Fuel is one of most expensive elements of the operational cost of running an automotive vehicle, other expenses being repair and maintenance expenditures. While not much can be done to reduce the repair and maintenance expenditure, a lot can be done to minimize the fuel cost, utilizing the vehicle under a prescribed distance and road conditions. Due to the tremendous increase in fuel costs, drivers are now more concerned to reduce this expenditure. Important steps to be carried out in this regard are mentioned below, which are not at all difficult to achieve, and can be undertaken with a slight change in driving habits.
Change Driving Habits
Switch Off: If stopped on a traffic signal, or waiting for a friend, or a train is passing, it is advisable to switch off the vehicle. Even switching off for a small time, can be useful, as it may occur several times a day, due to various reasons.
Most Economical Speed: Each vehicle is designed to be most fuel efficient, at a certain speed, which can be called as the most efficient and economical speed. Owners may not be aware of this fact, and may be of the opinion that moving fast will always be economical, which is not true beyond a particular speed. Similarly, moving slow in low gear, will be expensive.
No Frequent Brakes: Often the driver is aware, that his vehicle needs to be slowed down after travelling a particular distance. Thus, he should slow down the vehicle by removing foot from the accelerator, from a distance, and brakes should only be used when absolutely essential. Each application of braking action, wastes some expensive fuel.
Warming of Engine: Engine should not be warmed for an excessive long period, as warming for approximately 30 seconds may be adequate. Additional warming will be achieved as the vehicle moves.
Windows Closed: Windows should be closed, as open windows cause unnecessary aerodynamic drag, due to which extra fuel is burnt. Fuel consumption may be increased up to 10-15 percent on highways, when windows are open.
Tire Pressures: Tire pressures should be strictly in accordance with the recommended pressures mentioned in the owner's manual, since unequal or more/less air pressure will cause extra drag or friction, and affect the fuel economy.
Air Filter Clean/Change: Dirty air filter can cause extra 10-15 percent of fuel consumption, which should be cleaned/changed as recommended by the manufacturer.
Less Weight: Weight in the vehicle may be passengers or load, should be minimized, as each extra weight has to be paid in the cost of fuel.
Use of Proper Gas: Proper octane rating of the gas should be used, mentioned in the owner's manual, which may be Regular, Premium, etc.
Combine Trips: All the work required during a day, including office, school, market etc can be combined wherever possible, which will reduce the fuel consumption.
Walk: It may not be always necessary to use a car, and alternatives such as walking, bicycle, or sharing with a friend, may be explored.
These were tips on how to improve car's fuel economy. If you will follow the above tips, you will be saving a lot of money every month on fuel.