Car Performance: 5 Weight Savings tips for Performance and Fuel Efficiency
In the air travel industry, airlines live and die by their operating costs, a large component of which is their fuel costs. That is why aircraft manufacturers have whole departments whose purpose in life is to track and reduce the weight of the airplanes, ounce by ounce and gram by gram. Auto performance enthusiasts can take a tip from aerospace engineers- by instituting a weight reduction program, you can get dramatic performance and power increases and save gas.
What other mod to your car can effect braking, cornering, acceleration and gas mileage, reduces wear on your engine, suspension and brakes, and doesn’t void your warranty? Not many.
Here are a few ways to reduce your car’s weight you may want to consider.
1) Remove all the broken parts you don’t plan on fixing. For example, if have a broken power antenna motor or an old cassette stereo unit you never use- you can take them out.
2) Clean out your trunk. You might be surprised how much gas you’re wasting if you haven’t looked in your trunk in awhile. Your spouse or teenager (or you!) may have decided this was good place for long-term storage. It’s not. Old phone books, folding lawn chairs, sandbags for winter traction, cases of dog food, we’ve seen it all. They belong in the garage or basement.
3) Lose the flashy bling-bling rims. Get forged aluminum wheels to replace showy steel wheels. Those are for show, not for speed, usually. While you’re at it, look for lightweight tires. Compare weight on your current tires to some others on the market. The differences can be significant.
4) Carbon Fiber Panels instead of steel. They may be a little pricy, but are certainly a cost-effective replacement over time. Depending on your local vehicle code, you may also be able to replace your steel hood and trunk lid with carbon fiber ones. Major savings here.
5) Replace power seats with racing seats. Power seats can weigh in at up to 75 pounds each. Replacing them with lightweight fixed-back racing bucket seats that weigh ten pounds or less each will shave 150 pounds off your car.