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After market gas savers

My wife made a slight mistake a few months ago. She bought a 2008 Nissan Titan, 6 pac, 3.6 liter automatic. Now, the mistake. She bought it about 15 minutes before gas prices went from $2.85 to $3.85. Now, if we drive it we can’t make the payments. If we make the payments we don’t have gas money. A long long time ago I raced a flathead Ford with a SCOT supercharger and an Enderle injector. Burned methanol, of course. So I’m not a complete idiot. I see advertisements on the Internet advertising two thing for Titans - a different engine management chip and a different exhaust. They don’t promise double your mileage. Both just say your mileage will get better. Does anyone know if these things work? I love this truck. it’s like driving a 9-ton Reo flatbed again.

Not likely,the manufacterers would have already done this ,if it would work-Kevin

The “chips” you see advertised are likely just a resistor that you put in series with the temperature sensor to fool the engine management system. These will void your warranty and can cause driveability and other long term problems. A rip off. There may be programmers for your engine that actually can have some beneficial effect, but they will be more in the >$300 range, and you will be trading mileage for performance.

I don’t think the Titan comes with a 3.6. It is a 5.6 V-8. Hard to improve mileage on that thing!

You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

It is possible that those things might save some fuel, but likely it will not be enough to cover the shipping cost.   If it were that easy, Nissan would have done it long ago. 

Best bet is to reduce the miles you drive. Don’t over react. Don’t think about what you have done, you can’t change that. What is is. Consider your options.

BTW it would not be any better if you bought the car 20 minutes later.

Don’t waste your money on this stuff. Drive gently, avoid unnecessary trips, make sure your tires are properly inflated, and keep up on your maintenance.

I’m a little surprised that you purchased a vehicle that you could afford only if gas prices magically remained frozen, but I guess that’s not my business.

Those chips are worthless, and the exhaust might make it sound better, but you’d never pay off the cost with any gas savings. And yes, you have a heavy truck with a big V8. Not much you can do about it besides trading it for another vehicle. But I imagine you’re ‘upside down’, right?

Trade it in for an Altima.

With all the regulatory pressure on manufacturers to maximize their mileage, if these chips improved mileage Nissan would b einstalling them at the factory. I’d bet that the chip manufacturer’s sales force has already tried to sell them to Nissan…but failed.

As others have said, the best way to increase gas mileage is to drive more modestly.

How did gas prices go from $2.85 to $3.85 in 15 minutes? Where do you live?

How did gas prices go from $2.85 to $3.85 in 15 minutes? Where do you live?

That’s easy:
Just look for the gas station with the attendant clenching his fists around dollar bills, yelling “YIPPEE!! YIPPEEE!!”.

Seriously, there is no way to save money with aftermarket stuff.
You may be able to pay some tuner company to detune the car for lesser performance, saving some small amount, but if saving money was a concern, why buy a gas guzzler?

If you live in an environment where the wife can replace many of her trips with a small motorcycle, and she’s willing and able, you might consider saving gas that way.

Forgive me for saying so, but this is a perfect lesson in why understanding history is so important. Did your wife not remember when fuel prices spiked in 2005, 2008, and 2011? Did she not consider the volatile nature of the price of fuel when purchasing this vehicle?

I’d say describing this as a “slight mistake” is generous. Your wife now owns a vehicle she can’t afford to drive. This is a good reason for both spouses to be involved in all major purchases, whether it’s the wife who needs help from her husband or the husband who needs help from his wife.

My advice is to forget about modifying this vehicle. Stick a “for sale” sign in the back window and wait for a good offer that exceeds what you owe on the truck. It might not sell for a long time, but go ahead and stick the sign in the window. Then drive it only when you absolutely have to by:

-taking what I hope is your more fuel efficient vehicle whenever possible.
-carpooling.
-scheduling trips so you can share or trade-off the more efficient vehicle.
-having the person with the shorter commute drive the truck, even if it’s you.

If you have children, talk to them about this to make sure they learn from your wife’s mistake.

So why does someone hit the “disagree” flag on my suggestion to get a smaller vehicle, but not TSM’s suggestion of a more radical downsize?

I’m about fed up with the favoritism around here.

You want better MPG, buy a better vehicle, no easy way to put it.
Learn to budget extra costs in fuel when you get a different vehicle next time. Look at the size of the fuel tank on what you’re considering buying(17~19 gallons is typical of most non-trucks), then multiply that by 5(gas will get to $5/gal. eventually, so you might as well budget for it now), and you’ll get a rough estimate on what you’ll be spending on fuel in the future.

The OP is living too close to the edge. I was in the Army with this guy who bought a Corvette. His monthly payments and insurance was only $20 less then his monthly income. He could barely drive it…and this was when gas was only 35 cents a gallon. He lived on base so food and housing was covered. The car was a chick magnet…but he couldn’t afford to take one out.

Apparently, @circuitsmith and others, the next round of Vanilla upgrades will make public the identities of those who agree/disagree/react to a post. It’s supposed to happen sometime next week.

My favorite has always been cow magnets taped to the fuel line so when it doesn’t work they make great magnets in the tool box. Bailed me out more than once.

@circuitsmith, I disagreed with your post about trading in the truck for an Altima. I agree an Altima uses less gas than a Titan, but I disagree that trading in this vehicle is going to solve the financial issue.

Several years ago, I think it was in 2008, when gas prices took a major spike, several auto publishers looked at the numbers. I think it was because of the Cash for Clunkers program. The research indicated it is almost never a sound financial decision to trade in what you have just for better fuel economy.

The OP’s wife might find a more fuel efficient vehicle she can afford to drive, but she will also take a hit on new or used car premium (dealer profit), depreciation (the gap between what she owes and what the Titan is worth), processing fees on the new loan, and possibly a higher interest rate if she gets something used. Even if she gets a payment that is more affordable and a more fuel efficient vehicle, she will probably end up taking a bigger hit by making payments for a longer period.

Saying “Trade it in for an Altima” seemed glib and seemed to ignore all kinds of other financial issues. Most often, the best financial decision is to keep what you have and take good care of it.

Maybe I should have said all this in the first place instead of just clicking “disagree,” but I really like these buttons because it keeps me from turning a disagreement into a grudge match.

When the rest of you see where I disagreed with your posts, I hope you will keep in mind that I was trying to avoid an argument, not start one.

@MikeinNH “The OP is living too close to the edge. I was in the Army with this guy who bought a Corvette. His monthly payments and insurance was only $20 less then his monthly income.”

Yeah I know how that goes. In basic training my school loan payments kicked in, $60 out of about $85 net each month. Luckily I had some savings yet and increases came pretty fast but not much left over. Of course cigs were $3 a carton and couldn’t go anywhere.