With the ever-increasing fuel prices, extracting more kilometres out of each litre of fuel becomes the priority. The mileage of your car depends on your driving style and how you maintain the vehicle. The fuel economy also depends on what type of vehicle you own. For instance, a light hatchback car with a smaller engine can be a fuel efficient car than a heavy SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) with a bigger engine.
It doesn’t matter what type of vehicle you own. You can get the best fuel mileage out of your car by following these simple tips.
Avoid Sudden Acceleration: Smooth driving is the key to get the best fuel mileage. Be gentle on the throttle pedal, and linearly build the speed. Aggressive acceleration with plenty of wheel spin may be a thrilling experience. But by doing so, your engine will consume more fuel. So, be smooth while accelerating.
Use Coasting Technique: Coasting is nothing but using the car's kinetic energy to propel the vehicle forward. To put it in simple words, here's an example. You can release the accelerator when you are approaching a red light signal. There is no need to accelerate up to the stop line. You can use the momentum of the car to roll towards the traffic signal by applying the coasting technique. But be aware of the traffic around you while attempting this method.
Reduce the Use of AC: Use of AC at its maximum level can impact the fuel economy, especially while driving on roads with heavy traffic. AC is a necessity in a country like India, where temperatures sore up during summers. But be mindful while using the air conditioning system as it may reduce the fuel economy by 30%. It might not be a comfortable drive, but if mileage is your priority, try and minimise the use of AC, wherever possible.
Reduce Weight and Drag: Weight is one of the most important factors that impact fuel consumption. Avoid carrying unnecessary weight, as a heavy car puts more stress on the engine. Clean up your boot and get rid of the items that you don’t need. Avoid using aftermarket accessories that affect the aerodynamics of the vehicle. For example, you might have installed a roof luggage rack, but it increases the wind resistance and hampers the aerodynamics. So, when you don’t use the luggage rack, it’s better to remove it.
Precise Gear Shifts: Sudden acceleration and redlining the engine will drastically reduce the mileage. Accelerate linearly and be precise while shifting gears. Driving on higher gears and shifting gears at the right RPM (Revolutions Per Minute) will enhance the fuel economy of your car.
Shut Down the Engine: Your car delivers 0km/l fuel efficiency when idling the engine. When idling, you are just burning fuel. So, shut down the engine if you need to wait at a traffic signal or wait for someone for over a minute. Also, avoid using AC when idling as it puts more stress on the engine.
Maintain Your Car: Service your car at regular intervals or as per the recommendation of the manufacturer. Clean or replace the air filter and fuel filter for better fuel economy. A clogged air or fuel filter will result in inefficient burning of fuel, and in turn, the engine will consume more fuel. Also, change the engine oil regularly and top-up the coolant so that the engine can operate at optimum temperature.
Maintain Correct Tyre Pressure: Most car owners underestimate the importance of correct tyre pressure. Tyres are the only contact patch between your car and the road. Tyres produce rolling resistance, and most of the power produced by the engine is utilised to overcome that resistance.
Maintain optimum tyre pressure that is recommended by the manufacturer. Under-inflated tyres increase resistance, and the engine has to work hard to propel the vehicle. A stressed engine consumes more fuel, and in turn, reduces the fuel mileage. So, it is important to inflate the tyres to the correct pressure.
Plan Your Trip: Plan your route even before you start driving to avoid unnecessary stops. Lesser the stops, the better the fuel economy. Avoid traffic-congested roads as it may put a lot of stress on the engine in stop-and-go traffic. Make use of navigation apps such as Google Maps to plan the route. Driving efficiently on traffic-free roads with fever stops is the key to extract good fuel economy from your car.
Fill Good Quality Fuel: Filling up adulterated fuel not only reduces the mileage, but also harms the components of the engine. Make sure that the quality of fuel is good before filling up. You can check the density and volume of fuel free of cost at any filling station. Consider filling fuel from a recognised and big fuel pump. Avoid small filling outlets when driving on highways.
In a Nutshell
Several factors determine the fuel efficiency of a car. Some factors such as traffic congestion and road conditions are not in your control. Driving efficiently and keeping your car in perfect condition helps you to get the best fuel economy from your vehicle. Driving smoothly and maintaining your car is no rocket science. Follow these simple and easy tips and see the difference that it makes to fuel consumption.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the most commonly asked questions and their answers related to the fuel efficiency of your vehicle.
What are the reasons for a car to deliver poor mileage?
A car can return poor fuel mileage due to the following reasons.
Poor maintenance of the vehicle
Inefficient driving behaviour (Driving too aggressively)
Technical problem (Issue with engine components or fuel line)
How does the engine capacity of a car affect fuel economy?
The fuel economy of a car depends on the engine capacity of a vehicle. In simple words, the higher the capacity of the engine, the more the fuel consumption. For example, a small hatchback is a fuel efficient car because it has a small engine. An SUV with a bigger engine consumes more fuel.
What is the role of engine oil in improving fuel mileage?
Engine oil lubricates the internal components and ensures that the engine runs at an optimum temperature. An old and sludgy motor oil loses its capability to lubricate the engine components, and the temperature will increase due to the friction, and the engine does not run efficiently. An inefficient engine consumes more fuel.
Will closing the windows of my car help in improving fuel efficiency?
Yes. By closing the windows of your car, you can enhance the fuel mileage. Because when the windows are closed, the air around your vehicle passes efficiently, and it improves the overall aerodynamics. With less wind resistance, the engine also runs efficiently, and it improves fuel efficiency.