For many car owners, especially the sub-compact segment, they swear by the fuel consumption of their vehicle. This article clears up mistaken notions and show the facts as they, really are!
This topic is even argued about and many motorists swear that their car is more fuel efficient than others. The goal of this article is shedding light on these myths and allow them to choose fuel efficiency based on empirical and factual notions. Another side of the argument is that size is not always a determiner for best fuel efficiency. Other factors come into play that determines how much fuel is expended!
For many car owners, especially the sub-compact segment, they swear by the fuel consumption of their vehicle
SUVs are pickups the worst violators but some technologies are helping to lessen the fuel consumption of these road monsters. Perhaps the smaller torque and horsepower of sub-compacts will use less fuel, but that condition changes in some instances.
#1. Smaller engines can handle level roads, but inclines and steeper angles do influence fuel economy. Features like Hill Assist help manage these inclines and steeper roads, but it requires more power!
#2. Sub-compact cars will have a hard time, catching up on a mid-size sedan with horsepower and torque because of higher numbers. Most sub-compact and even compacts could not equal the performance, of a mid-size to full-sized vehicles.
#3. A mid-size with a displacement of 2.5 to 3.0L will have power and torque to spare, with four adults inside a lavishly equipped cabin (more equipment means extra weight!). Compared to lower power and pull of a sub-compact, that is less appointed too. The extra equipment adds weight to the car, but add for adults but with less equipment but the sub-compact struggles considerably.
There’s no such thing as absolutely low fuel efficient cars because it needs to be quantified by empirical testing. Even with car specs stating the MPG which will vary, from model to model.
I. The factors that affect fuel efficiency
Now, we’re going further and clarify the old-wives’ tales that allude to be better fuel efficiency. Take note that all these factors consider car performance via the engine specifications and other factors. And, compact cars don’t necessarily have the best fuel consumption, let’s move on ahead.
1. Engine displacement
Each revolution that is cranked out from the engine will take in a volume of air, and release the same amount. That’s why fuel efficiency varies with the number of cylinders and engine displacement.
Now, things get interesting because of the power to weight ratio of any vehicle. The chassis is light, but sub-compacts are notoriously underpowered cars with weak horsepower and torque.
Car weight can also affect fuel consumption
Roughly translated for cars which gain power from each gear change, the number of gears will make a real difference. Now, enter cars with the standard 5-speed transmission over options that have only four speeds. A five-speed transmission can optimize the power gained from the engine, which means more than enough power is used. But, a 4-speed transmission will have difficulty because of a few gears that are inefficient. Most four-speed transmissions when coupled with lower horsepower and torque, low displacement is bad for maximizing fuel economy.
The fastest cars are the sleekest and least resisting to wind when travelling forward. The biggest losers are large SUVs and most sub-compacts have better aerodynamics, but advances are giving the large cars a good aerodynamic silhouette.
5. Force Induction
Using forced induction engines that uses turbo-charges or super-charging for more power will consume more fuel. Compared to a normal engine, a turbo-charged engine will introduce more air and fuel for more power. Further innovations in turbo engines that are smaller and more efficient but smaller engines without turbo does as well.
6. Rolling resistance
In a nutshell, it means how smoothly the cars runs on the ground. For example, if the car is fully loaded then there is more rolling resistance. If that happens, then more fuel is used. But a larger car will be more consistent with better power and pull, unlike a less powerful sub-compact.
In a nutshell, rolling resistance means how smoothly the cars runs on the ground
7. Mechanical resistance
When parts move together, it produces resistance when metal parts scrape together. An engine needs lubrication to lessen resistance and to produce more power. Usually bigger engines have more complex components to lessen mechanical resistance and have less power loss per revolution. Combining better alloys and better lubricants with more complex moving parts, found only on more premium engines not smaller ones.
To get more power from the intakes, most cars need colder and denser air not hot air which produces less power. Some cars have outside intakes to ram in air faster, with colder and denser air for more power.
9. Driving style
The human factor comes in with driving style because drivers ultimately decide how the car will move! If a compact-car is driven like a bigger-car that can go faster, then goodbye fuel economy. Smooth and easy driving makes all the difference for better fuel comsumption.
Nothing is more out of place than driving an under-powered car with an 800cc which has difficulty keeping up with bigger cars. Cars are designed with specific speeds for the best efficiency, and effort will upset a weaker output engine.
All these factors impact fuel efficiency in a positive or negative way. The weight, engine displacement, gears, and other factors will be important to note.
Cars are designed with specific speeds for the best efficiency
II. Ways to improve fuel consumption of your vehicle
Another concern that should be noted is how to gain better fuel consumption, which will benefit everyone. All these factors will now be supplemented by objective actions that can be done! Here Philkotse.com gives you some tips that are helpful.
- Avoid soft tires that add rolling resistance and consumes more fuel. Check the required pressure to use and do it regularly.
- Request the pump attendant to keep the nozzle in, until the pump stops.
- Battery contacts which are corroded needs to changed because the current is irregular, that causes problems for the alternator.
- When idling the engine burns of more fuel, than usual. Turn off the engine when parked or waiting somewhere.
- Change the air filter regularly for cleaner air intake, which benefits the engine better.
- Better and efficient shifting will use less fuel that shifting gears the wrong way!
- Don’t carry more load than necessary and don’t add anything that increases drag.
- Keep a good and steady speed that is regular and no over-speeding.
- Keep the tires straight and the suspension in good condition, all the time.
- Plan trips in the car and use it, only when really needed. For example, grocery runs, paying the bills, getting the kids to school, and going to work! Planning how to use fuel wisely will be very good.
Planning how to use fuel wisely will be very good
Here are all the ways that better fuel efficiency is achieved and it is easy to do. Should you want to learn more tips on saving fuel, refer to our following posts:
- 11 hidden reasons why your car is consuming more fuel than usual
- 10 simple ways to save fuel without driving less
III. Fuel consumption in the Philippines: Wrap-up
Making more fuel efficient cars is the goal of any carmaker and car owners do their part as well. Using these tips, how to further less fuel use will be helpful too. Just take note that fuel efficiency is subject to old wives’ tales, which often are mistaken. Factors like size, weight, power, torque should negate arguments about the absolute fuel-efficiency of sub-compacts. There are other car types that offer better features that include fuel consumption as well!
Norjan Ismail Abbas