With petrol prices nearly always on rise and car values of petrol guzzler’s dropping like a stone the economy minded motorist has two routes they can go to save money: Run one of the most fuel efficient cars you can buy or drive more efficiently in your current car. But how do you drive more efficiently? – Below Niki Gear gives some helpful tips to reduce the cost of your driving and to help our environment.
Modern cars utilise technology that has made leaps and bounds in reducing fuel consumption as well as CO2 emissions but driving a car efficiently can also make a huge difference in maximising the mpg of your fuel tank. I believe that if you following the following hints and tips you will see the benefit in your pocket next time you go to fill up. By simply keeping your car in good shape and adopting a efficiency conscious driving style you can squeeze every last mile out of every little drop of fuel in your car.
One of the first and most important things to look at is the car itself. It’s absolutely essential to make sure that it is kept regularly serviced and to check things like tyres pressures as a low pressure is one big factor in a car using more fuel with increased roll resistance the car has to work harder resulting in increased fuel consumption as well as tyres wear.
If you are really determined to maximise the fuel efficiency of your car many recommend inflating tyres one or two tenths of a decimal point above the recommended tyre pressure bar. Another handy tip is to avoid carrying unnecessary things in the boot, did you know for example that carrying another 100kg in a car can increase the fuel consumption by five or more miles per gallon when stop-start driving around down.
If your car has a roof rack, remove it when you are not using it. Anything that reduces the cars Aerodynamics has a knock on affect to reducing the car mpg, increasing drag and increasing fuel consumption.
Things like air conditioning, rear window demister and lights all use fuel in the operation so switching off electric items that are not required again will help reduce fuel consumption.
Drive like a professional and look further ahead
Whilst driving look further ahead than just the car in front of you. If you can maintain a steady speed without having to constantly accelerate and brake the car will reward you with a better mpg. If you see the car two cars ahead touching their brakes it gives you an opportunity to ease off increase the distance between you and the car in front without necessarily having to brake.
When accelerating try to do so quickly but not too aggressively, it’s better for economy to have the accelerator down further in a higher gear than it is to take the revs close to the limiter. You should also take the car into the highest gear as soon as is possible trying to keep the revs between 2000 and 3000rpm.
When starting the car from cold don’t leave the car at standstill to warm up but drive off immediately instead letting the engine warm up as you drive keeping the revs to a medium range.
If you are going to be at standstill for over one minute switch off the engine. You may have noticed or heard that many new cars now come with a “Start/Stop” function that automatically shuts off the fuel intake whilst the car is at standstill and restarts when you are ready to move. No reason you can’t do the same manually.
A lot of automatic cars now come with a “Sports” setting which will hold on to a gear higher up the rev range leading to increased fuel consumption. Keeping the car in “normal” mode and using the “D” gear will make sure the car is changing with economy in mind.
The most valuable fuel-saving tips summary:
- Don’t leave the car to warm up at standstill at first start, instead drive off straight away.
- Keep the car at a steady speed, looking a few cars ahead to minimise sudden braking and try to keep the car in top gear as often as possible.
- Switch off the engine if you are going to be at a standstill for more than one minute.
- Accelerate quickly but not aggressively, remember to change gear early and not go too high into the rev range.
- Try to avoid hard acceleration or “kickdown” in an automatic.
- Check your tyre pressures regularly and consider a slight increase over the recommended Bar. Remember as well that tyres aren’t cheap to replace and they do affect your cars value when you come to sell it so keeping an eye on them make perfect sense.
- Remove any roof rack or similar items when you are not using them.
- Take any unnecessary items from the car that are adding weight.
- Switch off any electrical items that are not required.
- Keep the car serviced regularly.