‘K￼itna deti hai’. Once the punch line of a leading car manufacturer, this phrase is now a factual query by every buyer of a new car. Reason being the sky-rocketing prices of fuel in our country, no matter what the international crude oil rates are.
It is better to check and compare the same, before settling for a new vehicle. But, when you already own one, there are some tips to follow which will help in getting a better mileage from your car. Gone are the days, when we used to ask our mechanic to adjust the fuel and air mixture jet screws of the carburetor in such a way, that the engine will consume less fuel, though we were ready to compromise on car’s pick-up and speed to some extent. In this modern world, all new-gen cars support sophisticated electrical settings which are calibrated through hi-tech computers at specialised garages.
Keep these things aside and see what you can do to save on fuel charges, which are making a hole in your pockets. Just try the following and enjoy an economical drive.
Get your car serviced regularly. Fuel filter, oil filter, air filter are to be changed regularly. A little blockage in any of these hampers the performance of the engine, resulting in extra guzzling of fuel. Don’t ever overlook this simple rule of timely service and check-up. Generally one filter runs for 10,000 odd kilometers. Stick to one or two reputed fuel filling stations, as the quality and quantity of petrol/diesel being delivered needs a check. And once the guy starts recognising you, the chances of him cheating you drop to nil. Avoid getting fuel from the filling stations on the outskirts of town or on deserted highways.
After every 2000 kms of run, add injector cleaner liquid in fuel, when you get the same filled next time. These additives are easily available at spare parts shops, you have to add in the ratio of 325 ml only in 60 litres of petrol (it comes in such a packing). For diesel vehicles there are separate additives, check the instructions on the bottle and use.
Another important aspect to get a better mileage is the tyre pressure, go according to what is prescribed by the company. Because less the air in the tyre, more the friction, resulting in more fuel consumption, simple. Get timely check up of the air pressure.
If one has to stop on a traffic signal for more than 15 seconds (now every traffic light has a timer attached), switch off the engine, meanwhile cabin air circulation blower can be switched on to keep you cool.
Smoother the drive, better the average, do not believe in quick and childish pick-ups, at the same time slow down at a juncture much earlier instead of playing more with brakes and low gears. The best fuel economy is attained at a speed of 55 to 75 kms per hour on overdrive, that means high gears. Drive less in 1st and 2nd gears, more in 3rd, 4th or 5th, according to the situation. In latest auto transmission vehicles, you don’t have to worry; the engine is smartly tuned to do the shifting as per the requirement.
Keep cool while driving, if you take on a steering wheel after heated argument with your spouse, boss or neighbour, the driving gets rash. Hold for a few seconds, sip a little cold water, switch on soft soothing music, drive safe and get better mileage.
(Story by Neeraj Gulati, Automobile Consultant)