Save Fuel With OBDII Gauges and Trip Computers
Did you know that over half the fuel we consume is used for speeding, accelerating and braking? When you start, accelerate, slow or stop your vehicle, you are changing the momentum of several hundred kilos of dead weight. This takes energy. The energy comes from burning fuel. If you minimise rapid changes in speed and direction, you minimise fuel consumption.
One of the best ways to improve your fuel economy is to monitor your driving behaviour and car health in real-time. Some older cars added a ‘Fuel Economy’ gauge to indicate when you were using more or less fuel. Those were based on manifold vacuum and couldn’t really tell you your fuel economy at that moment and would often tell you that you were getting better mileage when you actually weren’t.
With the advent of mandatory emissions standards On-Board Diagnostics (OBD-II), accurate information can now be obtained from the car’s advanced computer. This has allowed for fuel economy gauges to be added that show overall effect of different driving habits. You easily see that when you step on petrol pedal, the economy dropped and when you let off, it went back up.
Being able to connect to the OBD-II will not only provide real-time fuel economy data. It will also provide many other useful information that will collectively ensure the car is running at its optimum. You will be able to monitor information such as speed, coolant temperature, CO2 emission, L/H, L/100KM and many others.
Some OBD-II trip computers will provide information on current and previous trips. This includes Avg speed, Avg fuel consumption and distances. They may also provide data on the routes travelled.
In addition, accessing the OBD-II through a suitable OBD-II gauge and trip computer will also alert you of any possible engine trouble. When the CHECK ENGINE light comes on, the gauge will alert you and provide more information on the trouble once it happens and allow for the trouble code to be cleared. This is a great way to ensure your car is not wasting fuel for any engine problem. For example, fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve fuel economy by up to 40%!
Getting an OBD-II gauge and trip computer will help get rid of bad driving habit that you may not be aware of such as rapid acceleration or heavy braking. Who knows, you may also become a hyper-miler and achieve significant fuel saving from what the car is advertised to consume.