How to tune a car for optimum fuel efficiency

  • A few simple tricks and good practices can save the car owner from shelling out extra money for fuel bill.
Keeping the car clean, changing faulty spark plugs and engine oil at a regular interval are steps to get optimum fuel efficiency. (HT Auto/Sabyasachi Dasgupta)
Keeping the car clean, changing faulty spark plugs and engine oil at a regular interval are steps to get optimum fuel efficiency. (HT Auto/Sabyasachi Dasgupta)

Tuning a car is not an easy task, at least for people who do not know the technical bits of cars. However, if one can tune his or her car, the outcome could save money and get the optimum performance from the vehicle. No wonder, not everyone will be comfortable doing it, but there is nothing wrong with learning new things about a car and how to make it more efficiently running.

Also Read : How to choose right tyres for a car

Here are a few tips to follow if one wants to tune his or her car for optimum performance.


Changing oil:

Changing oil might not be the cup of tea of the car owner, but if he or she does it, then it needs to be made sure that there is a large oil container to handle the capacity of the vehicle oil and then take it to a recycling facility. People who do it themselves often waste oils.

With aging, the oil becomes syrup-like thick making it harder to do the job. Hence, the oil should be changed every 5,000 km or every three months. Even if the car is not being driven often, the oil should be changed at a regular interval, because not changing it can cause a breakdown.

Using synthetic oil could be a good solution as they tend not to breakdown as easily as conventional oils. Besides that, synthetic oils come with a more durable composition. Synthetic oils are proven to last around three times longer than conventional oils.

Using the manufacturer's recommended oil is always the right choice, as they deliver at least 2% improved fuel efficiency.


Changing air filter:

The air filter's job is to keep containments out of the engine and by doing so, over time, the containments build up and reduce the airflow to the vehicle's intake system. Hence, changing the air filter at the right time is always recommended to let the vehicle breathe well.

Depending on the vehicle's age, the dirty air filters can reduce fuel efficiency by up to 10%. The new generation engines with computer management systems usually pick up the dirty filter and feed the engines a lesser amount of fuel to compensate, which eventually reduces the performance. Hence, keeping the air filters clean is always recommended to get the optimum fuel efficiency.


Invest in a quality fuel cleaner:

The fuel injectors and engine components get dirty with the residuals of gas and the best way to restore them to the original state is to run a quality fuel cleaner through the petrol or diesel tank every six months. However, in case the engine's fuel system is clogged up and the fuel cleaner is unable to resolve the problem, then it is time to get the vehicle checked with a professional mechanic.


Maintain optimum tyre pressure:

Maintaining optimum air pressure in tyres returns around 3.3% better fuel efficiency. Hence, it is always recommended to maintain the optimum air pressure in the tyres. The temperature fluctuations impact the air pressure inside the tyres.

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Quality spark plugs matter:

A dirty misfiring spark plug can reduce the fuel efficiency of a car by around 7%. With two misfiring spark plugs, the percentage goes up to 20%. Hence, investing in new spark plugs is always recommended after every 50,000 km. In the case of platinum and iridium spark plugs, the changing interval could be 100,000 km.

Changing spark plugs take around one hour of time and not a tough task with the help of some tools. Also, using the spark plugs the manufacturer originally used is recommended to get the optimum mileage, as they are already tried and tested with the vehicle for its optimum performance.


Keep the car clean, inside out:

A dirty car impacts the performance as well as the fuel efficiency as well. Hence, giving the car a thorough wash every week is recommended. Also, adding extra weight for unnecessary stuff like bike racks, roof rail, or some fancy gadgets should be avoided in order to get the optimum fuel efficiency. The more weight the car gains, the engine needs to work harder, which means more fuel burnt.

First Published Date: 11 Mar 2021, 18:42 PM IST

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