As petrol and diesel prices continue to fluctuate in the UK and global environmental concerns over fuel consumption rise, it has never been more important to think about the way you drive your car, van or motorbike and how you can avoid wasting fuel.
Whether you have a petrol or diesel vehicle, filling up your tank with fuel is expensive, and we know all too well how quickly you can go through it. Before you know it, it’s time to refill!
If you’re wondering what’s most likely to waste fuel or how to master fuel-efficient driving, then you’re in luck. Keep reading to save yourself some pennies and increase your vehicle’s miles per gallon by adopting these tried and tested fuel-saving techniques from the experts at Eurorepar.
1. Minimise any drag
Our first way to save fuel is to reduce drag and wind resistance from your vehicle. When it’s not necessary to open your windows or sunroof, keep them closed as much as possible. Roof racks also increase resistance, so only use them when you have to. This is because they increase your vehicle’s aerodynamic drag, which requires more fuel to compensate and therefore affect your fuel efficiency.
When it’s hot, we know the temptation to either open your car windows or put the aircon on is difficult to resist, but both drain fuel. As a general rule, if you’re driving slowly, opening your windows uses less fuel than turning on your aircon. However, when travelling at high speeds, like on the motorway, it’s the opposite; the best way to reduce fuel consumption here is to use the aircon.
2. Does aircon use fuel?
We’ve already touched on this above, but unfortunately, aircon does use fuel as it is powered by the engine. This is the same for heat, so if you plan on using either, prepare to have to stop to fill up the tank a little sooner!
3. Remove unnecessary weight
This is a super simple tip to improve fuel consumption; remove any unnecessary weight from your vehicle. Check the boot for forgotten bags and stow the roof or bike rack away when you’re not using them. Getting rid of clutter is one of the easiest ways to save fuel, and your car is tidier as a result! It’s a win-win.
4. Drive sensibly
If you want to know which driving technique saves fuel, the answer is simple - driving sensibly. It’s not always possible to be a perfect driver but driving sensibly can do wonders for your fuel consumption. This means accelerate steadily, brake lightly, and keep your ride nice and smooth. Driving erratically is when will your vehicle uses more fuel.
5. Gear change responsibly
Whilst jumping gears or ‘block changing’ may feel efficient at the time, it will actually drain your fuel and reduce efficiency. It causes the engine to run outside of its ideal range between each gear, resulting in poor fuel economy. This is the case for both moving up and down the gearbox. How to save fuel? Change gears as soon as it’s practical, without allowing the engine to labour.
Myth-buster: Contrary to popular belief, driving neutral doesn’t save gas. In both manual and automatic cars, it uses almost the same amount of fuel as when you’re in gear.
6. Check your tyre pressure
Did you know that the lower the tyre pressure, the more fuel you’ll burn through? This is because deflated tyres cause more rolling resistance and your engine has to work harder to counteract this.
Keeping your tyres at their optimum pressure will not only mean that their tread wears more evenly, but you will also increase your fuel efficiency at the same time, increasing your miles per gallon (mpg).
Checking your tyres are in full working order is essential to remain safe on the roads, so we recommend booking an appointment at a car garage like Eurorepar for inspection and if necessary, tyre repairs and replacements.
7. Does cruise control use more fuel?
The quick answer is yes. For everyday driving, it is less adaptable to changes on the road, so often requires more from the engine than it needs. However, on the motorway, because you’re driving at a consistent speed in a straight line, it can be a fuel-friendly way of driving.
8. Use your vehicle less
It may seem obvious, but a way to improve fuel consumption is to reduce the amount you use your vehicle. For shorter trips, try walking, cycling or getting public transport, or car share with a friend. By only using your car when you have to, you can keep your fuel tank fuller for longer.
9. Service your vehicle frequently
Our final recommendation is to service your vehicle regularly. It’s essential to keep your car or van in full working order to ensure your safety and the safety of other road users. If you’ve noticed abnormal fuel consumption recently, it is worthwhile getting it checked out by a trained technician to make sure that there are no faults or leaks within the system.
We hope that these tips have helped to answer your commonly-asked questions on what will reduce fuel consumption and how to avoid wasting it. We’re here to help, so if you think there might be something else causing an increase in fuel consumption, get in touch with your local Eurorepar car service centre for friendly, expert advice. Find your nearest centre here.