A lot of people are confident in their driving and believe what they’re doing is right. While this may or may not be true, this does not account for fuel-efficient driving. There may be a lot of misinformation or bad driving habits that cause you to spend fuel unnecessarily. By adopting fuel-efficient driving techniques, you can reduce fuel consumption and thus, increase your car’s fuel efficiency. These techniques can be easy to perform and can make you a better driver. Here is a list of driving techniques to maximize fuel efficiency.
Avoid unnecessary idling
When you leave your car engine running for no reason, it’s wasting your fuel. While it sounds simple enough, few people make an effort to avoid it. You shouldn’t turn off the engine while waiting for the traffic lights to go green, but it’s best to avoid unnecessary idling in almost every other scenario. Not only are you actively wasting fuel while idling, but you are also damaging your car. Because while doing so, the fuel isn’t burnt properly, and the residue is left behind.
Contrary to popular belief, it’s better to restart your car than to let your car idle for more than 10 seconds. While restarting can affect your battery’s life, the damage is minuscule. Instead of staying idle to warm up your car, warm it up by driving slowly.
Tire pressure determines the traction of your car. Underinflated tires mean more of the tire surface will touch the road and thus create unnecessary friction. This not only wears out your tires faster but also makes the car work harder to keep rolling. This can easily chip away a lot at your fuel. Another myth claims that if you overinflate your tires, it can increase fuel economy. While this is true, the difference is very marginal. Moreover, when we look at the bigger picture, it isn’t worth compromising your safety. Overinflated tires can negatively affect handling and cause uneven wear. Tire pressure will naturally drop by a few units every month. By maintaining regular tire pressure measurements and adjustments monthly, you can ensure that your car works at its best performance without compromising your fuel economy or your safety.
Maintain a steady speed
Every car or vehicle has an optimal speed range at which fuel usage is also optimal. On average, the speed is about 56 – 80 km/h for most cars. So, utilizing this optimal speed range can increase your fuel economy significantly. A large amount of energy from the engine is converted to heat and then lost completely regardless of your vehicle’s speed. Traveling at high speeds also means the car will experience more air resistance, thus increasing drag. There are also other factors like aerodynamics, type of engine and transmission involved. All of these factors combined make up an optimal speed range, which you should aim for. Additionally, maintaining a steady speed can also be safer as it makes you more predictable to other drivers.
Also, avoid bursting your speed repeatedly while driving. Sudden speed bursts and dips can cause your engine to spend more fuel which can be easily avoided by maintaining a steady speed. If your vehicle has cruise control available and the highway rule allows it, feel free to use it. Cruise control will automatically maintain the current speed of your car. However, don’t forget to pay attention to the road.
Coasting instead of braking
Every time you apply a brake to stop, the acceleration and momentum generated through your engine by burning fuel are lost entirely. So look out on the road ahead to see how the traffic is acting. This can help you decide when you should slow down and ease on the pedals so your car can coast and eventually stop without any additional fuel wasted. It’s also acceptable to coast while going downhill but always be careful when coasting because maneuvering can be a little hard while doing it.
Remove excessive weight
The weight of a car is linked with fuel consumption as the higher the weight, the more rolling resistance and aerodynamic drag it will experience. For most mid-sized cars, every 25kg of weight increases 1% in fuel consumption. If you consider several factors like passengers, roof racks, additional tools, bullbars and other add-ons on your car, there can be a significant increase in fuel consumption. The effect is bigger on cars that are smaller in weight. Thus, it’s important to remove any unnecessary weight from your car to improve fuel efficiency.
A well-maintained vehicle means all the parts will work optimally. For example, using the same engine oil for a long time can make your engine inefficient, causing it to burn up more fuel to produce power. By changing engine oil regularly, you ensure the engine operates as nicely as it should. There is a multitude of parts in your car that can be directly related to fuel efficiency. Thus, it’s important to have your car maintained regularly to ensure you get the best value out of your fuel.
Keep in mind that there are multiple factors involved to improve fuel consumption. Over time, all of these seemingly small amounts will add up together, and the amount of fuel saved will be very noticeable. Other things like planning your route ahead of time or walking instead of driving altogether can also be a great way to cut down on unnecessary fuel expenditure. Needless to say, the less fuel you spend, the more money you can save up. Additionally, you can also keep a datasheet of how much fuel you spend every month and compare it so you can adjust your fuel spending accordingly.