Tag Archives | fuel economy

Fuel saving tactics

Drivers everywhere are looking for ways to help save on fuel costs. Small and simple adjustments to save you money start with being careful as you fill up your car. Did you know that the metal part of the fuel pump can retain a small amount of fuel after you stop pumping? For this reason, it’s worth waiting a few more seconds before retracting the nozzle as it can hold up to 250ml of fuel. This will allow it to drain into your tank rather than splashing down your paintwork or on to the forecourt. It won’t be a life-changing amount of money that you save, but over the year it can add up. Another useful money-saving tactic involves learning to drive at a constant speed over speed bumps. Most drivers tend to slow down for the bump and then accelerate after passing over it, but this constant slowing down and acceleration over and between bumps affects your fuel consumption as this is when most fuel is used. Approaching speed bumps in a consistent way that keeps you moving without losing momentum makes good sense and is an easy way to improve your fuel economy. This ‘slow-down, speed-up’ driving is mostly found in 20mph zones, and by sticking to the speed limit, you’ll find you can cross most speed humps safely at 20mph. Just remember that the faster you drive the more fuel you will use. Generally, the most efficient speed to drive is around 45-50mph. According to the Department for Transport, driving at 70mph uses 9% more fuel than at 60mph, and 15% more than at 50mph.

Cluttered boots waste fuel

It’s common sense that loading your car up with extra weight will negatively impact its fuel economy – but the message hasn’t got through to all drivers. The top five offenders are tools, wellies and outdoor clothing, sports equipment and golf clubs, pushchairs and baby equipment, and multiple pairs of shoes. According to the RAC, an additional 50kg of weight can reduce your fuel economy by as much as two per cent. Over time, this seemingly small increase could cost you a lot in fuel. Not only that, but continued heavy loads in the rear could leave your suspension overloaded, while additional weight will also increase your car’s braking distance. The advice is clear: only travel with what’s necessary for your journey, and empty your boot of clutter regularly.

Be clever with hills

Driving up hills will eat into your fuel economy. It may feel good to accelerate up them, but this is disastrous for your mpg. Instead, try to drive them cleverly. If you spot a clear hill ahead, accelerate a little before you reach it, then ease off as you drive up. The extra momentum should be enough to minimise additional consumption.

Fuel savers

Just like your body, your car needs more fuel to move around more weight. So just as you wouldn’t wear a heavy rucksack unless you had to, don’t cart stuff around in your car boot unless you really need to. Ironically, the heavier the item the less likely you are to bother taking it out of the boot and the greater the effect this will have on your fuel consumption.

Also, you may not be aware that when you drive a car that’s been parked for a few hours the engine is cold and it therefore uses much more fuel for the first five miles or so? To conserve your petrol or diesel avoid popping out here and there, try to combine your daily errands into one trip.