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Be an eco-friendly driver

Drive safe, protect your car and the environment

entertainment Updated: Jan 07, 2012 01:04 IST
Hindustan Times

Slow down and watch speed

Drive 55 Km per hour instead of 65 to save fuel. EPA (Environmental protection agency) estimates a 10-15% improvement in fuel economy by following this tip. Also, aim for a consistent speed. Pumping the accelerator sends more fuel into the engine. So, if the road is smooth without any hitches, maintain a constant stream of speed.

Accelerate and brake smoothly

Accelerating smoothly from a stop and braking softly conserves fuel. Fast starts, weaving in and out of traffic and hard braking wastes fuel and wears out some of the car components, such as brakes and tires, more quickly. Maintain a safe distance between vehicles and anticipate traffic conditions to allow for more time to brake and accelerate gradually.

No idling

The car engines these days don't really need a warm up. So you can start the car immediately and gently drive away. Don't leave your car idling for long periods of time. Prolonged idling increases emissions and wastes fuel. Turn the engine off in non-traffic situations, such as at bank and fast food drive-up windows, when idling more than 30 seconds.

Check your tyres

Keep tyres properly inflated to the recommended tire pressure. This alone can reduce the average amount of fuel use by 3-4%. Under-inflated tyres increase rolling resistance and reduce fuel economy. They also wear more rapidly. Check the vehicle's door-post sticker for minimum cold tyre inflation pressure.

Be kind to your vehicle

Maintain proper engine tune-up to keep vehicles running efficiently. Keep the wheels aligned. Wheels that are fighting each other waste fuel. Replace air filters as recommended. Use a fuel with good detergent additives to keep the vehicle engine clean and performing efficiently. Always consult the owner's manual for proper maintenance.

Travel light

Avoid piling a lot of luggage on the roof rack. The added frontal area reduces aerodynamics and will hurt fuel economy, reducing it by as much as 5%. Remove excess weight from the vehicle. Unnecessary weight, such as unneeded items in the trunk, makes the engine work harder and consumes more fuel.

Minimise use of heater and air conditioning

Use heating and air conditioning selectively to reduce the load on the engine. Decreasing your usage of the air conditioner when temperatures are above 80 degrees can help you save 10-15% of fuel. Use the vent setting as much as possible. Park in the shade to keep car cool and reduce the need for air conditioning.

Close windows at high speeds

Don't drive with the windows open unless you keep your speed under 50 mph. Driving with the windows open at highway speeds increases aerodynamic drag on the vehicle and lowers fuel economy.

Use the right oil

Always use good quality oils with the viscosity grade, as per the owner’s guide. Go to a reputed fuel station to maintain your vehicle.

Consolidate trips

Plan ahead to consolidate your trips. This will enable you to bypass congested routes, lead to less idling. Bad routes and congested ways are bad for the tires.

Inputs from Ford India

First Published: Jan 06, 2012 19:19 IST