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How to Improve the Gas Mileage on a 1997 Nissan Hardbody

by James Wiley

Gas prices in the world today tend to skyrocket, causing headaches for everyone when they fill up their tank. Many people have switched to more fuel efficient cars, such as a Prius or Corolla. What many people do not realize is that the gas mileage of any model of vehicle, even a fairly old truck such as a 1997 Nissan Hardbody, can be improved by taking proper care of the vehicle and driving it in a fuel efficient way. Since it is a fairly large truck, a 1997 Nissan Hardbody gets about 18 to 20 miles per gallon on normal driving. By following fuel efficient steps, you will be able to raise the miles per gallon to around 20 to 24 miles per gallon on normal driving. Be sure to know whether you have a 4 x 4 or 4 x 2 Hardbody, as a 4 x 2 should be getting slightly better mileage than described above.

1

Drive the Nissan Hardbody at a reasonable speed at all times; do not idle in one place for long periods of time. The faster you drive, the harder your engine has to work, which will decrease gas mileage. Using cruise control and overdrive will also save gas, as they do not require the engine to spin as fast.

2

Take out unnecessary heavy weight from your Hardbody, such as golf clubs and large packages. Extra weight reduces gas mileage. Although these large trucks are designed to hold a lot of gear, putting over 100 pounds of extra weight in any vehicle reduces gas mileage.

3

Take your Hardbody to an auto shop for routine tune-ups and emissions tests. This will ensure your car is functioning according to its highest capabilities. Add synthetic foil to your Nissan, which will run the engine much smoother than mineral-based oils. Have air and fuel filters as well as the PVC changed accordingly with the manufacturer's recommendations.

4

Change your Nissan Hardbody's O2 sensors after wear and tear of several tens of thousands of miles. Consult your local Nissan manufacturer to set up an appointment to have the sensors replaced if necessary.

5

Check the tire pressures and inflate them when necessary. Tires with not enough air in them will slow down the Hardbody's acceleration and braking and cause more work for the engine. Proper tire pressures can be found in the door panel.

6

Use premium gas with your Hardbody. The truck will operate with unleaded fuel, but the gas mileage will suffer, especially during the winter.

Tip

  • Consider upgrading the exhaust to a 2-inch pipe, which could also increase gas mileage. The above directions will get the highest level of performance out of your Hardbody's gas mileage. Sadly, because the Nissan Hardbody is such a large vehicle, it is unlikely you will see better gas mileage than 23 miles per gallon on town roads. There are, however, more fuel efficient cars that can be purchased, which will save you more money in the long run. Carpooling and commuting are other ways to reduce money spent on gas.

About the Author

James Wiley graduated from Providence College in 2009 as a double major in global studies and Spanish. Wiley's capstone thesis paper was published in the Providence College database. He has also competed in international script-writing competitions and coauthored a pilot which placed in the top 15 percent of international entries over the past year.

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