transmission’s automatic shift points. These of course vary with load and throttle opening so the transmission will shift sooner if you are not hard on the gas.

Improving your Truck’s Gas Mileage: A Matter of Details

Successfully improving your truck’s gas mileage, it is important to get into high gear at the lowest engine speed as quickly as possible. Fuel quality and the potential for pinging or detonation may resist these efforts, but you will quickly learn to work within the particular performance range of your vehicle based on the previously stated requirements for engine speed versus inertia. Once you determine the appropriate thresholds, you’ll learn how to modify your driving style to merge the positive components of engine speed and inertia versus your skill and comfort level in various traffic environments. Improving your truck’s gas mileage is comparatively easy for almost any truck or SUV if you follow the basic rules presented in the (How to Save Gas Handbook (click here to purchase).


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