Tag Archives | fuel efficiency
Brimming with fuel
Ninety-nine per cent of drivers do this, but brimming your fuel tank to the top is not the best way to fill up. Doing so leaves no room for fuel vapour to expand inside the tank, and can damage your car’s vapour collection system. This consists of a charcoal filter that could be flooded – and damaged – by excess fuel. Moreover, inefficient fuel vapour collection is not good for the environment.
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.
Air resistance is a significant factor when you drive at speed. The faster you go, the higher the resistance meaning more energy is needed. To give an indication of how air resistance decreases fuel efficiency, driving at 70mph compared to 60mph uses 9 per cent more fuel, driving at 70mph compared to 50mph uses 15 per cent more fuel. Just an extra 10mph by driving at 80mph compared to the legal speed limit of 70mph uses a staggering 25 per cent more petrol.
Let’s say you’re planning a 60-mile trip on a 70mph dual carriageway. Travelling over the speed limit at 80mph will save you only around six minutes compared to driving at 70mph, while using 25 per cent more petrol – it really doesn’t seem worth it. If you can, plan journeys that avoid refilling on motorways and dual carriageways as they usually charge more than supermarket petrol stations.