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MPG Video Series is a Go

Thank you kindly for getting us to the starting line! The Kickstarter campaign for Ain’t Fuelin’ hit its funding mark last Friday and it’s taken me a week to recover and gather my thoughts about where it’s going. The three week campaign was a wild ride, and until the closing week, I was unsure whether it would fund. Locking down key sponsorships was crucial, but things didn’t start popping until the clock started ticking.

I’ve had this project on the back burner for more than three years. Over that time, I’ve had the good fortune to speak with a range of automotive professionals, from mechanics and race car drivers, through engineers and top-level executives. The premise of what we seek to prove is sound. The toughest part of this endeavor is producing compelling video on an extremely tight budget. Simply put, this has to be something that you want to watch and share with your friends.

Ain't Fuelin' is funded.

Creating a video series with fuel economy improvement as a centerpiece may seem a bit daffy, but it’s no crazier than most of the stuff that’s out there today. Gas mileage is a prime consideration in most new car purchases. We simply want to extend a set of technological efficiencies from the current model year to cars that are five to fifteen years old.

Our goal with Ain’t Fuelin’ is to inform, as well as entertain. We want to help you save a bit at the pump every time you fill up and keep track of those savings over the course of time. We’re out to prove that reducing fuel consumption through vehicle maintenance, aftermarket parts, and driving technique isn’t just possible, but that it’s common sense.

With that in mind, it’s an honor to land sponsorships from key companies with this mission: AutoMeter, Valvoline, Eibach, and Fuelly.com … and there will be more to come.

Lining up the project vehicles is no easy feat. We need to rely on donated vehicles for the bulk of our testing.

Each vehicle will go up on the lift at least two times, with two stages. Stage One = install low-rolling-resistance tires, synthetic fluids, and tire spats. Stage Two = install lowering springs. Stage One is key. Stage Two is optional.

The procedure draft looks something like this:

  1. Give it the once over, log details, conventional oil & filter change, install AutoMeter EcoMeter (OBDII device), address any issues/perform necessary maintenance, look for potential aero improvements (in addition to tire spats).
  2. Benchmark mileage testing.
  3. Install Valvoline synthetic fluids and low rolling resistance tires (possibly alloy wheels). Bolt on tire spats.
  4. Mileage testing.
  5. Install Eibach lowering springs.
  6. Mileage testing.
  7. Apply additional aerodynamic improvements (grille/fascia, underbody)
  8. Mileage testing.

We will handle combined mileage tracking on long term vehicles with Fuelly.com, based on tank fills. Highway mileage tracking will be posted here on MPGomatic.com on a testing loop-by-loop basis.

This is a community effort and we not only welcome your input, we encourage it. Thanks again for helping to make it happen!

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4 comments ↓

#1 Rich M on 04.14.13 at 12:27 pm

Glad to see this get rolling!

Might be a good idea to look up weights of potential alloy wheels and weigh them against the OE steelies (or OE alloys). I think there’s a database out there somewhere.

#2 mpg-o-editor on 04.14.13 at 1:05 pm

Thanks, Rich! Great idea. I’ve been looking into Enkeis, Motegis, and Rays, but need to keep the cost down. Want to test Moon racing hubcaps on steelies, too. Gotta love that pizza pan look …

#3 Ben on 06.02.13 at 7:16 pm

How does one volunteer his car and how much would it cost the volunteer? Where do we have to be participate?

#4 mpg-o-editor on 06.04.13 at 7:15 am

@Ben – What type of car do you drive? My goal is to develop a standard set of procedures so folks can take part all across America. It all starts with tracking MPGs and Fuelly.com is the best way to do that transparently. Sign up with Fuelly (it’s free) and run for a few weeks to set a baseline. Add an Instant MPG Gauge (like the AutoMeter EcoMeter) and run for a few weeks more. Then make the incremental changes – synthetic fluids and low rolling resistance tires – as part of a mindful maintenance routine. Track all these changes with Fuelly. The toughest part are the undercar aerodynamic pieces – we can’t buy that stuff off the shelf … yet …

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