The Jeep Wrangler's roots date back to a time when fuel economy wasn't a major concern. After all the United States had bigger problems, such as Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan. Obviously in today's world things have changed. The Axis powers have long been vanquished, and the Jeep has become one of the most popular commercial SUV’s in the country. Since migrating into the mainstream of American culture, Jeeps have been known for their less than stellar fuel ratings. As gas prices have continued to skyrocket in the new millennium, Jeep owners have been forced to take measures designed to squeeze as much out of each gallon of gas as possible. Here are a few things to consider which hopefully will help ease the burden on your pocketbook and make driving your Jeep less of an expense.
The very design of the Jeep makes it somewhat inefficient to drive. With an upright posture, the vehicle catches a tremendous amount of air as it cruises down the highway. Unfortunately, this “box on wheels” profile makes it impossible to achieve anything more than mediocre fuel consumption ratings. There are a few things however, that can be done to help.
A clean air filter will improve mileage, so be sure and check your filter regularly. Some reports, such as this one from Advance Auto Parts, claim a dirty air filter will reduce fuel economy by as much as 20%. Dirty spark plugs also limit gas mileage, as will poorly inflated tires. These maintenance items are easy to perform, and over the course of time will make a significant difference in the amount of money spent at the pump.
By modifying your driving techniques the number of miles you travel per gallon of gas can be increased. Avoiding jackrabbit starts, maintaining a smooth rate of acceleration, and holding your speed to 55 miles per hour are established methods of increasing fuel efficiency. By coasting down hills instead of accelerating, you will also reduce fuel consumption.
Air conditioning systems also affect the amount of gasoline used. Tinted windows will help keep the interior of the Jeep cooler, which will require less effort on the part of the cooling system. Better yet, the Jeep is made to be a convertible and in its “natural state” will require no air conditioning at all.
Another way to maintain a higher fuel economy is to leave the Jeep in its original configuration. That is a tough sell to most Jeep owners, as part of the “Jeep Thing” for many drivers includes a lift kit and larger tires. Bigger, heavier tires will increase the burden placed on the engine and increase the amount of gasoline required to move the vehicle down the road.
Without question the Jeep Wrangler is one of the most popular vehicles in the nation today. While increased gasoline consumption over most other vehicles is a given, many drivers are willing to take the hit in their personal finances for the opportunity to drive this legend of the American roadway. By following some of the simple steps listed here, Jeep enthusiasts will be able to drive their vehicles on a daily basis and enjoy the experiences associated with driving a true American icon, the Jeep Wrangler.