How to Increase MPG for a 350Zby Joshua Smyth
The 350Z is a high-performance sports car produced by the Japanese automaker Nissan. As with other sports cars, fuel efficiency is not a primary design consideration; speed and power is. While this makes the 350Z an exciting car to drive on the track or open road, it also makes it an expensive car to use on a day-to-day basis. Increasing the miles per gallon (mpg) that you get with a 350Z is easy with a bit of maintenance and some changed driving habits.
Increasing Your MPG With Better Driving
Drive calmly. Although it may be tempting to drive a 350Z like a race car, this will burn through gasoline quickly. Accelerating, braking and turning suddenly can lower your highway mileage by 33 percent and knock 5 percent off your mileage in the city.
Turn on your cruise control whenever possible. Cruise control keeps your car moving at a steady speed, which will save you gas. This is only really an option when driving on the highway, as city driving demands too many starts and stops to make cruise control practical.
Unload extra weight from your car. Although the 350Z doesn't have a lot of cargo space to begin with, keeping what space it does have filled up will reduce your mileage. Adding 100 pounds of weight can reduce your mpg by 2 percent. This is especially relevant in a relatively light car such as the 350Z, where any added weight makes up a larger proportion of the car's weight than it would in a truck or van.
Shut down your engine when you stop the car for more than a minute. Idling burns gas without getting you anywhere. Although your engine will burn slightly more gas when it starts, it won't be enough to make it sensible to keep it running instead. This does put some additional strain on the starter, but the cost of replacing it slightly earlier will be less than the cost of all the extra gas.
Stick to the speed limit. Although this is really challenging when driving a speed-oriented car like the 350Z, it will save a lot of gas. Fuel efficiency falls off quickly above 60 mph, which is in any case illegally fast on many roads. Keep the high speed driving for the track, and your mpg will improve.
Shift into your overdrive gear when possible. This will let the engine turn slower and use less gas. It is also easier on your engine.
Increasing MPG Through Maintenance
Have your car engine tuned up. Adjusting the engine timing, cleaning the fuel filters, and other small maintenance jobs can improve your mpg by up to 4 percent. Bigger repairs bring bigger benefits. Replacing a broken oxygen sensor, for example, could improve your mpg by a 40 percent.
Use premium gas. Sports car engines often work at higher compressions, which heat the engine to a higher temperature. Premium gas is less likely to pre-ignite, which will reduce wear on the engine over time and improve your mpg slightly.
Inflate your tires properly. Follow the guidelines printed in your 350Zs manual or on a sticker found on the driver's side door jamb. Sticking to the recommended inflation can boost your mileage by up to 3.3. percent.
Use the right oil. Your 350Z's manual will recommend a grade of oil to use in the car. Using this, and ensuring that the oil comes with an "Energy Conserving" sticker that indicates the presence of friction reducing additives can give you a 1-2 percent boost in mpg.
Joshua Smyth started writing in 2003 and is based in St. John's, Newfoundland. He has written for the award-winning "Cord Weekly" and for "Blueprint Magazine" in Waterloo, Ontario, where he spent a year as editor-in-chief. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science and economics from Wilfrid Laurier University.