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How to Reduce Fuel Consumption in Cars by 40%



reduce fuel consumption

Soaring fuel prices have become a major worry, with petrol and diesel prices reaching up to Rs. 282 and Rs. 288, respectively. Earlier, the petrol prices in Pakistan from March 16 till March 31 were Rs 272. Additionally, the interim government’s agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) requires the reinstatement of petroleum levies and taxes, which could push fuel prices up to Rs. 270/liter by June 30. Consequently, many car drivers are switching to motorcycles to cut their fuel expenses. However, this is not a feasible option for those who commute with their families on a daily basis. This article will discuss how to reduce fuel consumption in cars by around 40 percent.

Use Company-Operated Fuel Stations

fuel companies logos
Visit only company operated fuel stations to reduce car’s fuel consumption

To ensure vigilance, it’s crucial to make an effort to only visit fuel stations operated by the company. This is because it’s widely known that some franchised fuel stations manipulate their fuel dispensers, causing them to display higher readings. Typically, when using the autofill mode, the meter starts running even before the dispenser begins pumping fuel into the tank. This leads to the meter displaying an inflated reading after the fuel has been filled up.

For instance, a fuel dispenser that has been tampered with can display a fill-up reading of up to 45 liters for a 40-liter fuel tank in a car. To avoid being scammed, it’s recommended that you either request a staff member to manually fill up your fuel tank to reduce the likelihood of incorrect readings or solely visit service stations operated by the company. This can help you save anywhere between 5% (if you refuel worth Rs. 8,000) to 20% (if you refuel petrol worth Rs. 1,000) on your fuel expenses.

Efficient Driving

drive efficiently
Drive carefully and efficiently to reduce fuel cost

Your car’s fuel economy is significantly impacted by the way you drive. When it comes to fuel economy, a smooth and steady driving style is more efficient. To conserve fuel, it’s recommended that you use gentle acceleration and drive in the highest safe gear possible.

Additionally, as you approach a signal or junction, it’s advisable to ease off the throttle and allow your car to slow down on its own. When starting to drive from a stationary position, it’s best to slowly accelerate instead of abruptly pressing down on the throttle.

This is often referred to as ‘defensive driving’ as not only does it consume less fuel by up to 10 percent, but is safer too.

Roll Up Your Windows

roll up your window
Rolling up your window is a way to reduce fuel consumption in cars

When driving on the highway at around 75 km/h, it’s essential to keep your windows closed to improve fuel economy by 10-20% (depending on the car’s shape). Open windows increase air drag, which can cause the engine to consume more fuel than usual. If you want to use the air conditioning (A.C.), it’s recommended to keep the car windows closed, as long as you drive with a light foot. This could be a better alternative to improve fuel economy.

Regular Maintenance

Car maintenance
Maintaining your car regularly is essential to get the ideal performance out of the car

Regular maintenance is crucial for proper engine functioning. This includes changing the oil regularly, using a good oil filter, and ensuring that the air filter is in good condition. Delayed oil changes or using old, faulty air filters can negatively impact the engine’s performance and reduce fuel economy by more than 20%.

Use Discount Offers

fuel cost discounts on card
Use your credit card discounts offered to get fuel

Certain credit cards, debit cards, or fill up cards sponsored by Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) provide discounts at selected petrol stations. These cards offer discounts ranging from one to seven percent on fuel, which can lead to substantial savings in the long run. For example, filling up a 40-liter fuel tank with these cards could save you up to Rs. 500.

Keep Your Tank Half Full

fuel tank meter
Refill your fuel tank when it is half full

To minimize fuel wastage due to evaporation, it is recommended to refill your car’s tank when it is half full. When the tank is full, there is less space for air, which helps to reduce the rate of evaporation of petrol. This is especially important since petrol evaporates quickly. Additionally, petroleum storage tanks come equipped with an internal floating roof that acts as a barrier between the petrol and air, thus reducing the rate of evaporation. It is advisable to avoid leaving the fuel tank more than half empty to prevent unnecessary fuel wastage.

Tire Pressure, Size, and Type

Tire pressure checking
Using correct tires with right pressure is key for reducing fuel consumption

To achieve optimal fuel economy, it’s crucial to consider the tires you use on your car. Tires with larger size or blocky and deep tread patterns can lead to high rolling resistance, ultimately causing poor fuel economy. Low tire pressure or incorrect inflation can also affect fuel economy, with a 1% decrease in tire pressure resulting in a 0.3% reduction in fuel economy.

Furthermore, choosing the right tire can impact fuel consumption by up to 7.5%. Hence, it’s recommended to use only the tire size, pressure, and tread pattern recommended by the manufacturer to ensure low rolling resistance and optimal fuel efficiency.

Avoid Unnecessary Idling

car idle
Don’t keep your car engine running while waiting for someone!

Idling, which refers to keeping the car’s engine running while stationary, not only wastes fuel but also emits harmful gases into the atmosphere. A stationary engine can consume up to 0.6 liters of fuel per hour per liter of engine displacement, meaning a 1600cc engine can consume about one liter of petrol every hour while idling. While some modern cars come equipped with start-stop or eco-idle functions that automatically turn the engine on and off as needed, those without this feature should still turn off their engines while stationary to conserve fuel and reduce environmental impact.


To achieve a significant improvement in fuel economy and cost savings, it’s crucial to follow all of these tips in combination. By implementing these tips, an average driver can save up to 40 percent on fuel expenses, with potential savings ranging from 20 to 60 percent depending on driving habits.

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