With rising fuel prices the world over, one of the main worries for a vehicle owner is to get the most out of mileage. And surprisingly enough, it is not in the hands of your mechanic to help you in this area. While it is true that a well serviced and maintained car with clean air and oil filters will give you more for your money, a trip to the garage is generally few and far between. Your driving and lifestyle habits have got more to do with it than anything else.
Here are a few tips on how to improve the mileage of your car and help you drive past the fuel station more often than you drive in.
- Check tyre pressure – Optimal tyre pressure has a huge role to play in fuel efficiency. Low tyre pressure increases the area of contact between the tyre and the road leading to more friction and drag. Over inflated tyres mean lower grip and water dispersal on the road. Hence always have tyres inflated to manufacturer’s specifications.
- Drive smoothly – Sudden acceleration and braking or lock wheel turning will help show off your brand new sports car’s capabilities or might be fun on the roads but it also increases fuel consumption. Treat the gas pedals and brakes with respect, take smooth starts and jerk-less braking and you will help maintain good fuel efficiency.
- Keep the windows closed – Fuel consumption has a lot to do with the aerodynamics of the car or how it parts air on the move. Opening the windows even slightly at high speeds can act as a drag on the car and empty the tank faster. As against the common notion, turn your windows up and turn on the air conditioner for lower fuel consumption.
- Gear up quickly – When you start your car, aim to shift to the highest possible gear as soon as possible without the engine knocking. This is because a car consumes more fuel during acceleration. If the engine is not pulling enough, do nor continue to press the throttle but shift down instead. On an average, the best mix of speed and fuel consumption economy can be had at 2,000rpm.
- Reduce weight – The more weight you carry around the more fuel guzzler will your car become. Take out things that you do not need like the child seat or other junk that you usually lug around. Keep your boot empty apart from the essentials. And unless you are going on really long trips and a safari, do not load the luggage carrier on the roof of your car. Apart from making your car unstable at high speeds, it also acts as a drag on the aerodynamics.
- Plan your trip – Plan your trip to avoid excess fuel consumption. If you are visiting a crowded and congested area like a market and fair ground, park your car some distance away and walk. It is much better than to drive around looking for an vacant parking slot and emptying your tank. Additionally, the exercise will be good for you and your family too!
These are some of the tips that you can follow to increase fuel efficiency of your car. But remember, your car must be mechanically and electronically in good running condition for these steps to really take effect.