What is ARAI Mileage and Can One Ever Surpass It?

26 Feb 2021 Shakti Nath Jha

What is the Purpose of the ARAI Mileage Test?

When an Indian family or an individual decides to buy a car, they check the mileage the car will give. Mileage means the amount of fuel consumption that will happen for a certain distance. The Government of India has an automotive testing body called the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI). This body conducts tests on all vehicles sold in India for emissions through an Indian Driving Cycle (IDC). The IDC uses a formula to calculate the fuel efficiency of the car. ARAI mileage test is conducted in a controlled environment, and therefore, gives excellent results for mileage.

What is ARAI Mileage

Is the ARAI Mileage Test for Fuel Efficiency?

The car manufacturing companies love to advertise these figures to attract people who are looking for a vehicle that runs the longest for less fuel consumption. The IDC test done for all vehicles is to test for emissions to ensure that they meet India's emissions standards and not for mileage. In the process of the test, you get the numbers for mileage too. The release of these efficiency numbers is just for the car manufacturers' marketing or advertising gimmicks to attract more customers.

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How is the Test Conducted?

  • The test is conducted under a laboratory-like condition where the average speed is 30 kmph. The test is conducted for 19 minutes or less for a distance of 10 km. The test is performed on a dynamometer on a simulation of highway and city roads. The speed doesn't exceed beyond 90 kmph, with speed variation happening gradually.
  • This doesn't include a waiting period at traffic lights, car stopping and starting, weather, or road condition. As you know, driving at sea level is different from driving on mountainous terrain.
  • The air-conditioner is switched off when this test is conducted, which is not possible in the cities of India. The ARAI certificate for mileage doesn't include a vital factor used while driving in the live scenarios.
What is ARAI Mileage
  • The test is conducted with the dynamometer attached to the chassis and not on an actual road. Although in this laboratory-like condition, simulation for highways and city roads includes a very limiting factor. Road conditions are never the same at all times in real life. The mileage we read is measured when the car is stationary, but the tires are moving.
  • Another essential factor that the test doesn't consider is the driver's driving style, as we all know that everyone drives a vehicle in their unique way. In the test, the computer monitors all the essential parts of the cars without using the steering wheel.
  • This test is conducted on new cars only. This means that as the cars get some kilometres in, the mileage will get affected. A new vehicle will always give you better mileage than a used vehicle.
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With these points, we can't say that the ARAI mileage test is not useful at all. It is just one of the factors to keep in mind while checking new vehicles. As the test is done for an entirely different purpose than what information you get to see, hence, you must act smartly while buying a car that promises excellent numbers, which may be jacked up to make the sale attractive for the company. It is important to consider all the factors, and with a test drive done a couple of times to ensure you are buying the best possible vehicle as per your needs. Have you ever managed to surpass the ARAI mileage? Do feel free to share your thoughts with all of us in the comments section below. You can also join our 91Wheels Auto Enthusiast Telegram group (click via mobile to join) curated exclusively for the fans, enthusiasts and owners. Further, subscribe to our YouTube channel for more such amazing motoring updates.

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