Your 4×4 is an off-road athlete, prepped to do more than what the average truck or Jeep can do.
While that’s great for things like traction and torque and getting up, over, and through things, your athlete can have quite an appetite, too.
Tame the gas guzzling and squeeze more performance out of your 4×4 by implementing these useful, fuel-saving tips!
1. Correct the Speedometer
Adding bigger wheels and tires to your 4×4 will get you better traction and increase your ability to do certain things off-road.
Yet if you add more than a few inches over the size of stock tires, it could throw your speedometer off so it shows you driving slower than the actual speed the vehicle is traveling and will affect your fuel tracking.
Know just how much mileage you’re actually getting after increasing your tires by reprogramming your speedometer settings to accommodate for bigger tires as well as any gearing changes made to the vehicle to generate more torque.
2. Consider Your Wheels and Tires
In addition to their size, wheel and tire weight and width will also affect fuel economy.
The lighter and thinner your wheels and tires are, the better your economy will be.
Of course, thinner, lighter-weight wheels and tires may not be ideal for what you like to do with your Jeep, so you’ll have to weigh those factors with others if you want to improve gas mileage with your 4×4.
Tire tread and air pressure will also affect fuel economy.
The more aggressive the tire and the more rolling friction it creates, the lower your economy will be.
The same goes for tire pressure, with airing down to increase the contact patch also causing more friction and reduced economy.
To get the most mileage from your tank of gas, you need lesser-aggressive treads filled to the recommended PSI for easy rolling.
3. Perfect Throttle Control
Starting, stopping, and jackrabbit starts all suck up extra fuel and ruin your fuel economy.
Although off-road driving can involve a lot of engine revving, smooth and easy starts will reduce fuel consumption.
If you haven’t before, learn all about your Jeep so you know what to expect from it and just how much you need to step on the gas for a response; keep everything as smooth as you can during starts, shifting, and stopping.
If you have it, use cruise control when driving your 4×4 on the highway.
4. Reduce Weight
The heavier your Jeep, the more gas it’ll use to get itself around.
You may not be able to do anything about some of that weight if it’s from wheels and tires, body armor, and other necessary modifications.
If there are things you can remove from the vehicle to lighten the load, do so.
Keep any non-essential cargo out of the Jeep especially when street driving and pack your gear with lightness in mind.
If you’re headed out for a weekend and have all kinds of camping and emergency gear to take with you, there’s only so much you can do about lightening the load so plan accordingly.
5. Reduce Wind Resistance
Though this is more of an issue when driving at speed, wind resistance will reduce your fuel economy considerably.
If you’re adding external body mods to your Jeep, consider how much they stick out from the body and the overall design, as more streamlined parts designed to reduce resistance are more fuel economical.
6. Add A Cold Air Intake
Cold air flowing freely through the intake system allows your engine to generate the greatest amount of combustion and energy per measure of fuel.
Since the standard air intake and box restricts how much air is reaching the engine, you can increase that by adding a cold air intake system.
With unlimited cold air and more efficient combustion, you’ll get more power from the same amount of fuel and increase fuel economy overall.
7. Use A Performance Engine Tuner
If it’ll be some time before you can go off-road again and want to improve street performance until that time, use a performance engine tuner to reprogram the engine for reduced performance and greater economy.
This is not really an ideal method if you still plan on going off-road, as you need all that performance for safe and successful wheeling.
Little Things Can Make A Difference
While there’s no magic wand to turn up your Jeep’s fuel economy by leaps and bounds, paying attention to the details can help at least a little bit.
Figure out where you can spare the excess without skimping on necessity and turn your off-road athlete into a leaner, meaner, wheeling machine!