10 money-saving tips on fuel
Changing the way you drive and maintain your car can have a noticeable impact on the mileage your car gives. Find out what where you’re going wrong to cut your fuel costs.
We all want to know the mileage while buying a new car, but you could be disappointed by what you get. While the ARAI figure the salesman quotes has been calculated in ideal conditions, you could improve the mileage you get from your car by making changes to your driving technique, maintaining your car well and even while filling your car with fuel. Here’s what to do:
Constant moderate speeds
The best way to increase your mileage is to keep your car in a constant moderate speed between 40-50 km/hr as far as possible. If your car has the cruise mode, use it on highways to keep a constant speed so that your engine can maintain a speed easily and save fuel.
Highest gear possible
As far as possible, keep your car in the highest gear without it stalling. Your car consumes a lot more fuel in the first and second gear than it would in the fourth and fifth gear while accelerating. Usually shifting gears at 1,500 and 2,500rpm (petrol engine) and 1,200 and 2,000rpm (diesel engine) gives the best combination of fuel efficiency and speed.
Use A/C sparingly, but always on highways
Air conditioners put extra load on your engine, using almost 20% of your fuel capacity. But keeping your windows shut on highways and other roads where you will speed more than 65 km/hr will increase your mileage by almost 10% by helping your car overcome air resistance.
Be soft on the brakes and accelerator
Instead of being rough on the accelerator and brakes, try doing it as gently as you can. Try anticipating traffic movement and signals. Steady acceleration and brakes have a considerable impact on your mileage. Aggressive driving can reduce your mileage by 33% at highway speeds at 5% on city roads.
Switch off engine at red lights
If the red light you’re at is going to be over half a minute, it’s best to turn the ignition off. Although restarting your car takes a burst of fuel, it won’t be as much as what your vehicle would consume while idling for 30 seconds.
Also read: Mileage check: ARAI vs expert reviews
Maintain your vehicle well
Servicing your vehicle regularly will lower consumption of fuel. Cleaning a clogged air filter can lead to a substantial increase in your mileage. Replacing malfunctioning spark plugs can also increase your mileage.
Check your tyre pressure
Underinflated tyres can be dangerous but also have an impact on your car’s mileage. Keeping your tyre pressure to optimum levels can help you save as much as 3% on your fuel mileage.
Remove extra load from your car
Clean out your car as much as possible. Don’t need that spare wheel in the boot? Take it out. For every extra 45kg in the car, your mileage goes down 2%.
Fuel pump techniques
Refill at the coolest time of day
The colder it gets during the day, the denser the fuel which is filled in your tank. Fuel pumps only measure the volume being pumped into your car and not the density.
Fuel tank precautions
Don’t fill your tank beyond the auto-shutoff; fuel pump attendants often do this. Also make sure the fuel cap is on tight. These measures ensure your fuel does not vaporise without running a single kilometer.