The cost of motoring is at an all-time high, and many hard-up motorists are being forced to either give up their car altogether or take the occasional journey on foot. It seems that the cost of petrol and diesel is constantly on the increase, and already struggling families are being forced to stay at home instead of enjoying days out on the road. However, there are some exceedingly simple ways in which people can drastically reduce their fuel-consumption, and that will make a full tank go a lot further.
Many people will find this to be an obvious solution, yet millions of drivers are driving too fast on the roads of Britain. Some studies on fuel-consumption suggest that an average speed of 55 miles per hour is the most effective when it comes to conserving fuel. Fuel burns at an exponentially faster rate as a car speeds up, and consistent speeding will account for a large proportion of a car’s annual consumption.
Check Tyre Pressure Regularly
Incorrect tyre pressure is one of the most common causes of a substandard fuel-economy rate, yet millions of drivers have under-inflated tyres without even knowing it. Even new tyres will gradually lose pressure, so it is vital that a proper check is performed every week. An under-inflated tyre has a longer rolling distance, and that means more fuel is required to get the car where it needs to go. Most petrol stations have reliable pressure gauges; however, car retailers often offer very reasonably-priced gauges. Only by checking the pressure when the tyres are cold will an accurate reading be possible.
Check the Air Filter Regularly
An air filter is in place to ensure that no dirt or impurities are allowed into the engine. The presence of such impurities can harm the overall performance of the engine, and that will have detrimental consequences on the car’s fuel-economy. Instead of constantly replacing dirty filters, the installation of a permanent filter will mean it can be cleaned by the driver instead of being replaced by professionals.
Take Care with Acceleration
Driving at the most consistent speed possible will have a significant impact on any vehicle’s fuel-economy. Pulling away should be done at a steady rate, and changes in gear should be carried out where appropriate in order to keep the ‘rev’ rate to a minimum. However, perhaps the most effective way to manage acceleration is by watching the road ahead very carefully. Anticipating traffic and red lights will allow the driver to slow, rather than being forced to come to a complete stop.
Use the Air-Conditioning Sparingly There is always a balance to be reached when it comes to keeping the interior of a car cool during hot weather. Air-conditioning burns more fuel, so it should be used sparingly. Opening windows is often a more fuel-efficient option when driving in built-up areas. However, the wind-resistance created from open windows at higher speeds will have a higher impact on fuel-consumption than the air-conditioning system.
People often disregard advice on saving fuel, as they believe the benefits to be negligible. However, permanent changes to driving habits and regular maintenance will cut fuel bills considerably over the course of an entire year.
James Nation is an engineer mechanic for race teams. He enjoys sharing his insights and findings on various motoring blogs. Find out about BP Fuelcards and their services.