For Ten Cents Per Gallon, How Far Would You Drive?
How far would you drive to save ten cents per gallon on gasoline?
An eight cents per gallon savings is definitely hard to find and ten even harder. If your tank is twenty gallons and half empty, you would save eighty cents to a dollar at fill ups. Some fuels, even at the same octane rating, are higher grade than others, which means they’ll help keep the inside of your engine cleaner.
The higher the octane, the higher the price per gallon. Is it worth paying more for higher octane fuel? What are the advantages? Higher octane slows flame propagation (burn time) in the cylinders. Lower octane fuel explodes, which causes detonation, also known as pinging. Detonation can cause serious engine damage. Properly working sensors in computer cars tell the ECU (computer) the timing needs to be retarded before engine damage occurs. When the timing is retarded, there is less time for the fuel to burn completely, which translates to decreased MPG and less power. Generally, the gains on MPG from the higher octane fuel are less than the difference in the price. Some manufacturers recommend higher octane fuel because their vehicles have higher compression ratios. The higher the compression, the higher the octane needs to be to slow the flame propagation.
Lower compression ratios mean less power and lower MPG than could be achieved from the same engine with higher compression. When there is less power available at a certain throttle position setting (TPS in ECU computer language), the more the throttle has to be opened to obtain the same speed and power. The ideal air to fuel ratio (AFR) is 14.7 to 1. If the throttle position is increased (opened more), the AFR has to be adjusted or the engine will be too lean, which can cause serious engine damage due to lack of cooling. The ECU increases the fuel to bring the AFR back into specifications, which lowers fuel economy.
Sixty to eighty percent of the fuel introduced into the engine is used to cool internal engine parts like valves, pistons, cylinder heads, etc. If you fool, or try to fool, the sensors into leaning the AFR, you’re reducing the cooling and can do serious damage to the engine. When you’re cruising, you don’t need as much internal cooling, but when you come to a hill, add more passengers, drive at a higher speed or otherwise increase the drag and rolling resistance, you will overheat internal engine parts if the vehicle runs too lean. Think of it like the difference between sitting and running, or carrying a backpack as opposed to walking with no weight.
If you save ten cents per gallon and the price per gallon is $4.50, you’re saving 4.5% per gallon. If you drive more than a few blocks out of the way to save 4.5%, you’re practicing false economy. If you’re buying a low grade fuel, you’re probably causing excess carbon buildup on the valves and pistons and in the exhaust, and possibly shortening the life of the catalytic convertor, a very expensive item. The gasoline company ad on TV that shows buildup on valves after 50,000 miles is true. Carbon buildup lowers engine efficiency, as well as causing hard carbon scoring of the cylinder walls. But, is it worth paying the extra price?
Recently I was discussing fuel economy with an engineer, who also has a background in metallurgy and biological molecular science. According to him, hydrogen molecules are so small they penetrate metal and weaken it. Unless an engine is specifically made to run on hydrogen, straight hydrogen will cause the engine to fail prematurely. Hydrogen burns hot and, unless cooling is replaced, overheating of internal engine parts will result.
Hypermiling increases MPG. Hypermiling is driving with a light foot on the accelerator, not making jackrabbit starts, resisting the urge to accelerate up hills, allowing the vehicle to coast when possible (like down hills and between stoplights), as opposed to charging the first half block, braking the second half and then waiting for the light to change and doing it all over again to the next light. Going slow, even in the right lane, on the freeway is dangerous. It’s possible to rechip or flash the ECU to produce a leaner state than the desired 14.7 to 1 and not cause internal engine damage if, and only if, you always hypermile. But, if you add extra weight, drive faster than usual or need extra power to get into traffic without being run down, you can do damage to the engine.
So, are we destined to be held hostage by the whims of big corporations, commodity investors and swings in oil prices? Not really. You can save from ten to fifty percent with a simple, inexpensive, easy to build and install, alternative. It’s called water vapor injection and can be seen at www.mileageman1,com. Properly installed and adjusted, it can increase MPG and power by slowing the flame propagation, the same as buying more expensive fuel. It can replace expensive fuel used for cooling with much more efficient water vapor. Water vapor will clean carbon from valves, pistons and the exhaust system, increasing the engine’s efficiency. You can custom build the system to your requirements with the right information, or you can buy other systems that may or may not fit in the space you have. Water vapor injection lowers pollution by reducing nitrous oxide and other emissions. And, as an extra added bonus, water vapor injection will also increase HP.
Tags: Gasoline , MPG , Miles Per Gallon , HP , Horsepower , Mileage
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