How to Increase Car Mileage for Petrol/Diesel Variants to Save Costs?

Team Ackodrive7, Jun, 2022

Fuel economy is one of the most important parameters while purchasing a car. With the sky-rocketing fuel prices, it’s obvious for Indian buyers to be conscious of their vehicle’s  fuel efficiency. If you already own a car, you might wonder — How to increase car mileage? This article is all about tips to save fuel while driving your petrol/diesel car. So, buckle up and read on.

How To Increase Car Mileage For Petrol Diesel Variants In India

How to improve the mileage of petrol/diesel cars in India

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 with a smaller engine can be more fuel-efficient than a heavy SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) with a bigger engine.

Here are the tips to increase the fuel efficiency of your car and reduce the vehicle's running cost.

1. Service your car regularly

Keeping your car in good shape should be your priority. Get your car serviced at regular intervals or as suggested by the manufacturer. 

  • The engine needs to run efficiently to return a good fuel economy. 

  • Components such as air filters, oil filters and fuel filters play a significant role in the smooth running of the engine.

  • Spark plugs are responsible for the efficient burning of fuel, and keeping them clean will ensure that the engine delivers optimum performance. 

  • You can also check the oil and coolant levels once in a while to ensure that your car runs smoothly. 

  • Use the manufacturer-recommended grade of oil while topping up the engine oil. 

  • Also, change the tyres if they are worn out as less traction may result in wheelspin, which is a loss of power and fuel.

2. Be gentle on the throttle

Be a ‘smooth operator’ when driving your car. 

  • Avoid sudden acceleration, as it might result in over-revving the engine, depending on the selected gear. 

  • A high-revving engine consumes more fuel.

  • Similarly, do not apply brakes harshly unless required, as it will impact the fuel economy.

  • Maintaining a constant speed enhances the fuel mileage of your car.

3.  Timely gear shifts

Shifting gears at the correct time and being in the right gear at the right RPM (Revolutions Per Minute) improves the engine's efficiency.

  • If you drive on roads with high traffic, be smooth with the gearbox and never redline the RPM before shifting the gear.

  • Also, upshift gears as quickly as possible and downshift gears only when required.

  • In simple terms, always keep the engine RPM optimum while changing gears.

  • Being smooth on the gearbox is rewarding as it saves fuel and increases the mileage of your car.

  • If you drive an automatic car, avoid hard acceleration as it revs the engine in each gear. The more the revs, the lesser the fuel efficiency.

4. Avoid idling for long period

Switch off the engine if you are in a situation where you have to idle the engine for over a minute.

If you are waiting at a traffic signal or waiting for someone, it’s better to shut down the engine.

  • Modern cars are equipped with engine start/stop technology that automatically switches off the engine if the vehicle is idling for too long.

  • Also, fine-tune the idle RPM by taking the help of an expert mechanic so that your car does not burn more fuel while idling.

5. Roll up the windows

Aerodynamics plays a crucial role in extracting the best fuel economy out of your car.

  • If you keep the windows rolled up, the airflow around the vehicle will be optimum, and your car will efficiently cut through the air.

  • That means the engine does not need to put that extra effort to make your car cut through the air. An efficiently running engine translates to good fuel economy!

  • Similarly, installing aftermarket accessories may also affect the aerodynamics and increase drag.

  • For example, installing a roof luggage rack increases the wind resistance and hampers the aerodynamics. If you are not using the luggage rack, it’s better to remove it.

Also, read: How to remove scratches from car windshield: Tips to follow

6. Use coasting technique

Coasting is nothing but using the car's kinetic energy to propel the vehicle forward.

  • To put it in simple words, 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 car's momentum to roll towards the traffic signal by applying the coasting technique.

  • But be aware of the traffic around you while attempting this method.

7. Maintain correct tyre pressure

Under-inflated tyres hamper handling and fuel efficiency.

  • Yes, under-inflated tyres result in more friction due to the increased contact area between the tyres and the road.

  • With the reduced tyre pressure, the engine takes a hit as it has to produce more power to propel the vehicle and consumes more fuel.

  • Similarly, over-inflated tyres offer poor grip but reduce fuel consumption.

  • Make sure that you stick to the manufacturer-recommended tyre pressure for a perfect balance between tyre grip and good fuel mileage.

Also, read: Average life of car tyres: When to change car tyres?

8. Drive light

The weight of your car is one of the most critical factors that affect fuel economy. 

  • The heavier the car, the more fuel is required to propel the vehicle.

  • You can get rid of anything unnecessary lying in the boot. So, consider cleaning up your car’s boot regularly to avoid carrying unnecessary weight.

9. Park your car in a shaded area

Air conditioning (AC) in a car is no longer a luxury. It is a necessity, especially with soaring temperatures during summer.

  • If you park your car in an open area, its interior gets very hot, and it will take some time to cool down.

  • That means, when you drive your car, the AC runs at its maximum capacity, and in turn, it extracts more power from the engine. 

  • So, park your car in a shaded area for a cooler cabin and improved fuel economy.

10. Plan your trip

Plan your route even before you start driving to avoid unnecessary stops.

  • The 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.

  • Use navigation apps such as Google Maps to plan the route.

  • Driving efficiently on traffic-free roads with fever stops is the key to extracting good fuel economy from your car.

Also, read:Driving your car on the highway? Top rules and tips to follow

11. Fill good-quality fuel

Filling up adulterated fuel reduces the mileage and harms the components of the engine. 

  • Make sure that the quality of petrol/diesel is good before filling up fuel. 

  • You can check the density and volume of fuel free of cost at any filling station.

  • Consider filling fuel from recognised or reputed fuel stations. Avoid small filling outlets when driving on highways.

Takeaway

Saving petrol/diesel while driving your car is no rocket science. Here’s what you can take away from this article.

  • A smooth driving style is a key to extracting good fuel economy. 

  • Be gentle on your inputs, and the engine will reward you with better fuel mileage. 

  • Keep your car and the engine in good shape by regularly servicing the vehicle. 

  • A healthy engine and efficiently working components translate to lower consumption of fuel.

  • Lower the fuel consumption, the lower the vehicle's running cost. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions and their answers related to saving petrol/diesel while driving your car.

Will I save petrol/diesel if I drive my car at slow speeds?

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Yes. Technically, you will save fuel by driving slower. Because at high speeds, the engine needs to rev harder, and it consumes more fuel in the process. But at low speeds, the engine is efficient, which improves the overall fuel efficiency.

Does engine oil impact fuel consumption?

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Yes. You need to change the engine oil at regular intervals, as prescribed by the manufacturer. Old or sludgy engine oil decreases the fuel mileage as the oil loses its ability to lubricate the engine. With more friction, the engine runs hotter and loses its efficiency. An inefficient engine consumes more fuel and, in turn, affects the fuel economy.

Which car variant returns more mileage, petrol or diesel?

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Technically, a diesel engine delivers better fuel efficiency than a petrol engine. Diesel's energy rating is higher than petrol. A litre of diesel produces more energy during combustion than a litre of petrol. In simple terms, diesel burns efficiently and produces more energy than petrol. So, it requires less diesel to achieve a specific power figure.

However, diesel cars are expensive to buy and maintain due to the complex nature of the diesel engine. But petrol cars are affordable and light on the pocket when it comes to maintenance.

At what speed should I drive my car to get the best fuel mileage?

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Speed is not the only factor that determines fuel efficiency. It's the engine RPM that matters. If you drive your car at an optimum RPM (also called a 'green band'), you will extract better fuel economy. For instance, if you drive at 30km/h and redline the engine, your car will consume more fuel. Similarly, driving around 100km/h and keeping the engine RPM on the green band will reduce fuel consumption.

Which are the best mileage cars in India?

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Here are some of the best mileage* cars on sale in India.

  • Renault Kwid

  • Datsun Redi-GO

  • Maruti Suzuki Alto 800

  • Maruti Suzuki Alto K10

  • Maruti Suzuki Swift

  • Maruti Suzuki S-Presso

  • Maruti Suzuki Wagon R

  • Hyundai Grand i10

*As per ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India)

How do I extract the best fuel economy while driving my car?

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Follow these tips to save fuel while you are driving.

  • Avoid engine idling for a long time.

  • Avoid sudden acceleration and braking.

  • Drive your car at a constant speed.

  • Reduce the usage of AC while driving.

  • Maintain correct tyre pressure.

  • Shift gears at the right RPM and do not over-rev the engine.

What are the reasons for a car to deliver poor mileage?

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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, drivetrain, tyres or fuel line)

How does the engine capacity of a car affect fuel economy?

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The fuel economy of a car depends on the vehicle's engine capacity. In simple words, the higher the engine's capacity, the more 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?

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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 (with poor lubrication, the temperature will increase due to 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?

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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, improving the overall aerodynamics. With less wind resistance, the engine does not need to work hard to propel the car resulting in improved fuel efficiency.

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