How to Tune a Kia Rio for MPG

Written by david mcguffin
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The better you care for your Kia Rio, the better it will treat you in terms of performance, maintenance costs and fuel economy. Many of the basic principles pertaining to car maintenance can be used to maximise the MPG (miles per gallon) that your Kia Rio delivers. Not only will your vehicle run better and more efficiently, but you will also save money at the pump. In additional, it is possible to install some aftermarket components that will boost your Rio's fuel economy.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Socket wrench set
  • Screwdriver
  • Air filter
  • Spark plug extractor socket
  • Mechanic's gloves
  • Motor oil
  • OBD II scanner
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Tire pump

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Fine-tune your Kia Rio by having the tires aligned. This will reduce the drag and friction of misaligned tires, which requires more work and force from the engine to propel the car. Also, consider installing tires with the smallest possible width for your Rio for added fuel economy.

  2. 2

    Check the tire pressure on your Kia Rio at least once a week. Use a tire pressure gauge to check the pressure on each tire by unscrewing the cap on the tyre's air pressure valve and attaching the pressure gauge to the tire. The proper pressure for your tire is imprinted on the sidewall. Under- or overinflated tires can result in decreased fuel economy. If your tires are overinflated, let extra air out and then recheck with the tire pressure gauge. Use a portable air pump that plugs into your cigarette lighter adaptor to bring underinflated tires back up to the desired pressure. According to the FuelEconomy.gov website, properly inflated tires can improve your MPG by 3.3 per cent.

  3. 3

    Use an OBD II diagnostic scanner to read the Kia Rio's "Check Engine" light whenever it illuminates. If a sensor is bad, replace it immediately. Some sensors are easy to replace, while others may require a mechanic's assistance. Several sensors control the proper ignition firing and timing of your engine's piston system including the knock sensor, oxygen sensor, throttle position sensor, cam sensor, EGR sensor and MAP sensor.

  4. 4

    Use motor oil that is the correct weight recommended for your Kia Rio. Using the wrong motor oil weight can result in a loss of 2 per cent in fuel economy, which will add to the price you pay for a gallon of gasoline. Motor oils labelled "Energy Conserving" contain added lubricant properties that may also help to protect your engine and increase your MPG.

  5. 5

    Service the spark plugs on your Kia Rio to ensure they are all firing correctly. Spark plugs should be changed annually. Disconnect the spark plug wires and use a spark plug adaptor socket and a socket wrench to back out the old spark plugs and install new ones.

  6. 6

    Consult with a mechanic for other potential modifications and fine-tuning that will increase the MPG on your Kia Rio. TorqueCars.com recommends options such as a lighter-weight flywheel, adding aftermarket components for air intake and adding smaller fuel injectors and valves. You can also have your engine control unit (ECU) remapped for changing the spark timing or have a specialised ECU chip installed that is made specifically for your model of the Kia Rio.

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