Kitna deti hai?
Probably this is the most frequently asked question in Indian auto space. While the car is responsible for the best fuel efficiency, a lot is dependent on us to gain the maximum out of it. You can follow such simple techniques to get the most for your buck.
1. Maintain the correct tyre pressure
The manufacturer recommended air pressure is important – not only for a comfortable ride and correct handling but also for ensuring fuel mileage. An under inflated tyre leads to friction and that leads to kinetic energy being lost. Another trick is to actually increase the air pressure in your tyre by a few PSI. That makes the side walls firmer and reduces the contact patch of the tyre but at the same time it can lead to blowouts (if over inflated) and lower grip as compared to correct pressures
2. Drive in the correct gear
You ain’t Vin Diesel. You don’t need to change gear every 3 seconds. Being in the right gear at the right RPM helps the most. Especially if you are in a high traffic area. Another mistake people regularly make is to rev the engine all the way to its redline before changing gear. And while that might be great if you don’t give two hoots about your fuel economy, it makes a Huge difference if you do.
3. Keep those windows up!
While it might not seem so, aerodynamics play a HUGE part in improving fuel economy. Windows rolled up means that the car’s body is as slippery when coming in contact with the air that it can possibly be. This means that the air flow around your car will be at its best and you don’t need that little extra power to make your air cut through the air
4. Minimise Idling
If your car is going to be stationary for an extended period of time, switch the engine of. An idling car burns fuel without really going anywhere.
So if you have your engine running while you’re waiting for someone, you’re effectively getting 0 kmpl at that time.
Some cars even give a litre per hour consumption on their trip computers to help you keep track. Simple solution. Switch the engine off. Or, if you have the budget, buy a car with auto start-stop technology.
5. Fuel quality
Adulterated fuel not only lowers the fuel efficiency but also harms the engine. Before tanking up your vehicle, always check the fuel quality. Today you can check the volume and density of fuel being sold at any pump without being charged. It is also advisable to tank up from a big fuel pump in the city that is company owned. While travelling on the highway, avoid filling fuel from small and dodgy looking outlets.
6. Reduce some weight
The heavier the car, the more fuel it will drink.
So ditch that heavy stuff you don’t use anymore, the spare tyre that’s not fit for use or even the tonnes of garbage that you lug around.
Keep the boot empty and clean and watch the fuel gauge become more stable. The extra bucks will make up for the trouble.
7. Turn off the AC when you can
We are aware that conditions in our country don’t allow us the freedom to keep the windows open any longer – pollution and higher temperatures mean that nowadays the air-con is constantly on. But the AC does consume a lot of power and fuel to run, so try turning it off when the weather is bearable. Also, if the air con system in your car comes with climate control, you can turn it off ‘Auto’ mode and keep it in a low blower mode to use less fuel, since the AC won’t have to kick in as many times to maintain the specified interior temperature. But keep the AC on and the windows up on the highway where speeds are higher, since you can actually save gas because of reduced aerodynamic drag.
8. Drive your automatic car in manual mode if possible
Most auto ‘boxes are designed not to upshift before a particular speed. The upside of this is that it generates sufficient torque for the shift, and optimises fuel economy of the upshift as well. However, an automatic gearbox is generally not able to differentiate situations where less torque is required and as a result, often holds the engine in a lower gear than necessary, thereby consuming more fuel
While oil companies might claim better power, mileage and efficiency from their ‘special’ fuels, switching your car to higher octane fuel, for example, will not make a difference to your fuel economy because your car engine may not have been designed to run on it. So instead of saving money, your fuel costs actually increase, because of the generally higher prices of these fuel variants. Also, only use the manufacturer-recommended engine oil and your car will perform efficiently.
10. Take a walk
A no-brainer this one really. If you don’t need to drive somewhere, don’t. Also, if you have to visit a crowded area, such as a market or a fair, park your car some distance away where you don’t have to drive around to find a parking spot.
It will save you time, the hassle of navigating through congestion and of course a lot of fuel. Moreover, a bit of exercise can do you and the family no harm either.
As soon as you realise you have a flat tire, do not abruptly brake or turn. Slowly reduce speed and scan your surroundings for a level, straight stretch of road with a wide shoulder. An empty parking lot would be an ideal place. Level ground is good because it will prevent your vehicle from rolling. Also, straight stretches of road are better than curves because oncoming traffic is more likely to see you.
Never attempt to change your tire on a narrow shoulder near oncoming traffic. Keep moving (slowly) until you find a safer spot. While driving on a flat risks ruining your rim, replacing a rim is better than being hit by an inattentive driver.
Make sure to consult your owner’s manual and review their specific steps on how to change a flat tire for your vehicle
Your hazard lights or “flashers” will help other drivers see you on the side of the road. To avoid an accident, turn them on as soon as you realize you need to pull over.
Once stopped, always use the parking brake when preparing to replace a flat tire. This will minimize the possibility of your vehicle rolling.
Wheel wedges go in front of or behind the tires to further ensure the vehicle doesn’t roll while you fix the flat tire. If you’re changing a rear tire, place these in front of the front tires. If your flat tire is at the front, put the wheel wedges behind the rear tires.
Bricks or large stones will work just as well as “real” wheel wedges. Just be sure they’re large enough to stop the car from rolling.
If your vehicle has a hubcap covering the lug nuts, it’s easier to remove the hubcap before lifting the vehicle with the jack. If your lug nuts are exposed, you can skip ahead to Step 6.
Use the flat end of your lug wrench to remove the hubcap. This will work for most vehicles, but some hubcaps need a different tool to come off. Consult your owner’s manual for proper hubcap or wheel cover removal procedures.
Using the lug wrench, turn the lug nuts counterclockwise until you break their resistance. You may have to use force, and that’s ok. Use your foot or all of your body weight if necessary.
Loosen the lug nuts about ¼ to ½ of a turn, but don’t remove them completely yet. Save that for when it’s time to remove your tire/wheel from the vehicle.
The right place for the jack is usually beneath the vehicle frame alongside the tire that’s flat. Many vehicle frames have molded plastic on the bottom with a cleared area of exposed metal specifically for the jack. To safely lift and avoid damage to the vehicle, follow the instructions for jack placement in your vehicle owner’s manual.
To prevent the jack from settling under the weight of your vehicle and coming off balance, place a small cut of 2×6” wood beneath it before attempting to raise your vehicle. This tactic is especially helpful on asphalt.
With the jack properly positioned, raise the vehicle until the flat tire is about six inches above the ground.
Never put any part of your body under the vehicle during or after raising the vehicle with the jack.
Now it’s time to remove the lug nuts all the way. Since you’ve already loosened them, you should be able to unscrew them mostly by hand.
Gripping the tire by the treads, pull it gently toward you until it’s completely free from the hub behind it. Set it on its side so that it doesn’t roll away.
Now place the spare on the hub by lining up the rim with the lug bolts. Push gently until the lug bolts show through the rim.
Put the lug nuts back on the lug bolts and tighten them all the way by hand. Once they are all on, check each one again, tightening as much as possible. You will tighten them with the wrench after lowering the vehicle to the ground.
Use the jack to lower the vehicle so that the spare tire is resting on the ground but the full weight of the vehicle isn’t fully on the tire. At this point, you should tighten the lug nuts with the wrench, turning clockwise, as much as you can. Push down on the lug wrench with the full weight of your body.
Bring the vehicle all the way to the ground and remove the jack. Give the lug nuts another pull with the wrench to ensure they’re as tight as possible.
If the hubcap you took from the flat tire will fit your spare, put it in place the same way you removed it initially. If it doesn’t fit, stow it away with the tire when you stow your equipment.
You have before you a jack, a lug wrench, wheel wedges, your flat tire, and possibly a hubcap. Don’t forget to put all of them in your vehicle before driving away.
You should check the tire pressure of the spare tire to make sure that it is safe to drive on. “T-Type” temporary spares, also called “mini-spares,” require 60 psi (420 kPa). If the tire needs pressure, drive (slowly) to a service station immediately.
Temporary spare tires aren’t made to drive long distances or at high speeds, so drive cautiously until you’re able to visit a tire technician. A professional should be able to determine whether your tire needs a repair or if it’s time to replace it.
Aside from taking your tire to a professional, the above procedure shouldn’t take more than 15 to 30 minutes to change a tire. Just be sure you don’t leave out any steps.
It’s beneficial practice changing a tire in your garage or driveway to ensure you’re ready to handle this situation if it ever happens to you.
Knowing how to fix a flat tire is great, but regular tire maintenance is even more important. In addition to reviewing this guide regularly, remember to do the following:
All of these precautions will extend the life of your tires and reduce the likelihood of a flat. While there’s no way to prevent flat tires completely, proper care can improve performance and ensure your tires last as long as possible.