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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.

Diesel Engine vs Gasoline Engine

Are Diesel Engines Efficient vs Gasoline Engines? The rivalry between the gasoline engines and diesel engines has been there since the birth of both the engines, and the trophy of this competition keeps on changing its winner. This cat and mouse race between both the major types of internal combustion engines does not seem to end, as both the engines have their pros and cons. It now depends upon the user to select the engine as per the use requirements. However, still the factor of efficiency can be termed as a gauge to appreciate one kind of engine over another. The modern times are witnessing now the enhanced efficiency of gasoline engines over the diesel engines.

Highway Usage Edge

When both the gasoline engines and diesel engines are compared with regards to the factor of efficiency at higher speeds, especially for long distance travelling, the efficiency of the diesel engines has always been appreciated over the gasoline engines because at higher speeds higher compression ratios coupled with lean fuel burning due to rich air in the mixture has always given the diesel engines an inherent edge over the gasoline engines.

Future of Gasoline Engine

This inherent edge in diesel engines could not be overcome except for revolutionary introduction of the hybrid fuel gasoline engines. However still as a whole diesel engines enjoy the efficiency edge over the gasoline engines. The modern times though are witnessing the minimization of this edge of diesel engines over gasoline engines and the future of gasoline engines is expected to be much brighter than the diesel engines. It is also due to the stricter emissions regulations which are making diesel engines proving to be less efficient due to the exhaust of diesel engines, and this gap of efficiency between the two engines is expected to close within the current decade.

Newer Technology in Gasoline and Diesel Engines

Newer technology being introduced in the gasoline engines is ever changing at a very fast pace amalgamated with lots of versatility such as variable valve lift timed ignition, gasoline direct injection, multi-port fuel injection systems and introduction of turbochargers have added a lot to the efficiency of gasoline engines. Also affiliated improvements in the electronics and metallurgy have further enhanced the efficiency of gasoline engines. Further research towards lean burn combustion and the innovation in the technology of homogeneous charge compression ignition further decreases the gap between the efficiency of the diesel engines and gasoline engines. Research on shifting of gasoline engines on more energy dense fuels is also underway which can further prove to be a milestone in taking an edge over the more

Tag: Diesel Engine vs Gasoline Engine efficiency

Many people like to drive in most casual way as possible. These are the driving habits that effect the health of your car badly. The top worst driving habits to avoid are mentioned below:

1. Sudden Acceleration

Though it may thrill, it puts heavy load on the car's mechanical components and it burns a lot of fuel, too. Sudden acceleration increases speed of the car quickly and may also need you to suddenly slow down the car soon after reaching a high speed, which may be achieved with sudden or harsh breaking; this is also not very healthy for car's breaking system.

2. Moving Before the Engine is Warm Enough

Waiting for 30-60 seconds after starting the car is a good idea. It allows the engine oil to circulate fully throughout the engine and also warm up. Moving the car immediately after starting the engine should be avoided as it is harmful for the engine. 

3. Sudden Shift from Reverse to Drive

Many of us have done it and it may sound like efficient driving. It may be saving a few seconds of your time, too, but suddenly shifting gear from Reverse to Drive can damage your car's gear system. Hence it is highly recommended to let the car to come to a complete stop before shifting from Reverse to Drive or Drive to Reverse.

4. Keeping the Fuel Tank Low

You may ask 'how can it really matter whether the fuel tank is low or full?' It does actual matter for some cars. In fuel tanks for some cars, two fuel pumps are fitted - one at the tank surface and one higher than that. Both the pumps are running together at all the times. If you keep the tank low in fuel, the upper fuel pump will not be pulling in fuel and thus may get dry enough and damage. Therefore, it is a good idea to keep at least half of your fuel tank filled with the fuel all the times.

5. Not Using the Parking Break

It is highly recommended to always use the parking break when you park your car. Putting the gear in 'Park' mode does stop the car from moving but it puts a lot of pressure on a little piece of metal in the transmission system, which may wear out quickly or even break. So, always use your vehicles's parking break when you park your car.

6. Carrying Too Much Weight

When the car is heavily loaded, a lot of stress is put on the car's suspension system brakes as well as the engine. Make sure to load your car with weight that will not pull down the car too much.

7. Continuous Use of Breaks

People often use continuous breaking while going downhill. This generates too much heat in the car's breaking system, and cause risk of wear or break-pad breaking. The alternative and better solution is to shift into a lower gear

These were the top 7 bad driving habits that you should avoid. Hope you found these useful.

Also read:

Spark Plug Function

Engines which are the main driving force of the modern day vehicles comprise of two main types, depending upon the type of the fuel being used in the engine. Hence the engines can be categorized as spark ignition (Petrol) vehicles and compression ignition (diesel) vehicles. And the most important part in the petrol vehicle which ensures constant sustainable life to the petrol engine cars is the spark plug which is the sole agent responsible to ignite the petrol and make it burn which in turn will generate the power for the petrol vehicles. Best spark plugs available in the market are used for getting the optimum performance of the cars. The Spark plugs are therefore the most crucial part of ignition system of cars. Also since the spark plugs are one of the directly exposed to combustion parts of the engine, the spark plugs are designed to bear high temperatures of combustion while an engine is running.

Spark Plug Construction

There are following three main parts of a spark plug

  • Center electrode
  • Ground electrode
  • Insulation between two electrodes

Moreover, there is a body shell, the sealing ring and the gasket washer. The insulator between two electrodes, play an important role in maintaining temperature. Outer insulation prevents hot gases from leakage. Spark plug wires attach it with engine and make it the part of whole ignition system.

If continuous ignition occur in spark plug, it would be difficult to control temperature of central electrode as it is constantly increasing. Therefore for maintaining certain temperature level, Spark plug gaps are important. There must be some resistance in combustion to make spark gaps possible.

Therefore a best spark plug should have following characteristics.

  • Should maintain certain (engine operating) temperature
  • Insulation among electrodes
  • External insulation
  • Supports reasonable spark gaps

Spark plugs require proper maintenance and need to be replaced for smooth functioning of car engines. One must know spark plug symptoms to know when to replace a spark plug. There are some simple steps that one can follow to check whether spark plug needs to be replaced or not.

Due to ignition process exhaust gases are released, which is the main source of accumulation of carbon gases on spark plug, which in result make it covered with black color (carbon accumulation). This is the indication that the spark plug should be cleaned or replaced if the engine is not delivering the optimum performance, as the direly required spark plug replacement increases the engine efficiency.


In a nutshell the spark plugs and spark plug wires are two decisive things that require proper maintenance and are the backbone of engine efficiency. After certain time intervals these must be replaced to enjoy power of the acceleration on petrol.

Tags: what is spark plug made made of, what is spark plug, what does spark plug do

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