This is a list of tips to help you save fuel when driving your car. I recently passed my driving test and have a round trip commute of 55 miles. With increasing fuel prices, I have tried all I can to get the most out of my fuel. I drive an eight year old Diesel Ford Focus. It has the Endura DE 1.8 Litre Engine. I thought I would share some driving tips on how to get the most out of the fuel you put into your car.
1. Smooth Driving
Booting the accelerator everywhere will do you no favours. If you drive smoothly and anticipate traffic ahead, you can keep your car rolling for longer. You will also find you will not have to brake as much. An observation I have made whilst driving is that a lot of drivers race up to red traffic lights and end up stopping. As I tend to be a little more conservative, I ease off the accelerator and let the engine braking kick in. Usually I find that I don’t have to stop as the lights are back to green by the time I get there.
2. Lighten the Load
It’s summer time once again. Do you really need the de-icer in the boot? How about that roof rack you don’t use? If you are hoarding stuff in your car that you don’t use, remove it. Less weight is good!
3. Check those Tyres
Checking the pressure of your tyres at least once a week. Under inflated tyres increase road resistance and as a result of this, yes you guessed it, you use more fuel. You can usually find out what pressure your tyres should be set to in the manufacturers handbook. The best time to check tyres are when they are cold.
4. Combine Journeys
Instead of making lots of separate trips, if it is possible you should combine the journeys. A warm engine is more efficient than a cold engine.
5. Close the Windows
When driving at higher speeds, close the windows to reduce drag. It will also keep the wasps out.
6. Regularly Service your Car
Service your car regularly to ensure it is running at its best. It will also mean you will be more confident that your call won’t let you down.
7. Change Gears to avoid over revving
Usually you should change at between 2000 and 2500 RPM. I guess this can vary by car. I change my car at around the 2000RPM mark.
8. Plan your Journey
In an ideal world, planning your journey to avoid road works, traffic jams and getting lost. You will use more fuel if your are driving round lost or are stuck in queues.
9. Drive at the Posted Speed Limit
The fast you drive, the more fuel you use. Obviously you shouldn’t drive in a manner that is unsafe, however sticking to the speed limit will save fuel. For example on the motorway if you drive at 80mph instead of 70mph, you will use more fuel.
10. Don’t Drive
Yes I know this one is obvious but I thought I would throw it in. If your journey is a short one, you could cycle or maybe walk.
11. Buy a smaller car
Chances are that if you can afford to do this, you can probably afford to not worry about your fuel usage. However if you are more environmentally motivated, you might consider changing your gas guzzler for something more economical.
12. Reverse into a Parking Bay
When an engine is cold, it uses more fuel. If you can drive straight out of your parking bay, it is going to be a lot easier than reversing out. I guess the fuel saving here is probably very little. However as one supermarket likes to say, every little helps!
13. Turn off the engine if you are stuck
If you are stuck in a jam, and it looks like you will not be moving for a while. Turn off the engine. It will only be wasting fuel by being left running.
14. Car Sharing
If you have a colleague who travels the same way as you, consider car sharing. You could alternate driving days or even weeks. Easier said than done though. A good idea I suppose if the person you are sharing with is reliable.
15. Turn off the Air Conditioning
The Air conditioning runs off the engine and as a result, uses fuel. When traveling at lower speeds, consider turning it off and opening a Window. At higher speeds it makes more sense to run the air condition and close the windows due to drag. Unfortunately, my car does not have air condition so I generally close the windows at higher speeds and imagine I am stuck in the North Pole.