Monday, January 27, 2014

Tips to improve Fuel Economy of your Vehicle

Tips to improve Fuel Economy of your vehicle

Here are some very good tips on improving your vehicle's Fuel Economy / Increase Fuel Efficiency / Mileage.  With increasing fuel prices it is becoming more and more prudent to use them.

Use your gears wisely

Driving in the highest gear possible without laboring the engine is a fuel-efficient way of driving.  A vehicle traveling at 60kmph in third gear uses 25 percent more fuel than at the same speed in fifth gear.

Drive smoothly

Think ahead! By applying light throttle and avoiding heavy braking, you can reduce both fuel consumption and wear and tear.  Try to predict traffic at junctions and when in queuing to avoid accelerating and then braking.  Research suggests driving techniques can influence car fuel efficiency by as much as 30 percent.

Switch off your engine

There are two schools of thought on this one. Switching your engine off for short periods of time can actually increase fuel consumption, as it requires more fuel to get the engine started.  Also your catalytic converter will no longer be running at full temperature and so your car will be less efficient, increasing the amount of pollution you cause.  However if you are stopped for more than a few minutes then your car will simply burn less fuel with the engine stopped.

Drive off promptly to prevent wasting fuel

Don't leave your engine running when you first start up.  Drive off straight away if you can, but drive gently until the engine has reached its normal operating temperature.  This doesn't increase fuel efficiency as such, but it does mean your engine is switched on for less time.

Lighten your load

Think carefully about what you need on a journey.   If you do not need something, do not pack it. Remove roof racks if not needed.  The lighter the load, the lower the fuel consumption and emissions, and the higher the fuel efficiency.

Tyres effect fuel efficiency

It is estimated that about 50% of tyres on the road are under inflated.  Aside from increasing the rate of wear, this wastes fuel and decrease your fuel efficiency.  Check your tyre pressures every fortnight. Worn tyres will also decrease fuel efficiency (and your safety!); so check the tread regularly.  If you are replacing tyres then consider some of the newer 'Eco' tyres that are designed specifically to increase fuel efficiency.
Car Windows

Driving with your windows open drastically reduces your fuel efficiency, far more so than putting the air conditioning on when motorway driving.  So in those hot summers (?) preferably keep the windows shut, and the air conditioning on if you want to keep cool.  Of course the air conditioning decreases fuel efficiency too, so try not to over use it.

Invest in a new fuel efficient car

New cars come in all shapes and sizes, but it is possible to pick a new car that can greatly reduce your fuel bill, and your fuel emissions.

Size matters. Choose an economical car - small cars are more fuel efficient and produce lower emissions than large cars.

Drive the most fuel-efficient car that meets your needs.  Compare models and classes.  Even similarly sized cars can vary in fuel efficiency by up to 45%.

Consider diesel engines (with a particulate trap), and LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) and CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) fuelled cars - all have lower CO2 emissions than standard petrol cars.

Consider 'hybrid' vehicles - they combine a conventional engine with an electric motor and battery.  These offer reduced fuel consumption and CO2 with potentially lower emissions of all pollutants.

Diesel Engines

If you are going to buy a diesel engine car, ensure it is a new 'common rail' type, as these are approximately 10% more efficient than older diesels.  Also replace (or clean if applicable) air cleaner elements as often as is required by your vehicles servicing schedule.

Regular Maintenance maintains fuel efficiency.

Air Filter

One of the most common reasons for a drop in fuel efficiency is a dirty intake filter.  This will decrease the amount of air entering the cylinders of the engine resulting in incomplete combustion. Check the filter regularly to ensure that it is clean.

Spark Plugs

Ensure your spark plugs are in good condition.  Renew the plugs and wires at intervals specified by the owner’s manual.  This will keep all cylinders firing properly resulting in higher efficiency.
Lube Oil

Change the lube oil at intervals specified by the owner’s manual.  Use the recommended oil only especially in newer cars.  Use of an engine flush before changing the oil will help to get rid of a lot of the dirt that collects in the engine that a normal oil change will not remove.  On older engines it is advisable to use an oil treatment agent.  This basically thickens the oil which creates a better seal between the piston and the liner, preventing blow past and consequent loss of combustion pressure, resulting in higher fuel efficiency.

Exhausts alter fuel efficiency

Most cars have special sizes for the exhaust.  When cars are reasonably old, the silencers have to be changed.  The garage people always try to fit a size that they have in the garage itself. Which might not be the exact size recommended for the car.

The wrong size, a bigger or smaller silencer size, has an adverse effect on the MPG (Miles Per Gallon)of the car and the HP (Horsepower) of the car. It may be cheaper to put another size than your recommended size for your car, but on the long run it will cost you more in many ways, especially on fuel consumption.

Always put the recommended size of the exhaust that is indicated in your car manual because the car company knows how to optimize the performance of your car.

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