You might be surprised to know that despite the actual mechanics of motor vehicles haven't changed that much since the days of Henry Ford's Model T car. What has undoubtedly rocketed significantly is the cost of cars themselves, and the price of fuelling them. That is why fuel-saving technologies remain an important consideration for today's road users.
Suggested fuel economies
When it comes to fuel-saving technologies, there are fundamental differences between the options available to drivers of diesel cars, compared to petrol car owners. Although the former once had a reputation for being loud and slow, diesel technology has evolved considerably. More and more manufacturers are releasing diesel models, with even the BMW-3 series being made available with a diesel alternative.
Fuel savings can be achieved because diesel engines are no longer inefficient. They once coughed-up large amounts of exhaust, along with soot and oxides of nitrogen (NOx). Current models have reduced the levels of NOx completely. A second technological advancement in making the diesel engine more efficient is the particulate trap, which combats airborne dust.
While direct injection technology has been fitted to diesel engines for a while, it is now becoming widely available for petrol cars. This differs considerably from standard injection because it involves fuel being enjected directly into each of the cylinders in the engine, which are filled with air.
This form of fuel injection is far more efficient, because it allows the system to be regulated precisely. At any given time it can be ascertained how much fuel is needed. It can also account for minute differences between the performance of individual cylinders.
A classic example of fuel-saving technologies at work can be illustrated by a petrol car cruising along on level ground. The system's fuel injectors will wait until the last possible moment before kicking into action, then only injecting a small amount of fuel. This economy of fuel will mean far fewer trips to the petrol pump. At the other end of the scale, direct-injected petrol has a cooling effect on the cylinders. When engines breathe in this way, more power is available.