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How you can fuel your car's efficiency

Last updated on: June 14, 2012 16:09 IST

How you can fuel your car's efficiency

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Tania Kishore Jaleel in Mumbai

With petrol prices up 12 per cent in the past year, car owners would be wondering how to save on fuel costs. Top Gear, a popular auto show on BBC, set an example on fuel efficiency a few years earlier.

The hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, drove 1,207 km with just a fuel tank, a cross-continent journey.

While tank capacities vary depending on the car, one can always do a few things to ensure they increase the car efficiency.

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Photographs: David Gray/Reuters

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Experts cite several points which can help cut fuel costs. For instance, sudden acceleration and hard braking should be used rarely, since they can increase consumption by at least 40 per cent.

There are other ways as well. Says P K Umashankar, vice-president, customer service operations, Ford India, "Studies have also shown changing lanes don't result in reducing travel times substantially. Taking your speed down to 80 km/h from 95 km/h can improve your fuel consumption by 10 to 15 per cent."

Keeping the car light, in terms of weight, keeps the bills slimmer as well. That is, clear out all the magazines, books, shoes, golf clubs and clothes.

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Photographs: Allison Joyce/Reuters

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How you can fuel your car's efficiency

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Under-inflated tyres increase resistance, make it more difficult for the engine to move the car along the road and increases consumption by six per cent more, according to experts. Check your owner's manual for optimal "pounds per square inch" or PSI ratings.

Though the verdict is out on this one, many say turning down the air conditioning can reduce fuel consumption. An improperly-tuned engine increases fuel consumption.

Similarly, a properly working oxygen sensor can increase or decrease your efficiency by as much as 40 per cent. Also, using premium fuel does not exactly make the car more efficient unless the car can take advantage of the higher octane level.

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Photographs: Babu/Reuters
Tags: , PSI

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Jagdish Khattar, chairman and managing director of Carnation Autos says along with all these small tips, one should keep up with their servicing appointments.

"A regularly serviced car will ensure it runs well. The depreciation calculated at the time of sale of a car will not be as high as compared to a car that has not been regular with its servicing," he adds.

There are even smaller steps like just switching off the car at red light and not circling the car round and round seeking for a perfect parking spot.

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Photographs: Mansi Thapliyal/Reuters

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Abdul Majeed, leader (automotive practice) at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) says these small steps do help in reducing the burden of high fuel bills.

"Switch off the car at a red light. Instead of circling looking for parking, park at the first spot you see. With the fuel prices sky rocketing, we will see more and more people adopting these small tips," he says.

One may say such disciplined driving is difficult for city drivers. But the fact is with spiralling costs, one needs to do as much as possible to bring down expenses.


Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/rediff.com

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