Exceed claimed fuel economy figures: 10 tips

Yes, its possible. ARAI figures are only an indication of the relative mileage of your car. You may have heard about how the Dzire diesel once gave 45.8 kmpl on diesel and 42.1 kmpl on petrol. Similar figures were earlier reported for the Ford Classic (formerly Fiesta). Can you do it too?

Yes, if you are a gentle driver who is willing to sacrifice a lot for fuel efficiency. Driving may not be fun anymore though!

  1. Drive as much as possible in the top gear of your car – and driving at minimum possible speed in that gear without any engine knocking.
  2. Use very gentle acceleration, and use almost no acceleration on driving down inclines.
  3. Anticipate red lights, braking situations and roll slowly to a standstill. This is not always possible to do without irritating other drivers behind you – so don’t get beaten up by doing this in traffic!
  4. Reduce weight. Do not carry the spare tyre or any equipment. Minimise gadgets in the car – they all add to weight bit by bit. No extra fittings. If you have a 7 seater, see if you can remove the rearmost two seats you almost never use.
  5. Increase tyre pressure by 2 psi. This will increase the circumference of the tyre. Remember, there is a very slight increase in braking distance – so drive even more carefully. Also, if you can, purchase tyres that are labeled ‘low rolling resistance.
  6. Do not use AC – but open the windows just a centimeter or two for air circulation. For some cars, AC can cause up to 10 % of total fuel usage. If you fully roll down windows, air resistance will increase and mileage will reduce.
  7. Choose driving times carefully when there is minimal traffic. Remember, every second you spend in first, second and third and even fourth gear is reducing your mileage.
  8. Switch off the engine at traffic signals if the wait is more than 30 seconds. Anything less, do not – you will burn more fuel than you save while restarting the car.
  9. Good maintenance. Keep the air filter clean, make sure your car is serviced properly, use synthetic engine oil and use half clutch only when absolutely necessary. Choosing the route with the smoothest road surface also helps a little bit.
  10. Fill fuel when the temperature is relatively cold – early morning, late night. Fuel is thicker when its cold and you get more fuel which expands when the temperature goes up!

In the end, you may find that despite your best efforts, mileage goes up only a little bit. Blame your city and its traffic – they limit the efffectiveness of everything you do. Also, look at your driving style to see if you waste power or drive too aggressively.