Best practices to get more mileage out of your car

Best practices to get more mileage out of your car

"The company had promised a mileage of 24 kmpl. Now I don't get even half of that. I will sue the company." This is a common refrain of car owners. Car owners who do not complain of mileage issues are few and far between. It is common to find two people using the same model of a car getting two different mileages. So, where is the problem?

In reality, the problem lies in our hands and legs. The mileage of every vehicle is decided by how it is driven. If you are responsible for the low mileage of your car, here are a few tips that will help you achieve better results.

1. During long trips, try to maintain a speed of 60-70 kmph. If the speedometer needle goes below or above this, be sure that more fuel will be burned. Do not place your foot on the clutch unnecessarily.

2. Try to avoid sudden acceleration and braking because they affect the mileage. Instead of slamming the brakes, reduce the speed well before the spot you want to stop the vehicle and then apply the brake gradually. Try not to take the engine rpm beyond 2000 level in order to avoid burning of more fuel.

3. Drive the vehicle in the right gear. Some people refuse to change gear even when the vehicle has slowed down. Driving the car on half-clutch will not only damage the engine but also reduce mileage. In petrol engines, it is better to change gears at 2000 rpm and in diesel at 1500 rpm.

4. If you are stopping the car for less than a minute, do not switch of the engine. Restarting requires more fuel. However, staying in neutral or on clutch for long also reduces mileage.

5. Ensure that company recommended pressure is maintained in the tyres at least once in a month. Wheel balancing too has to be done in fixed intervals.

6. The air conditioner consumes 20% energy from the engine to be operational. So, do not switch on the AC unnecessarily. During long trips, in order to save on fuel, people switch off AC and drive with windows open. This also reduces mileage. Opening the windows increases drag and slows the car down — so it needs more fuel to run.

7. Stuffing the car with unnecessary baggage also affects fuel efficiency.

8. Cars consume more fuel during shorter trips. So, skip the car the next time you go to buy milk or provisions.

9. Air filter, spark plug, oil filter and injectors need to kept clean.

There is a common complaint that the average mileage shown in the Odo meter is often incorrect. Usually it could be one or two points lesser than what is shown. 'Tank to tank' method is the best way to find the actual mileage.

Fill the tank with petrol/diesel and set the Odo to zero. Now, after running some distance, fill the tank again. Divide the distance covered with the petrol/diesel filled the second time. That will be your correct mileage.


A car with a fuel capacity of 35 litres is filled up. After covering 260 kilometres, the tank is filled up again. And, if the second time 14 litres of petrol was filled, then your mileage will be 18.57 (260/14).