Car Fuel Saving Tips: 15 Technique to Reduce Fuel Consumption
A concern that has been stagnant for a century is the rising cost at the pump that refuses to back down. With the added pressure on nature and the increasing demand for vehicles, it doesn’t seem like we would be witnessing a downfall in the prices of fuel anytime soon. And with that in mind, every car owner tends to look for a place where they can save a few additional bucks, cause’ let’s be honest – Fuel is expensive. You don’t have to make life-changing decisions or put a stop to your usual car use to maximise fuel efficiency. Often, the answer to what will reduce fuel consumption is just a few small changes, and you are good to go. While some car fuel-saving tips might not make a big difference, bringing them together can have a significant impact on your pocket.
If you have often found yourself spending more than the budget on the petrol pump and wondering where it all goes, or simply want to look for an efficient way to consume fuel, this article is curated especially for you. Learn these simple tricks to save petrol and some money. Let’s get started!
Car Fuel Saving Tips- What Will Reduce Fuel Consumption?
1. Maintenance is the Key
You have heard it time and time again, but that doesn’t make it any less important. The key to a good vehicle is regular maintenance, and this also has a significant impact on fuel efficiency. If your car is efficient with working, smooth parts, it is evident that your fuel consumption would also improve.
Since the modern vehicle employs the Engine Control Unit (ECU), the engine overlooks and monitors the performance of the vehicle. This regulates the amount of fuel that enters the engine. Since a vehicle is a complicated machinery with multiple individual parts, it is better to have them serviced timely and regularly to ensure none of the malfunctioning parts is putting a strain on the fuel consumption. With every service or whenever needed, the cleaning or swapping of filters increases the engine efficiently, and thereby, allows the fuel consumption to be more efficient.
| Read More: Car Servicing 101: Top Benefits of Regular Car Servicing |
2. Air Conditioning
We usually get a lot of questions on does aircon use fuel and petrol, or does cranking down your air conditioner help with fuel efficiency and the answer to both is – YES!
Of course, the scorching summer heat makes every car owner crank up their air-conditioner to the maximum setting. But, even though summers call for the cool air in your cabin, it’s not a very good practice to go all out.
The reason why air-cons leads to more fuel consumption is primarily how the vehicle is powered. The electrical components in your car are known to draw power from the battery, which is powered by a type of generator to create energy to keep the battery charged and engine running. Since an air conditioner uses more energy from the battery, the engine works harder to power the charging system. This puts a considerable drag on the engine, leading to more fuel consumption. It is advised to find a middle ground between using the air-con and rolling down the windows.
We have advised using the air-conditioner with carefulness, ensuring you’re not putting a drag on the car’s engine. However, on the other end of car fuel-saving tips is the feature of ‘aerodynamics’ or air-resistance. This works on the principle that a few practices make it harder for the vehicle to move forward, which puts the additional strain on the engine. And any pressure on the engine gets converted into a bad practice when it comes to fuel efficiency.
You might be tempted to open the window and drive at a good speed to compensate for the heat. However, when it comes to that, the wind that would ideally blow over the car now restricts the movement of the car as you’re letting the air in. Similarly, a roof rack also adds a significant amount of drag on the engine, thereby increasing your fuel consumption.
Find a middle ground between using your air conditioner at a normal speed and keeping the window. Similarly, avoid any other kind of drag which would make the engine work harder.
4. Driving Technique
How you treat your car while driving is evidently going to reflect on fuel consumption, as your driving style has a huge impact on how much the vehicle is consuming petrol or diesel. There are two things that you should keep in mind when you’re trying to improve your MPG(miles per gallon) – a responsible drive and an average speed.
Driving your car smoothly ensures that you’re going gentle on your accelerator and deceleration, decreasing the need for starting, stopping, and changing speed abruptly. When you increase the speed of a slow-moving car, your engine does not have to work that hard to keep the car in motion, when compared to getting into motion from a standstill. This means if you can keep your car speed change gentle and in the zone, you will see an improvement in the fuel economy.
On similar grounds, you can be mindful of the road. We are not asking you to predict what will come around the corner, but with your regular routes, you tend to recognize the traffic lights, the puddles, road conditions, roundabouts, junctions, etc. You can keep yourself prepared for these road conditions and features, and instead of reacting suddenly, you can simply be alert.
Another instance where you might be using fuel unnecessarily is when the engine is being revved without any purpose. Even though the sound of the engine is very attractive to us, it is not always the best practice when it comes to fuel economy and consumption. Make sure you’re choosing economical consumption over impressive sounds!
5. Speed Limit and Cruise Control
Speed Limit has been designated for a particular road for a specific reason. And sticking to the limit not only helps in improving the fuel economy but also helps you keep you away from hefty fines. Not only is it not allowed, but if you tend to drive at a higher speed than the limit, you would be using almost 15-25% more fuel.
I know what you’re thinking; A higher speed also gets you to the destination quickly, but it is not entirely true. If you break the speed limit by 10mph will only see you gain 6 seconds for every mile you travel. A 6 seconds gain is not worth the fuel you will lose in the process. It is popularly agreed that driving at 55mph can reduce your fuel consumption by 10%, thereby giving you a considerable financial advantage.
Talking about speed limits, we have to address the questions we get about cruise control. While the internet and the world of machinery are divided on the matter, let me simplify it for you.
As we mentioned, maintaining the speed of the car will significantly improve the fuel economy. This translates into the fact that using cruise control is one of the car fuel-saving tips. However, there is a twist here. Cruise Control is recommended only when you’re driving on flat roads. But if you’re driving on hilly roads or unpredictable areas, cruise control might not be a feasible option as it won’t be able to anticipate the changes.
6. Using Proper Gear
While we are on the topic of driving responsibly and speed limit, we have to consider the importance of gear selection.
We have already discussed how important it is to drive consistently to achieve a better MPG, and this involves using your gears appropriately. It is agreed upon mutually that driving in the highest gear possible without putting additional pressure on the engine and staying within the speed limit helps to achieve high mpg.
The best practice is to change the gear around 2,500 rpm for petrol cars and 2,000 rpm in a diesel car. More importantly, you should not let your car struggle in a higher gear if the revs are dropping. Driving at 40mph, your vehicle will consume 25% more fuel in third gear as compared to the fifth gear. It is important to use the correct gear as low gears can consume around 45% more fuel than it is needed.
7. Using Correct Fuel
We see a lot of marketing around more efficient and performance-oriented petrol and diesel products, claiming that these will help you get more miles from the full tank. Though these claims are true to some extent, they are not meant for the normal UK road cars but high-performance cars.
This is because of how the ‘normal’ engines are curated, and hence the high-performing fuel doesn’t add much to fuel efficiency. Most petrol cars are optimised to work with standard fuel (95 RON), and hence, using other fuels with a higher rating like 97, 98, or 104 RON won’t offer any benefit. Similarly, for diesel cars, the fuel type is denoted by CN (Cetane Number) which is again specified for each car. It is very important to use the manufacturer’s recommended fuel to optimize the performance rather than going to what is advertised.
8. Correct Engine Oil
If we are talking about the correct fuel to use, we have to talk about engine oil. Not only does using the correct engine oil enhance the lifespan of the vehicle, but also has a significant impact on fuel economy. For example, if you’re using an engine oil with a higher viscosity, your engine will work harder, thereby increasing fuel consumption.
Contact your manufacturer’s guide or your car service centre to know which is the best-fit engine oil for the make and model of your vehicle.
| Read More: Motor Oils: How to Pick the Best Engine Oil for Your Car? |
9. Wheel Alignment
Rough roads don’t do any good – not to the speed of your car nor the alignment of the wheel. Driving on uneven roads with unpredictable bumps and turns can have a significant impact on the wheel alignment. Since the car wheels are designed to be parallel to one another, the knocks and bumps of an uneven road can cause the wheels to be misaligned.
Imagine pushing a trolley with uneven wheels; you need additional energy to do the job. Similar, a misaligned wheel adds to the work of the engine, thereby increasing fuel consumption.
10. Correct Tyre
The tyre is a very crucial aspect of your vehicle since it maintains contact with the road, allowing you to have a smooth, efficient drive. Even though you may be tempted to opt for chunkier tyres, it is only going to increase the resistance of the engine. Whereas using tyres that are under the recommended level will also be inefficient as the vehicle will not perform as per the level.
Any increased effort on the engine leads to increased use of fuel. Therefore, if you’re looking to make your vehicle more fuel-efficient, a good way to go about it would be using the recommended tyres.
11. Tyre Pressure
Now that you have the most ideal tyre for your car, you must also maintain the correct pressure for the same. An under-inflated car leads to an increased surface area contact, which increases the drag on the wheel. In fact, research suggests that even if your tyre is just about 10 PSI under the recommended level, it can increase fuel consumption by 2.5%.
| Read More: How to Check Tyre Pressure? |
12. Refuelling Tips
It won’t make you save huge money, but this car fuel-saving tip is something that needs to be addressed. When you fill your tank, the metal nozzle retains a small amount of fuel when you stop dispensing the diesel of petrol. Being careful with the fuel pump nozzle really makes a difference in the long run.
In some cases, the metal nozzle might end up holding 250ml of petrol, so it is always a good idea to wait for a little while before you pull the nozzle, spilling the content either on the paintwork or the forecourt. It isn’t a lot of saving, but then if you paid for a certain amount of fuel, you should be consuming till the last bit.
13. Resting on the Brakes
It’s a very common practice among drivers to lightly rest their foot on the brake pedal, especially at low speeds. While it is good to be prepared in case of emergency, the resting foot on the brake can lead to a slight brake application, which would further increase the effort needed by the engine to move ahead.
| Read More: How Does a Car Brake System Work? |
14. Reduce Weights
Reducing weight from your car can significantly reduce the fuel consumption of the vehicle. Excess weight leads to added pressure on the engine, therefore removing the gym bag, roof rack, and junk from your car and boot will lead to improved fuel economy.
15. Short Trips
The best advice you would come across when it comes to reducing fuel consumption is to skip the car when it is just a short trip.
The car’s engine is not very efficient when it’s cold, and it would be better to go on foot than taking your car on a drive.
This brings us to the end of our article on Car Fuel Saving Tips. Hope this was informative and helpful. For more such articles, keep watching this space.