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OT- Gas prices lead to more efficient engines?

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  • OT- Gas prices lead to more efficient engines?

    I was wondering the other day, does the dramatic increase in gas prices make engine efficiency measures more worth while in the eyes of manufacturers. I'm talking about things like roller cams, anti-friction coatings and the like.
    Thanks

  • #2
    There isn't much to be gained by those means. Lighter vehicles and smaller engines/hybrids are the only current way to make a real difference.
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    • #3
      Well it will make some change in the mechanics of the drive, but probably make a greater change in the operator.
      Some of the things that detract from better mileage are:
      Heavy cars..look for composite vehicles
      Road design...we are fixated on traffic lights and stop signs. they need to go !
      and yes, the Europeans are far ahead of us here, with
      roundabouts...a plus here is less polution IF YOU are moving
      Tire design...look for harder tires and thinner..but safety can restrict this
      Engine design..look for a return to air cooled engines,& engine "life' will suffer
      Water Injection.. repealed from the past, as it slows combustion for more MPG
      Computer controlled throttles... dial the mileage you want.don't expect speed!

      Rich
      Green Bay, WI

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      • #4
        well i live in pa. where round abouts are common. people can not get the idea on how they work. you are always taking your life in your hands when you have to go through one.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by bob308
          well i live in pa. where round abouts are common. people can not get the idea on how they work. you are always taking your life in your hands when you have to go through one.
          They're getting popular in Indy too, with similar results. I deal with one twice daily and I've noticed there's a real 'tyranny of the more-travelled' that goes on. If there's a lot of traffic on the east-west street and not so much on the north-south, the guy going south could be waiting awhile. I suppose the overall mileage for all cars would be better, but YOURS might not be, compared to a 4-way stop, which is biased toward the less-travelled direction.

          As to the engine question, I'm not much of an engine guy, but I suspect a lot of the friction-reducing strategies used in racing (coatings, spiffy bearings everywhere, etc.) wouldn't translate well to ordinary cars due to maintenance requirements. The initial price difference vs. an ordinary engine could really hamper its popularity too. Just my $0.02.

          Walt

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          • #6
            All I can see in the foreseeable future is a thinner wallet.

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            • #7
              On our recent trip to Alberta I drove our PT Cruiser. It isn't the best car for gas mileage as it is quite heavy, something I like because of the stability and safety that gives. However, I decided to try something before heading back from Hinton to home.

              Our PT is equipped with a factory installed roof rack. The factory recommends that when not in use both bars be slid together toward the very back of the tracks. This seems reasonable and it looks a lot like a spoiler.

              Drawing on my experience with aircraft and the use of spoilers and turbulators it occured to me that it might be an advantage to reposition the roof rack a little further forward on the roof. In the pic you can see that I moved it about eight inches forward from the rearmost position on the tracks.



              My thinking was that this might reenergize the air boundary layer and keep it attached further down the curved back of the car, thus reducing drag. Similar methods are used on aircraft to keep the airflow attached on the rear portion of the wing, especially over the flaps. Small vertical turbulator fences are used on the inner third of the wing on the Cessna Citation Business jet for exactly this reason.

              We then drove back the 650 or so kilometers to Williams Lake. I was astounded to find that my gas mileage increased a solid eight to ten percent on the hiway drive home. I am also finding a smaller but noticable increase in mileage in regular around town and work commuting which never exceeds 80kmh.
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              • #8
                Some thoughts on relieving gas pains. For about the past year I have been adding acetone to my gas every time I fill up. (2 oz. for every 10 gallon of gas.) This has resulted in an extra mile per gallon. While not earth shaking at least it is a step in the right direction.

                Meanwhile in my area we have a big push going on to get people to use the new E85. This is a blend of 85% alcohol and 15% gas. It is being sold as homegrown cheap alternative to regular gas and it IS a few cents per gallon cheaper then regular gas. However what the average Joe six pack is slowly coming to realize is that his mileage is drastically reduced and as such that he must now burn more E85 fuel to go the same distance. The reality being he is now has to spend more money to use a cheaper fuel.

                The following web site is by a guy who has been experimenting for about the last 50 years with different methods to get better mileage. There are a number of looong articles, some of which are a bit redundant, still though I found much detailed information on the things that he has done and what actually works. He explains why you should use acetone and how it works.

                http://www.lubedev.com/smartgas/

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                • #9
                  He explains why you should use acetone and how it works.
                  No he doesn't. He gives an explanation that may sound reasonable but has no basis in science.

                  In fact, his explanation doesn't even sound reasonable. It sounds like the bunk that it is.

                  Acetone, xylene, neopentane and other methyl carrying hydrocarbons are the slowest burning chemicals known to man. These survive the heat of combustion for a very long time although they vaporize readily. Still they burn slowly. By their fierce vibrations, they break apart the massive fuel fragments that surround them. Thus they encourage great vaporization.


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                  • #10
                    Never in the next 27 years, at least, will the price of gasoline deter you from driving all you want.

                    I have read of people buying "Hummers" who said they would make, "Maybe, one less trip to McDonald's per week".

                    Idjits who spend 40 to 60 thou per vehicle eat at McD's, but will eat there less often.

                    I guess there ARE some for whom the vehicle is their entry into the neigborhood they want to be in. Kissass neigborhoods, I guess you could call them. Any of you have any idea how goddamned restrictive some of them town house agreements can be? Pretty goddamned restrictive, and the courts have agreed to them..

                    Most of you must not be there, as you are trying to set up a little, or a large, shop.

                    If you were in some places, zoning would tell you you gotta move.

                    My own kid, on our local Planning Committee, told me this evening I could not build my secondary garage where I want to build it because it is a little forward of my house, proper, must be alongside or behind the house.

                    I think I am gonna build it and screw 'em. WAY too much stuff in my main garage, can't even find the stuff I am trying to get rid of here.

                    Cheers,

                    George

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                    • #11
                      I bought a used '01 Stratus a year ago. Not long after I had outlived the dealer warranty the engine developed what I thought was valve noise. Turned out to be piston slap, a common problem with these cars, according to my mechanic. The 2.7L V6 would eventually require a short block. He said to drive it until it failed. The noise was most evident above 3000 RPM and almost nonexistant below, with a little tick at idle. I resolved to keep the RPM below 3000 and drive it as long as I can. THe result of my engine-conserving strategy is that the car gets 29-30 MPG, most of my driving being expressway miles. This is better than the 27-28 MPG that I get with my PT cruiser, and is a more comfortable ride. I have to plan ahead on the on-ramps to avoid the need for sudden acceleration.

                      Wes
                      Last edited by Weston Bye; 07-14-2006, 05:43 AM.
                      Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
                      ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~

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                      • #12
                        I was wondering the other day, does the dramatic increase in gas prices make engine efficiency measures more worth while in the eyes of manufacturers.

                        Not until they become more worthwhile in the eyes of the consumer. You can make the most reliable, environmentaly sound, fuel efficient automobile in the world , but if the market doesn't want it, it won't sell. Since markets drive everything it's a safe bet that those manufacturers with the most fuel efficient cars will sell the most. If fuel ever goes below $2.50 a gallon Hummers will once again be in vogue. Or if they make a hummer that gets 30 miles to the gallon.

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                        • #13
                          He explains why you should use acetone and how it works.

                          No he doesn't. He gives an explanation that may sound reasonable but has no basis in science.
                          In fact, his explanation doesn't even sound reasonable. It sounds like the bunk that it is.

                          EVEN:
                          OK if you don’t like his explanation of how it works, and I certainly don’t except everything he says, “stillâ€‌ how do you explain the fact that it works? Because it DOE’S work. I know a number of people that are using it and while results vary, all are getting better mileage.

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                          • #14
                            There is not one study conducted under controlled conditions that shows any improvement caused by using acetone. Not one. There is also no scientific reason for it to work. There is no room to improve the combustion efficiency of modern gasoline engines since they already combust the fuel at around 98 to 99 percent efficiency.

                            It doesn't work and can't work.
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                            • #15
                              Let me think here,If you put 10% of anything into a gallon of gas will it not increase the volume of the gallon. there fore increase the mileage because you are now useing more fuel diluted as it is.

                              Just a thought.

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