How to Improve Gas Mileage in a Ford Mustang

by John Stevens J.D.

The Ford Mustang is popularly known more for its power rather than its fuel mileage. From its inception, the Mustang was designed to be a relatively inexpensive car that could easily be customized to suit a particular customer's taste. Although the Mustang has always been offered with a six cylinder, the vast majority of Mustangs were equipped with a variety of high performance V-8s. However, the fuel efficiency of any Mustang, even those with V-6s, can be dramatically increased with minor modifications and regular maintenance.

Step 1

Replace the air filter with a high performance filter. Stock air filters generally err on the side of caution rather than efficiency. An engine needs oxygen to operate, and the oxygen which enters the engine must first pass through the air filter. Stock air filters are generally more restrictive than aftermarket units, meaning that the engine must use more energy to draw air through a stock air filter than an aftermarket one. Many aftermarket air filters are available that filter the air just as efficiently as, if not better than, stock units but do not require the engine to work as hard to draw air through the filter. Switching to a quality air filter will thereby result in an increase in fuel mileage.

Step 2

Upgrade the exhaust system. Most Mustangs were equipped with very restrictive exhaust systems. The engine must pass the exhaust fumes out of the engine and through the exhaust system. Many Mustangs, even those equipped with V-8s, were assembled with a single exhaust pipe. Use of a single exhaust pipe severely restricts the engines ability to dispense with the exhaust gases. By converting the single pipe exhaust system to a duel exhaust, the engine will not have to work as hard, thereby resulting in an increase in power and fuel mileage.

Step 3

Upgrade the ignition system to an aftermarket electrical ignition system. The ignition system is responsible for igniting the air/fuel mixture that the engine burns. The stock ignition system can be grossly inadequate to efficiently ignite this mixture. This is particularly problematic for the older Mustangs which used a mechanical point system in the distributors and weak ignition coils. Installing a quality aftermarket electrical ignition system will increase the efficiency of the engine, resulting in better gas mileage.

Step 4

Always change the oil every 3,000 miles. Old oil, or a low oil level, actually reduces the efficiency of an engine. This loss in efficiency reduces the miles per gallon of gasoline the engine must consume to reach a given point. Replacing the oil every 3,000 miles will help the engine to operate smoothly, thereby improving the Mustang's gas mileage.

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