For some, using Hypermiling Techniques alone just isn’t enough. When you reach the point where techniques alone can’t improve your MPG any further you must consider adapting / modifying your car to make further gains.
This is where so called “eco-modds” come into it. Eco-modding is the practice of modifying your car to improve efficiency. This can be done in a number of ways including mechanical, aerodynamic and specification changes to the car.
As with Hypermiling, great care must be taken you ensure the roadworthiness and safety of your trusty steed. Safety should be paramount when it comes to driving, be it Hypermiling or otherwise. Some of the modifications below may not be deemed legal in your country of residence so we would advise speaking to a qualified mechanic before you get the spanners and overalls out.
The modifications listed below are sorted by cost. We’ll start with simple things that can be done at home with basic tools and progress to modifications that required specialist tools and skills.
Reducing weight is by far the quickest and cheapest way of instantly improving economy. The lighter the car, the less fuel and power it will require.
How much of an improvement you want to make by weight saving comes down to how much comfort and equipment you are willing to compromise.
If you enjoy “no frills” motoring and are willing to make sure sacrifices in comfort, a great deal of the interior can be removed. Door cards, rear seats, carpets… basically anything that can be unbolted. Some people even replace glass for perspex.
Weight saving is also a great way of improving your cars performance, manufacturers often opt for a course of weight saving to not only reduce emissions but also improve performance. This is also why race cars don’t have such comforts as aircon, carpets or even radios. Weight = more fuel and less speed.
Aerodynamic parts removals
Spoilers, fancy bumpers, vents and shirts are a boy racers dream. Many of these additions can not only attract the wrong kind of attention to your car but they also increase drag. Drag is the Aerodymanic restistance an object has on the air passing over it. The less drag, the less effect the air passing over it has and the less force needed to push the object through it. Drag in cars is measures in.
Removal of such items not only helps reduce drag but also weight. So before you opt for the “Sport” model, just consider the extra drag and fuel needed to push your 3ft “whale tail” through the air.