September 1, 2005 tests gas-saving tips

Santa Monica, California –, a popular online automotive site, recently took the top four fuel economy tips and tested them in real-world conditions to see which ones produced a measurable difference in fuel economy.

Using a 2005 Ford Mustang GT and 2005 Land Rover LR3 SE, testers ran eight 90 km routes in California. The tests determined that using cruise control and avoiding a “lead foot” gave considerable fuel savings, while driving with air conditioning rather than open windows and using properly-inflated tires gave mixed results.

Using cruise control gave a 13.9 per cent improvement in the Land Rover, and 4.5 per cent improvement in the Mustang over driving without it. To test “lead-foot” versus “feather-foot” driving, the testers first accelerated aggressively fifteen times at three-fourths throttle from zero and applied the brakes hard, and then accelerated moderately at one-fourth throttle, braking lightly. The Land Rover showed a 35.4 per cent improvement when driven lightly, while the Mustang showed a 27.1 per cent improvement.

Driving with the air conditioning off and the windows open created a modest improvement, of 1.6 per cent in the Land Rover and 4.1 per cent in the Mustang. In the tire inflation test, tires were first used at five psi below recommended pressure and then two psi above. The Land Rover showed a 4.4 per cent improvement, while the Mustang did not show any difference in fuel savings.

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