The aim of this article is to introduce the reader to the basics of car fuel efficiency. On the surface, it seems that fuel efficiency is a simple topic. The amount of fuel a car consumes majorly hinges on one thing – how much and how hard does the engine work? The amount of fuel consumed per gallon is directly proportional to the amount of work to be done by the car’s engine.
However, as we shall see, how hard the engine has to work itself depends on a lot of factors – the A.C., the weight of the vehicle, air filters, tire pressure, resistance from multiple things, and what not.
Tire Pressure- Remember to make sure that the car tires are always inflated to the correct pressure. Lower pressure will increase rolling friction against the ground, resulting in more work for the engine to propel the car, which will ultimately lead to more fuel consumption. Check the pressure at least monthly, if not weekly. There are apps available that connect to your car and keep you informed about your car’s tire pressure.
Note the Weight- It’s evident that the more weight your engine has to carry, the more power it needs and the more fuel it uses. Hence your car should be as light as possible optimize for fuel consumption.
Which means that if you’ve got stuff in your car trunk that you’ve been carrying around without much thought, rethink if you really need to lug those items around or not. If you can do without them, put them aside for now.
Also, additional accessories added to the car will decrease fuel performance, not only due to the additional weight, but also by increasing the aerodynamic drag (i.e. air resistance).
Stick to the recommended fuel & motor oil- The car manufacturer probably has a recommended fuel type for the car, and for a good reason. The manufacturer has already tested for the car’s optimal performance using various types of fuels, and therefore it makes sense to stick to what they ask you to use. With the same logic, it is also considered wise to only use the motor oils recommended by the car maker. Although 3rd party motor oils may work in some cases, they aren’t always well tested for a specific type of vehicle, unlike the product the car manufacturer will recommend.