With the ever rising cost of petrol and diesel, we could all do with a few tips on how to save fuel when driving. Some things you can do to save start before you even get behind the wheel.
Planning to Save Fuel
Before you set off, work out the most efficient route to take. There are a number of websites you can use to see live traffic flow. Using these you can plan a route to avoid getting needlessly stuck in traffic; or perhaps start your journey at a different time to avoid the busiest periods.
Unnecessary Weight & Drag
How to save fuel with a tidy up – do you have a boot full of stuff that you really don’t need? Any extra weight that you’re carrying will mean using extra fuel. Ditch everything that you will have no need for on your journey.
Do you carry a roof rack or a roof box? Anything such as this attached to your car will create an interruption to the air flow. The drag this creates can make a surprising difference to your fuel economy over time. Cars are generally designed in wind tunnels to ensure a smooth flow of air over the bodywork; there’s no sense in spoiling this by carrying something that you’re not actually using.
When was the last time you checked your tyre pressures? Under inflated tyres will have more rolling resistance. Again this will mean that your vehicle will need more power and therefore more fuel to keep it moving. Check the tyres regularly and make sure that you keep them to the manufacturers recommended pressures. And remember, if you’re actually driving some distance with a fully loaded car, you may actually need to increase those pressures – check your vehicle handbook.
How to save fuel with planning -Too many drivers do not think far enough ahead when they’re driving. If you find yourself moving your foot straight from the accelerator to the brake then you’re probably one of them.
Any situation which may cause you to slow down or stop should be approached with deceleration. The engine will naturally start to slow when you take your foot off the gas, braking should be the secondary means of slowing and should always be gentle if you’re looking far enough ahead.
For instance, you’re approaching lights which have been green for quite some time. They’re probably going to change. Anticipate this by easing off the gas and just covering the brake until you’re sure you can carry on.
Moderate your approach speed to junctions. Where you have an open view such as at roundabouts; proper forward planning should mean that you can often fit into the traffic flow without even using the brakes.
By far the best aid you can have to help with early reactions to hazards ahead is time. The closer you drive to another vehicle the less time you will have to react. And the more likely you are to have to rely on those brakes.
Keeping well back will open up your view of the road ahead. When you spot situations where you may have to change speed you will be able to do so by using that deceleration. The better you get at this the less often your foot will be moving to the brake pedal; and that will mean less visits to the fuel station!
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