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Top 5 ways to get better gas mileage in a fast car

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Top 5 ways to get better gas mileage in a fast car

Being smart about your car can save you a lot of money (William Nacouzi)

Being smart about your car can save you a lot of money (William Nacouzi)

Being smart about your car can save you a lot of money (William Nacouzi)

Being smart about your car can save you a lot of money (William Nacouzi)

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Good gas mileage is simultaneously intimidating and timid. As the driver may notice, fuel gets skittish when the throttle is pushed down and horsepower is unleashed, but drivers don’t want to scare it off. They want to buy it a beer and keep it calm, collected, and above all, present. These are some skills to exercise in order to tame the wild beast that is gas mileage, and like all muscles, these skills must be worked out in order to stay in shape.

From here on out, this gets some- what technical. Be prepared.

1. Manual Transmission – This may be difficult to hear, but your automatic transmission is killing your gas mileage. So much gas is wasted, as if every RPM is firing a bullet at gas mileage shouting, “Dance!” Gas mileage isn’t afraid of running away and once it’s gone, it’s gone. Be nice to fuel by shifting at low RPMs and keeping the engine mellow. With an automatic, the driver doesn’t control this. However, shifting a manual at about 2000 RPMs will keep fuel happy and sound, and not anger the monster that is your engine.

2. Turbo Diesel – Diesels have a 20-to-1 compression ratio. They are beefy, heavy, sluggish motors that make next to zero horse- power while getting upwards of 20 mpg, and in a truck that’s nothing to be laughed at. Especially with a V-8 diesel, pulling over 4 tons (enter 1985 Chevrolet Suburban). However, adding a turbo to that and the engine will make at least 100 more horsepower, and will improve gas mileage by five or so. Rule of thumb for truck owners: Get a turbo diesel.

3.      Consistent/regulated speed – The illusion of fast cars with horrible gas mileage is, once again, driver-dependent, and it’s not about speed either. Go any speed, and get 20 mpg by staying consistent. Instead of using brakes, try letting up off the throttle and letting the engine do the braking for you. This will keep RPMs more or less the same, as braking will lower them much faster.

4. Smaller motor – There’s no replacement for displacement. False. Smaller Japanese engines create as much or more horsepower than giant V-8s, at least a lot of the time. Higher compression, lighter, smaller equals less gas being used.

5. Appropriate Octane – every engine is designed to burn a certain grade of gasoline. PAY ATTENTION TO THIS FOR THE GOOD OF YOUR VEHICLE. Do not put 87-octane gas in a BMW 335i, and as always, DO NOT put 91 in a Zonda R–use racing 100 or higher. The most important thing a driver can do to get better gas mileage is – TAKE CARE OF YOUR CAR. Stay on top of oil changes, keep an eye out on coolant, gear oil (front and rear), and do NOT always accelerate to redline (except in a drag race). You don’t need a hybrid to get good gas mileage. Be a confident, sane and controlled driver, and drive it, don’t be driven.

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Top 5 ways to get better gas mileage in a fast car