How to get best mileage from car

car-mileageGetting best mileage from your vehicle is not only good for your pocket but also our environment as you burn lesser fuel.  There are many articles about increasing car mileage on the internet but most of them just advertise some product with false promise of doing miracle, but here you will learn the basic and most useful tips which will actually work.

Tyre: Always check air pressure in all four tyres and keep the pressure according to manufacturer recommendation. Buy a digital tyre pressure meter, they come in small size these days and can be put in key-chain of your car. Avoid fitting wider tyres and stick to manufacturer recommended size. Make it a habit to get tyre pressure checked when you go to petrol station for filling up. Most petrol pumps offer free air so make use of it.

Clutch: Clutch should be in perfect condition to achieve best mileage. If your car has covered several thousand kilometres then it’s a good idea to get the clutch checked. Important sign of clutch wear is that your car will take more time to attain good speed. Going uphill will also show strain on engine and you will smell burning smell of clutch. What happens when your clutch is not in good shape that it starts slipping, it does not stick to the plates well and causes loss in power transmission from engine to wheel. This clearly means that you not only get poor performance from your car but also poor gas mileage. To check the clutch you don’t even need to visit a mechanic. Just follow this small procedure: park the car on a levelled road and put it in second/third gear. Engage hand brake and start the car by pressing clutch, now slowly release the clutch (keep hand brake engaged). Ideally if your clutch is good, your car engine should stall but if your clutch is bad then it will keep running. This procedure gives a good workout to your clutch system so don’t do it often.  Another thing to remember while driving that you should never use clutch pedal to rest your foot. This results in premature failure of clutch and poor gas mileage too.

AC: Use the car AC only when really needed. AC compressor in your car causes load on engine and to overcome that load the car ECU feeds more fuel to the engine. Use sun shades, glass films and always park your car in shade to keep it cool and thus avoiding use of AC.

Sensors: Modern car engine depend a lot on sensors. These sensors are fitted to do various things like reporting oxygen, fuel, cam and other critical data to car ECU. If one of these sensors malfunctions then you get erratic behaviour from engine, it either does not run smooth or give bad gas mileage. Engine check light may glow (sometimes they don’t) telling your about such issues. Rectifying sensor related problem is easy, just get your car ECU scanned using car scanner at any good workshop and they will tell you exactly which sensor is bad. Replacing that sensor solves the issue.

Driving habits: There are few things that you can do while driving to save gas. Use first gear only to move the car from standstill and immediately shift to second. Use lower gears only for short period and try to shift to higher ones as soon as possible. Use engine braking as much as possible, if you sense that car in front of you is slowing down then either overtake (if road allows) or just move your foot away from gas pedal allowing engine braking to come in action and slow down the car. You will have to practice this technique to master it. Sudden acceleration and braking causes strain on car components and also results in poor mileage. Also don’t over speed and try to maintain speed which is most economical for your car, which is usually marked by green colour in your car speedometer.

Gas station: Fill up only from reputed gas stations where you are sure of quantity and quality of fuel. Avoid full tank if you don’t do long distance and gas station is nearby. Fuel tank when filled till brim will add lots of weight to your car which means more strain on engine, so keeping half tank is a good idea. If you do short trips only. Don’t fall for fuel additives which claim to add power and mileage but in reality they don’t show any significant benefit.

Mohd. Hashim Khan

I work as a freelance web designer and developer and enjoys fiddling with machines and electronics stuff. I am also working as a part time computer teacher at Aligarh Muslim University. I share my knowledge on various topics here so that others can make use of it and take benefit from my experiences.

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