Improving the fuel efficiency of vehicles is a key topic in the minds of consumers and manufacturers. While auto companies make progress in technology, there are quite a number of tips that any driver can employ to achieve world-class fuel economy. By far the most important factor in the reduction of fuel consumption is the driver. The rule is simple: slow down and take it easy.
Aggressive driving can use as much as a third more fuel compared to conservative driving. Avoid accelerating or braking too hard, and try to keep the steering action as smooth as possible.
Use Higher Gears
The higher the gear, the lower the engine speed. This can improve fuel efficiency, so use the highest gear appropriate, without causing the engine to labor at an ultra-low rpm. Automatic transmission vehicles will up-shift through the gears more quickly and smoothly if the driver eases back slightly on the accelerator when the car has gathered sufficient momentum.
Tune and Service the Engine
A well tuned engine can improve fuel economy by up to four percent. Change the oil and always follow the car manufacturer’s recommendation on servicing.
Keep the Tires at the Correct Pressure
Correctly inflated tires are safer and last longer, and they also reduce the amount of energy required to keep the vehicle rolling. A tire that is under inflated by just 69 millibar (one psi) can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as three percent.
Avoid Carrying Excess Weight
For every extra 45 kilograms (100 pounds) carried in a vehicle, the fuel efficiency can drop by two percent, so keep the trunk and rear seat clear of any unnecessary items that just add weight to the vehicle.
Take the Roof Rack Off
If the roof rack or roof bars are not being used, then remove them. They adversely affect the aerodynamic efficiency of the vehicle and create drag, reducing fuel economy by as much as five percent.
Use the Correct Engine Oil
Always use the recommended grade of motor oil. Using the manufacturer’s recommended lubricant can improve fuel efficiency by one or two percent. Higher quality motor oils can also help your engine operate more efficiently.
Avoid Excess Idling
Idling gets a vehicle nowhere but still burns fuel. Turn the engine off when you’re in a queue, or waiting for someone, until you need to drive.