Fuel economy

Many drivers believe that driving at lower speeds will save them fuel, but this is not entirely true. If you’re slow off the mark at the traffic light, you wont’s save much, but you will considerably slow down the traffic.

In situations like this there is only one rule that might seem contradictory at first. If you are looking to spend less fuel, you just need to press the acceleration pedal firmly (but not floor it) and shift gears up on time, far below the red zone on your RPM meter. Here the key is knowing the RPM value at which your engine achieves maximum torque, because that is when it is the most efficient. The rule of thumb is to keep it around the middle: in petrol engines around 3,500 RPM, in diesel engines around 2,000 RPM.

If possible, it would be good to avoid traffic jams, as well as short distances of several kilometres, because the engine is the “thirstiest” when running cold.

When on a motorway you can also use the old trick of experienced drivers to achieve maximum fuel mileage. You simply find a “victim” who is travelling at a speed that fits you and drive behind them at a safe distance. It would be the best to make this a van, coach or a truck (with a closed trailer). Bigger vehicles create a bigger air tunnel, thus reducing drag on your vehicle, which helps save fuel.

Most drivers feel frustrated when they realise that their average fuel consumption considerably exceeds the one listed on their vehicle’s datasheet. Also, when you hear that an acquaintance with the same car achieves better fuel mileage, you start wondering if there is something wrong with your car. Many drivers spend a lot of money on service, often replacing perfectly working parts, just to realise there is no cure for increased fuel consumption. However, changing your driving habits might save you considerable amounts of fuel.

The choice of a motor oil also determines how “thirsty” your vehicle is, so many experts recommend against buying cheapest oil of dubious quality. Since it is said that motor oil is the “blood” of your car, make sure you pick a quality product. INA’s range features oils that match the quality of top imported oils in the Croatian market, providing good lubrication and helping your engine work better and with less strain, thus consuming less fuel.

Finally, you may save on fuel by making sure your engine “breathes” properly. It is paramount that you change your air filter on regular basis. This is not a major investment, but results might come as a pleasant surprise, since a clogged up air filter considerably increases fuel consumption, while reducing engine life. Apart from increasing consumption, this also reduces power, as the engine struggles to reach optimal torque and produces substandard performance. Sensitive powertrains with advanced and sophisticated fuel injection technology are particularly vulnerable to this, so it is advised to further shorten the change intervals.
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