With the cost of oil based fuels spiraling upwards in a never ending progression, it is now more important than ever to consider how fuel efficient your vehicles are and learning ways of improving fuel efficiency. The first thing that you need to be able to do however, is determine what the current fuel efficiency of your vehicle is so that you are able to measure and record readings for future reference. Once this skill is mastered, then you can start to experiment with methods to improve your vehicle fuel efficiency and know that you have a reliable mechanism for measuring the results.
Let’s take the example of your family car for instance. The first thing you can do is refer to the manufacturers specifications for fuel usage, however you need to understand that these figures are not necessarily accurate – maybe the manufacturer has over optimistically stated the performance. So next task is to read the car reviews in magazines or online to determine what “real life” results have already been recorded by car enthusiasts – these results may differ from what the manufacturer states, but they are real results from real life driving tests and hence more likely to be accurate.
Now that you have some statistics about your model of car to start with, it is time to measure your own vehicle performance. This is quite a straight forward method that I have used accurately for decades, so I recommend that you give it a try. When you go to the fuel station you need to do two things. The first is to reset your trip meter to zero or otherwise record the car mileage from the odometer. You then fill the tank right up to the very top of the filler pipe – so that you can see the fuel right at the top. That gives you a reference point for your future measurements. Secondly you record the quantity (number of litres/gallons) of fuel required to top up the tank from the fuel pump.
After driving your car around for a week or so, your fuel tank will be ready for a refill. You don’t need to empty the tank because this method will work regardless of the amount used. When you fill up the tank to the very top of the filler pipe again, you record the quantity of fuel used from the fuel pump and the mileage off your car’s trip meter. You then simply divide the mileage by the fuel quantity, giving you a mile per gallon or kilometers per litre result. This is your reference point and you will find that recording these results consistently will help you understand how your vehicle is performing under different driving conditions and over time. You may then wish to try out ways to improve your vehicle fuel efficiency, once you know how to measure it accurately using the method described above.
You may also need to apply some math to convert your figures to a format that the car manufacturer uses because your result could be, say 9 kilometers per litre of fuel, but the manufacturer may state that as 11 litres of fuel per 100km, it means the same thing but is stated differently ie 100 divided by 11 gives you 9 – happy motoring.