For the majority of car owners, money dictates pretty much everything. Whether it’s the initial buying/leasing of your vehicle, maintenance or running costs, affordability is key.
While some of these costs can be down to luck (such as cracked windscreens), others are consistent and unavoidable, none as much as fuel.
Petrol and Diesel power the majority of the vehicles across the UK, and you’d be lying if you said you didn’t wish you could get a little extra out of your car every time you see the fuel light flash up on your dash.
Thankfully there are a number of tricks and tips which can actually help you stretch your fuel economy a little further. Here at Cox Motor Parts we have devised our top 10.
Owning a manual car gives us more control over the amount of fuel we burn during each journey. Whilst automatic vehicles make driving easier by taking care of the gear changes for you, they can overdo it on the engine revs, and are often less fuel efficient than a car with a manual gearbox when driven with fuel efficiency in mind.
For example, an automatic won’t make the decision to set off in second when heading downhill, whereas you can, taking less fuel out the tank getting to the top of first gear.
Minimize Air Conditioning
Understandably this is something you can’t do without in the more testing months of the year, but when possible, turn off all heating/air conditioning to save on fuel.
Recent studies by Vox found that using your AC instead of rolling your windows down to cool down travelling at speeds up to 70mph could cost you 10% fuel economy.
This is because air conditioning is directly powered by the engine, so particularly when you are driving at slow speeds, your engine is having to work overtime to get the air conditioning working to the same level as if you were driving closer to 70mph.
While having the windows does increase drag, and therefore an added strain on fuel economy, it is nowhere near as dangerous to your tank than air conditioning.
While the word aerodynamics is a word more commonly associated with F1 cars or the latest supercar release, it is something which every car can improve on.
Try things like leaving your roof rack at home when you aren’t going to need it, keep the windows up as often as possible or don’t tow that trailer everywhere if you don’t need to.
Being impatient will see you pay for it. Being conservative with your accelerating and using your gears to full effect could save you plenty of fuel.
All vehicles see a reduced fuel economy when they get above 55mph, however depending what road you are on, you may have to drive north of this.
If you are on the motorway for example (where the speed limit is 70mph), if you drive at 65 instead of 75, your fuel efficiency can improve by 13%.
Carpool When Possible
Unsurprisingly, sharing lifts with co-workers or friends will save you a decent bit of cash and therefore fuel over a prolonged period.
Choosing to drive alternate weeks, or asking for fuel money from those who can’t drive is the most basic way of making this one effective.
Not dissimilar to the idea of aerodynamics, trimming the fat from your regular journey could make a big difference to your fuel economy.
Why do you think manufacturers obsess over the weight of their racing cars? It’s because they want to get the best performance out of a car, and lose anything that might be needlessly weighing it down.
Whether your back seats are full of booster fittings for the kids, or you are still lugging that bass amp around in the boot to give back to your friend, they probably don’t always need to be there, so shed any excess weight and feel the benefit in your pocket.
Idle Engine Running
You might be aware that more cars now save fuel by switching off as soon as you come to a halt, however, the majority still don’t have this feature. While this seems a touch over the top it is actually very necessary.
Think of it this way, when you are at a stand still, your mpg is technically 0, and while you are burning nowhere near as much as you do when you are on the motorway, you are technically not moving an inch.
Air filters can have a negative effect on your fuel economy also, so it is important to keep on top of their state by taking your car in for regular check ups.
A clogged air filter means your engine has to work overtime, therefore, use more fuel to do the same job.
First and foremost, perfectly functioning tyres are there to keep us gripped to the roads and along with our cars brakes, to help us stop as quickly ad safely as possible.
Braking and stopping distance can have a big effect on our fuel economy, and the worse it is, the more fuel we waste.
Having tyres which are either low on pressure or over inflated can effect our vehicles stopping distance and therefore fuel economy for the worse so have regular checks. See this from Tyre Pal for more information.
While it does seem fairly obvious, it isn’t always the first thing people consider when hunting for a new set of wheels.
The best course of action is to do your research on the models you are interested in and work out if there is going to be any meaningful difference fuel wise.
So there you have it, 10 ways to reduce fuel consumption. While not all of these will work for everyone, there is certainly a couple that will peak your interest, especially if you enjoy looking after your car or a just a tiny bit tight fisted.