Running a car is hardly cheap: after you’ve bought, taxed and repaired the thing you still have to feed it with pricey petrol.
While we can’t do anything about the fact that petrol and diesel costs always seem to be higher than what you remember, we are able to give you a few tips for improving your fuel economy. These suggestions should help you to use less fuel so that, hopefully, you won’t need to fill the tank so often.
Cool down effectively
You might have heard that it’s more efficient to drive with the air-con off and the windows down. Well, that’ true – but only if you’re driving at lower speeds. Once you hit the motorway, the open windows will cause drag, so if you need to cool down the air-con is a better option. In general, though, air-conditioning is always going to use a lot of fuel: if you don’t need it, don’t switch it on.
Make savvy car modifications
There are a couple of changes that you can make to the vehicle that will improve efficiency. First of all, if you have a roof rack that you don’t need then removing it could affect the car’s fuel consumption by as much as 10%. You should also remove general clutter from the car to get rid of excess weight – the impact here won’t be as dramatic, but it all adds up.
Other important parts of your car are the MAS Airflow Sensor, the spark plugs and the oxygen sensor. All of these can have a negative impact on efficiency if they are old or worn out, so it’s worth having someone who knows their way around a car check them out for you.
Keep the tank ½ – ¾ full
In the previous tip we were talking about removing items that weight the car down. Well, the same is true for the fuel itself: a full tank is heavy, so it stands to reason that avoiding filling it all the way will have a small but measurable impact.
Drive in a higher gear
You should always aim to drive in the highest gear you can – which, in practice, will often mean changing up sooner than you usually would. When doing this, be sure to listen to your engine and only drive in the higher gear if your car is still comfortable.
Accelerate in a smooth and gradual way
If you rev the engine to get up to higher speeds quickly, then you’re using more fuel than you need to. Pushing hard on the accelerator is usually unnecessary: try to perfect a smooth and fluid acceleration process which uses less power to get up to the same speeds. If you’re used to soaring down the motorway at high speeds then you might want to consider slowing down altogether – aside from being dangerous, driving faster than 65mph is often considered less efficient.
Once you’ve made all of these adjustments, there should be a notable difference in fuel consumption. Good luck, and let us know if you’re successful in saving money through any of these methods.