Fuel efficiency is one of the significant deal-makers in the Indian automotive market. Most of the customers go for the ARAI rated or manufacturer claimed fuel efficiency figures and then hope that their vehicle will return the claimed efficiency no matter what. Most of such customers and drivers lack the knowledge of what makes a vehicle fuel-efficient and they drive the way they think is the “best”. However, most of the people who have learnt driving in India do no get any proper training.
Instead, they know how to operate the steering wheel, pedals, gear lever and most importantly the horn of the car. Well, many reasons can lower the fuel efficiency of the vehicle, and you will be amazed to know how many Indian car drivers have adopted the wrong habits, which reduces the fuel efficiency of the car considerably.
Engine idling will not reduce the mileage
Image courtesy Youtube
Many modern cars have now started offering the automatic start-stop system, which is aimed to reduce the wastage of fuel at the traffic signals. However, as many as 26% of Indian car drivers do not believe that the engine idling can reduce fuel efficiency. It should be noted that engine idling consumes a lot of fuel and the vehicles should be turned off if the traffic signal shows more than 15 seconds for the light to turn green.
Mountain roads do not affect fuel efficiency
Image courtesy OffRoadAdventure
A whopping 52% of the Indian drivers do not know this fact, which seems evident to many. Whenever a vehicle climbs an incline, be it a mountain or a flyover, the fuel efficiency comes down. The engine has to work hard to maintain the speed on a climb when compared to the flat roads. Mountain roads also require you to constantly change the gears, which further affects the fuel efficiency of the vehicle.
Hard acceleration is not related to fuel efficiency
About 40% of Indian believe that harsh acceleration does not affect fuel efficiency. Sharp acceleration needs more power from the engine to propel the vehicle quickly. More power is generated only if there is more fuel to burn in the combustion chamber. Pressing the accelerator hard causes the increase of fuel flow to the combustion chamber. This is why one should not do unnecessary revving or accelerate like a racer at every traffic signal.
Cruise control and fuel efficiency are not related
During the long drives on open highways, maintaining a constant speed ensures a linear fuel efficiency in the vehicle. While many people may think that their foot is as precise as the cruise control to keep the continuous revs on the highways, it is not the case always. The cruise control system maintains the constant throttle input to maintain the selected speed by the driver. There is no better way of doing it except for using cruise control.
GPS is not helpful for efficiency
GPS and navigation are quite helpful in avoiding traffic jams and congestion. These high-tech devices also inform us of the shortest possible way to reach the destination. This is clearly the way to avoid any traffic congestion and save the maximum amount of fuel, but as many as 27% of drivers feel that GPS is not very helpful to save fuel. Getting stuck in traffic consumes a lot of fuel. One should always check the navigation and GPS before leaving to get the shortest and the fastest route to the destination.
Service schedule will not affect the efficiency
Over a period of time, the car’s fuel efficiency goes down as the fluids become older and the various parts of the engine need tightening to maintain the perfect balance. The slack in things can affect the fuel efficiency of the vehicle drastically, and 33% of the drivers are not aware of the fact. Regular servicing and sticking to the scheduled maintenance of the vehicle is essential to maintain the efficiency of the car.
Weather is not connected to fuel efficiency
Modern engines have made life much more manageable. The engines are electronically controlled that keep the engine temperature at the optimum level. However, during winters the engines take a longer time to reach the optimum temperature that reduces the mileage considerably. No one realises it because most of the people do not use the air conditioner during the summers. Also, during the windy days, the fuel efficiency goes down due to the wind resistance. Most of the vehicles are designed aerodynamically, and the wind resistance can be avoided by rolling up the windows while driving.
The weight of the vehicle does not affect mileage
Weight has a major role in fuel efficiency which is why most manufacturers are work towards reducing the weight of the vehicle. 65% of the drivers do not know about this fact. More weight in the vehicle means the engine has to work harder to carry the weight. For example, if you’re carrying more weight in your backpack, you will have to work harder to carry the load. It is always better to keep the vehicle clutter-free and remove all the unneeded objects from the vehicle.
The above study has been done by Ford Motor Company that involves 9,500 drivers in 11 countries of the Asia Pacific region. Out of the total number of surveyed drivers, 1,023 drivers are from India.