Tips For Maximizing Fuel Efficiency in a Manual Transmission Car

Why Do Americans Drive Automatic—But Most of Europe Drives Manual? | Reader's Digest

Fuel efficiency is a country obsession, so we are always on the lookout to squeeze out every last drop of fuel from our automobiles. We rarely realize, however, that the fuel efficiency of any car depends on a number of factors. A fun fact about Americans is that the majority of them are able to drive a car, but only 18% are able to drive a manual. The reverse is true in India, where we learn to drive the three-pedal first before we start to recognize how convenient automatics are. We’ll save that for another day. This article discusses ways to achieve maximum fuel efficiency with a manual transmission while driving in the city.

Right Gear at Right Time

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The driver controls every gearshift with a manual transmission, unlike an automatic. It is possible to keep the engine in the rev range whether upshifting or downshifting. Due to simple physics, a load will increase the work, which means more fuel will be required to accomplish the work. As a result, if you rev your engine unnecessarily or hold on to a single gear for too long, you add unnecessary load to the engine, reducing its fuel efficiency. Engines should not be revved to redline. Since most engines produce their peak power and torque in the mid-range, there is no need to stretch the engine to the breaking point.

Modulate Throttle, Reduce Gearshifts

Renault Kadjar Sport pedals RS (automatic transmission) - RENNERshop

In addition, physics says that a moving body will remain in motion. Until an external force acts upon a moving object, a rolling car will stay in smooth momentum because it has overcome the initial inertia. By depressing the clutch and shifting gear, that momentum is broken. Therefore, the correct gear should be selected, together with judicious use of the throttle. The art of maintaining the engine’s sweet spot requires practice. In terms of fuel efficiency, however, this gives you a rhythm while also returning the maximum number of kilometres per litre.

Also Read – Manual vs Automatic: Which Car is More Convenient For You and Why?

Adapt to Driving in Cities

Global traffic congestion ranking has 3 Indian cities in top 10 | India News - Times of India

Congestion on city commutes reduces fuel efficiency, as we all know. Idling and stop-and-go traffic contribute to diminished fuel efficiency, as do long lines and stop-and-go traffic. A good driver will adjust his/her driving style to the needs of the city. By taking simple tricks, such as letting the engine coast, anticipating traffic and manoeuvring accordingly to find an unobstructed route, using parking spots or not taking too long to park, and just avoiding congested routes and taking lower-traffic routes, one could increase engine efficiency vastly.

Reduce Your Speed and Use Your Brakes

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Slamming the brakes hard or braking abruptly disrupts the engine’s steady momentum, causing the engine to work harder and decrease fuel economy. Use gradual braking and a smoother braking pattern unless it is absolutely necessary – like when avoiding a collision. Anticipate traffic signals or congestion ahead of time and slow down accordingly. 

Engine braking should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. You should only use the engine brake if there is an obstructed path ahead, or if the brakes tend to wear out after prolonged use. In spite of this, engine braking puts an enormous strain on the mechanical systems and consequently increases fuel consumption.

Become an Efficient Driver

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As mentioned earlier, the individual’s driving style greatly impacts a vehicle’s fuel efficiency, regardless of the size of the vehicle or the size of the engine. When we drive a vehicle like a lunatic, it will certainly lose the high fuel efficiency, even if it has an ARAI rating. Manual transmissions give the driver complete control over the vehicle. Accordingly, the driving patterns and behaviour of the driver can have a large impact on fuel economy. 

Usual Fuel-Saving Measure

Tips to save fuel and ride on - The Hindu

Furthermore, there are several fuel-saving etiquettes that should be followed in order to maximize fuel efficiency. The efforts that are part of this include ensuring the car is properly maintained and serviced, maintaining the correct amount of pressure in the tyres, using clean, high-quality fuel, getting rid of unnecessary weight inside the car, etc. In cars that sit idle for longer periods of time, it’s important to shut down the engine.


Driving a manual car more efficiently is possible by using simple but effective techniques. When you do it correctly, rather than being a hassle, it becomes fun. Taking these tips into consideration and being calm behind the wheel will yield results that will satisfy you. 

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