CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Fuel economy

I have been told that an edelbrook carburetor would provide good fuel economy…is that true ??? would it be worthwhile to replace the original carburetor on my car…



1987 fifth aven…1987 G30 chev RV and 1995 chev astrovan…



thanks

Your going to remove problem free fuel injection systems and replace them with carburetors and expect to get better mileage? Do you plan on recovering the cost of conversion with the expected fuel savings?

Those are usually used for horsepower, not mileage. Do you have any emissions tests? This change would make the cars fail. And I would take fuel injection over carbs every day of the week.

In the two older models, they likely already have a carb type system, and replacing that with a newer model carb may help to increase mileage, but not by enough to cover the cost of the new equipment in my experience. Like Tex said, they are usually intended to increase overall horsepower with little regard to mileage.

As far as the van, if it aint broke, DONT fix it! You can only create more problems that way. Now as far as the emissions go, there shouldnt be any worries of pass/fail as yours is a 95 model. It’s only the 96 + models that are equipped with the OBD II systems that the states are drawn to read so closely (at least in NC anywyas, but a quick call to your nearest inspection station would clarify that for you).

The two carbureted vehicles will never get good fuel economy and the astrovan cannot legally be converted. If there is ever an emissions inspection, you will not pass. How many barrels does the G30 carb have. You might improve with a two barrel conversion kit if you have the four barrel. Watch out for “being told”. It can cost a lot of money.

Here’s how you might better evaluate a problem like this:

Suppose, in a given vehicle, you drive 12,000 miles/year, you
get 18 miles/gallon, and gas costs $1.80/gallon. That means you
spend $1200/year for gas.

Let’s suppose a new carburetor will improve your mileage by 5%.
That means you’ll save $60/year in gas at today’s prices.

Assume a new carburetor is going to cost you $400. That means it
will take you nearly 7 years before the new carburetor will begin
paying for itself.

However, as others have noted, this problem has lots of variables and
unknowns:

- The likelihood of better gas mileage with a new carb is questionable at best.
- You need to fill in the cost of the new carb (are you paying someone to do this?)
- The price of gas isn't stable.  Higher prices means shorter payback period.
- How many miles/year do you drive and what mileage do your vehicles get?  Only you can answer.
- Doing a conversion may bring on driveability or legal issues.  Do you want those headaches?

My vote would be to listen to all the replies you’ve received already.
I would not entertain this.

Joe