Probably, when you were young, you have often wanted to pick up cheap car rental Los Angeles under 25 and take an exciting Californian road trip. However, it was not the rental car price that could stop you, but the high cost of fuel in Golden State – it’s almost 30% higher than the US average. 

Fortunately, modern cars allow us not to be heavily dependent on fuel costs, as they use advanced technologies that save fuel. Which ones? Let’s check them out now!

  • Low-friction motors

Effective Driving: 7 Fuel-Saving Innovations Used In Modern Cars

At the moment, car manufacturers are developing to reduce friction in engines, without significant modernization of power units, and to reduce fuel consumption. So in order to achieve low fuel consumption, the new engines eliminate the high-frequency friction coefficient of the main elements of the engine, such as valves, camshafts and bearings. This is made possible thanks to the special materials of the parts and computer-aided design at the microscopic level.

  • Active bumper and radiator grille

Effective Driving: 7 Fuel-Saving Innovations Used In Modern Cars

The biggest problem with fuel consumption is engine performance when it’s cold. This is especially noticeable when you are traveling in a rental car in Alaska or in any other frosty place. So, the largest fuel consumption is recorded when the engine is cold and warmed up. The active grille and bumper grill allow closing the grille flaps while the engine is warming up, to reduce the warm-up time. This trick helps to reduce fuel consumption in the warm-up mode.

For example, such active grilles are installed on the Chevrolet Cruze, Cadillac ATS and on some modifications of the Ford Fiesta. Also, the active grille and bumper help improve aerodynamic drag, which directly affects the fuel consumption.

  • Variable engine oil pump

Effective Driving: 7 Fuel-Saving Innovations Used In Modern Cars

Most cars use an oil pump, which consistently supplies the engine with a certain portion of the oil, the amount of which doesn’t change, regardless of the engine temperature and the number of revolutions.

A traditional engine oil pump uses a lot of extra energy to provide the engine with the necessary oil in extreme engine operating conditions. A new innovative oil pump allows the engine to be supplied with just as much oil as needed. The Ford Fiesta is currently using a new oil pump to help save fuel.

  • Electric power steering

Effective Driving: 7 Fuel-Saving Innovations Used In Modern Cars

Unlike the hydraulic power steering, which uses the power from the engine through a belt drive, the electric power steering is much more efficient, reducing fuel consumption by almost 6%.

This is made possible by the fact that the electric power steering doesn’t use energy if the steering wheel doesn’t rotate. In turn, the hydraulic power steering consumes energy regardless of the action of the steering wheel – even when driving straight ahead.

If in the future you want to buy or rent a car with an electric power steering, you will be glad to know that most modern cars – from compact hatchbacks to large minibuses use it.

  • Tires with low rolling resistance

Effective Driving: 7 Fuel-Saving Innovations Used In Modern Cars

At the moment, special tires with low rolling resistance began to appear on many cars. Thanks to this, the engine requires much less energy to move the car which naturally affects fuel consumption.

So, almost all hybrid cars such as Ford C-Max, Nissan Leaf and Toyota Prius are equipped with special low rolling resistance tires.

  • Start-Stop System

Effective Driving: 7 Fuel-Saving Innovations Used In Modern Cars

The start-stop system allows you to turn off the engine at idle. For example, when stopping at traffic lights, railway crossings, traffic jams, etc. The system works in automatic mode. Pressing the accelerator pedal restarts the engine in a matter of fractions of a second (1/10 of a second), thereby reducing fuel consumption by about 6%. 

It’s currently used on many modern cars, including the Volkswagen Golf. If you are going to travel with car rental and want to save on fuel, ask the provider if this system is available on the car you are going to book.

  • Dual-clutch gearbox

Effective Driving: 7 Fuel-Saving Innovations Used In Modern Cars

New developments of automotive engineers have allowed automakers to create something between an automatic transmission and a manual transmission. In fact, this is the same mechanics only without the clutch pedal.

Unlike an automatic transmission, which also lacks a clutch pedal, in a dual-clutch transmission an overdrive or downshift can be forced, regardless of the vehicle speed.

Also, being practically a manual transmission, the new dual-clutch device works through a computer. It controls the operation of the transmission and gear ratios, which affects the speed of gear changes and reduces fuel consumption.

So, the double-clutch gearbox is actually a mechanical one with the comfort of an automatic transmission. Such solutions are already widely used by various automakers. For example, the Dodge Dart has a dual-clutch transmission.

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