Saving on Fuel
Regardless of what type of car you own, there are ways to reduce your fuel consumption. Most of these tips are simple methods of saving money, and can potentially save you more than one tenth on your annual fuel bill.
Maintenance is one of the most significant ways in which you can maximise your fuel efficiency. Make sure your car is serviced regularly with good quality parts to ensure the lowest fuel economy. Bad quality parts and intermittent maintenance can reduce the compression of your engine and the efficiency of your fuelling system, resulting in a significant amount of un-burnt fuel being exhausted. You can tell this is happening when the car pops and backfires regularly. Keeping good quality engine oil and changing it regularly is the most significant thing you can do to ensure the smooth running of your car: it keeps the engine lubricated and has a significant cooling function as well. Tyre pressure can also affect your fuel consumption; under-inflated tyres result in sluggish performance and create significantly more resistance.
Aside from the general maintenance of your vehicle, it’s definitely worth considering a few more things before you take that long journey or commute to work. Always make sure the car is as light as possible: if the boot is full with things you don’t need, get rid of it before you head out. If there’s a roof rack attached to the car, this can seriously affect the aerodynamics, creating much more wind resistance and meaning more fuel has to be burnt to get to the same speed. Starting the engine from cold burns a lot more fuel than when it’s started at its correct operating temperature, so consider combining short trips to make the most of a single run in the car. Finally, if you’re just popping to the local shops, try cycling or walking, as this uses no fuel and helps the environment as well.
Once you’re on your way and actually driving, there are a large number of things you can do to maximise your fuel efficiency. Try driving as smoothly as possible, taking good notice of the road ahead in order to minimise the amount of harsh braking required. When braking, always try to brake as smoothly as possible and if at all possible don’t brake at all. Simply lift your foot from the accelerator pedal and let the engine braking take care of slowing the vehicle down. This also minimises the wear on your brake discs and can prevent overheating. Furthermore, keep the car moving as much as possible. Constant stopping and starting kills the momentum of the vehicle and it requires significantly more energy to move a stationary object than one in motion. Finally, it is worth noting that driving within the speed limits can save you fuel as well.
All of these small changes to your driving habits can make a huge difference to your fuel bill. Many of them take little or no time to implement, and won’t slow your journey down either.