The most used fuel in Brazil, gasoline has undergone successive increases in refineries and today the liter is already over R$7 in some regions of the country.
The high cost of fueling has a great impact on the budget, especially among those who use a car or motorcycle as a work tool, such as application drivers, taxi drivers and deliverymen.
The tips to reduce consumption that you see below can be followed at all times and not just in times of famine. After all, there’s no reason to waste it.
Basically, the “Ten Commandments” that we bring here are related to driving style and care with maintenance, which will make you get the most out of every drop of gas.
1 – Correctly calibrate the car tires
Check the recommended tire pressure in the owner’s manual – it can even vary from axle to axle and also according to the amount of load transported.
Tires below the ideal pressure increase the surface of contact with the ground. With that, they make the engine use more energy to keep the car running, increasing consumption. On the other hand, overinflated tires make the vehicle too “hard” and can reduce the life of suspension components.
Don’t forget to check the calibration every 15 days, always with cold tires, as recommended by the automakers. When they are hot, the air inside them expands and you end up calibrating with pressure below that indicated.
2 – Drive smoothly and anticipate maneuvers
According to Renault, driving style alone can reduce fuel consumption by at least 10%.
Changing habits behind the wheel, in fact, makes all the difference. Anticipating braking, not “stretching” the gears and making changes at the right speed, for example, are commandments that not only increase autonomy with each refueling – they also help to save brakes and other components and reduce pollutant emissions.
Accelerate and brake gradually and use the engine brake on speed reductions. In addition, going down slopes on the “toothless” (with the exchange rate in neutral) does not help to save fuel and, on top of that, it contributes to premature wear of the brakes.
3 – Regularly check wheel alignment
Another factor that increases fuel consumption and contributes to premature tire wear are misaligned wheels, highlights Cesvi Brasil (Center for Experimentation and Road Safety).
On average, the recommendation is to check the alignment every 10 thousand kilometers driven or when you notice that the vehicle is “pulling” to one side.
Also balance the tires to avoid vibrations and keep the car stable – which also helps to increase the range.
4 – Change the oil and filter within the deadline
According to Renault, taking care of car maintenance, which includes carrying out revisions within the recommended time and mileage, reduces fuel consumption by at least 10%.
This includes changing the engine lubricating oil as well as replacing the engine oil filter.
Especially if the car already has high mileage, it is worth checking the oil level once a week
Check the engine oil level weekly and replace the lubricant within the time and/or mileage recommended in the manual. The same goes for filters. Even the oil filter must be replaced at each lubricant change. Inadequately lubricated engine increases friction of internal parts, resulting in higher fuel consumption and, worse, damaging components.
5 – Do not let the engine boil and check the radiator valve
Be sure to check the engine’s cooling system in vehicle overhauls, as running above the ideal temperature is one of the factors that makes your car “drink” more than it should.
In this verification, if the liquid level is below the recommended level, it is worth checking if there is any leakage in the pipes.
However, completing the level with tap water is not a recommended practice, as it causes corrosion and even clogging of pipes, internal ducts and even the water pump – in addition to reducing the boiling temperature.
When consulting the owner’s manual of different vehicles, the basic guidance is the same: put distilled or demineralized water in combination with the additive recommended by the assembler.
Also, keep an eye on the thermostatic valve. If it presents problems, it can lock in the open position, releasing the total passage of the coolant to the radiator, alerts Cesvi Brasil.
This makes the engine run at a suboptimal temperature. Thus, the injection system “understands” that the engine is cold, sending more fuel to burn unnecessarily.
6 – Check the status of cables, spark plugs and air filter
Another factor that negatively impacts fuel consumption are spark plugs and their cables in poor condition.
These components are essential to promote optimal fuel burn and lose efficiency over time. Therefore, they must be checked and replaced within the period recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.
This period must be brought forward if it is found that the spark plugs and/or cables no longer work as they should.
Also, regularly check the condition of the engine’s air filter. If it is saturated, combustion is impaired and the car starts to “drink” more.
7 – Check the catalytic converter and exhaust
Responsible for converting toxic gases resulting from the burning of fuel into water, carbon dioxide and nitrogen, the catalyst increases consumption and emissions if damaged.
In addition, internal components of the catalytic converter and the exhaust system may detach, obstructing the exhaust of gases. This makes the engine temperature rise and also increases consumption.
Poor quality fuel is another villain that steals the efficiency of the equipment and makes your vehicle increase its fuel consumption.
8 – Escape from adulterated fuel
Filling up with “named” gasoline is one of the most common causes of increased consumption.
Products used to increase the volume of product sold in the pump, as a solvent, cause the vehicle to lose performance and can damage a series of internal components. Consequently, the injection system ends up putting more fuel into the engine.
The unexpected rise in consumption, seen right after refueling, is even a classic indication that the gasoline may have been adulterated.
To protect yourself, always demand an invoice from the gas station, as the practice proves that you purchased fuel at that establishment and when it happened.
Check here for tips to reduce the risk of acquiring adulterated fuel.
9 – No need to carry weight
Keeping the trunk and cabin full of things you don’t need only adds to the vehicle’s weight, putting more strain on the engine and driving up consumption.
Also, remove luggage racks and bicycle carriers when not in use.
10 – Use the air conditioning correctly
The air conditioning can increase fuel consumption by 20% or even more, as the equipment’s compressor is driven by a belt connected to the engine.
Never drive with the air on and the windows open, especially on highways: the turbulence of air entering the cabin requires an effort from the engine to keep the vehicle moving, increasing consumption even more than if you kept the climate on with the windows closed.
Also, if the weather is not too hot, avoid putting the cooling on full.