Gone are the days when automakers used to put V8 engines on four wheelers and design them out of their fantasies without thinking much about aerodynamics or drag coefficient.
Automakers now lean towards hybrid options which are much more efficient. This is not only done as a measure to protect the environment or to reduce depletion of non-renewable natural resources used to make gasoline but also to make cars more economical for users.
Fuel economy is one of the major concerns for automakers developing cars in the modern era.
Despite the numerous efforts by automakers, even the most fuel efficient hybrid cars can travel only half the distance covered by a typical bike on a liter of gasoline.
The results are far worse in a country like Bangadesh where most roads are uneven, have potholes, or are packed with traffic especially in the capital, which can also hamper the fuel economy of cars.
However, did you know you could improve your car's fuel economy on your own?
Today, we will discuss some of the common mistakes that lead to poor fuel economy of cars in Bangladesh, how to avoid these mistakes and improve the fuel economy of any car.
Keep calm while accelerating and braking
Most cars in Bangladesh are driven by chauffeurs who have little to no clue about mileage or ensuring good fuel economy. It is a common trend among chauffeurs and drivers to constantly accelerate and apply brakes every now and then which in turn, results in poor fuel economy.
One of the best and easiest ways to save fuel in any motor vehicle is by maintaining a constant speed or by accelerating gradually while maintaining a low RPM. This is also the reason why many cars have cruise control which helps to maintain a constant speed at a constant rev range that can help to improve the fuel economy of cars.
Modern cars, both hybrid and non-hybrid, have a range of "revolutions per minute" (RPM) which can ensure the best mileage if maintained. The ideal range would be 1,200 to 2,500 RPM (might slightly vary from one engine to the other) and you will notice a drastic increase in mileage if you can keep the RPM within range.
Though it can be difficult to maintain a constant speed with the traffic in Dhaka, it is still worth a try.
Picking the right engine oil - meeting your engine's appetite
Engine oil plays a huge role in ensuring fuel economy as well. If an engine oil being fed to a vehicle does not have the right viscosity, it affects the engine's performance and leads to higher engine temperature and thus, reduces the engine's capability to deliver the best output while consuming less fuel.
There are tens, if not hundreds, of different engine oil grades of various national and international brands that can be found in the market. Besides, there are many rip offs of popular branded lubricants as well. With so many options and duplicates in the market, choosing the right engine for your car can be challenging.
However, if you want to improve your car's fuel economy, it is imperative that you choose an engine oil grade that best suits your engine. The grade varies from engine to engine and the best way to pick the best match is to identify the grade recommended by the manufacturer. You can either check your car's user manual or do a simple google search as well.
Putting your car in the right shoes - choosing the right tyres
Owners often buy wrong tyres for cars. Although there is a common belief that switching the stock tyre profile can lead to poorer mileage which is true to some extent but what affects more is the type of tyre bought.
Some tyres have tread patterns that are designed for low resistance and good handling which are more precisely called performance tires. The other type is designed for comfort and can also ensure better fuel economy. These are the type of tyres to look for if fuel economy is the concern.
Besides, the tire pressure is an important factor as well.
Inflating tyres only upto the recommended tyre pressure can not only increase your car's fuel economy but can certainly ensure more ride comfort as well. The recommended tyre pressure can be found in the user manual of the car or on the internet as well.
You can buy fuel boosters which can also increase your car's fuel economy.
Some fuel boosters increase the octane rating leading to greater overall performance and fuel economy while others clean up the fuel tank and prevent formation of carbon deposits inside the engine which can drastically improve the fuel economy in some cars.
However, fuel boosters are yet to become popular among sellers and only a handful of shops are selling these. Beside this, some are only effective on turbocharged or supercharged cars or can only improve the fuel economy significantly on long drives.
A general pointer
Try taking fuel from a different gas station once in a while to see if there is any difference in mileage as some fuel stations are known to be selling lower rate octanes or mixing water or kerosine with octane which can cause severe long term damage to any car.
Fuel economy is something that everyone should be concerned about as good quality fuel and correcting the driving mistakes can also help improve longevity of the engine as well as the car and lead to less issues in the long run.