Getting better fuel economy is not only down to the car, but it depends a lot on the owner too. With fuel prices at an all-time high, the following tips will go a long way in driving more frugally.
Make fewer trips
Ideally, you should combine all your daily errands into one big trip. Many are not aware of the fact that when you drive a car that has been parked for a few hours, the engine is cold and it uses much more fuel for the first five miles or so.
Don’t drive in the rush hour
It is not only tiresome to find yourself stuck in a traffic jam, but it is also a very expensive way of commuting. Every time you start and stop in traffic, your car needs first gear and a huge amount of fuel to get moving again. Second gear is just about a tad better.
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On the other hand, you can save fuel by trying to understand what the traffic is doing in front of you, and travelling steadily at a slow speed, rather than accelerating and braking.
Close the windows (and sunroof, if there is one)
This is not much of an issue when driving in town, but when you are out of town or on the motorway and moving at a quicker speed, the shape of your car assumes a lot of importance.
It is technically referred to as aerodynamics, according to which, anything that makes wind noise as your car goes along is actually making your car more expensive to run. It is advisable to use the air vents for most of the year, and the air-conditioning when it gets too hot.
Remove the roof rack or ski box
Even if the roof rack is empty, it increases drag and makes your car consume more fuel. On the other hand, a big ski box is like having another car strapped to your roof. The latest roof racks and ski boxes are quick and easy to fit and remove, so make sure you stow them away when not in use.
Don’t carry around unnecessary weight
It is interesting to note that your car works just like your body; as in, it needs more fuel to move around more weight. So, just like you wouldn’t want to wear a heavy rucksack unless you really had to, avoid carting stuff around in the boot of your car unless you need it.
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The perfect way to drive is to maintain a constant speed (ideally around 50mph) and in the highest gear (five or six). So the mantra is, if you are a patient driver, you can enjoy lower fuel expenses. Check your tyre pressures regularly- The lower the tyre pressure, the more fuel the car needs to move it down the road.
It is recommended that every fortnight, five minutes should be spared to check the tyres. If you are unsure of what the pressure should be, you can normally find the figures near the lock inside the driver’s door.