Recent political rumblings have drivers around the globe wondering about fuel costs in the future. The Trump administration recently announced that it may rollback fuel efficiency standards, potentially costing Americans billions of dollars in the long haul. Now, more than ever, it is essential for car owners to find car modifications ways to reduce fuel consumption.
Fortunately, there are hundreds of car modifications that can improve fuel efficiency of any vehicle. In fact, frequent travelers can save thousands of dollars over the lifespan of their vehicle. From complete EV conversions to simple weight reduction modifications, here are some mod ideas that drivers should explore:
Car Modifications Can Lighten Your Travels
EV Conversion Kit
The most dramatic improvement you can make to improve fuel efficiency is to convert your car into an electric or hybrid vehicle. Conversion kits are typically vehicle-specific, so it is important that you buy the correct model before getting your hands dirty. Universal electric conversion kits are typically inefficient and are not recommended. While many drivers assume that conversions are too expensive or complicated to consider, there are a wide range of products that vary in price and complexity.
There are many options when it comes to converting your auto into a hybrid or electric. The most simple type of conversion kit consists of only a motor and a controller. It is essentially a plug-and-play product that can reduce fuel costs with little effort, and usually costs less than $1,000. Complete overhauls, on the other hand, can cost well over $10,000. A bigger investment means bigger savings on fuel, but consumers should consider simply buying a new eco-friendly vehicle if the costs outweigh the return on investment.
Wind resistance can be a serious problem for fuel efficiency. Drag forces your engine to work harder, reducing your MPG. Fortunately, gearheads across the globe have found innovative methods to improve the aerodynamics of any vehicle.There are plenty of car modifications designed to improve the aerodynamics of your car.
A splitter on front of the vehicle can direct high pressure air on top of the car, rather than underneath it, creating downforce. Side skirts and an underbelly can also create downforce. A hood vent improves airflow through the engine bay, improving aerodynamics and cooling. Finally, spoilers can improve airflow and reduce lift. While official body kits can cost thousands of dollars, custom body kits from unofficial suppliers can be surprisingly affordable.
Streamlined Exhaust System
Exhaust systems have several choke points — areas where airflow is restricted — that can increase fuel consumption. Simple car modifications and aftermarket parts can streamline the exhaust system. For example: the Ford F-150, the most popular truck in America, has choke points in the air intake system, the Y-pipe, and the catalytic converter.
There are mods that can improve airflow at each of these choke points. An air intake modification known as the “Gotts Mod” is very inexpensive ($15!) and easy to do. It is also reversible, in case you want to return to stock. Aftermarket pipes and catbacks can improve airflow at the other choke points, notably improving your MPG. In the long run, they will result in more money in your pocket.
Weight Reduction Modifications
There is a reason why thrifty shoppers are seeking out smaller, lighter vehicles: they are more fuel efficient! Weight reduction mods are proven to improve your MPG. In fact, your fuel efficiency improves by approximately 2% for every 100 pounds that are removed. Modifying a vehicle to reduce its weight is a common suggestion for those looking to reduce gas consumption.
Mods in this vein range from pragmatic to extreme. On the more practical side of things, drivers can outfit their vehicle with lighter body panels, replace glass windows with polycarbonate ones, and use a lighter set of wheels. Some heavy components can be removed, such as the air conditioning compressor. Even switching to a lighter battery can lighten your load by 20 pounds.
If you are willing to strip some creature comforts from your vehicle, you can improve your mileage. While it may seem extreme, stripping out the interior of a vehicle (including the rear seats) can lighten your car by up to 130 pounds. For those planning a solo road trip, this could be a great way to save cash. Some consumers even intentionally refrain from filling their gas tank more than halfway, since the weight of the fuel can actually make your car less fuel efficient.
Regardless of future regulation changes, thrifty and conscientious drivers can reduce fuel consumption with these car modifications. Whether you have a budget of several thousand dollars to practically no budget at all, there are steps you can take to spend less at the pump.