Shell busts top fuel-saving myths of Indians

A new study released by international oil company Shell have offered some insights into the ‘superstitions’ and myths held by Indians when it comes to trying to increase the fuel efficiency of their cars.

“Some of the beliefs revealed through the study were actually wasting fuel rather than helping to conserve it. It becomes pertinent that awareness about wasteful practices is highlighted,” said Ravi Sundararajan, General Manager, Shell Retail India.


The study, part of a global survey, shows 95% of drivers turn on the air conditioning instead of winding down their windows to avoid wind resistance. For the record, this does not save fuel, at least at normal speeds.

“Whilst 92% warm up the engine before they drive, more than two thirds (69%) believe this same myth will save them fuel. More shockingly almost half (49%) also believe ‘burping’ their cars to release air pockets in the tank does the same trick,” said Shell.

The study involved 1,000 Indian drivers aged 18 to 40.

83% of the respondents were concerned about fuel-efficiency. However, 68% said they don’t know how to increase fuel efficiency. “This causes 54% of those who are unsure to feel anxious about fuel efficiency, leading many to believe and practice a collection of peculiar fuel saving myths.”

To help sort fact from fiction, Shell is out to turn the nation’s myth-followers into fuel efficiency pros – both through using fuels like Shell that are scientifically designed to last longer and by demonstrating more effective ways to drive smartly.

The Shell Fuel Economy Fact or Fiction Report also reveals that the confusion on the road is in stark contrast to what goes on inside the nation’s homes.

While 86% of people say they frequently turn off the lights to save energy when leaving the house, only 59% would frequently remove excess weight from the boot of the vehicle to help save fuel.