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Top 5 fuel saving technologies (2013)Modern cars are getting much better gas mileage these days, and these are the technologies that make that happen - and save you money at the gas pump.
You probably don't believe me when you go to the gas pump but actually it's true, cars are getting better MPG than even handful of years ago. I'm Brian Cooley with the top five latest reasons why that's the case. We're gonna rank these guys by the percentage improvement each one has made and how much your car guzzles. Number five, a multistage oil pump, total savings about 1%. Yeah and we're starting small here. The idea here is an oil pump that only pumps as much oil as the engine needs. Radical idea because most oil pumps today are dumb and they just pump more oil as the engine revs higher, not as it needs more oil and lubrication. The upside here is the engine spends less time turning all the load against the pump and more of its fuel moving your car down the road, which is what you want it to do. Number four, CVT and DCT. Six to seven percent improvement Continuously Variable Transmission, that's the first one, and Dual Clutch Transmission, that's the second one, had become much more common lately. The former saves fuel by keeping the engine running at the perfect sweet spot. The latter, by always having a locked engagement of the gears, like a manual transmission, because it is, it just does the shipping for you. Number three, Active Cylinder Management, about 7.5% improvement. You may have a 6 or a V8 in your car but that doesn't mean you need one all the time. Engines with Active Cylinder Management can shut down, say, half their cylinders when not needed. It's not a new technology but now it works so seamlessly, you won't even know it's happening. And if it sounds wimpy and green, know that it's standard on the new Corvette Stringray for example. That's part of how it does 455 horsepower and 29 MPG on the highway. Number two, brake regeneration, about an 8% savings. Hybrids have always done this but they no longer own the technology. Many conventional gas engine BMWs for example, today recharged their battery by harnessing the kinetic energy of the car when it's coasting or breaking instead of always driving this draggy alternator with a belt. Less drag on the engine means better efficiency. Before I get to the number one, and wow, what an improvement it makes, I just knew you're adding up all these numbers in your head saying, "Hey, Cooley. If these numbers are right, cars would be getting an average of 50 MPG right about now. Well, here's the problem. We prefer comfort, safety and speed to go with our fuel efficiency. An MIT survey found that between 1980 and 2006, MPG went up 15% on average but at the same time, cars average weight went up 26% and performance 107%. Had those last two numbers set still, MPG would have been up a giant 60% and yet we'd be averaging somewhere close to 50 in most cars. Okay. Our number one fuel saving technology that's really gaining some traction lately is clean diesel. This is the big one, 30% to 35% more efficient. Diesel engines get a lot more energy out of each drop of fuel, largely thanks to the fact that they compress it more for a bigger bank. No other technology has such a huge delta. The downside, Americans hate diesels. We still think that they are slow, stinky, loud and smoky. I've drive a lot of the latest ones. They are none of those things and you probably still don't care. To stay on top of more fuel efficient technologies as they come down the road and all other tech around cars, go to cnetoncars.com. I'm Brian Cooley, thanks for watching.