With the price of Petrol and Diesel at a record high, what can YOU do to trim your fuel use? Here are Top 10 tips to trim your fuel expenses that will help you save money as well.
1. Make Sure the Vehicle is in Tip-top Running Condition
If you are driving an older car or older model that hasn’t been serviced for more than a year, now might be the right time to ensure it is running as efficiently as it possibly can be by booking it for service ASAP.
Major checkpoint factors are Sticking Brakes, Ageing Tyres, Faulty Sensors, Old Oil and Poor Engine Maintenance that could hit your car’s optimum miles per liter performance.
2. Check Tyre Pressures to control your Fuel Expenses
One of the easiest fixes to ensure your vehicle at peak efficiency is to regularly check that the tyres are inflated to the correct level, since Tyres with low pressure are estimated to impact a car’s fuel consumption by up to 10 per cent.
Check the car’s owner’s manual to find out what the optimum pressures are for your vehicle. Usually Tyre pressure info is mentioned on a sticker on the driver’s door sill – while modern cars might also display the pressure in the instrument cluster, or alert you to pressure that is incorrect or low.
3. If your car has an ‘Eco’ mode, use it
Many modern vehicles are now coming with adjustable driving modes. If yours does, it likely has an ‘Eco’ setting. Using these mode will restrict how quickly the car accelerates.
Slower and smoothers acceleration will but will help reduce fuel consumption.
4. Use the highest Gear possible to reduce your Fuel Expenses
According to resources biggest secret to achieving most economical mileage is driving in the highest possible gear for your vehicle while keeping within the speed limit.
‘The best advice in urban areas is to change up through the gears as quickly as you can with the lowest revs possible, probably at around 2000rpm,’ it says.
Most modern cars also come with a gear shift indicator in the instrument cluster. These are often tuned for the most economical driving rather than outright performance, so if you seen an upward arrow and a number representing the next year higher you should shift straight away.
5. Avoid using the Air-con and heater to reduce your Fuel Expenses
Don’t use your air conditioning unless you really need it, as it uses engine power and therefore increases fuel consumption by as much as 10 per cent on shorter trips.
This shouldn’t be an issue during the cooler months, though using a car’s heater will have a similar impact, with it running off the engine power and therefore lowering fuel economy.
The best advice is to Dress according to weather, and reduce the usage of Air-Conditioner in summer and Heaters in Winter.
6. Reduce your Vehicle’s load
While this isn’t going to major difference to your vehicle mileage, emptying heavy clutter from your car will fractionally improve its fuel economy.
This is especially the case at this time of year when families are preparing for their summer holidays by installing roof boxes for additional luggage space.
However, if you’re not using the roof box or roof bars, take them off as it could make your motor less drag efficient.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, an empty roof rack adds 16 per cent drag when driving at 75mph. At the same speed a roof box adds 39 per cent, making your vehicle much less fuel efficient.
Driving with a window fully open also can reduce the fuel mileage.
7. Cruise Control isn’t your friend if you want to reduce your Fuel Expenses
While many of use believe that using cruise control functionality in vehicles will provide the lowest fuel usage, but this isn’t always the case.
Cruise control is most likely to benefit fuel mileage on motorways with a constant speed and a flat surface.
However, if you were to use your cruise control regularly not on flat roads, you would see increase in fuel consumption.
‘This is because your cruise control would be slower to react to gradient changes, meaning when reaching the brow of a hill – at which point you would normally take your foot off the accelerator to maintain more of a constant speed when descending – your cruise control will keep the power on for a little longer as it’s unable to see the gradient change in front of you.
‘Driving in this way regularly would lead to worse fuel consumption,’ according to reliable resources.
8. A warm engine is more efficient
Once an engine is warm it will work most efficiently, compare to several cold starts will increase your fuel consumption.
Therefore, if you have a number of trips to run in a day, try to combine them into one car trip so you avoid turning the ignition on your fuel costs.
According to resources, warmer temperatures should improve fuel mileage ‘significantly’ with an extra three miles to the gallon ‘almost guaranteed for most’ in the summer.
9. Anticipate well ahead to preserve fuel when braking
Heavy acceleration will result in high fuel consumption, but braking too heavily also has the same impact, as you can use less fuel by coming to a standstill more gradually.
This requires a driver to anticipate traffic flow ahead, but is a great way of limiting fuel use.
10. If your car doesn’t have an eco setting you can use a free fuel-efficiency app
If you have a car that doesn’t have adjustable driving modes, try to replicate what it does with your right foot. This means taking it easy on the throttle pedal when you can.
Excessive speed is the biggest fuel-consuming factor so having a light right foot with gentle acceleration is very important to fuel-efficient driving.
When you stop at traffic lights and junctions, try not to react like you’re on the hi-speed mode.
If you want some additional help to make you drive more economically, there is a new free app called ‘Karai by Drive Key’ that could be of nice assistance.
It can be downloaded to your smartphone and claims to be able to reduce you fuel usage – and carbon footprint – by up to a quarter.
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