Every driver is keen to get better fuel economy out of his or her vehicle. Fuel economy and fuel consumption are two distinct terms that are often used interchangeably. Whereas fuel economy measures how far a car can run with a gallon of fuel or Miles Per Gallon (MPG), fuel consumption refers to the amount of fuel a vehicle consumes in a given distance. In the UK, the latter infers to gallons or litres consumed per 100 km. Fuel economy is impacted by factors such as driving habits, fuel variation, vehicle variation, and vehicle maintenance. The way you drive matters because rapid acceleration, speeding, and aggressive driving will increase the fuel consumption rate. Here are tips for improving fuel mileage:
Avoid Running Low On Fuel
When planning a trip, you can ease your worries by purchasing sufficient fuel to cover the whole journey. If you are planning a trip that takes several days, it is highly advisable to carry a fully stocked container or more fuel depending on the length of the journey. Also, form a habit of refilling your vehicle once the tank reaches the quarter mark or thereabout.
Use Topography To Your Advantage
The topography of the driving surface can make a huge difference when it comes to fuel economy. Conventional wisdom has it that driving on even-textured highways offers the lowest rolling resistance while driving on granular-textured surfaces produces the highest tire rolling resistance, which results in low fuel economy. If you are driving in a familiar route, you will know what to expect as such planning ahead of time is critical. For a route with alternatives, choose one with more downhill sections and fuel stations. Most routes leading to coastal areas provide favourable topography to drivers keen on making fuel savings.
Aggressive driving habits, which are often characterized by rapid acceleration, speeding, and braking can greatly reduce your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Studies show fuel efficiency drops off when you drive faster or at highway speeds. The key here is learning how to do things in moderation. For instance, when accelerating your vehicle, do so slowly to minimize fuel mileage and maximize the coasting time. The car’s speedometer should be in good working order to help you monitor the instantaneous speed. Remember to turn on the indicator showing fuel mileage in real-time if you have one. From the information you see on the monitor, you will be able to know what works for you and what does not.
Roll Up The Windows And Turn-Off The AC
When you are driving your vehicle and notice the red fuel light on, doubts will begin to set in your mind. Driving on the highway with the car windows open produces drag that forces the vehicle to consume more fuel. Rolling up the windows and turning off the A/C can greatly minimize fuel consumption. The operation of the vehicle’s A/C unit relies heavily on the engine powered-compressor. For this reason, the amount of fuel consumed will rise depending on the model of your car, running speed, and air temperature. If you want to compromise, open the windows at slow speeds and power the A/C when driving at high speeds.
Make The Right Modifications
Several vehicle modifications can improve fuel efficiency. These include installing real-time engine monitoring, grounding cables, vacuum gauges, and pickup truck caps. The vacuum gauge is a low-tech device that provides instantaneous fuel economy monitoring. A higher manifold vacuum usually indicates higher mileage. Real-time engine monitoring devices can be plugged into the onboard diagnostic system to provide real-time fuel economy reading as well as coolant temperature and battery voltage. The fuel instrumentation provides instant feedback, which drivers can use to change driving habits.
Perform Regular Car Maintenance
Although automakers are working to improve fuel economy through engine modification, production of electric vehicles, and installation of refrigerants in the A/C units, drivers also have a role to play. Through regular car maintenance, car owners can prevent costly repairs involving components like the drivetrain, transmission system, and cooling system. Always ensure the engine is well tuned, tires are properly inflated, and the battery carries a full charge. To keep the battery fully charged, consider getting a multi-stage fully automated smart charger that comes with an analyser and repair tool and provides a quick charge.
The fuel consumption rate has a direct correlation with fuel savings. Driving at low speeds, applying cruise control properly, and taking it easy on the accelerator will ensure efficient fuel consumption. Besides driving habits, other factors that can affect fuel mileage include engine condition, maintenance, vehicle modifications, and fuel variation. One of the most impactful modifications is installing a real-time engine monitor to help you analyse fuel consumption and driving habits that increase consumption rate. Remember, environmental factors such as cold weather and air conditioning unit are also major fuel consumers.