There is a standard list of things every driver should do in an effort to improve fuel efficiency. Saving on petrol is not just in the type of car you own, but in how you drive it and how you maintain it.
For starters, your driving habits need to change to save on petrol. Think about your driving habits in terms of slowing down, accelerating more slowly, and avoiding extremely high speeds. Most vehicles are aerodynamically designed to be fuel efficient at about 90 kph. As you drive faster than 90 kph, your vehicle has to overcome a lot of drag (or wind resistance). By keeping your speed nearer to 90 kph you reduce wind resistance and improve fuel efficiency.
Another tip is to take your foot off the gas altogether. If you’re driving in reasonably flat terrain, use your car’s cruise control system. Cruise control is great at optimizing petrol efficiency so long as you’re not battling traffic or driving in very hilly terrain. In those instances, your foot is often more efficient.
Check your tyre pressure once a month to make sure it is where it should be. If the pressure is too low the tyres will generate excessive resistance against the road, which wastes petrol. On top of using more fuel than you should be, you’ll also wear your tyres out prematurely if they’re under-inflated. You can find out how much pressure your tyres need by looking in your operator’s manual, but 230-240 kPa is a good rule of thumb.
Keep your car windows rolled up when you are driving, especially at speeds over 70 kph. While you may have been told that your car’s air conditioning system wastes petrol, opening your windows is often more wasteful. Open windows create a lot of fuel wasting drag at speeds above 70 kph. Instead of lowering your windows, save petrol by operating your air conditioner as little as possible. Most modern vehicles are designed to be more efficient with the air conditioner running than with the windows down. In the colder months, a car’s heating system does not greatly affect the petrol efficiency. Feel free to keep your car as toasty warm as you like.
It sounds silly, but if you’re striving for every last bit of fuel efficiency it’s time to empty out your vehicle and get rid of any excess weight in your car. Take your golf clubs out of the trunk and put them back in the garage – anything you can do to reduce the weight of your vehicle will improve fuel efficiency.
Your air filter should be replaced about every 30,000 – 40,000 kilometers (check your owner’s manual to be sure) and it is an easy thing to do. Learn to do it yourself and buy the filter at an auto supply store or make sure it is done when you have your oil changed. Either way, a clean air filter helps your engine run more efficiently and therefore saves on petrol.
These are just a few tips on fuel information. For more petrol efficiency advice, visit www.AccurateAutoAdvice.com.