Driving without keeping tabs on your fuel consumption is like letting your hard earned money get siphoned off without a murmur.
In our last issue we discussed about keeping the tyres properly inflated, avoiding rapid acceleration or braking abruptly, try rolling in traffic instead of frequently restarting, avoiding unnecessary speeding, long idling and clutch-riding to save fuel. In this issue we talk about the other vital points
Check manufacturer recommended mileage
From the car manual find out the mileage recommended by the car manufacturer and try to achieve it. Keep a constant check on the mileage achieved by your vehicle. For this, put your trip meter at zero at the time of fueling and note the distance travelled at the next fuelling (before putting it to zero again). Divide the distance travelled as shown in the trip metre by the fuel consumed in the last drive to calculate the kilometre achieved against per litre of fuel consumed. It will help you to get the most from your car. If it is below 20% of the manufacturer’s recommended mileage over a long period, take it to the company authorised service station to mend the same. Although the mileage claimed by the car manufacturers are measured for ideal conditions, under normal driving conditions accept a 20% discount on the figure but not below it.
Keep windows closed on highways
Keeping windows open on highways or long avenues increase the air drag and result in decreased fuel economy. Put the air conditioner on, rather than driving with open windows to save more fuel.
Use air conditioner judiciously
Put off the air conditioner at long traffic signals or halts beyond 120 seconds. Keep the blower on but switch off the AC in uncertain or long halts to avoid the pressure on engine and fuel.
Service car regularly
Have your car regularly serviced. Proper engine lubrication, correct brake adjustments and wheel alignment can all increase mileage considerably. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve mileage by as much as 10%. A worn out spark plug wastes fuel too. Check all these points at the car service at least once in every 6 months.
Change engine oil
Not changing over used engine oil or using substandard oil can result in increased engine friction and decrease in mileage. Keep checking the quality of your engine oil at service and change fully if required.
Check grazing brakes and wheel drag
At long intervals, check free rotation of wheels by jacking up. Also check free play of brake pedal. If the brakes are grazing, then your car is guzzling fuel since it requires more power to drag.
Check silencer leakage
Check periodically for leaks in silencer and listen for exhaust sounds. The sound of exhaust will change with leaks or holes which develop from grazing the silencer box or pipes on speed breakers. Replace or mend the silencer or exhaust pipes if necessary to achieve better mileage.