Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Car care: getting better petrol mileage
[Article copyright by Ewe Paik Leong]
Except for those who have money to burn, most motorists are seeking to get as high a mileage as possible from their cars. Several factors that contribute to petrol consumption are not controllable, however. They include engine capacity, weight of car, driving conditions, wind resistance and petrol quality and formulation. Nevertheless, certain measures can be taken to get better mileage from your car.
HAVE TYRES PROPERLY INFLATED
When tyres are under-inflated, more force is needed to move them then when they are optimally inflated. Before you use your car in the morning, check the tyre pressure by using a tyre gauge. Jot down this cold measurement. Now check the measurement given in the car owner’s manual.
Drive to the nearest petrol station and take the pressure again; this is the warm measurement. If the manufacturer’s measurement is higher than the cold measurement, top up the difference accordingly using the warm measurement as the base figure. For example, if the difference is three pounds and the warm measurement is 35 pounds, inflate the tyre until the pressure is 38 pounds.
On the other hand, if the cold measure is higher than the manufcturer’s recommendation, release the excess pressure, again the using the warm pressure as the base figure. This means that if warm measurement is 35 pounds, and the cold measurement is two pounds higher than the recommended pressure, you release two pounds until the warm measurement is 33 pounds.
KEEP ENGINE PROPERLY TUNED
An out-of-tune engine can waste as much as 15 percent of petrol. The following items need attention: Replace the air filter when light can pass through it. If there is a hole in any part of your muffler or exhaust part system, either repair it or have the part replaced. Check your spark plugs regularly to ensure they are clean, firing properly and gapped correctly.
STOP PETROL-WASTING HABITS
Petrol-wasting habits that should be dropped include: (1) Avoid unnecessary speeding. The faster you speed, the more petrol the engine consumes. (2) Heavy acceleration and sudden braking guzzles petrol. (3) Speeding and slowing down is less economical than driving at a constant speed. (4) Driving with the air-conditioning turned on consumes more petrol than with it turned off. (5) Excessive load always forces the engine to guzzle petrol.