Amidst fuel price hike and heavy traffic, there are a lot ways to maximize fuel efficiency and save money. One of the ways is to make use of the RPM gauge, which is found near the dashboard. Every vehicle has its own tachometer, where the RPM of the engine is measured. RPM, which stands for revolutions per minute, shows the number of complete revolutions of the crankshaft of the engine every minute. Faster vehicles require more revolutions from the engine, which means that more fuel will be burned.
Every time your vehicle accelerates on a particular gear, the pin in the RPM gauge also increases. The value in the RPM gauge should be multiplied by 1000 to get the revolution per minute of the crankshaft of the engine. For example, if the RPM gauge shows 2 RPM, it means that there will be 2000 revolutions per minute.
Idle speed is characterized by the RPM when the vehicle is on a stationary position. It is during this time that the engine generates enough power to sustain its accessories and ancillaries (water pump, alternator, power steering, etc). Normally, a car’s idle speed is around 600-1000 RPM. However, air conditioning must also be considered in increasing the idle speed as its use would require more power from the engine. Most air conditioned vehicles nowadays are automatically adjusted in the carburetor or power steering; this increases idling when the air conditioning is running.
Perfect Shifting for Fuel Efficiency
If you’re using an automatic transmission vehicle, you don’t need to worry about gear shifting as the transmission will do it for you. But for drivers of manual transmission vehicles, here are some tips on how you can attain fuel efficiency.
- Rule of thumb: if the engine is revving faster to sustain the speed, move to the next gear. For a more economical drive, shift to the second gear when your speed is around 20kph.
- There are no hard rules on the perfect timing to move on to the next gear. But for economy’s sake, try to maintain up to 2000-3000 rpm before shifting to the next gear.
- Driving at higher gears will save fuel a lot more than staying in first or second gear, which will burn more fuel.
Shift into neutral gear instead of idling at a traffic light. This calms down your engine and lowers down RPM, resulting in better fuel efficiency.