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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Why Did Honda Put a Vacuum in the Odyssey Instead of a Diesel Engine?

Suffice to say, I don’t usually sit back, watch the press releases roll over the wire and shovel out posts. But when I saw that Honda was showing an integrated vacuum cleaner in the new 2014 Odyssey at a New York Auto Show media preview, I got a bit steamed. Not to suggest that they should have added a steamer as well (who wants to arrive at their destination covered in crumbs and wrinkles), but it all seems a bit supliferous, considering the shape we’re in (lay off the out of shape jokes, kids). It’s just hard to understand why Honda continues to withhold their excellent clean diesel engines from America, knowing that they could provide a thirty percent improvement in fuel economy.

Would an integrated vacuum cleaner convince Mom that she had to have the Odyssey over the Town and Country?

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How Many Times Has Bruce Springsteen Mentioned Car Brands in His Songs?

While it’s slow going, the revival of the American economy can be clearly linked to the renewed strength of our domestic automobile industry. At a rally yesterday at Cuyahoga County Community College in Ohio supporting President Obama, Bruce Springsteen gave thanks that General Motors is still making cars, remarking ”What else would I write about?”

That quote got me thinking about the wealth of automotive imagery in Bruce’s songs over the years, dating all the way back to his very first album, Greetings From Asbury Park. There’s The Angel’s mention of VW – “The interstate’s choked with nomadic hordes in Volkswagen vans with full running boards dragging great anchors,” and the pure American brother in Lost in the Flood, “dull-eyed and empty-faced, race(ing) Sundays in Jersey in a Chevy stock super eight.”

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Jeep Wrangler Gas Mileage Improvement – SEMA (Part 2)

Our Jeep Wrangler gas mileage improvement project is proceeding, albeit slowly. We headed out to SEMA last month to see what the aftermarket options exist to help squeak an extra mile or two out of a gallon of gas. Lo and behold, we quickly tripped into two very cool alternatives that offer a peek into a domestic energy-independent future.

One thing’s for sure. If you’re serious about improving the fuel economy of your Jeep and have serious money to spend the options are out there. The first article in this series mentioned the HPA Motorsports TDI diesel engine swap. We found another cool diesel swap option while scouring the aisles of SEMA’s off-road exhibit hall at the Bruiser Off-Road booth.

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Jeep Wrangler Gas Mileage Improvement Project

If you’re driving a Jeep Wrangler, you’re always paying at the pump. Forget about ever getting great gas mileage. You can only hope to get slightly higher fuel-efficiency.

There are two big things that work against the Wrangler’s gas mileage.

When you’re going slow in city traffic, stop-and-go, it’s the weight.

When you’re on the highway, it’s the height. It’s all about aerodynamics.

There’s not much you can do about the weight, nor the height, when it comes to increasing MPGs.

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