14 Ways To Improve Your Car’s Fuel Efficiency
As the world is getting concerned regarding global warming and people are more cautious about where they are spending their money, fuel-efficient cars are in high demand. We see that electric, hybrid and turbocharged cars are in demand compared to naturally-aspirated cars. Apart from buying these cars, you can also take the following aspects into consideration to improve your car’s fuel efficiency. This will not only help you save money but also help the environment by lowering carbon emissions.
Get your car’s tire pressure checked regularly and keep them at optimal air pressure. Underinflated tires lower the fuel efficiency of your car as it burns more fuel. This happens as the rolling resistance of your tires increases and they slowly lose their grip on the road. Moreover, worn-out tires can also lower your car’s fuel efficiency.
If you are going on a long journey, make use of the cruise control feature if your car got one. This not only saves fuel but also decreases stress and fatigue. According to an estimate, cruise control can save up to 6% of your fuel on the highway.
Battery Cables and Oxygen Sensors
The alternator has to work harder if the battery cables are corroded and are in a worn-out condition. This results in more fuel being consumed. You can solve this problem by cleaning the battery cables whenever you go for a routine checkup of your engine. Modern cars also have oxygen sensors that get clogged up due to poor fuel quality. This also results in lower fuel efficiency. Oxygen sensors are a part of the exhaust system and must be replaced after they have worn-out.
Switching Off Engine and Gears
If you are keeping your car idle for a long time, this is also lowering fuel efficiency. Switch off the car if you are planning on staying idle for more than a minute. Modern cars have technologies that consume less fuel when you switch on the car. Moreover, do not rev the engine unnecessarily. Always warm up your car a little before driving off as it builds oil pressure. Without laboring the engine and driving in the highest gear can result in an optimal fuel economy. Driving at high speeds in lower gears results in higher rpm and more fuel consumption than it is necessary. Sometimes your car’s driver’s instrument cluster can intimate you to change gears. This helps to keep the car in the right gear.
Engine Check-Up and Air Filter
Get your engine check-up at regular and stipulated dates in the owner’s manual. If you consider long-run benefits like fuel savings due to better fuel economy, each engine check-up is economical and increases its life.
Whenever you are going on a long journey, think about what you absolutely want and what is not required. Remove unnecessary items from the trunk to lighten your car. The lighter the car is, the better is the fuel economy. Carrying excess load wastes fuel. Moreover, try to drive steadily as slowing up and speeding up can waste fuel.
Right Octane Fuel
Always check your car’s owner’s manual for the right octane fuel for your car. Burning the wrong fuel grade can also worsen the fuel economy. Octane ratings measure gasoline’s ability to resist engine knock. However, the higher the high octane rating of fuel, the higher is the price usually. You do not have to buy premium fuel, just stick to what the owner’s manual states and you will improve your car’s fuel efficiency.
Engine Oil Grade
Just like the fuel for your car, the engine oil grade must also be the right one. Again check your owner’s manual to see what grade of engine oil your manufacturer suggests to you. The thicker the oil is, the harder it is to pump it. Therefore, it leads to power losses.
Try to avoid resting your right foot on the brake pedal as some people do it unknowingly. Even a small amount of pressure on the brake pedal results in added pressure on the mechanical components of your car. This pressure is called mechanical drag. In order to overcome drag, your car needs more fuel to burn. Mechanical drag also leads to early wear and tear of component parts.
Chassis and Suspension
If component parts of the chassis and the suspension are not in perfect alignment, then again your car will burn more fuel. Bent axles, wheels, broken springs, and worn-out shocks result in a drag on the powertrain. Moreover, it is also unsafe to drive in this condition.
Use engine stop/start
Modern cars are fitted with engine stop/start feature that is designed primarily to save fuel in urban areas. For example, when you stop at a traffic light, your engine shuts off and it will automatically turn on when you will put your foot on the throttle. This can save a significant amount of fuel if you travel a lot around the city.
Whenever you are driving downwards in a hilly area or on an inclined surface, take your foot off the throttle as frequently as possible and let gravity do its job. You do not have to accelerate too much and then brake hard to stop. Doing this will improve your car’s fuel efficiency.
Use air conditioning when you absolutely need it. Moreover, before sitting in a hot car, open up the windows and the sunroof to let all the hot air flow out of the car naturally. Turning on the air conditioning after doing this will put less of a strain on the engine. Therefore, the engine will consume less fuel.
Plan Your Journeys
Planning your journeys ahead of time can also save you fuel. Take note of road blockades, traffic signals and rush hour traffic. Always use satellite navigation or maps from your phone to avoid roadblocks and avoid driving further than necessary.
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