One thing's for sure, no one ever accused the Corvette of being an economy car. Even during the late '70s into the early '80s when the gas crunch was hitting all of motoring America hard and the Corvette was putting out as little as 190 hp, it still wasn't a star performer when it came to getting more miles to the gallon.
While there are those who say if you have to worry about the mileage you shouldn't be driving a Corvette, that kind of thinking is foolhardy. After all, why spend more money on anything than you have to? As of this writing here in New Jersey, high-test gas is slightly over $2.50 a gallon, steadily inching its way up to the $3 mark. Back in the day when I started driving, you could almost fill your whole tank for $3, and now it barely buys enough fuel to prime the carburetor on my '67 big-block coupe! The whole idea is to get the biggest bang for the buck, so if there are some ways you can get more miles to the gallon, why not pursue them? The money you save on gas can be better spent on bling or other things, right?
So, you ask, what can you do to increase your Corvette's fuel economy? Well, there are a number of things; some of these are common-sense measures that will definitely increase your miles per gallon, while other measures may entail some physical adjustments, maintenance, or mods to better your mileage. And, lastly, there are the devices and products that make claims to increase your mileage that certainly seem to be too good to be true-whether they are legit or "snake oil" is the question.
Let's take a closer look at all three of these approaches to getting better mileage. bear in mind that they can and should be used in concert with each other to really make a noticeable difference in your bottom-line fuel economy.
Lay Off The Loud Pedal
Sure, nailing the accelerator on your Vette and getting that adrenaline rush as you're pushed back into the driver seat is a lot of fun, but it's also an expensive kick when you look at what it does to your mileage. Jackrabbit starts cause the engine to literally gulp fuel in copious amounts rather than ingesting a smooth, civilized stream. While we're all guilty of engaging in the stoplight drags, next time you feel the temptation, ask yourself if it's really that important to show the dude in the 5.0-liter Mustang who the real king of the boulevard is. Remember, it's your wallet, so why is it so important to impress a total stranger (who's driving a Ford, no less).
Keeping your highway speed at 55 mph can improve your gas mileage by as much as 25-percent, compared to 75 mph. Bear in mind that over 50-percent of the energy required to move a vehicle down the road is spent overcoming aerodynamic drag (pushing air out of the way). The faster your drive, the more the aerodynamic drag and rolling resistance increases. Consequently, the fuel economy decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. As a rule of thumb, you can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.21 per gallon for gas. Do the math, it adds up in a hurry.
Things You'll Need
- Accu-pressure valve caps, wireless tire monitor system, AccuTire digital tire gauge (Prime Time Solutions)
- Digital tire pressure gauge with hose and auto-off (Mid America Motorworks)
- NoLoss tire valve caps and ExtremeAire Outback portable compressor (Extreme Outback Products)
- TornadoFuelSaver and tire Minder max valve caps with tire gauge (TornadoFuelSaver)