With the rise in petrol and diesel prices seemingly never-ending, many motorists are seeking ways to get more miles to the gallon. When visiting their local garage, lots of vehicle owners ask about tips to save fuel while driving.
Reducing fuel use not only boosts what’s in our wallet but is also good for the environment. With many of us driving instinctively and picking up bad habits along the way, it takes a little thought and a shift in practice to really make the most of the best fuel-saving tips.
Whether you drive a manual or an automatic car or fill up with petrol or diesel, try these 5 hacks to save fuel
1. Take The Pedal Off The Metal and Drive In The Highest Gear Possible
Excessive speed significantly affects fuel economy. By selecting the highest possible gear to drive safely and stay within the speed limit, you can boost your car’s mpg. Accelerate smoothly and move up through the gears quickly to achieve the lowest revs possible. Many modern vehicles have gear shift indicators to help drivers do this. If you drive an automatic car, you might find it stays in a lower gear longer than is fuel-efficient. One of the best fuel-saving tips for automatic cars is to manipulate the transmission to change gear when it would not ordinarily. For example, letting up on the accelerator when you reach 30 mph in urban areas or 50 mph on open roads can coax it to change up.
2. Use Cruise Control Properly
Using cruise control is an effective way to maintain an even speed on motorways. However, it will only aid fuel consumption on flat roads where it prevents gas-guzzling sudden accelerations and decelerations. Cruise control isn’t as quick as your brain and foot in reacting to gradient changes and traffic congestion. It will take a smidge longer to adapt when you reach the brow of a hill or begin climbing upwards, so turn it off when driving on roads with lots of rises and declines.
3. Anticipation, Momentum and Hypermiling
Regularly slowing down and then accelerating uses more fuel. Develop your anticipation skills so you see what lies ahead effectively and adjust your driving accordingly. If stationary traffic is looming or traffic lights are on red, then slow down gently to potentially prevent coming to a halt. A little extra momentum when a hill is upcoming will minimise the additional fuel required to climb it. Hypermiling is a technique that covers all of this with the aim of maximising mpg. It also includes coasting, whereby you maintain a good distance from the car ahead in order to use the brakes less.
4. Use The Air Conditioning Sparingly
Aircon increases engine use and therefore the fuel being pumped into it. Although being stuck in traffic on a hot day can be uncomfortable, air conditioning actually uses fuel more noticeably at low speeds than higher ones. Winding the windows down is a more efficient way to cool down, but it will increase the car’s drag at higher speeds.
5. Lock In a Regular Maintenance and Servicing Routine
There are lots of little checks we can do to keep our cars clocking over in tiptop fashion. While checking tyre pressure is a short and simple task, it’s one many car owners overlook. Under and over-inflated tyres use more fuel and maintaining tyre pressure at the level recommended by the manufacturer could make a noticeable difference in annual motoring costs.
Regular maintenance and servicing will ensure your car runs efficiently and reduce fuel consumption. Engine performance will suffer without regular oil and fluid changes. Find a Green Garage Network location nearby to keep your car in good shape and while you’re at it, ask one of our friendly experts for more car fuel-saving tips. You’ll save yourself a few quid on both servicing costs and at the pumps.
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