February 14, 2017
Ten tips on how to save fuel 0
Some of these will be obvious; others less so. Either way, there are plenty of easy ways the British motorist can save fuel costs. And as a wise man/woman once said: “Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves…”
- Combine your trips. When a car is started from cold, it tends to use much more fuel for the first five miles. Therefore by combining all your daily errands into one big trip, you’re maintaining a degree of engine warmth and thereby saving petrol.
- Avoid the rush hour. No-one likes being stuck in a traffic jam, that misery is compounded when you’re paying through the nose for the privilege. The ‘stop-starty’, constant, engaging of first gear uses up more fuel. Second is not much better. If you do have to travel in rush hour on a daily basis, try and save fuel by anticipating what the traffic is doing ahead of you, so you travel at a constant low speed. Alternatively, you could invest in a hybrid which uses much less fuel than conventional diesel or petrol vehicles.
- Close windows and sunroof. This isn’t so applicable when travelling in town (see above) but once you’re out on the open road, with the wind rushing through your hair it’s a bit better to make yourself more aerodynamic as it saves fuel. To ensure your vehicle meets less resistance as it travels, you need to make it smoother. The simplest way to do this is by closing your windows and sunroof.
- Remove your roof rack. This is a similar principal to closing your windows and sunroof. Even when your roof rack is empty it increases drag causing your car to use more fuel. The latest roof racks are super-modern and easy to attach/detach so if you’re not using it, remove it.
- Don’t carry unnecessary weight. Like their drivers, cars need more fuel to carry around more weight. So, in the same way you wouldn’t carry round two large suitcases if you didn’t need to, don’t drive carrying excess weight. Clear your boot of clutter before your head out.
- Accelerate smoothly. The most economical way to travel is at a constant speed, ideally around 50mph and in the highest gear possible (five or six). If you’re a patient driver, you’ll have lower fuel bills – it’s that simple.
- Don’t push the accelerator too far. This one is not so obvious. It’s not so much what gear you’re in, you may be in a higher gear and travelling at a reasonable speed, but if you’re pushing the accelerator down too far to avoid changing into a lower gear, you’re actually using up more fuel not less. Obviously, if your vehicle is automatic it’ll work this out for itself.
- Turn your air-con off. Many people leave their air conditioning on all year round, but let’s face it – the UK is not Arizona, and driving around in February with a nice climate controlled interior is probably not 100% necessary. It uses a fair bit of fuel too.
- Keep to the speed limit. You could shave a bit of time off your journey by exceeding the speed limit (we certainly wouldn’t endorse this). But the 20 minutes you save on a 200-mile trip travelling at 80mph instead of 70mh is a false economy, as the car is using much more fuel when it is running.
- Check your tyres. Your car needs more fuel to move itself down the road if your tyre pressure is low. Take a bit of time every couple of weeks to check the tyres. If you’re unsure about what your correct tyre pressure should be, the correct readings can be usually found by the lock inside the driver’s door.
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