Any tips for better fuel economy?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Jun 01, 1995

Dear Tom and Ray:

I have a 1959 Chevrolet Impala with a 348 cubic inch engine and a four barrel carburetor. Can you give me any suggestions on how to increase my gas mileage? It's currently eight miles per gallon in the city and 13 on the highway.

TOM: I'd say stay out of the city, Jerry. That should help.

RAY: Actually, your mileage sounds about right, Jerry. You've got a 4,000 pound car with an old, inefficient, carbureted V8 engine. They don't get much thirstier than that. And nobody cared about gas mileage back in 1959, because gas cost 15 cents a gallon.

TOM: I suppose it's possible that your carburetor is flooding, in which case a new or rebuilt carburetor may improve your mileage a little. An emissions test will tell you whether that's your problem.

RAY: But my guess is that nothing's wrong with it...other than the fact that it's a beast. So here's my strategy for you. Drive it until it dies (let's say it lasts until 1999). Then buy a Geo Metro and drive IT for the NEXT forty years. That way, over your eighty year life span, your gas mileage will average out to about 27 mpg!

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