With fuel prices going up, it's clear that fuel efficiency is the name of the game in the car industry. So how can you save on fuel without having to change to a hybrid or electrically-powered car? The answer lies within a 1-inch thick piece of metal known as the throttle body spacer. Here are a few things you have to remember when choosing the right throttle body spacer for your car.
Straight types vs. Vortex types
A throttle body spacer is an optional part of an air intake system. When installed, it changes the system's airflow by directing as much air to the air intake manifold. There are two types of throttle body spacers, which can be differentiated according to how it directs air into the manifold. The most commonly used spacers are those that direct air by straightening the airflow through the tubes of your intake system. Another type of spacers is the
vortex-wind throttle spacers. Although most studies suggest that the swirling direction made by vortex spacers provides better combustion, air should travel about a meter long before any significant effects can be felt. Unless you have a massive engine, it's best to install straight-type spacers. They're relatively cheaper than vortex types and more effective on a normal-sized engine.
Throttle-body injection systems vs. Multi-point fuel injection systems
As mentioned above, the throttle body spacer is an aftermarket add-on to your intake system. With that said, the type of spacer you will purchase has to fit the rest of your manifold. Throttle-body injection (TBI) systems are more likely to benefit from a spacer than a multi-point fuel injection (MFI) system. The smaller diameter of a TFI system benefits from the additional plenum volume provided by the spacer, which gives the fuel more opportunity to vaporize. So if your car has a stock MFI intake manifold and you wish to improve fuel efficiency, adding a throttle bed spacer might not give you the horsepower and increased mileage you expect.
Research your way to the right TBS
When you're in the market for a new throttle body spacer, research is key. The kind of spacers you need will largely depend on the car you own and its engine type. If you purchase a throttle body spacer that doesn't fit your vehicle's specs, it can be ineffective and excruciatingly noisy. Go through trusted message boards and focus on different real-world accounts from drivers with a similar make, model, and engine as your car; see which kinds or brands of TBS they prefer. You can also scout for detailed reviews of TBS brands on different online sites. It's best to be informed before making your purchase to ensure you get the right throttle body spacer the first time around.