It is the duty of every automobile owner to go in for some of the precious fuel saving or pollution reducing endeavors. Well, I am sure that most of you would be doing your bit to save the environment and not making our planet earth a dinosaur, which our kids, in the future, would only be able to read about but not see. That is something which would really hurt. Not that we would be alive to see it but then think about the future. The whole Indiandrives team has made up a few or rather many tips to save planet Earth. Well, since we are an automobile portal, it is more related to the way fuel and environment can be saved through automobiles.
- Selection of size of car and fuel : Many people think that bigger the car, better would be the status symbol. However think it in this way. If you are living in a congested area or are going to spend most of your time battling the traffic, then a big car doesn’t make sense. Simply because it would be consuming more fuel and polluting the atmosphere all the more. Diesel fuel would reduce your fuel bills by a big margin however they are effective only if you login high miles each month. If not, then their higher purchase price cannot be offset. The best way out of this dilemma is to plonk in right for CNG, LPG, hybrid or electric cars. A smaller car would also help matters.
- Selection of car versus money : If you have decided to go in for a Hybrid or electric car, you would be troubled by the higher price tag that some of these cars carry. However think over, you are doing a favor on yourselves by selecting these cars. Not only will they emphasize on your green credentials, they would also allow the future generations to breathe a bit cleaner and easier. The price increase of a hybrid car is usually 8-10 percent more than a corresponding petrol or diesel car.
- Public Transport : If one is living in a crowded area or small cities, it is preferable to go for the public transport system rather than going on with one’s own transport. The Indian government really needs to concentrate on getting the road infrastructure right. By introducing Metro rail systems as also BRTS, it is aiming at reducing commuting times and at the same time getting many cars off the road, thus reducing pollution and dependence on fossil fuels. Car pooling is one of the most widely used methods to cut down the number of vehicles on the road plus consumption of fuel. Try and make people living in your area and traveling to the same destination to be a part of the car pool. If you can’t find anyone, try www.carpool.in or else even www.poolmycar.in
- Quick starts : In this hustle bustle world, no one wants to be late however before stepping on the gas, the moment you start the car, think twice. The car’s engine uses engine oil so that each and every part in the engine is lubricated thus ensuring minimum friction. The moment you take off after a cold start, the engine oil is cold and can’t properly lubricate the engine. This also means more fuel is consumed to overcome the friction. Instead the best possible way is to idle the car for atleast 2 minutes before slotting it into gear and moving away.
- Air, coolant and oil : Tyre pressure is something which all of us conveniently ignore. However an under inflated tyre increases the CO2 emission as also fuel consumption by a good 5 percent. If possible coolant as also oil level should be checked every week or atleast once a month. Tyre pressure is something which should religiously be checked each week. Top up or replace the oil or coolant if you find the levels less than what is recommended.
- Servicing : If a vehicle is running properly doesn’t mean that it doesn’t need to be serviced at the specified intervals. A vehicle which is serviced at regular intervals wouldn’t create unnecessary problems or break down. Moreover, it would return optimum fuel efficiency figures. An ill maintained vehicle would return poor fuel efficiency as also lose out on its reliability factor. Even if you are planning to change the parts of your vehicle, fit only genuine spares since spurious parts would cause a harm to the vehicle in the long run. Ensure that you have the PUC certificate of the vehicle up to date.
- Driving style : Accelerators as also the clutch pedals aren’t resting pads for your feet. You aren’t at a race track that you should be always keeping the rpm needle above the 5,000 mark. As they say, start early for your journey, always plan well in advance for the trip that you had in mind. This ensures that you have a calm mind and are more relaxed for the drive or ride. Take the help of navigation systems as they precalculate the distance and route for you. Moreover, modern navigation systems can well also divert you away from a traffic jam and select the shortest route possible. Driving at a constant pace below the speed of 100 with all the windows up, ensures that the vehicle is running at a good efficiency. However if you cut down on the speed and keep it at fair clip between 80-100 kmph, then your car is running at the best possible efficiency. Moreover, turning on the AC at this point of time doesn’t result in a huge dip in the fuel efficiency since the engine is running lean and is comfortably cruising.
- Walking the length : If your office or choice of destination is closer to your home, it is advisable to give some exercise to your legs. Not only would you be saving fuel but also polluting the atmosphere less. Plus the health factor also comes into picture.
- Cruise control : Most of the modern day cars have this feature. It is used for latching onto a set speed. Use it if your car has it. However be warned that it is advisable to use cruise control only on the highways with minimal traffic, unless your car happens to be a certain Volvo. A steady speed ensures that the vehicle is licking fuel at a slower rate. Also try changing to the higher gear only when the road permits. If you are on a highway, then try changing directly from 3rd to 5th or 2nd to 4th gear. This will help in reduction of the wear on the clutch as also would aid in better fuel efficiency.
- Recycle : Well buying a used car is one way of depleting the natural resources. After all, you are saying no to a new product which would require energy as also more new raw materials. This is a way of automotive recycling. Another way is to ensure that your old engine oil isn’t poured down the drain. Instead give it to authorized service centers who sell it to vendors who use the oil for construction of buildings or otherwise. A liter of waste engine oil would contaminate million liters of water and so it isn’t advisable to throw it down the sink or in the gutter.
- Weight shedding : A car carrying excess weight would require more energy to pull it and hence more fuel would be consumed. Hence if your car is carrying more of useless items in the dicky, better remove them. Also closing windows reduces air drag and hence aids in maximizing fuel efficiency. Don’t overload your car as this would lead to a higher fuel consumption.
- Luxury comes at a cost : This adage is true however many would wonder that they have already paid for a luxury car and now what exactly do we mean here. Well, the reason why this phrase was used in this context was because in a luxury car, there are many luxury items which we rarely use. Moreover, just to show off, many people turn on the luxury items and then forget to turn them off. This wastes the car’s battery or even fuel(if that luxury item runs on fuel). Leaving on the fog lights reduces the battery power as also does the airconditioner, navigation system, mobile charger etc. Turning off the engine if there is a 30 second delay at the traffic light cuts upto 5 percent fuel wastage, not to mention the lesser emissions.
- Noise pollution : Incessant honking of the vehicle’s horn or even the lesser tolerance to other drivers is also a major cause for pollution. Loud noise is said to be one of the major factors for temporary deafness in many motorists. So it is time to show some respect to fellow road users as also mother nature. Hosing down a car with a hosepipe consumes about 190 liters of water whereas a sponge and bucket wash would waste only 12 liters of water while giving the same effect.
- Using gravity : If you are going downhill, never put the car in neutral, instead put it in second gear and balance clutch/accelerator to pull away smoothly. When you are going uphill and are not able to see the brow of the hill, then remove your foot off the accelerator pedal. This would slow the car and at the same time would be easier on the brakes as well. Brake pads wouldn’t fade as easily as they would if you were constantly hammering on them. This saves the environment from brake dust and carbon composites.
These are some of the tips and we do hope that all our readers find them useful and also inculcate them in your daily driving or riding.