With rising fuel prices and the prospect of them going up further – here are some radical tips to improve mileage of your 4 wheeler from a primary car driver and owners point of view. They can be easily adapted for SUVs, Minivans as appropriate etc. These have been collected from years of scientific research and of course from across the web.
This chart with prices of petrol, diesel, CNG & LPG for Chennai since 2002 is from www.mypetrolprice.com
A lot of these tips are so simple and commonsense you will wonder why you didn’t think of them yourself. Its ok - You can thank me later.
Here the list:
- Improve the aerodynamics of the car – remove all exterior mirrors, chrome, mudflaps, spoilers, badges, stickers and wheel caps. Door handles can also be sealed off to reduce drag. Cover all panel gaps in the body with clear cello tape. Seal the wheels as well with smooth plastic plates.
- Maintain the exterior of the car by regularly cleaning and polishing the surface – reduces wind resistance. Make absolutely sure there is no road tar, tree sap or bird poo that is on the surface – this reduces your aerodynamics.
- Stop using the AC all the time but instead use it from time to time. As a backup install a couple of Indian hand fans. The windows should be kept closed though for maximum aerodynamics.
- Perform weight reduction on self – if you are 10KG overweight – that’s an extra 10KG your cars engine has to drag around. Even bigger savings if you are really really overweight.
- Make sure you(the driver) and all passengers if any have finished daily ablutions and necessary bowel and bladder evacuations before the car trip. Weight reduction.
- Add the option to pedal power or kick power like in the Flintstones – this helps reduce your weight and also reduces the fuel used. Good for crawling in traffic jams.
- Fuel in the fuel tank is added weight – so calculate your daily distance based usage and fill petrol for just what you need. That way your vehicle will be at its bare minimum weight. If you are the low risk taking type – keep an empty 2 liter soft drink bottle in the car for an emergency.
- Perform further weight reduction – remove all non essential items from the car – including but not limited to the following:
- Remove one wheel from the car – I mean the spare wheel & tire the jack and tools that you rarely use.
- rear seat + seat-belts at rear , passenger seat+ passenger seat-belt - can be replaced with some good coir mats on the floor
- Stereo + speakers and related wiring – if these are retained – then play only slow music – reduces th e temptation to speed.
- Door interior panels
- Air-conditioning system
- Windshield wiper fluid
- If you drive primarily during the day – you can remove the headlight bulbs – add them back if you want to drive at night
- Do not take work material home or purchases of any kind or carry lunch or snacks. Buy what you need where you need it and consume it there.
- Wear thin soled shoes or avoid shoes altogether to ensure light presses of the accelerator.
- Install tough springs under the accelerator – to reduce the amount by which you can press the accelerator – burns less fuel.
- Join a BPO company that does night shift work or if you cannot shift your work that easily – volunteer to work in the night shift from 10PM to 6 AM. Guaranteed to beat the traffic in all major cities.
- If your workplace provides company transport that’s running at capacity – talk with your admin team to sell seats on your car for a price for the route you take. For e.g. if it costs you Rs 250 per day in petrol to use your car for a distance of around 35 km roundtrip – sell 3 seats per day at 100 each. Giving you a profit of 50 a day ! That’s a profit of around a 1000 per month counting 20 days ! Basically you are getting paid to drive.
- Getting smaller and narrower wheels will assist your mileage on multiple counts – lowers the vehicle height and also reduces the rolling resistance. Just follow the opposite of popular up-sizing guides to properly downsize your wheel and improve mileage. Also see next two.
- If your vehicle comes with alloys swap them out for cheaper and lighter pressed steel wheels.
- Fill Helium in the tires – helium is lighter than nitrogen and if nitrogen is supposed to give you an approximate 8% increase in mileage – this should give you at-least 20% more.
- Change the air intakes to be of hot air type. This increases and improves combustion efficiency burning less fuel. Similarly – smaller diameter exhausts should also help.
- Install solar panels on the roof, bonnet etc and use the solar power for charging the battery of the car – you can get rid of your cars alternator and reduce weight there. This has been proved to increase mileage by 10%.
- City driving in stop and go traffic is bad for mileage – therefore make sure you include highway trips into your commute – your mileage will automatically increase to become the average of your city and highway mileage.
- Push your car in stop and go traffic instead of using the engine.
- Remove power steering that requires the engine to run to assist the steering . Also make sure the steering column does not lock on switching off the engine.On all descents – switch off the engine and coast down. Make sure previous point is taken care.
Disclaimer: If you didn’t understand this post still do look at the categories. Its a bit late – I know.
All the best improving mileage and please do add any suggestions you can think of as well through the comments !