Do you cringe every time you see a news bulletin giving the latest fuel price hike? Does your wallet get really light after every refill at the gas station? Do you curse your car for being too thirsty? Well, if you can relate to at least one of these then you’re reading the right article! Let’s discuss the important points to remember when you want to maximize the fuel efficiency of your car. Just follow these simple guidelines and your car won’t be greedy again.
In most cases, the real culprit for poor mileage is the driver. Yes, you heard it right. Often, people subject their cars to hard acceleration and sudden braking. They rev the car too much. They don’t drive in the right gear. All these factors put together make your car as thirsty as a camel. So how should you drive your car?
- Go very easy on the throttle. You’re not driving an ambulance and unless you’re late for a board meeting you don’t really need to accelerate hard.
- Avoid applying brakes all too sudden. When you know in advance that you need to slow down, let go of the accelerator and slowly apply the brakes. Everyday driving just isn’t a Formula 1 race and sudden braking just wastes the energy of fuel.
- Drive in the correct gear. Always try to ensure that your engine is running at the lowest possible RPM (revs per minute). The slower your engine spins the more fuel you save.
- When you’re at a signal and you know you’re going to be waiting there for a long time, then it’s wise to turn off the engine. In idling condition, the car consumes fuel even though it’s stationary.
- Don’t lower the windows when you’re driving on the highway. This increases the aerodynamic drag and inevitably, fuel consumption.
By adopting good driving habits, you can save as much as 33% of fuel.
Try to keep your car in top notch condition. At least mechanically. Have your car serviced regularly according to the service schedules. Spark plugs are replaced, air filters and fuel filters are cleaned, transmission oils are recharged and a whole load of other operations are carried out to keep your car mechanically fit. So, follow your maintenance schedules religiously. This keeps all moving parts work with minimum friction between them and it always translates into better fuel savings. Also, proper maintenance ensures that your car lasts a really long time.
Every time you fill fuel, make sure you fill up the tyres with air as well. A tyre with poor air pressure has more contact area with the road. This increases friction and as a result you get poor economy. Also, you could switch to low rolling resistance compound tyres. This helps you save about 2-3% of fuel.
Quality of fuel
Using premium fuel helps you achieve better mileage. Premium fuels prevent a phenomenon known as knocking. Knocking occurs due to erratic fuel combustion. This is detrimental to performance as well as fuel economy. Knocking is usually associated with low grade fuels. Also, premium fuels help lubricate the moving parts in the engine. Overall, it maintains holistic wellbeing of an engine. If you can’t afford premium fuel, then you can also use fuel additives along with your regular fuel. These additives help lubricate the engine and some also help prevent knocking. Please refer your car manual or consult a local mechanic to find out which additive best suits your car.
The heavier the car, the more fuel it consumes. This is no rocket science and your wallet will thank you if you keep your car’s weight in check. Throw out stuff when not needed. The child seat, unnecessary things in the trunk. Your engine doesn’t need to lug around everything. Give it a break.
Plan your journey
Before you start driving, make sure you chalk out the shortest route to your destination. Refer a navigation system or consult with the locals. Also, pick routes with well laid roads. Drive up a ragged path and you’ll find yourself at the next gas station sooner than you think.
Probably the best way to save your hard-earned money. If you and a few other from your neighbourhood have the same destination to reach, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t consider carpooling. Take turns every week and watch your fuel spending decrease tremendously. Also, it could give a boost to your social life.
Walk/cycle when you can
When the destination is close, then please step out, take a breath of fresh air and use your body to propel yourself. Your wallet will be full, your health will improve and you might live a bit longer and most importantly Mother Nature will give you her regards!