Improving fuel economy

These days with the ever-spiraling cost of fuel, everyone is looking for some relief at the pump.

Sure, it always helps when the price of gasoline falls, but long-term, we all need to do more to ensure we use less fossil-based fuels in powering our vehicles.

Hybrids, electric vehicles and improved internal combustion engines along with technology can all play a part.

But what else can contribute to keeping fuels costs down and allowing each of us to drive past the gas station more often?

General Motors Research & Development has invented an industry-first aluminum welding technology that is expected to enable more use of the lightweight metal (aluminum) on future vehicles. A lighter vehicle will improve fuel economy and driving performance.

GM’s new resistance spot welding process uses a patented multi-ring domed electrode that does what smooth electrodes are unreliable at doing – welding aluminum to aluminum. This innovative process has GM engineers expecting to eliminate nearly two pounds of rivets from aluminum body parts such as hoods, lift gates and doors.

This patented process is already evident on the hood of the Cadillac CTS-V and the lift gate of the hybrid versions of Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon.

GM plans to use this technology more extensively starting in 2013.

Today, it’s a two pound reduction. As further advances are made, more aluminum may be used in manufacturing. Aluminum offers many advantages over steel. One kilogram of aluminum can replace two kilograms of steel. It’s corrosion-resistant and offers an excellent blend of strength and low mass that can help improve fuel economy and performance.

According to, a five to seven percent fuel savings can be realized for every 10 percent weight reduction and substituting lightweight aluminum for a heavier material is one way to do it.

The professionals at NewRoads Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC are here for you. Call 905-898-2277. Come into our dealership at 18100 Yonge St. in Newmarket– we’d love to see you and talk about how we can work together.

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