Keep You Car in Good Shape. A regularly serviced car will be more efficient on fuel. There are several major factors to consider:
|Keep tyres pumped up to the correct level, you can find the correct pressure for you vehicle from your vehicle handbook. If you do not have the handbook you should be able to find out the correct tyre pressure for your make and model from the sign next to the air at the petrol station.|
|Fuel economy can be improved by 5% by keeping your tyres inflating to the correct pressure and using the recommended motor oil.|
|Replace your air filter when necessary.|
|Use the recommended fuel and oil for your vehicle for best fuel efficiency.|
Avoid taking lots of short journeys where possible. Try and combine short trips so that once you warm up the engine, you keep it running for a while. Continually warming up your engine for lots of short errands will waste fuel.
Think about your in car ventilation. Try not to excessively use your air conditioning as this will cause your car to burn more fuel. On the other hand, driving with the windows down is also inefficient as the drag on the car increases, especially at high speeds. Use air conditioning for motorway driving only when necessary and wind the windows down on slower journeys.
Avoid erratic driving. By flooring the accelerator at the lights when in a rush or slamming on the brakes when driving too fast you will increase your cars fuel consumption. Try and accelerate and brake smoothly and steadily to improve fuel economy as well as your road safety.
Drive at the recommended speed. If you drive too fast you will soon notice your fuel gauge dropping just as quickly. According to the AA, driving at 70mph uses up to 9% more fuel than if you drove at 60mph and nearly 15% more fuel than you would use driving at 50 mph. Driving at 50mph is the most efficient speed, although driving this speed may not be practical or safe on the motorway where other vehicles will be expecting you to be travelling the national speed limit of 70mph.
Avoid driving with an unnecessarily full car. An empty roof rack or a full boot will add to your fuel consumption.
Avoid excessive idling of your engine. Many people run their engines whilst stationary in order to warm them up but the car is then consuming fuel but not going anywhere. If waiting somewhere for more than a few minutes, e.g. waiting to pick someone up or waiting in a non moving traffic jam then it is often more economical to switch the engine off. Idling also adds to pollution.
Drive in the correct gear. Most fuel is consumed in the lower gears when starting as more power is needed but when driving at higher speeds you should drive in the highest gear possible for best fuel economy.
Keep your car clean. It’s not all about looking good! Apparently a washed and waxed car has better aerodynamics which improves fuel economy. This would really apply to longer journeys at higher speeds and may not be a huge amount, but every little helps!