How To Save On Fuel Bills


Petrol prices in Mumbai have moved to  81.57 from 69.83 a litre since May 1, a rise of 17% in the past four months, raising monthly fuel bills.

With crude prices continuing to remain high and the rupee depreciating sharply against the US dollar, petrol prices are likely to remain high in the near future,and spike in case of further uncertainty in the Gulf. Car drivers by changing driving habits and maintaining their cars well can bring down the monthly fuel bill by as much as 10-20%.

Driving habits play a major role in saving fuel. It is possible to drive the same distance in the same time and yet save on fuel provided you drive smoothly. Many of us tend to accelerate very fast even though we know there is a signal 100 metres ahead, brake suddenly or drive at a high speed on a much lower gear than we are supposed to. All these actions put pressure on the engine, which tends to guzzle more fuel in the process. If you change these habits alone, you could save as much as 10% in fuel costs. 

You need to accelerate slowly and smoothly and get into a higher gear. Gears need to be adjusted as your speed increases to get the best mileage. Shift to the highest gear once your speed touches anywhere between 45 and 50 km/ hour.

When you drive in a higher gear on hills and corners, it will put extra pressure on the engine and burn more fuel. Similarly, if you drive in the second gear, while your car is at a speed of 40 km/hour, it will put pressure on the engine and burn more fuel.

Traffic signals are another area where car users can save fuel, especially in metro cities, where traffic moves slow. If you drive regularly on a certain route, say, for example, from your home to office regularly, you know when a signal will come. While driving on such known routes, drive slowly instead of accelerating till you reach the signal and then suddenly braking. If you have to wait at the signal for more than 50 seconds, switch off the engine and restart again.

While alighting from your car, shut off or unplug all power-sucking accessories such as phone chargers, air conditioning and the radio, before turning off your car. This lowers the engine load for the next time you start your vehicle and will use lesser fuel.

Servicing your car regularly helps reduce your fuel bills. It is essential to get your car serviced at regular intervals as specified by the car manufacturer. Do not delay servicing, since that could bring down your mileage. Among other things, garages do check for oil, air filters and wheel alignment. Oil should be changed every 5,000 kms in case of a petrol car, and 2,500 kms in case of a diesel car. Air filter also needs to be checked at least once in six months, or when you are changing oil. If the engine air filter is clogged with dirt, it will put higher pressure on the car engine.


About Keerthika Singaravel

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