Painless economy options

chevrolet
blazer
s-10

#1

My vehicle (1993 s10 blazer) has a 4.3 vortec engine. I am planning on making a few modifications and would like some input and maybe some more cost effective suggestions. I am strongly considering building my own Hydrogen generator to add on and also taking out my a/c pump (the ac doesn’t work anyways and I can live without it). I am also planning to remove the belt-driven fan and install an electric. I am on a tight budget and don’t have money for a lot of add-ons and manuals. So, does anyone have anymore basic suggestions for me, that will not cost a lot. Keep in mind, that I am considering these changes because the economy and my budget is calling for them. Thanks and God Bless all, Ben


#2

Get in the habit of looking as far ahead down the road as possible. If you see a green light change to red a half mile ahead of you, STOP ACCELERATING.

This by itself will improve your fuel economy more than any gadget you can bolt on to your vehicle would do.
Don’t waste a single penny on a hydrogen generator. It’s a scam based on the flawed premise that electicical energy from the alternator is free.


#3

Only spend money on keeping your vehicle running as designed. Do not modify your vehicle. Modified vehicles are not for people on a budget. Modifying the amount of time you use your vehicle can save you money.


#4

The very best way to get better gas mileage is to SELL the blazer and get something lighter without 4 wheel drive.

Also, buy a stickshift 4 cylinder model compact car, drive as indicated by others, and plan your trips. Use a block heater in the winter if you live in a cold area.

People who sell hoaxes like the “hydrogen generator” prey on guys like you who are seriously interested in improving fuel economy. With the last gas price spike a few years back, they all came out of the woodwork.

If you are on a tight budget don’t waste your money on useless gadgets. Keep the Blazer well maintained, forget A/C, keep the tires up to the recommended pressure and drive like you had an egg between your foot and the gas pedal.


#5

Eliminating the belt driven fan will help a little, forget the hydrogen, drive so your brakes stay cold…Install an inexpensive vacuum gauge and use it to limit acceleration…


#6

I assume your car has been maintained in top condition?

I don’t think removing the 20 lb. a/c compressor will net you anything. Might as well just keep 3 fewer gallons of gas in the tank. And the belt spinning on the pulley doesn’t add any more drag than the idler (dummy) pulley you’d have to install there anyway.

The electric fan will cause less drag on the engine, but it’s going to take a very long time to see the return on money spent there. You’re talking pennies a month.

Now if you want to improve your mileage for free–inflate your tires to 36 lbs. Take anything out of the car you don’t absolutely need. Never warm the car up in the morning save for safety reasons.

If you have a few dollars to spend, install a dash-mounted vacuum gauge, watch it while you drive and make it a point to keep the vacuum as high as possible. This more than anything you can do will help your fuel economy.

And after all that, I’d be surprised if you gain more than 1 mpg.

As for the hydrogen generator, well, Mom said if you can’t say anything nice…


#7

Wow, you guys are a bunch of downers. First of, I am not investing money in someone elses product, I am not that stupid. Secondly, before I try something like that I will test the theory for myself. I have a friend who has also tested the theory, and it does work. I can’t believe you guys only focused on the hydrogen generator. So no one thinks that taking out the fan and replacing it with an electric one is going to help at all? I think I had one comment about removing the ac compressor, but couldn’t tell if it was positive or negative. And for the guy who suggested buy another car, it’s not an option, I am stuck with what I have, and trying to make the best of it. Thanks for your input though, but I am seeking some practical, economical changes, and the times just may call for thinking outside of the box.


#8

Well, excuse us for not telling you what you wanted to hear.


#9

Thinking outside the box… Check out the Flintstones. Cut a hole in the floor.


#10

Your’s is a great though out dated truck motor, It was and still does offer excellent service in a lot of applications in bus and boat use as well. Unfortunately as others have intimated, it’s design is so dated, it just isn’t worth any up grades (other than the minimal suggested) that would not equal the time and money put into it. What’s the expression; silk purse, sow’s ear…you get the point. Good question and worth while inquiry.


#11

Sorry, your friend is wrong. Hydrogen generators have been tested extensively and found not to work, consistent with there being no physical reason why they should work. Your friend is probably driving carefully, now that he’s worried about milage, and, no surprise, he’s getting better mpgs. It has nothing to do with the hydrogen generator, guaranteed.

And you’ve gotten plenty of comments about everything you propose doing. You need to remember this is not a private email to you, but a public discussion of your question. If we see someone proposing something that’s a known scam, we’ll comment on it.


#12

The first law of thermodynamics - energy can be transformed, i.e. changed from one form to another, but cannot be created nor destroyed. The change in the internal energy of a system is equal to the amount of heat supplied to the system, minus the amount of work performed by the system on its surroundings.

Sucking power from your alternator to perform electrolysis to create H2 to burn? If that worked and resulted in a net energy increase, we would already be have cars with water tanks instead of gasoline.


#13

If the first law of thermodynamics could be skirted, we wouldn’t need engines at all. We could simply build all roads so that they go downhill in both directions.
All we would need is brakes.


#14

Getting rid of the AC compressor can’t hurt since you don’t want to fix the AC anyway.

Switching to an electric fan for the radiator and taking off the OEM fan won’t hurt either. If the OEM belt driven fan had a clutch then the benefit will be minimal. Are you going to put a sensor to monitor coolant temp and relays to turn the fan on and off?

I really don’t think these modifications will save you much money on gas. Don’t expect much, if you get 1 or 2 mpg improvement you did good.

New plugs and air filter often are two of the best things you can do to improve mpg.


#15

With each change of energy form you get LESS! So, generating hydrogen with your alternator uses up more fuel (very inefficiently) and then gives out less energy in the form of Hydrgen, whichh again is burned inefficiently.

In high school your science teacher no doubt showed you why there is no such thing as a perpetual motion machine. How far have you come since that eleventh grade demonstration?

Just because something is advertised in Popular Mechanics or a pump magazine does not make it remotely true.


#16

A few years back when gas got up to $3.40/gallon, I mounted a bike rack on my 2000 Blazer and took my bike to work. I left the truck at work and rode home, the next day I rode the bike to work and drove home in the truck. The advantages were having access to a vehicle for emergencies and not having to ride the bike round trip.

Other than switching to street tires to pick up a mile or two mpg over truck tires there aren’t any magic ways to improve a Blazer’s mpg.

Ed B.


#17

If you’re seeking practical changes, presumably you’re seeking changes that will work.

Hydrogen generators won’t work.

Neither will any of the other stuff you’re proposing, because whatever you save in gas, you’ll spend on the modifications.

Practical solution: Drive less. Drive more economically when you do.

I understand that you’re upset that no one here told you that your ideas would work. But this is Car Talk. Not alchemy.com. And your approach to this problem is similar to the alchemists - - you really want a result, and because there aren’t any real solutions for it, you’re trying to turn lead into gold by throwing magic boxes at your truck. It won’t work, and will only cost you money.


#18

Nah, not trying to be a downer, just trying to help you not be up to your elbows in something and then find out there’s no way to make it work. And it seems like there are people here who have some experience and ideas that are useful.

Nothing wrong with thinking outside the box as long as you remember that the laws of physics and finance are IN the box. And this is purely about finance and not science, right? If gas were $1.50/gallon, would you be contemplating any of this?


#19

Sorry but are you replying to my post? or the original poster?


#20

You don’t have a lot of money to invest in the project, so you’re not gonna get anywhere with it.