With rising oil prices, car owners have become increasingly concerned about saving fuel. In the same car driven by drivers of different skills, the fuel consumption differs greatly. Motor-vehicle maintenance and management services remind car owners that fuel consumption depends largely on the driver’s use of the car, circumstances under which it is used, and maintenance quality. Automotive experts released these “fuel saving prescriptions” to help drivers:
Keep a rational driving speed
Each type of motor vehicle has its own economical driving speed and fuel consumption is lowest at such speed. Cars usually have an economical driving speed of about 80-90 km/h. When driving within such a speed limit on good highways, one can realize the fuel saving effect.
Control the startup of the car
When starting a cold car, avoid prolonging the warming up the engine. The car begins running one minute after it starts, and it is best to keep the car running for 3-5 km in second and third gears to warm it up. Prolonged warming up will undoubtedly waste more fuel and to keep a cold car running not only wastes fuel but also increases maintenance expenses.
Avoid unnecessary idling
A small car idling for 1 minute consumes more fuel than restarting the car. So if the car has to stop for a long while, turn off the engine. 3 minutes idling the engine uses enough fuel to power the car for 1 kilometer.
Avoid sudden shifts of speed
Sudden changes in speed, both accelerating and decelerating, consume more fuel than moderate shifts. It would be better to drive steadily to avoid wasting fuel.
Use the air conditioning properly
The air conditioning system consumes part of the engine’s power when working. In order to save fuel, some drivers drive at a high speed with the windows open and the air conditioning shut off. Actually when driving at a speed higher than 85km/h with the windows open, you consume more fuel than you would with the air conditioning turned on, due to the increased aerodynamic drag.
Change your oil regularly
The simplest and most effective way to maintain your car is to change the engine oil regularly. The smaller the engine, the smaller the volume of engine oil, which means the oil will need changing more frequently. When changing oil, take care to use the type of the engine oil designed for the vehicle itself.
Maintain recommended air pressure in tires
If air pressure is too high or too low in tires, it will increase the fuel consumption. The steering system should also be checked regularly in order to make certain it is balanced with the tires.
(China.org.cn September 12, 2007)