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Driving Tips

CarWale Team, 12-Apr-2007

Car Tips

Drive to save fuel

Whether you drive occasionally or everyday, you can decrease the amount of fuel you use by taking the steps described below:

Driving Skills

The driving technique of the person behind the wheel is the single most important factor in determining the fuel economy of a particular car. A economy-conscious driver can achieve 30 to 50% better economy than most other drivers. You, too, can better your car’s efficiency simply by following the following instructions:

The Attitude

  1. Always think about fuel economy while you drive.
  2. Always drive for better fuel economy.
  3. Avoid driving when you are angry or upset.
  4. Use public transportation whenever possible.

The 30-second Warm Up

  • Do not let your engine idle for more than 30 seconds after its initial start. Engines warm up faster when they are in motion.
  • Idling for more than 30 seconds not only wastes fuel but also harms your engine, since the amount of lubricating oil being pumped to the engine’s various parts is the minimum when the engine is in neutral and idling.
  • Depress the accelerator just once when needed, as unnecessary pumping wastes fuel.
  • Do not rev the engine immediately before turning it off. This dumps raw fuel on the cylinder walls; washing away the protective lubricating oil film and increasing engine wear during the subsequent start. This also wastes fuel.

Avoid Fast Starts

  • Jerky acceleration or fast starts can increase fuel consumption by approximately one kilometer per litre in city driving.
  • Accelerate briskly but smoothly upto 50 kph, then moderately up to 65kph. At this speed, keep a steady pressure on the accelerator – just enough to maintain speed.

Drive at Moderate Speeds

  • Imagine that there’s an egg that you don’t want to crush under your right foot; this will result in even better fuel savings.
  • A self-imposed 80kph speed limit will save fuel.
  • Driving below the indicated speed limit on highways will produce even greater fuel savings

Avoid Low Gears, Get Up To Speed Quickly

  • Keep your car's speed over the 35kph mark whenever possible.
  • Skip a gear (go from 1st to 3rd or 4th) if you are on a flat road or slope.
  • Run through all gears quickly and gently if going uphill.
  • With automatic transmission, get the car rolling, then ease up on the accelerator to let the gearbox shift to the highest possible gear ratio at that speed.

Hill-Climbing Techniques

Driving in hilly terrain consumes more fuel than driving on roads with no change of elevation. The following tips will help increase fuel economy in the hills:

  • Build up speed before approaching a hill to avoid fuel-wasting hard acceleration while going up the slope.
  • The momentum developed will carry the vehicle over the crest, and gravity will help the vehicle go down the other side. Do not, however, turn your engine off or leave it in neutral while going downhill, this can be dangerous.

Keep Tyre Pressure Up

Underinflated tyres can increase fuel consumption significantly. Please refer to Driver Energy Tips No. 2 "Wheel Alignment and Tyre Maintenance" for more information.

Avoid Short Trips

  • Distances of 1 to 8 kilometers are considered short trips to drive to.
  • Short trips take their toll on fuel economy due to cold vehicle parts, cold tyres and improper engine lubrication.
  • It takes approximately 25 kilometers for a vehicle to achieve fuel efficient operation.
  • Avoid starting the engine until you are ready to pull out.
  • Plan ahead. Combine as many shopping errands as you can into one trip.
  • Try to incorporate shopping trips into your commute.
  • Travel during off-peak hours when there is less traffic.
  • Operating air conditioner in city traffic reduces fuel economy by approximately 9%.
  • Park in the first reasonable parking space available.

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