How to Improve the MPG Or Your Jeep Cherokee SUV

While SUVs get a bad rap in the press these days about being not very fuel efficient, the Jeep Cherokee XJ is capable of getting quite good fuel economy. It may not match a Prius or a Civic but I would not try to take one of them off road either.

The first step in improving the fuel economy of the jeep is to make sure it is operating correctly. Ensure that all connections to the ECU are clean and properly connected. Also check all the ground wires.

There are at least three different computers used in the XJ series of Jeep Cherokees. The Jeeps made by AMC used the Renix computer system. This system uses a few more inputs than the later Mopar system and in some ways is more complex. The Renix system uses a knock sensor and is therefore capable of tuning the spark advance curve to an optimum mix. Some Renix controlled engines like the one in my son’s XJ Wagoneeer will actually get better fuel economy using higher octane fuel. The fuel economy increase is enough to more than offset the extra cost of the higher octane fuel. You will have to experiment with your own engine to see if higher octane fuel will give better fuel economy and higher MPG. For most engines, the 87 octane fuel will give the best fuel economy.

Also, note that there is a huge difference in fuel qualities from various distributors. Ethanol content lowers MPG as well as many other additives. Again you will have to experiment with fuel form various distributors in your area to see which one offers the best fuel for the highest MPG. In my area it is the Shell station that offers the best fuel economy when comparing fuel cost to MPG.

The ignition timing of the XJ Cherokee is not adjustable. The ECU controls these functions on a set table and feedback from the knock sensor if equipped. However it is possible to trick the ECU into advancing the timing by adjusting the mounting points of the Crank Shaft Position sensor. By simply slotting the holes, the sensor can be repositioned to adjust the actual ignition timing. Due to the extreme difficulty of accessing he mounting bolts of the CPS and the minor improvement in fuel economy, this modification made not be worth the effort. Adjustable CPS sensors are available from some Jeep accessory vendors.

One of the biggest factors that effects the MPG of a Jeep Cherokee is it transmission. While the Asin four speed automatic is very durable and features a lock up torque converter, it simply cannot match the fuel economy of the five speed manual transmission. If you are choosing a Jeep for fuel economy, choose one with a five speed manual transmission.

Also, note that if you have a 242 transfer case also know as selec trac, you have the option of full time four wheel drive. Don’t use it unless the road is slippery. You will get the best MPG by using two wheel drive.

While a disconnect front axle was offered on some Cherokees, on many XJs the front drive shaft is always coupled to the drive axle. On the non disconnect axle vehicles, you can improve the fuel economy by removing the front drive shaft. Just remember that you will have to put it back before you can use four wheel drive.

Tires make a big effect on MPG. While fitting a Jeep with larger tires is common, there can be a huge negative effect on fuel economy. Larger tires are usually wider and have a more aggressive tread pattern than the smaller street tires that originally came on the XJ. Using a set of narrow, low rolling resistance tires can help MPG in street driving. On one Jeep Cherokee I own there was a noticeable increase in fuel economy when I temporarily fitted a set of OEM sized tires. For best fuel economy, you may wish to consider having a set of street tires and set of off road tires.

No matter what tires you run, you will need to pay close attention the tire pressure. Generally speaking, the higher the tire pressure, the better the fuel economy. You will have to adjust the air pressure in your Jeep by balancing the factors of tire wear, ride comfort and traction. Always keep your tires properly inflated and air back up before driving on pavement after your off road adventures.

Another big factor for MPG is wind drag. Even the factory roof rack makes a noticeable difference in fuel economy. To maximize fuel economy, remove and roof racks or other roof mounted accessories.

When lifting a Cherokee, it is common to remove the factory air dam. However, this little piece of rubber does improve fuel economy. Keep it in place and straight for best MPG. Also the rubber mat under the engine helps to improve air flow under the XJ for a slight improvement in fuel economy.

Another common modification that reduces fuel economy is armor and protection accessories. Your bumper guards and skid plates and rock trails add weight and in some cases disturb the air flow. Consider the effects on fuel economy when making these modifications.

Proper wheel alignment will increase MPG as well. The front tires need to be pointed as close to straight ahead as possible. Set the toe in as close to zero as possible. The inverted Y steering arrangement of the XJ causes the toe to change with ride height so to maximize the fuel economy, set the toe with the Jeep loaded as you normally drive it.

Possibly the largest single factor effecting fuel economy is your driving style. To maximize MPG, start off slowly and maintain a steady speed. Avoid unnecessary stops. Keep moving as much as possible even at a very slow speed in stop and go traffic. Try to anticipate hills and accelerate before gong up the hill. Let you speed drop naturally hill climbing the hill. Avoid long idle times especially with the AC on.

One questionable area of increasing fuel economy that I have had mixed results with is fuel additives. Many people have reported that adding a small amount of acetone to the fuel will increase the MPG. I have not noticed any measurable increase from adding acetone. However, occasional use seems to prevent stumble and misfires so it seems that it would increase MPG. Try it by adding one ounce of pure acetone for each ten gallons of fuel.

Another additive that seems to help cure fuel supply problems is Seafoam. Seafoam smells like an alcohol blend and probably helps mostly to remove moisture from the fuel system. However, I have found a variety of fuel related issues form clogged or sticking injectors to carbon fouling of the combustion chambers seems to be helped by adding a can of Seafoam to the gas tank.

Oil choice and oil additives can also be used to increase MPG. However the long term effects on the engine need to be considered when choosing oil. Using lower viscosity oil can help increase MPG. However older engines may not lubricate well on low viscosity oils. An additive like Friction Free 3000 has been shown to increase MPG by reducing internal friction in the engine. Give it a try in you engine to see how it works for you.

Always use high quality oil in your Jeep Engine. The design of the 4.0 block causes some parts of the block to be very hot and will cause wax or paraffin based oils to separate. Wax based oils will need to be changed more frequently due to thermal breakdown.

Keeping your Jeep well lubricated in other areas will also help boost MPG. Check differential fluids, transfer case fluid and the transmission fluid on a regular basis to maintain proper lubrication and reduce drag. Locker and limited slip differentials may need to be check more frequently tan the factory recommended intervals. Also, if there is any chance that water has entered these parts due to off road adventures, change the fluid as the water and grease mixture has poor lubricating quality.

Through proper maintenance and a being aware of the effects of common modifications, you can maintain reasonable fuel economy in your Jeep SUV. Higher gas prices do not have to mean the end of your four wheel fun. It may even make some modifications like a second set of tires more economically viable. So pay attention to details and enjoy driving your Jeep Cherokee.

Popular Fuel Sources for Indoor and Outdoor Heaters – Know Them Before You Make Your Decision

When selecting a heater, there are many different fuel sources to select from. Below is a short discussion about four of the most popular types.

Propane is a fossil fuel. It is found mixed with natural   gas  and petroleum deposits in rocks deep underground. Propane is odorless and is easily stored as a liquid in pressurized tanks. It is used in mostly by homes in rural areas. There are a lot of different appliances that use propane. Some of these are heaters, furnaces, water heaters and clothes dryers. Propane is also used as a transportation fuel and has been for a while. It does not cause the premature wearing of pistons, rings, valves and spark plugs. Engines stay clean and free of carbon and sludge which means less maintenance and possibly an extended engine life.

Kerosene is defined as oil that belongs to a group of hydrocarbons obtained from crude petroleum. It is also defined as the oil distilled from petroleum oil. Kerosene is used for lighting, heating and cooking. Kerosene is not odorless. Breathing too much of its strong odor can cause some problems for people. There are ways to deodorize kerosene. One of the ways is to use paraffin. This oil has the ability to cut the smell of kerosene making it almost odorless.

Natural  gas  is a fossil fuel that is gaseous at room temperature. The main component is methane. There are two types of natural  gas . The first type is called “natural  gas ” and the second is called biogas. Biogas is the methane produced by organic decay. This  gas  is found in swamps, landfills and manure piles. Natural  gas  is used in power generation and residential heating and cooking. On occasions, it is used to power vehicles such as buses. Although natural  gas  is the cleanest of all the fossil fuels, burning it does result in carbon emissions.

Electricity is a basic part of nature and one of the most widely used forms of energy. Electricity is used on a daily basis by almost everyone. It is used for lighting, heating, cooking and many more things. There are even cars that now run on an electric charge. Most people do not know that approximately 30% of the fossil fuels used in the United States is used in the form of electricity. About 75% of this use is coal. So, whenever someone uses electricity, they are probably using coal.

When selecting a heater for your needs, whether it is a propane heater, electric heater, kerosene heater or natural  gas  heater, there are pros and cons. Do your research and select the best one that will fit your needs and budget.

Choosing a Propane Gas Grill

Today there are many people who own a propane  gas  grill and many who don’t are thinking about getting one. It isn’t really a wonder why, it is a simple and convenient way of cooking food that tastes good and doesn’t require the time for charcoal to heat up. It is also easy to keep extra propane  gas  stored just in case you run out, and it doesn’t cost quite as much as constantly buying charcoal and lighter fluid. Plus, you can easily use it all year long and still get good results.

When you go to pick out your new propane grill there are a few things that you may want to thing about. First is price. How much money do you have set aside just to spend on a grill? More isn’t necessarily better, though there is a good chance that spending a little extra money will allow you better options. Sometimes it’s good to get something somewhat inexpensive and wait to buy the big one later when you are sure that there is a use for all of it’s features, otherwise, you may find that you have a lot of additional things that you don’t need, or that you hardly ever use half the grill to cook more than enough food for whoever.

Another thing to look is size. Unless you plan to have cookout after cookout with lots of friends, family, and other guests, you only really need something that will fit enough food for you family plus a person or two. People rarely need the huge grills, and when they buy them they often find that they’re using a lot of propane  gas  to help large parts that they almost never use. Though some may not think of it, it can add up to be a huge waste of money since getting something appropriately sized would have used less. Likewise, if you get something too small to fit all the food you need to cook on it each time then you’ll be stuck cooking in shifts. This is also a waste of money since it uses a lot of  gas  because it has to be on longer.

Next thing to look at are the options you have with it, like the rotisserie option and the side burners where you can use pots and pans. Since it costs extra for these options you don’t want to buy one that has them unless you are sure that you will use them. It does look better to have them at times, but it will cut back on regrets later if it turns out that you spent an extra couple of hundred for these when you could have gotten a propane  gas  grill that was nothing but the grill and was just as good as the one you bought but cheaper overall rather than have a couple of extra things that you never use.

Gas Boiler Vs Oil Boiler

A lot of people have the boiler systems that use oil as fuel. This used to be the most popular type of boiler and almost every home installed this system. They were very durable systems, and even though people have long ago began to understand that the  gas  boiler is a better alternative the oil versions are still functioning and a lot of people do not see the necessity of changing out their boiler systems when they have a functioning system. You have probably heard the old adage of “if it is not broken then do not fix it.” Well these people believe that as long as their system is providing them with heated water they should leave well enough alone.

The people who believe like this do not realize that although their oil versions are working they are outdated and they are not working efficiently. It is costing the people burning oil almost twice as much in fuel as the people who have switched over to the newer more efficient  gas  boiler systems.

One reason you will burn more oil than you will  gas  is because oil does not burn as efficient. You have to use more of it to create the same effect. So the  gas  boiler automatically requires less fuel.

When the oil versions were invented there was a regulation put in place that said the boilers must be fifty to fifty-five percent efficient in their annual fuel use. In 1992 this regulation was changed to include the new  gas  boiler systems and they only have to be eighty percent effective at burning the fuel they use. That is right they are mandated to be twenty-five percent more effective at using the fuel they are provided.

Simply put oil is more expensive than  gas . You have to realize that in the past twenty-five years many improvements have been made on all appliances and all appliances now use less fuel and burn fuels that are less dangerous to the environment.  Gas  does not harm the ozone layer as badly with the emissions that are produced as oil does. We are all responsible for what we are doing to the economy.

There are some government programs that will help you to defer the cost of installing the new energy-efficient  gas  boiler systems. You should check into what government programs are available in your area to help you pay for the cost of converting your home over from oil to  gas .

You need a professional installer to install the new system so that you know everything is working properly. The problem with  gas  is that when it is burned it can emit carbon monoxide  gas . Carbon monoxide  gas  is deadly. You have to know that the system you have is installed correctly and that it is not filling the air your family breathes with a deadly  gas . So have the system professionally installed and every year have the professional return to do a systems check and all appropriate maintenance.