Your car is one of the most precious things that you own today. And since it’s a big investment, you would, for all reasons, want it to stay healthy and sound. However, being a car owner in India (where prices of fuel fluctuate more than the temperature in a desert) makes it hard to keep up the good condition of your vehicle.

If you draw a flow chart, good health of your car directly links to the condition of it’s engine and how much fuel is your car utilizing while driving. Sometimes, even minor issues with your vehicle, that you stay oblivious to, can degrade the engine and cost you a fortune. Or in layman terms, a stitch in time could have saved nine!

Though you cannot ignore or escape the ever-increasing fuel prices, you can maximize your fuel mileage to protect your pocket. Here are a few simple yet important ways to increase your vehicle’s mileage.

Make sure the pressure in the tyres is right

As a matter of fact, properly inflated tyres can reduce fuel consumption by up to 3%, which makes a significant difference in the long run. Reduced tyre pressure means increased contact area between the tyre and the road. As a result, friction between the rubber of the tyre and the road increases, resulting in higher fuel consumption. It is therefore suitably advised to make it a weekly exercise to check the air pressures in the tyres of your car, preferably in the morning.

Lose some weight

Not trying to be your doctor or your dietitian. But you should lose that weight in your car. Heavier the load that you carry, the more the engine has to work during acceleration, thus consuming more fuel. So make sure you get rid of that equipment/accessories you know you would never use.

Go easy on those gears and brake

You don’t need to change the gear every 3 seconds. Sudden acceleration or braking consumes a lot of fuel. Also, running at high speeds in a low gear can rob you of 45% more fuel than necessary. When you see a red light/traffic approaching, start slowing down in advance to avoid sudden braking. Braking wastes energy from fuel that you have already burned, and accelerating after braking consumes more fuel than driving at a constant speed.

Avoid prolonged idling

As a general rule, turn off your car if you’re stopping for anything for longer than 60 seconds. Switch the engine off while you are waiting. In case of warming up a vehicle, it is best to drive it slowly until it reaches proper operating temperature.

Get your car serviced regularly

Never miss out on your car service date! A serviced engine consumes less fuel. In addition, check the condition of your engine air filter and the fuel filter regularly, since dust accumulated in the filters would make the engine work twice as much to draw the air to mix with the fuel. Next, have the car’s oxygen sensor checked every 60,000 km or so, since a faulty sensor could drop your car’s mileage by almost 20 percent

Keep your windows up

Aerodynamics play an important role in maintaining fuel efficiency. Open windows, even partly, at high speeds can impact fuel efficiency and result in the tank draining out quicker due to increased drag. Contrary to popular notion, you’ll save more fuel with the windows up and the air conditioner turned on.

Try parking in a shaded area

It goes without saying that a heated up car would burn more fuel when you turn on the AC, whereas if you would park in a shaded area, the interiors would remain cool and would make it easier for you to just get in and start driving right away. Also, too much sunlight damages the paint and the skin of your car. So you should try to avoid leaving your car parked in a sunny area.

With little efforts and minor changes in your driving habits, you can go a long way in increasing the life of your car and the money in your pocket. Happy Driving!