Improve Your Car’s Fuel Efficiency in 5 Simple Steps
By Space Coast Daily // July 17, 2021
Are the rising gas prices worrying you? Is your grumpy V8 muscle car sipping too much gas and are the gas expenses burning a hole in your pocket? Are you planning to get a new car that could deliver better fuel economy numbers than your existing car? A Hyundai Elantra for sale entices you because of its fuel-efficient engine?
All of this clearly means that you are now ready to give up on performance, or other luxury amenities that your current car may offer, just to get the maximum miles for a gallon. However, it’s not always the car that’s at fault for fetching bad efficiency, and sometimes it could just be your driving style and the way you maintain your car that might be hampering your car’s fuel efficiency.
In this article, we bring you five simple steps that could help you in churning out better fuel efficiency from your current car by just making small changes to your driving style and maintaining your car in the right manner.
Inflate them right
Most people fail to realize that tire pressure plays a very important role in churning out decent fuel economy numbers from the car. If the tires are under-inflated, the contact area between the tire and the road increases which further results in increased friction between them.
Increased friction means higher fuel consumption and that also hampers the car’s performance. Over-inflated tires may not deteriorate fuel economy but may result in loss of grip and the ability of the car to stay firm on the ground and thus over-inflating the tires is never a good idea. The key is to maintain optimal tire pressure as suggested by the manufacturer.
This will ensure that you’ll not burn too much gas nor will your car’s performance and driving abilities be hampered. It’s a good practice to check your car’s tire pressure once a week; always check the tire pressure in the morning.
Use the air-con system only when necessary
Air-conditioning and climate control systems in the car load the engine, especially while driving around the city at low speeds. So unless it is very cold or very warm, roll the windows down and let the breeze from the outside blow in.
Every time the compressor of the air-con system kicks in, the RPM of the engine at idle increases slightly, and that just chugs more gas. So it’s best you do not use the AC unless it is extremely necessary.
Be gentle on the pedals
It’s a well-known fact that most bread and butter cars churn out the highest fuel economy numbers while driving at speeds from 50-70 MPH. So this is the idle speed range that you should be driving for your car to deliver good fuel efficiency figures. Rapid acceleration and braking might seem exciting but then that just plays the spoilsport for the car’s fuel economy.
Flooring the throttle may seem all fun and games until you realize that you’ve burnt a lot of gas. So, if you want your car to deliver decent fuel economy numbers, always be gentle on the gas and the brake pedals and you shall end up saving a good sum on fuel expenses.
Cut the drag
We’ve all been on road trips and have had external carriages mounted on the car and have had them still mounted on the car even weeks after the journey. Items like roof boxes and bike racks increase the car’s drag coefficient and the car has to work harder to cut through the air.
The extra wind resistance that the car has to overcome created by external accessories like these makes the engine work harder and the engine ends up chugging more fuel unnecessarily. So, ensure that you take off these items in your car whenever they are not required. This will reduce the drag on the car and that will just help you get better fuel economy numbers.
While it is a true and popular notion that operating air-con systems burn a good amount of fuel, that’s only true when you’re driving at low speeds or making many stops. If you’re on a long journey and if you’re driving on the highway at cruising speeds, you must always roll your windows up and use the air-con system to maintain ambient temperature.
You see, while driving at speeds close to 60 MPH, wind at high speeds gushes into the car through the open windows and that resists the car’s motion, making the car difficult to cut through the air. Rolling up the windows will make the car’s surface slippery and reduce the drag forces acting on the car.
Moreover, driving at constant cruising speeds doesn’t require the engine to burn extra fuel for the air-con system and so when you’re on the highway, always roll the windows up to reduce drag and churn better fuel economy numbers.
Being in the right gear at the right speed.
Now this applies to those of us who drive sticks or like to drive their automatics in manual mode and shift gears by ourselves. Revving the engine too hard is a major drop in fuel economy. For a gas-powered car to deliver good, avoid revving it past 2500 and if it’s a diesel, keep it lower than 2,000 RPM. This will not strain the engine and in turn, fetch you decent efficiency numbers.
So, these are the 5 simple ways that could help you get better fuel economy numbers from your car. Apart from these things you can also do simple things like turning your engine off while it is idling at a stoplight or planning your journey and avoiding routes with slow-moving traffic.
Dirty air filters and fuel filters, worn-out spark plugs, use of incorrect grades of motor oil can also hamper fuel economy, and getting these bits right could also help you get better fuel efficiency numbers.