Driving Tips To Improve Fuel Economy
You can improve fuel economy by changing your driving habits. If you are wondering why you don't get the fuel economy your manufacturer advertises one of the main reasons is likely to be your style of driving. By altering your driving technique you can improve your cars efficiency greatly. And we're not talking about negligible differences here. You will notice quite a difference the next time you fill up your car.
Here are our top tips to improve fuel economy
your driving style:
Accelerate gently - Aggressive acceleration causes the engine to rev higher before each gear change, which uses more fuel.
Brake gently - Use the brakes as little as possible. Obviously you need to slow down and stop when required, but if you read the road ahead and come off the accelerator sooner when you see you're going to have to stop, you'll save more fuel. The reason for this is every time you touch the brakes you are wasting the cars kinetic energy by transferring it into useless heat energy. The key to using the brakes less is concentrating on the road, looking further ahead and acting accordingly. If there is a corner or stop sign coming, try to judge when to come off the power so that you hardly need to use the brakes at all. Its amazing how many people accelerate right up to a queue of cars and then brake hard right at the last minute. Not only is this bad for fuel economy but its requiring the brake pads to work harder and they'll need replacing sooner.
Drive at the most economical speed - The most economical speed of your car is likely to be just fast enough so that you're in top gear but the engine is not labouring and wanting to change down a gear. For a 5 speed car this is probably around 50mph.
Drivers of manual cars can do further things to improve fuel economy
Select the next gear as soon as possible - Experiment with changing up earlier to discover the lowest speed to comfortably support each gear. Most manual car drivers rev their car higher than they need to before changing gear.
Engaging neutral or dipping the clutch in various situations - With no gear selected the engine will just be at idle speed, as if the car were stationary. The revs will drop substantially and the car uses far less fuel. We don't recommend this technique however because the driver has less control of the car without the engine driving the wheels - braking is less effective and the car is more prone to skidding. Situations where engaging neutral will improve fuel economy include when you have to stop anyway, such as at stop signs or traffic lights. Coming off the power early and coasting up to the stop sign will use a lot less fuel. Hills are another example. If you coast down a hill you can substantially improve fuel economy but this is also a very dangerous thing to do. Usually the engine works to keep the vehicles speed in check when going down hills and helps maintain control of the car. Without the engine running the wheels you risk picking up too much speed and your brakes not being able to control the car safely.
Maintenance Tips To Improve Fuel Economy
There are some simple things you can do in terms of maintenance to further improve your cars fuel efficiency , although these will probably have less of an impact than your driving style.
Tips to improve fuel economy through better maintenance include:
Check your air pressure - A safety check you should do regularly anyway, running your tyres at the correct air pressure will offer less rolling resistance. Check them every month.
Lighten your load - Do you need everything thats in your car? If theres a 20kg toolbox in there that you don't often use, take it out. Just put it in when you need it. The more you lessen the load the more you'll save in fuel costs.
Remove roof bars - By removing any exterior accessories you are not using you'll improve the aerodynamics of your car and lessen its drag.
Regular servicing - To perform most efficiently your car needs to be in perfect mechanical shape. Oils and filters should all be kept clean.
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