Photo: KnowInsiders
Photo: KnowInsiders

As a driver of an automatic car, it feels like there’s not much in your control to save on petrol costs, but there are driving techniques that’ll extend your fuel to the end of the month.

Along with the comforts of owning and driving an automatic car, you must most importantly be equipped with the information which will help you conserve fuel when you are driving your car.

Given below are 10 tricks you must keep in mind if you want to conserve fuel while driving your automatic transmission car:

1. Keep your momentum

It’s science - a body in motion stays in motion, and therefore uses less energy and fuel. Don’t brake unless needed, and driving slowly and consistently will keep your car going forward.

2. Don’t keep your foot on the brake

Photo: RD
Photo: RD

Resting your foot on the brake pedal, no matter how lightly, immediately applies drag to the car, which hugely impacts fuel economy. Says How Stuff Works, “It'll place an unnecessary burden on the engine and transmission. You'll wear out your brakes rapidly, as well.”

3. Tyres properly inflated

Your car only touches the ground on, quite literally, a handful of places. Each tyre has a portion as big as the palm of your hand that actually touches the road - and this has a huge impact on your driving and fuel efficiency. An underinflated tire causes your car to drag, increases stopping distances and is generally unsafe.

4. Be aware of driving surfaces

Photo: Westend61
Photo: Westend61

Your car is most likely to slip on wet and frictionless surfaces. And every single time your vehicle loses control, you end up losing mileage on your fuel, which means that you spend more fuel than required. You must be very careful about where you choose to drive your car because not only will you waste fuel, but you can also get seriously injured while driving your car in such tricky terrains, said National Driving School.

5. Stay cool while cruising on the highway

Use your air-con wisely, car manufacturers explain that your car may use more fuel to power your air-con at lower speeds but cruising on the highway with your air-con on, won't make a difference to your fuel consumption.

6. Transmission

You’ll find that some automatic cars stay in lower gears longer than is fuel-efficient. Try to coax the transmission into shifting earlier than it wants to by taking your foot off the accelerator after 50 Km/h. Accelerate slowly when you’re in the higher gears.

7. Make fewer trips

The more trips you make, the less fuel you’re going to save. This because once your car is parked for a few hours, the engine has cooled down and it will use more fuel for the first 10 kilometers or so. Try combine going grocery shopping and picking up your kids from their after-school activities if you can.

8. It’s all about maintenance

Photo: N4GM
Photo: N4GM

When your car runs smoothly and is in good mechanical condition, you’ll be able to get the best fuel economy from it. How Stuff Works says that sending your car for regular maintenance can boost fuel economy up to 10 percent. Regularly schedule maintenance so that car parts will last longer, allowing you to save money through less fuel consumption and reducing repair costs.

9. Cruise as much as you can

It is in the nature of automatic vehicles to cruise. So it is a good idea to use this peculiar trait in your favor. When you cruise, you are not braking the car unnecessarily and not accelerating either, but just following the natural flow of the vehicle. You maintain momentum and in turn, save fuel!

10. Don’t lose traction

Your tires are more likely to slip on wet or gravel surfaces, and each time that happens you lose fuel mileage as well as endanger yourself and others. Make sure to take care when starting off on unpaved and slippery roads and slow down on rough surfaces.

All of these small, manageable changes add up to savings you’ll feel between payday. Read our post on what to do at a petrol station and remember that not all petrol stations are made equal, cited by Suzuki Auto.

Note: Try to buy gas/fuel when it is cool

This is a smart one. As you may know from studying about this in school, liquids tend to expand when they have hot. For this reason, make sure you are always filling gas in your vehicle when it is cooler, preferably during the morning or the evening.

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