There is so much emphasis on green cars and cleaner living these days. People are becoming much more conscious of the environment and the damage our cars have had. We are also living in a difficult economic period. Everyone is trying to save money on fuel bills with economic cars. The race for the lowest fuel consumption is fierce and competitive. It is one of the biggest advertising areas for cars in the modern age.
The concept has gone so far that we are seeing thousands of eco friendly cars hitting the road. Hybrids and electric cars are the new ‘must-have’ items. The are soft on the environment and save us money on fuel. Even on car dealer sites like www.harratts.co.uk, fuel economy is emphasised. However, many of us continue to drive in a way that is bad for the environment and fuel economy. There are many things that we can do as drivers to improve our current fuel consumption.
Instead of shelling out on an expensive new hybrid, try treating your own car differently. Make sure you service it regularly so it’s running at its best. Then look at how you use your car and the way you drive. Could you be driving more efficiently? Set yourself a target and see if you can reduce your fuel consumption by following these simple ideas. These small differences will add up to a big saving, and a longer car life.
Your car runs most efficiently when everything is in pristine working order. The harder your engine has to work, the more fuel it has to drag in. By keeping all the moving components in perfect shape, you are easing the flow of the engine. Changing the oil keeps all the moving parts flowing swiftly. Replacing bearings and spark plugs ensures the engine works to its full capability. The engine will last longer and it won’t have to suck in so much fuel to power the car.
You may not realise it, but the pressure of your tyres plays a big role in how much fuel you use. Many people run on under inflated tyres which drains your fuel. When your tyres are under inflated, there is more surface area on the road. The engine has to work harder to drag the car along. Check your tyre pressure once a month and keep it at the recommended level.
Reduce your electronics use
Using your car’s electronic systems can have a negative effect on your fuel consumption. In the case of air conditioning, you can be using an extra 5% fuel. Try turning the air conditioning down. Then try to rely less on rear window heating and other electrical items. Only use what you absolutely need. This will also preserve the life of your battery and save you money in the long run.
Keep windows closed
Cars are designed with aerodynamic function in mind. They are shaped to lower the amount of drag caused by air force. When your car is speeding along at 70mph, there needs to be as little resistance of possible. It’s all about not pushing your engine too hard. When there is a lot of wind resistance, the engine has to work harder to reach that speed. That uses more fuel which you have to replace. Opening windows creates a huge drag force on the car. When the windows are open, the engine has to work much harder to overcome the drag force. Keep them closed for a smoother, more efficient ride.
Remove unnecessary weight
The heavier the car, the more fuel it uses. Unfortunately, you can’t outsmart simple physics in this case. The heavier the car, the more power is needed to drag it along. We don’t expect you to go hacking seats and things out of the car. Simply avoid leaving large, heavy items in the boot or back seat. This will make a difference. Keep the clutter and additional weight to a minimum.
Drive to the speed limit
A simple trick for preserving fuel is to stick to the speed limit. 70mph is a comfortable speed for you engine to run at. When you push past that, the rev counter goes way up. Once you are past 70, you are pushing your 5th gear to the limit. That means you’re forcing your engine to work much harder than it needs to. Stick to the speed limit and you’ll save a fortune on fuel costs. Just because you get there faster, doesn’t mean you use less fuel.
Change gears early and accelerate slowly
Your engine works especially hard when you push the revs high in each gear. Combat this by changing up the gears quickly and at low speeds. Don’t wait until the car is screaming at you to change up. Every car is slightly different, but watch the rev counter and listen to the engine. You’ll slowly get a good idea of the best time to shift. You should also accelerate slowly and smoothly. Keeping the revs low is key to a good fuel economy.
Watch the traffic ahead and ‘roll’ in queues
When driving around cities, stopping and starting is a major fuel burner. You burn through fuel much faster like this than at high speeds on the motorway. In queues and traffic jams, stay a good distance away from the car ahead. Watch their movements and anticipate your driving. Always try and stay moving. Keep the car rolling very slowly rather than stopping and starting. This is vital practice on those morning commutes.
Finally, why not consider sharing the commute with friends or colleagues. You’ll half the fuel costs when you split the bill and you can share the dull commute together. In many cases, employers and governments reward car share schemes. Sometimes this means a tax break or a car park much closer to the office.
Before you consider paying big money to upgrade your car, assess your own driving. If you think you’re paying a fortune for fuel, don’t immediately head to the local hybrid dealer. See if you can make a change in your own driving and habits first. You’ll be surprised how much you can save.