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Fuel Frugality

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The past decade has seen the major automakers become increasingly invested in the move to improve the fuel economy in essentially every car that rolls off their assembly lines. These automakers are utilizing the growing range of technologies that improve fuel consumption, in addition to modern alterations to the vehicles design.

First, vehicles today are becoming increasingly lighter on their wheels. With this weight loss there is increased fuel efficiency. Some of the SUVs on the market today have, in some instances, reduced their total weight by more than 200 kg. With many SUVs changing from a truck-type frame to a car-type frame, the loss in weight can increase the fuel frugality up to almost 30 per cent.

Working in from the frame to the transmission, continuously variable transmissions, referred to in short as CVTs, are another innovative method for a vehicle’s fuel economy to improve. The CVT is gearless which increases its effectiveness.

Many automotive industry analysts have advertised the increasing number of North American automakers with CVTs. Figures quoted that have number of CVT increasing just over 6 per cent of all transmission over the last decade. Some experts feel that another 10 per cent increase in automobiles sporting a CVT is possible in just the next few years.

From the transmission we next look to the engines for fuel frugality. As engines decrease in size, they lose power but become further fuel efficient. It is much more than simply reducing size of an engine that is adding to the ability of a car to be fuel efficient. Today’s models sport direct fuel injection systems rather that older conventional systems. Direct fuel injection sends the fuel right into the cylinder at a higher pressure, enhancing fuel use. This method has the potential for an up to 3 percent reduction in fuel consumption.

Another engine modification that has fuel savvy drivers smiling is variable valve timing. Rather than a conventional valve system that does not change with the requirements of the engine in different situations, a variable valve timing will adjust the timing of the engines breathing based on the driving conditions. With this innovation comes the potential for up to a 6 percent reduction in fuel consumption.

Of course there are those factors that impact fuel frugality that every model and make come with; how you choose to drive. It has been cited numerous times and that speeding or driving at inconsistent speeds, rapid acceleration or idling for an extended period of time will cost you more at the pump. Do not focus just on the technological changes but remember to do your part inside the car.

It may sound absurd but many of us often forget fuel. Most consumers do not have it in the forefront of their thoughts when out looking to purchase or lease. The cost of fuel is an unending expenditure sometime overlooked by the shiny new car. Selecting the greatest fuel-efficient and suitable size of car and driving in a fuel-efficient style, will save you fuel and money– even with fluctuating fuel prices.

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