There’s a lot we can predict with our cars – services, MOTs, when to change the tyres. And then there’s fuel prices. Not knowing when that notoriously volatile gage is going to shoot up or down is a common source of anxiety for lots of drivers, particularly commuters.
We’re all pretty au fait with the idea that driving slower equals reduced fuel consumption. But what other ways are there to scrimp on the pennies and become a more economically-friendly driver?
Drop the weight
Don’t worry, we’re not talking about your dietary habits. Rather the excess cargo taking up space in the boot of your car. The heavier your load, the harder your engine will have to work to carry all that weight and, inevitably, you’ll burn through more fuel.
Increase your aerodynamics
Driving with the window down will create more drag on your car and you’ll have to put your foot down harder to compensate. Things like roof racks, bike storage facilities or anything that adds an odd shape dimension to your car will also cause your car to move slower through the air. It’s best to remove anything of this nature until needed – it could save up to 20% on fuel cost a year.
Rather than visiting B&Q on Saturday and Tesco on Sunday, try to get it all done in one day. A cold engine needs more energy to do its job – it’s much more sustainable to do as much as you can on a warm one. To add to this, it’ll probably also cut out as many journeys to and from your house, saving you mileage.
Keep your tyres inflated
Keeping your tyres pumped up to the correct pressure will reduce your rolling resistance on the ground. According to the RAC, this can trim fuel consumption by up to 2%. Check your tyres once a month when rested and add air when it’s necessary to do so. PSI measurements can be found on the inside of your driver’s door or owner’s manual.
Keep your revs low
Rather than waiting for your engine to tell you when to change, look to your rev counter. Change up a gear when the revs hit 2,500 for a petrol and 2,000 for a diesel. Try to use higher gears sooner rather than later. But be wary that it’s a delicate balance – not changing down at the right time can also rob you of precious fuel.
If you try to push a bike forward too quickly, it’ll prove a strain on your legs. The same is true of your car. In order to prevent your engine working more than it needs to, brake and accelerate as smoothly as possible. If you’re going through an area with speedbumps, try to maintain a constant pace, rather than speeding up and braking sharply.
Keep your vehicle maintained
It’s a false economy that passing up on TLC for your car will save pennies. The better maintained your vehicle is, the more efficiently it will run.
Don’t be like this chap though…
Come to the experts instead.
Autoprep is a car body repair specialist based in Exminster, Devon. They handle everything from paintless dents, bumper and alloy wheel repairs to scratches and scuffs. Autoprep offers showroom quality repairs at trade prices for everyone. For more information, head to http://www.autopreprepair.co.uk/services/