I have never been one to believe in great conspiracies but some of the time, I might consider something and see what is really behind its motivation. The topic of the automotive industry and the fuel efficient cars will get me ranting for hours. It’s not that bad but it is a serious subject with me. As the gasoline prices started to get closer to the $4 gallon mark, people are not dismissing the conspiracy theory or my ranting as quickly as they used to.

This Is Totally Wrong

If you take a look at the miles per gallon, or MPG, of an American production vehicle, it stays somewhere it the ballpark of governmental averages. When the government raises the requirements for the CAFÉ, the car manufacturers also raise the miles per gallon their vehicles are able to get the consumer. They complain about it the entire time because the general public is used to the passable fuel economy standards and the benefits of it. Now the car companies have to try to give us the fuel economy and the great upgrades. They can do it, they just do not like to.

Consider that a Honda Civic (1984 model) which was famous for getting 64 MPG on the highway did not have fuel injectors installed. It had not computer system to allow for regulation of the systems. It simple had a carburetor which is a device that has tubes designed in an hourglass shape to mix the right amount of fuel and air.

Why Then, Is The Compression Ratio Lower Than It Used To Be?

This is probably the question you are asking. The answer is simple and, at the same time, complicated. The octane rating is the amount of fuel a vehicle will burn. On the gas pumps, the numbers listed on these different grades of fuel are the octane ratings. Many people simply ignore them because they do not know what they mean. Octane ratings run from 87 up to 93 depending on the altitude at which you live. The higher the octane rating is, the more the air-fuel mixture is compressed. In 1966, premium grade gasoline had an octane rating of 107. This is what allowed the Honda Civic in 1984 to get the gas mileage it did.

No More Lead Fuel, So What Now!

If you look at Wikipedia and search for octane ratings, you will find the octane ratings listed for each fuel type. You will see that the Methanol and E85 have ratings well over the 105 range. This is a huge number. This means that if an engine was created to burn these fuel types, the compression ratio would be substantially higher and the mileage per gallon and power of the vehicle would also increase. Emissions would be lower than before. The vehicles, or flex-fuel cars, made to run on the E85 fuel and a few on Methane still come up with lower compression ratios and no benefits are felt. Most of the time, when premium gasoline is used in a vehicle, almost no change is felt.

What Can Be Done?

If you have not gotten the idea, let me give it to you again. The automotive manufacturers are only going to give consumers the minimum requirements the government demands and nothing more. It will take the public taking matters into their own hands and working to get life changing and new technologies from the government and big corporations. There are many things we can do or experiment with. You can alter your vehicle so it runs on Methanol or E85. You might only get a moderate improvement on your miles per gallon but this little bit will help the environment. For those who have diesel engines, vegetable oil can be used as a biodiesel and for regular gasoline vehicles, new water electrolyze can be installed to take the HHO gas from regular water and use it as fuel.

By Bethann

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