Hondas are a fantastic car and a lot of fun to drive, but unfortunately fun usually means money, and a Honda is no exception. Luckily after working on Hondas for well over a decade Iv come to find 7 simple tricks you can implement today to easily make your Honda more fuel efficient.
1 Check Tire Pressure Regularly
Ensuring you have keep the correct amount of air in each tire is crucial if you want improve the fuel efficiency of your car. The air in your tires supports the entire weight of the car with each tire holding 25% of the weight.
Over time your tires can begin to gradually lose pressure which results in far greater rolling resistance of your tires with the surface of the road. Rolling resistance is caused by the deformation of the underinflated tire causing a larger surface area of the tire to be in contact with the road creating friction and heat. This resistance will put far more load on your engine due to it being much more difficult to turn the wheels resulting in poor fuel efficiency
A study was done by the National Highway Safety Administration which showed that a 10% decrease in tire pressure translated in to a 2% increase in fuel consumption. This means that a 50% decrease in tire pressure equals to a 10% increase in fuel consumption which is a staggering amount considering its a lose of $10 fuel for every $100 you put in.
The good news is it’s a very simple problem to fix and you will reap the benefits immediately, you should also remember to check your tire pressure at least once a month.
Your tire pressure should also be adjusted to suit your driving conditions, meaning if you’re towing a trailer or packing up the car for a vacation with the family you may want to check your tire pressure once you have the car fully loaded as the tire pressure may need to be adjusted.
32 PSI is the recommended tire pressure for most cars, to improve fuel efficiency you can increase the tire pressure to 40 PSI maximum, this will allow the car to roll much more freely with very little resistance, which will be a big help in improving your fuel efficiency and save money at the pumps.
2 Lighten Your Cars Load By Reducing Weight
When it comes to fuel efficiency the main factor that determines this is the load being put on the engine, more load means more fuel.
By reducing the weight of your car you are decreasing the drag on the engine which will result in better fuel efficiency. Reducing the weight of the car sounds like a mammoth task but really it’s as simple as just removing unwanted items from the car.
You’d be surprised how fast the weight of unwanted items in a car can build up, without you ever even considering that to be a contributing factor to the increase in fuel efficiency of your Honda.
Another option is to remove things from the car like rear seats, spare wheel, interior plastic trims, and anything else you feel you don’t need. Doing this will reduce the weight of your Honda by approximately 25 KG and drastically improve the fuel efficiency of your car.
3 Keep Your Car Serviced Regularly to Improve Fuel Efficiency
Keeping your car serviced regularly will not only prolong the life of your engine but will also help to improve the fuel efficiency of your car.
When filters such as the air filter get blocked with dirt, dust, and debris, it reduces the amount of air that can reach the engine due to the resistance created by the blocked-up air filter. This resistance makes it much harder for your engine to breathe in air, which means your engine needs to work harder to stay running, and the only way it can do this is by burning more fuel.
In general, you should be getting your car serviced every 20,000km or once every year. When you’re getting your car serviced make it clear that you want your air filter replaced because from working in the trade I know from experience that 90% of garages won’t replace the air filter and instead will just clean it out with compressed air, which is OK temporarily but not if your paying for a full service.
Replacing worn spark plugs for new ones will also make a slight improvement in fuel economy. The spark plugs are responsible for causing the ignition spark inside the combustion chambers (cylinders) of your engine.
If the ignition spark is weak due to worn spark plugs the engine will not be able to ignite the fuel in the cylinders correctly resulting in fuel being left unburned and escaping through the exhaust pipe.
Spark plugs are also included in a full service so be sure to check your receipt to be sure these parts were installed.
4 Have Your Wheels Aligned to Improve Fuel Efficiency
Something that is often overlooked when trying to improve the fuel efficiency of a car is having the four wheels aligned correctly.
Your wheels can fall out of alignment gradually over time due to driving over potholes, ramps, hitting curbs, and especially when you replace any suspension components such as wishbones or control arms.
When your alignment is out of track it means that each wheel on the car, or sometimes just one wheel, is pointing slightly in the opposite direction than the other wheels, which results in the car pulling to one side and uneven wear on the insides of the tires.
As you can imagine this constant pulling to one side, fighting against the car to drive in a straight line is causing quite a lot of extra load on your engine which in turn results in far less gas mileage over long distances.
The benefit of having your four wheels aligned is that car can roll in a straight line much more freely with as little resistance as possible. Usually, if your wheels are out of alignment you will feel have noticed one of the symptoms mentioned above, but if you never had your wheels aligned for the sake of $50 you have peace of mind, and it’s one step closer to a more fuel-efficient Honda.
5 Ease Off The Throttle To Save Fuel
This might seem obvious but it needs to be said. If you drive slower you will not only be safer but you will also save a lot of fuel.
The sudden acceleration causes your car to burn more fuel due to large amounts of fuel being needed instantaneously to react to acceleration being applied to the gas pedal.
Changing gears at a lower RPM also drastically improve a car’s fuel efficiency. The thing to remember is, that the faster the engine runs the more fuel it uses.
Planning your journeys in advance is also an excellent way to cut down on the cost of fuel by picking shorter routes during off-peak times to avoid being caught in traffic.
If you do get stuck in traffic and your car is pre-automatic start-stop technology, you should shut off your engine when sitting in traffic for prolonged periods, this does a couple of things, it for one saves fuel, and for two it helps the environment and for three it stops you melting your head gasket with the car idling in the heat with no cool air flowing through the radiator.
6 Turn Off Your A/C to Effectively Reduce Fuel Consumption
If your climate permits, you should have your air conditioning (A/C) switched off at all times. Having your A/C switched on can increase fuel consumption by up to 20%.
The reason A/C uses more fuel is because of the extra load being put on the engine due to the belt for the A/C pump being driven off of the engine’s crankshaft pulley. The amount of extra load is dependent on the vehicle’s interior size, outdoor temperatures, and other factors.
If you really want to maximize fuel efficiency you can also remove the belt for the A/C entirely, this will completely eliminate any extra load on the engine. If you decide to remove the belt you should first check with your local auto parts store that you can get a shorter replacement belt to suit your specific model of car.
The A/C belt usually operates more than just the A/C pump that’s why it’s important to get a shorter replacement belt before you remove your belt.
7 Get your ECU Remapped For Better Fuel Economy
Every electronic component in a car is controlled by the car’s ECU (electronic control unit) also known as the brain of the car. The ECU continuously sends and receives signals from all the sensors which are responsible for keeping your engine running correctly and in sync.
Once the ECU receives a signal this signal is then processed by the map which is programmed to the ECU. A map is basically a data set that processes signals and then sends data to the given component telling it what to do and when to do it.
By remapping the ECU you are deleting the original manufacturer’s data set or map and replacing it with a custom map. The benefits of this are an increase in power, and the ability to remove the EGR valve, plus an increase in fuel efficiency by up to 30% which is huge.
Remapping the ECU is not something every mechanic can do as it’s a pretty specialized trade that needs specialized equipment and software.
To remap the ECU you will need to find a local mechanic who provides remapping services, the cost of this ranges from $250 to $500 depending on where you go. My recommendation would be to go to a reputable agent even if it means paying a little extra, remapping the ECU involves completely wiping all the data from your ECU, so you need it done to the highest standards.
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