Cars, motorbikes and even large commercial trailers have become an important part of our everyday lives, taking a lot of their uses for granted and forgetting what things would be like without them.
Advice for saving fuel
However, the one downside of using cars and fuel-powered vehicles on a regular basis is the costs that are involved to run them. One of those costs is of course fuel and the inconsistent prices that are so frequently associated with them.
Fortunately, there are a few ways that you can make sure that you get the most of every drop of petrol or diesel you put into your engine. Simply adjusting your driving style and taking advantage of some useful tips could help you improve fuel mileage and the general efficiency of your car.
Make sure that you’re driving smoothly
A lot of drivers, especially younger drivers are guilty of driving aggressively when they pass their driving tests because they’re convinced that it looks good and impresses people. It’s as though they think they have to provide evidence that they’re a capable driver without the examiner assessing your every movement – that’s not the case.
In actual fact, driving aggressively is not only unnecessary but is extremely dangerous and can cause harm to other road users – not just yourself. Aggressive acceleration and braking also makes you look like a bit of an idiot – but it actually wastes up to 60% more fuel.
So the next time you’re stuck waiting to pull away from a stop sign or traffic lights, remember to do so gently and build your speed up gradually giving yourself plenty of time when you need to come to a stop or slow down.
Always be assessing the road and what’s coming up
When you’re driving making regular observations is something you should be doing without fail anyway. However, assessing the road ahead when you’re behind the wheel can help you make better decisions and save more fuel in the process.
Try to look ahead and see how junctions appear, try to judge traffic lights effectively and be aware of vehicles in front of you that might be slowing down to park.
If you’re able to anticipate what other drivers are going to be doing it’ll make you a safer driver and save your fuel by not coming to a complete stop.
Try to avoid revving your engine and don’t “warm up”
Until we researched for this weeks article we were guilty of this next error so make sure you take note. How often on a cold, icy winter morning would you go out to your car, switch on the ignition and leave the car running for 15-minutes or so allowing it time to “warm up?”
I’m guessing quite often because absolutely everyone does it. But I bet you didn’t realise that this is actually completely unnecessary and not needed because it actually wastes fuel and can cause engine damages. Your best bet would be to invest in a good quality de-icer and pull away from the drive straight away (as long as your vision isn’t obscured of course).
OK then younger drivers. If you love your performance upgrades then you’ve upgraded your exhaust and you can’t resist a little rev when you go through a tunnel right? It may sound great but its actually wasting your fuel.
Make proper use of the car’s gears
With a lot of car enthusiasts asking for all cars to be built as automatics, manual transmissions could soon become a thing of the past. However, for the time being they’re very much still in full production and just like Marmite you either love it or hate it.
Getting the right gear selected can have a significant impact on your fuel mileage and general efficiency. You want to try and get into the highest gear possible as early as possible because this could be saving you up to 15% on petrol and diesel.
Try to avoid staying in low gears for prolonged periods of time – especially if you’re on a motorway or fast A road. Staying in a low gear for too long can strain the gearbox and engine, which could lead to expensive repairs in the long run.
Check your tyres on a regular basis
You hear about checking your tyres to help improve your fuel efficiency all of the time and for a good reason too – because it works! You need to make sure that you’re checking your cars tyres on a regular basis and always before a long journey.
Fuel–Economy.co.uk suggest that you should be checking your tyre pressures at least twice a month (once every 2-weeks) as underinflated tyres can cause your vehicles to use up to 3% more fuel than it needs to.
Whenever you’re checking your tyre pressures make sure that they’re cold to get the most accurate reading. If you need to add some air, make sure that you check your vehicle handbook for the correct pressures, tyre sizes and weight allowances.