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 major 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. Lastly, use the manufacturer-recommended grade of oil while topping up the engine oil.
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 at the right gear at the right RPM (Revolutions Per Minute) improves the efficiency of the engine. If you are driving 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, and it hampers 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. For instance, 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 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
It may sound silly. But aerodynamics plays a key role in extracting the best fuel economy out of your car. If you keep the windows rolled up, the airflow around the car will be optimum, and your car will efficiently cut through the air. That means the engine need not put that extra effort to make your car cut through the air. An efficiently running engine translates to good fuel economy!
6. 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.
7. Drive Light
The weight of your car is one of the most important 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 on the boot. So, consider cleaning up your boot regularly so that you are not carrying unnecessary weight.
8. Park Your Car in a Shaded Area
Air conditioning 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, the car’s 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 car and improved fuel economy.
Saving petrol/diesel while driving your car is not rocket science. A smooth driving style is a key to extract good fuel economy. Be gentle on your inputs, and the engine will reward you with better fuel mileage. Also, keep your car and the engine in good shape by regularly servicing the vehicle. A healthy engine and efficiently working components translates to lower consumption of fuel. And the lower the fuel consumption, the lower the running cost of the vehicle. Follow the above-mentioned tips, and you will see the difference it makes in terms of fuel consumption.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Below are some of the most commonly asked questions and their answers related to saving petrol/diesel while driving your car:
1. Will I save petrol/diesel if I drive my car at slow speeds?
Yes. Technically, you will save fuel by driving slower. Because at high speeds, the engine needs to rev harder, and in the process, it consumes more fuel. But at low speeds, the engine is efficient, which improves the overall fuel efficiency.
2. Does engine oil impact fuel consumption?
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.
3. Which car variant returns more mileage, petrol or diesel?
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 certain power figure. However, diesel cars are expensive to buy and maintain due to the complex nature of a diesel engine. But petrol cars are affordable and light on the pocket when it comes to maintenance.
4. At what speed should I drive my car to get the best fuel mileage?
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 or 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, if you are doing 100km/h and keep the engine RPM on the green band, your car will consume less fuel.
5. Which are the best mileage cars in India?
Below are some of the best mileage cars on sale in India:
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)
6. How do I reduce the consumption of petrol/diesel while driving my car?
Follow the below tip 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 correct RPM and do not over-rev the engine.