Getting Real with Synthetic Fluids – Part I

Synthetic fluids are a cornerstone of Ain’t Fuelin’s Mindful Maintenance program. They offer a higher level of protection for the drivetrain, reduced friction, and the potential for an incremental improvement in fuel efficiency. All that said, one of the best parts about switching to synthetic oil is the increase in the number of miles driven between oil changes.

In the video that accompanies this post, I demonstrate how easy it is to perform a D-I-Y oil change on a (slightly) lifted Jeep Wrangler TJ. We affectionately call our ’98 TJ “The Heep.” It’s also known as “The Black Hole” for all the money that we’ve poured into it over the years …

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Ford Escape Gas Mileage: 2001 – 2013

The Ford Escape was introduced in 2001 as Ford’s entry into the two-row mid-size SUV segment. The original model was designed in conjunction with Mazda, and shared many components with the Mazda Tribute, as well as with the Mercury Mariner.

At the time it was introduced, the 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid (shown below) was billed as the most fuel efficient SUV sold in the United States, with the front wheel drive version delivering 34 city and 30 highway miles per gallon, while the four wheel drive version hauled down 29 city and 27 highway. (The non-hybrid 2008-2012 Escape was offered with either a 2.4 liter four cylinder or a 3.0 liter six.) The Escape Hybrid was offered through the 2012 model year.

The Escape is all new for 2013, with a sleek new crossover design and a choice of three different engines.

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2013 Ford Escape Titanium Review

MPG-o-Matic 2013 Ford Escape Review Summary: The 2013 Ford Escape battles it out with a host of worthy competitors in the highly popular small crossover segment, from the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, to the Hyundai Tuscon and Chevy Equinox. While some may lament the exit of the traditional Escape SUV, the new crossover design is a more pleasant vehicle overall and is sold worldwide as the Ford Kuga. The Escape’s torquey EcoBoost engine and tightly designed cabin set it apart from the competition.

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2013 Chevrolet Suburban LTZ Review

MPG-o-Matic 2013 Chevrolet Suburban Review Summary: The 2013 Chevrolet Suburban is the Big Daddy of traditional body-on-frame American SUVs, with half- and 3/4-ton versions that can seat up to nine people with a maximum towing capacity of 9,600 pounds.

We put a loaded AWD half-ton Suburban LTZ to the “take your kid to college” test, packing the cargo area full, and taking to the open road for a 700+ mile round trip. The Suburban delivered plenty of creature comfort, while consuming a considerable amount of fuel.

2013 Chevy Suburban LTZ 4WD half-ton - rear view

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