We all have our different set of expectations from our cars. Even if the cars are the same, most of us drive quite differently from each others. That’s what we call it driving habits. But incorrect driving habits can reduce your car’s fuel efficiency, which ultimately forces you to spend more time and money at the gas station than you would like to. Here are some fuel saving tips that will bring you more smiles per kilometre (per litre).
Avoid Half Clutching: Most of us do half clutching on a regular basis without even realising. Half clutching is pressing the clutch half while negotiating with a bad traffic situation. While in some of the situations, it can’t be avoided, but in many cases it can be. Keeping the car in the right gear lets you take your foot off the clutch pedal. If you are pressing the clutch just to avoid engine knocking, gear down, as it will automatically reduce the load on the gearbox and saves you precious fuel.
Avoid Carrying Extra Weight: Consider for a moment that you are running. Then imagine that you are running with a heavy backpack strapped to your back. No matter how much effort you put in, the excess baggage will inevitably slow you down. Even Usain Bolt would stumble. Same logic applies to your car as well. If excess luggage can be avoided then do so and this can easily be done by doing some simple planning before you start a journey. This way the car’s engine doesn’t work overtime and feel strained. This way your car will live to take care of you another day, instead of stalling when you need it the most.
Don’t Zigzag: Let me be honest with you, I have never managed to save more than a few minutes by zigzagging though the traffic. Most of us behave as if the world will come to an end if we do not overtake the car in front of us in the next twenty seconds. This increases your fuel consumption as the car is forced to increase pace only for it suddenly come to halt. At start-stopdriving conditions, it is wise to drive smoothly and not unnecessarily push the car. If there is nothing you can do about the situation, just stay calm and stick to your lane.
Set the Air Conditioner Temperature to a Comfortable Level: According to many tests done worldwide, the fuel efficiency of a car drops by 5-10% when the air conditioner is switched on. The reason is simple, the belt that engages the compressor (which is used to compress the coolant and make it cold) will only run with the engine started. This is the same belt that is responsible for running the alternator and charging your battery. So when you turn the AC of your car on, the load on the engine increases which results in lesser fuel efficiency. The colder you want your car to be more tiresome the engine will get. Hence, the drop in fuel efficiency.
Drive in the Highest Gear Possible: While driving, if you think you can shift to a higher gear, do it. It might sound weird to you but I have managed to make my Honda Brio deliver a mind boggling fuel efficiency of 25+ km/l. The reason was straight and simple. On the highway,I ensure the car is cruising at 55km/h in fifth gear. Don’t go too slow or else your car will start to stall or knock. Find that fine balance and keep cruising till it’s time for you to gear up again. Nothing delivers more kilometres than a happy and calm engine.
Take the Uninterrupted Lane: Take the lane that is not too populated. It might not be the fastest lane, but it will always keep you moving, which will eventually reduce the use of clutch and brakes hence yielding better fuel efficiency. Chances are you will reach at the same time or maybe a few minutes quicker than the guy in the fast lane.
Drive Smoothly: Change gears as infrequently as possible. Try to maintain a steady pace than to suddenly accelerate or decelerate. The main idea is to let the engine work as calmly as possible. Continuously increasing or decreasing your speed and gears will overwork the engine which will inevitably lead to higher consumption of fuel.
Avoid Leaving in Peak Hours: Leaving half an hour in advance or late will not only save you the anxiety, but some bucks too. Peak hours are known for their bad traffic scenes and that’s when everyone is out on the roads. There is a good chance that if you leave your office half an hour later, you will still reach home at the same time you would have if you had left half an hour sooner.
Avoid Idling for Long: It is impossible to avoid traffic jams in this country. If you live in a city where you leave home and work at peak hours, you must be used to it by now. Then there are traffic lights that take forever to turn green. Not to forget the traffic jams that have no reason for being there in the first place, but they are there. So whenever you find yourself struggling with a traffic situation where you know you are going to be stationary for a while, switch off the engine.
Plan Your Way: Try to gauge the situation beforehand. If you are planning to take that right turn, shift to the right lane before the turn. This will help you avoid panicking and avoid last minute chaos. This also means less abuse of the gas pedal, brakes and clutch. Being in the right lane even if you do not plan to take a turn, will also help you easily sail through the mayhem.