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
9. Use recommended fuels and lubricants
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.