Drive slow and steady. The faster you go, the more wind resistance your vehicle will face. If you go at speeds above 60 Km/H, you will waste petrol. Tests on Indian cars prove that you can get up to 40 % extra mileage at 45-55 Km/H as against 80 Km/H.
Remember Avoid accelerating or decelerating unnecessarily. Avoid banking by anticipating stops and curves well in advance. Tests show that a reduction in speed leads to no appreciable rise in commuting time. Much less than what most people think.
Keep your engine healthy
Tests on a large number of cars prove that you can save as much as 6% by tuning your car regularly. If your engine emits black smoke, has poor pulling power or consumes large quantities of oil, get it checked immediately at a reputed garage. A delay, may prove more expensive in terms of petrol and oil as compared to the cost of an overhaul.
Remember Use of bi-metallic spark plugs saves over 1.5% fuel and reduces exhaust emissions too. Get your car serviced at every 5000 kms.
Drive in the Correct Gear
Incorrect gear shifting can lead to as much as 20% increase in fuel consumption. Start your car in the 1st gear only, except if you are in a muddy patch or going downhill then engage the 2nd gear.
Remember For city driving, change to a higher gear when you are sure the engine will not struggle. Get into top gear as soon as possible. Use same gear for uphill and downhill journey. It is advisable to follow the manufacturer's recommendation.
Don’t wait for your car to warm up
Instead, drive in low gear till the engine warms up. Use choke briefly only when necessary.
Remember At 10°C and below, your fuel consumption per kilometer doubles when you make trips of 5 kms or less. So combine trips. Do not park a car so that you have to reverse with a cold engine This will consume more fuel. Install engine-heating system (in cold regions) in your car if it does not have one.
Good Braking Habits
Stop-and-go driving wastes fuel. When you slam on the brakes, a lot of useful energy is wasted in the form of heat. A good driver always anticipates stops.
Remember Test wheels for free rotation when your car is being serviced. Binding of brakes restricts free wheel movement and the engine consumes more petrol in order to overcome resistance. Check wheel alignment at regular intervals.
Keep your Foot off the Clutch
Use clutch only when you change gears. Riding the clutch causes loss of energy and damages clutch-linings.
Remember Use your handbrake when stopped on an upgrade and don’t forget to release it when restarting. Don’t manipulate the clutch and accelerator to stay stationary because it wastes fuel.
Clean Air Filter Regularly
Air filter prevents dust from Fouling the engine. Dust causes rapid wear of engine components and increases fuel consumption.
Remember Cylinder bores wear out 45 times faster in engines without air-cleaners Clean air filters at every time-up.
Watch Your Tyre Pressure
Under inflated tyres increase rolling resistance, which leads to higher petrol consumption.
Remember Tests show that a 25% decrease in tyre pressure can cost you 5-10% more on petrol and 25% on tyre life. Use radial tyres for 3-7% fuel economy, longer tyre life and greater riding comfort.
When you stop your car, stop engine
Always keep your car ready to start. Keep the battery, dynamo, self-starter and fan-belt in good condition. This will ensure a quick start whenever you need it.
Remember Switch off the engine at stops of over 15-20 seconds.
Use the Recommended grade of oil
Check the car manual and oil manufacturer’s recommendations, before using any particular grade of oil. Always use multi-grade oil equivalent to SPCC/SGCC type for added benefits.
Remember Engine oil that is thicker than the recommended oil can cause 2% increase in fuel consumption. Change oil filter along with engine oil.
Plan Your Route
Rush hour, or stop-and-go traffic, can waste fuel excessively. You will get more mileage from each litre if you take a less congested route, even though it is slightly longer.
Remember Fuel consumption in a highly congested road can be double the normal.
Unnecessary loads increase fuel consumption. Do you really need to carry the luggage rack?
Remember A reduction of weight by 50 kg can lead up to 2% saving in fuel, when driving in the city. Remember that overhead racks increase wind resistance leading to higher fuel consumption.
Share Your car-for car pools
Look for people who go in the same direction as you. You can share your car and the costs.
Plan Your Trips
Before you start on a trip, ask yourself two questions: Is this trip really essential? Can I combine this trip with other trips in the same direction?