Hyundai Ecomodders to Test Effectiveness of Various Mods

by Benjamin Jones on October 15, 2008

I’m always excited when I run across a group of people excited about the same things that get me excited. It’s only natural, right? That’s why I was particularly intrigued when I saw this blog dedicated to the ecomodding of two Hyundais for max mileage.

What’s more exciting is that these mods are being undertaken with the goal of quanitifying and evaluating the affect that they have on fuel economy. The basic premise is that the bloggers have taken two stock Hyundai Sonatas and are sending them to a place called Illuminati Motor Works to have them ecomodded. The bloggers will then keep track of fuel economy and do a cost benefit analysis.

The real problem, though, which I guess these guys have yet to realize is that fuel economy testing is highly variable. Take a look at this and tell me if you see anything suspicious:

Josh and George are out on our second run of the day, we’ve replaced the oil with fully synthetic, Royal Purple, which claims increased engine performance and mileage from using their product.  Our average highway mileage prior to changing the oil to Royal Purple was 30.5 MPG; which happens to be the highway mileage for both vehicles, the average highway mileage with Royal Purple was 33.5, a 10% increase above our baseline.  Now that the Royal purple is in and we like the results, we’re leaving it in the vehicle for the rest of today’s testing.  Currently we are testing a voltage stabilizer which claims it can increase your engine performance and mileage by stabilizing the voltage in your electrical system….we’ll see.

Yes? I thought so! I wonder how much the temperature, wind, and traffic conditions changed between the first and second run. I wonder how much they actually drove to get this mileage data. I wonder if anyone really thinks synthetic oil can increase fuel economy 10%. And most of all, I wonder if they really think they’ll get any respectable results by stringing together dubious modifications while just comparing each one to the last.

I don’t mean to seem like a downer, but wouldn’t you be a little suspicious if the EPA did their mileage testing by driving around town a bit and writing down a number, then just moving on to the next car? I’m not trying to challenger their ideas, just their methodology.

What do you think? Will you be taking their advice or are you just too skeptical?

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