I have a 2006 Ford Explorer 4.0 liter, V-6. Is it worth installing another computer chip to get better gas mileage? Some claim that Ford sets the fuel mixture too rich, causing use of more gas than necessary.
I would think that Ford would put a chip in that would boost the mpg to attract more buyers . . . or maybe put in a chip that would run under all kinds of conditions, but not simply to make it run richer. Just my two cents.
So, in other words, some people have told you that Ford intentionally tries to achieve worse gas mileage on the Explorer? I would imagine that whoever told you that tale is also interested in profiting from selling the “magic” computer chip to consumers, or is also a victim of a marketing scam who is looking for validation by others who buy into this type of scam.
If you approach this logically, you have to acknowledge that car manufacturers are always attempting to gain whatever marketing advantage they can versus their competitors. If it was possible for Ford to produce a vehicle with better gas mileage, don’t you think that it would be to their advantage to do so?
On the other hand, it is possible to run vehicles on a leaner gas/air mixture. The problem with this scenario is that you risk engine damage in the form of burned valves. Somehow, this seems like false economy to me.
I would suggest that you concentrate on good vehicle maintenance, good driving habits, avoiding drive-up windows, and all of the other recognized methods of getting a slight gas mileage advantage. The “chip method” is not practical–except for the person selling those chips.
well i dont think they meant to, but afFord might have accidently had it running a little rich
The chip may actually work. It will cause the engine to run lean without having any of the sensors complain. The downside is that your engine will be robbed of some power, and the actual fuel savings may be minimal.
I wouldn’t mind sacrificing some power for better MPG’s.
Why would you burn valves with a less rich mixture?
Ford, like all the other manufactures, are running a stoichiometric chemically-correct air-fuel ratio. They’ve been doing that since the mid 70’s when the government mandated they do that (for air pollution reasons). Up until that time, they typically ran a 110% ratio (ie 10% more fuel). That 10% more fuel provided both better gas mileage and more power. Mileage began to drop off above 110%, but power kept increasing until 116%, when it began to drop off.
I usually take it with a grain of salt when I hear someone say they want to further lean the air/fuel ratio beyond what the manufacturer has set.
That is (or at least, was) the conventional wisdom among some old mechanics whom I have known. It is possible that I was misinformed by these people, and I will leave it to OK4450, Tester, and perhaps a few others who have more direct knowledge of this information to confirm or deny that a too-lean mixture can result in burned valves.
As I learned it, the leaner mixture has a slower flame front because the fuel molecules are farther apart. The problem occurs when the slow flame causes the mixture to still be actively burning when the exhaust valves open.
If this this hot burning mixture is allowed to pass by the open exhaust valve, it ‘eats’ away at the valve seat area. I believe the valve stem also takes a beating from the excessive heat passing by it, leading to worn stems. Worn stems cause valves to no longer seat properly, accelerating the wear.
I may be a bit off in my explanation (it’s been 32 years since I studied this) and I welcome others to correct any errors or omissions.